KTM was one of India’s truly breakout brands, with the likes of the KTM Duke and RC series the brand quickly became a household name. Starting with the KTM Duke 200, the brand played it lean incrementally bringing more models to the forefront until the RC and Duke series was complete with a revamp thrown in there in 2017 for good measure. At present, the Duke range is one of the most expansive brands for street fighter motorcycles in India with the Duke 125,200,250 and 390 on sale in India. Now completely the blitzkrieg of new vehicles that share the iconic marquee KTM has confirmed that they will launch the 790 Duke in India. It's no pipe dream either, according to MotoringWorld.Com, the new Duke could be on the ground in India as soon as next month! Naturally, KTM doesn’t play around when it comes to price either, the 790 Duke will be MADE-IN-INDIA through the CKD route, at Bajaj’s Akrudi Plant. At present, an assembly line is being set up, under the supervision of KTM’s Austrian team to ensure that quality for the 790 is global.
Additionally, Motoring reports that there will be some modicum of localisation with some parts of the 790 Duke making it onto the motorcycle from local suppliers. According to this, lights for the bike will come from Minda while the indicators, wiring and other parts are also likely to come from local suppliers. However, engine and cycle parts will be imported, including suspension and chassis materials. The new plant will be in full swing by mid-April with a local launch likely to follow soon.
The KTM 790 is called the Scalpel and is powered by KTMs all-new 799cc LC8c parallel-twin engine. It's set apart since it's the companies first attempt to build a parallel motor in order to save weight and dimensions. Straight out of the box the motor gets 105 hp at 9000 rpm an has 87 Nm of torque on tap. Light-weight and just as powerful the KTM will have everything required to take on its rivals in the form of the Triumph Street Triple and Kawasaki Z900. Brakes come from J.Juan which is a Spanish company meaning there will be no ByBre components on this one, then. Even the tyres which KTM have developed with Maxxis are bespoke to the 790.
However, the piece de resistance on the KTM 790 Duke is not in the engine or the chassis but instead is its extensive electronics package. A quick-shifter than can be switched off manually, ride-by-wire tech, four-rider modes including a customisable track mode. Oh and that’s not it, there's cornering ABS, Wheelie Control and motor slip regulation which is an electronic assisted system helping the mechanical slipper clutch to even further reduce rear-wheel hop under sudden deceleration.
Prices for the 790 Duke are going to be a major attraction though, with rumours that Bajaj-KTM is targeting a price point closer to Rs 6.5 lakh. Meaning that Kawasaki and Triumph are going to need to have a long, hard think about the prices of their motorcycles in the coming here.