Remember last year’s EICMA? And KTM stealing the show with its 790 prototype? Well, say hello to the mass-produced puppy. Although the production bike looks nothing like last year’s showstopper, this all-new 2018 KTM 790 Duke still looks like a mini Beast. With the middleweight class growing rapidly, KTM has chucked some serious effort into making the ultimate road scalpel.
Finer details are scant at the time of writing, but the 790 is powered by an LC8 799cc twin that produces a claimed 105bhp at 9,000rpm, which instantly places in the Duke in Street Triple territory (there’ll also be a 95bhp version to allow a 44bhp A2 model). Although there’s no official mention in the press guff, it looks like a beefier aftermarket exhaust will add a few extra ponies.
And looking at the press action pics, the 790 looks far more at home during big lean and conventional cornering – somewhere the 690 fell short. It looks more of a naked nutter than motard-biased hooligan, although you can guarantee The Scalpel will stunt for fun weighing just 169kg and continue to carry that innate Duke ethos.
KTM calls the chassis geometry ‘sophisticated’ and there’s a ‘relatively’ long wheelbase. Needless to say, the 790 is dressed in specially-developed WP suspension and also features a medley of performance enhancing electronics, including lean angle sensitive TC, cornering ABS and launch control. Yep, bloody launch control. Other intricacies include the LED tail light being intergrated into the licence plate holder, and Maxxis Supermaxx ST rubber.
More when we get it.