It’s no secret that the KTM 790 Duke will be coming to India. And, now, our sources have informed us that the new twin-cylinder bike will be launched by March 2019. In terms of pricing, the KTM 790 Duke is expected to be priced around Rs 8 to 8.5 lakh (on-road). At this price point, it will compete against four-cylinder rivals such as the Suzuki GSX-S750 and the Kawasaki Z900, which are priced at Rs 7.46 lakh and Rs 7.68 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) respectively.
Unlike other KTM motorcycles on sale in our country, the KTM 790 will not be manufactured here, but will be brought to our shores as CKD kits and will be assembled at the Chakan facility. We were expecting the bike to be priced under Rs 7 lakh (ex-showroom) as at the time of its launch, KTM officials had said that the bike has been developed for easier CKD operations. Additionally, components like the LED headlight, TFT screen, suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres and the swingarm can be localised, which should help in keeping costs in check.
The 790 Duke made its global debut at the 2017 EICMA motorcycle show and follows a similar design approach as the KTM 390 Duke. KTM calls the new motorcycle “The Scalpel” because of its sharp handling and thrilling performance, but we feel that term justifies its styling as well. The 790 Duke features minimal bodywork with sharp edges. Even its angular LED headlight is also reminiscent of the 390 Duke’s headlamp.
Other interesting details include a TFT screen, bi-directional quickshifter and a high-mounted side-slung muffler. In terms of electronics, the bike has been loaded with goodies such as lean-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS, multiple power modes, launch control and even wheelie control!
The bike is powered by a newly developed LC8 799cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin motor pumping out 105PS at 9500rpm and 86Nm of peak torque at 8000rpm. The DOHC motor is mated to a 6-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch. It features a new chrome-molybdenum tubular chassis that employs the engine as stressed member. The rear subframe is also completely new and has been crafted from aluminium.
Suspension hardware consists of 43mm open cartridge forks with separate functions up front and gas-assisted monoshock with 12-stage preload adjustment at the rear, both developed by WP. It also features a steering damper as standard fitment. Stopping power is provided by dual 300mm front discs and a 240mm rear disc, with dual-channel ABS as standard. It also gets a ‘Supermoto’ mode similar to the 390 Duke in which rear wheel ABS is disengaged.
The 790 Duke carries forward KTM’s tradition of offering many segment-first features at great value and this should help it stand out from its competition.