KTM 790 Duke is now inching closer to a formal launch in India as our dealership sources have said that it will likely launch in March this year. The 790 Duke will be the first motorcycle in the Austrian manufacturer's lineup to be powered by a parallel twin engine. It will be the most powerful KTM in India and will also be the most expensive. The 790 Duke will not be manufactured in India unlike other KTM products here and will be made available through the CKD (completely knocked down) route.
The new KTM 790 Duke will be priced below Rs 9 lakh and at this price point, it will rival the likes of Suzuki GSX-S750 and Kawasaki Z900, priced at Rs 7.46 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and Rs 7.68 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), respectively.
KTM 790 Duke was first showcased as a concept motorcycle at EICMA 2016, with a production version revealed in the same year. It will come to India as CKD and assembled at Bajaj’s Chakan plant just outside Pune. KTM is also looking to heavily localise the 790 Duke and parts like LED headlight, TFT screen, suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres and swingarm could be localised to keep the price in check.
Powering the new KTM 790 Duke will be an exclusively built 799cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine that develops 105 PS at 9,000 rpm and 86 Nm at 8,000rpm. This will KTM's first ever parallel twin engine and is likely to be paired with a six-speed gearbox.
Add these power figures to an ultra-light 174 kg of kerb weight and the 790 Duke will be a handful. The Z900 and the Triumph Street Triple S, on the other hand, churn out 123.29 hp and 111.4 hp, respectively.
The lightness comes from a steel frame, and the suspension is from WP, consisting of a 43mm split-function upside-down fork and gas-assisted shock with progressive spring and pre-load adjuster. The front brake consists of twin 300mm discs with four-pot radial mounted callipers. At the back is a two-piston calliper on a 240mm disc.
KTM 790 Duke comes with riding modes, including a customisable 'Track' one. It gets dis-engageable 'supermoto mode', lean-angle-sensitive traction control, a quick shifter, launch control, full-colour TFT dash, adjustable handlebar and WP steering damper.