After a brief absence, KTM are bringing back the original Scalpel, the 790 Duke, back to their line-up and into the global market.
The 790 Duke made its inception in 2017 and went on sale in India in late 2019. However, the motorcycle was quickly supplanted by the 890 Duke in 2019, which never came to our market. The reason for the sudden change was the introduction of the Euro 5 emission standards which led to KTM and a lot of other manufacturers increasing the displacement of their middleweight bikes. The Duke’s LC8c parallel-twin went from 799 cc to 889 cc, ergo the 890 Duke. Despite its short run, KTM sold over 29,000 units of the 790 Duke.
The 2022 KTM 790 Duke is the continuation of the story which introduced the world to the power and agility of the KTM LC8c parallel-twin platform, with further development offering a true global mid-range motorcycle. The question that remains is, why KTM are bringing back a recently-discontinued motorcycle. Well, KTM’s explanation is that the 790 Duke will help bridge the gap between the 890 Duke and 390 Duke, which doesn’t exactly make sense, does it? The only explanation that actually makes sense is that KTM initially planned to do the same ‘bridging’ in 2019 with a range of twin-cylinder 490 models, but they were probably just outright cancelled or hopefully just delayed, mainly due to the pandemic.
The European markets will receive a 95-hp version of the re-introduced 790 Duke, for A2 configurations, while the rest of the world will get the full 105-hp version produced by a Euro 5/ BS VI-compliant, 799-cc, parallel-twin engine mated to a six-speed gearbox. The engine makes max power at 9,000 rpm and 87 Nm of torque at 8,000 rpm.
The Duke also continues to be the leader in the market in terms of power to weight ratio and equipment levels. Electronically, the KTM 790 Duke boasts of the most advanced and complete package in the middleweight segment with standard features such as:
- Cornering sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC)
- Cornering ABS with supermoto mode
- Three standard riding modes
- Full-colour five-inch TFT display
- LED lights all around
- WP suspension all around
A number of optional features are also available, adding higher spec levels to the KTM 790 Duke, namely:
- Quickshifter plus
- Motor Slip Regulation (MSR)
- Track mode
- Cruise control
- Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- KTM My Ride providing hands-free connection to phone and music
The usual selection of ride modes, notably rain, street and sport settings provide riders with easy-to-access customization of traction and throttle control, ensuring confident riding in all road and weather conditions. In terms of looks, the 2022 KTM 790 Duke introduces two new colourways to the mix, with a traditional KTM orange scheme and an all-new grey and black with orange highlights. A full range of specially developed KTM PowerParts and KTM PowerWear are also available.
While KTM have not confirmed the launch of the 790 Duke in India, it could be priced between Rs 7.6 lakh to Rs 8.5 lakh, competing with the Triumph Trident 660 and the Honda CB650R. What do you think of the 790 proposition?
Story: Alshin Thomas
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