The KTM 790 DUKE is devastatingly accurate. With the agility you’d expect from a single, blended with the meaty punch of a twin, it carves corners with pinpoint precision, boasting the 799 cc LC8c parallel twin motor nestled into one of the lightest and most compact chassis around. The KTM 790 DUKE is all about being fast where it counts – in the corners. Dynamically flicking from one bend to the next, putting you in the heart of the action and not on the sidelines.TEST RIDE BOOK NOW
The incredible handling characteristics of the KTM 790 DUKE are founded on the dynamic, loadbearing design of the tubular chassis. Engineers had one goal in mind, and that was to keep the chassis as rigid and compact as possible for sharper turn-in and greater lean angles, allowing it to slice through the turns with extreme responsiveness.
The subframe is cast aluminum and houses the airbox. No plastic covers, no additional brackets - everything is cast into two connected pieces to reduce complexity and weight. The triangular shapes in the subframe were inspired by KTM’s trellis subframes, as this allows for a strong and simple construction.
The die-cast, open-lattice swingarm is meticulously manufactured and has been optimized for stiffness and stability while still offering excellent flex characteristics. By using a direct link for the rear shock, complexity and parts are reduced.
The KTM 790 DUKE is fitted with extremely lightweight, light-alloy wheels manufactured in a low-pressure die casting process. Not only do the lightweight wheels make the bike lighter overall, they also minimize the unsprung masses and moment of inertia, with a positive impact on the handling and ride dynamics.
The MAXXIS Supermaxx ST tyres fitted to the KTM 790 DUKE have been developed specifically for this bike. Thanks to a special compound, the tires are grippy in both wet and dry conditions and strike a balance between sportiness and everyday rideability, offering the rider a stable ride and excellent tire wear.
This reliable and sensitive WP steering damper has been setup to give the rider ultimate feedback through the bars, while keeping the front wheel uncompromised over uneven tarmac. You won’t even know it’s there, until that one nasty bit of road comes up mid corner.
The 43 mm open cartridge upside-down fork from WP Suspension provides you with a set-up that’s unseen in this segment. The fork uses split function technology, which means compression and rebound damping take place in separate fork legs, allowing for better tuning of the fork behavior. The fork springs are progressive, ensuring a smooth operation throughout the fork stroke; soft for the initial stroke and harder further down the stroke to prevent bottoming out.
Keeping the rear end on check is a state-of-the-art, gas assisted WP shock with progressive spring and preload adjustment. This ensures maximum traction while attacking a twisty ribbon of tarmac.
This reliable and sensitive WP steering damper has been setup to give the rider ultimate feedback through the bars, while keeping the front wheel uncompromised over uneven road. You won't even know it's there, until that one nasty bit of road comes up mid corner.
The cast aluminum triple clamp stiffness has been tuned to match the flex of the fork, contributing to the sporty handling and excellent feedback. Clever engineering of the triple clamps and the handlebar clamps mean four different handlebar positions are possible for that perfect riding position.
Maximum deceleration is ensured at the front wheel on the KTM 790 DUKE by the two radially mounted four-piston fixed calipers and two 300 mm discs. The spacing between hand brake lever and handlebar is adjustable so that the lever is within easy reach for every rider. The front brake receives effective support from the disc brake on the rear wheel, which features a single disc and a single piston floating caliper. All this stopping power is supported by KTM’s Cornering ABS.
A multicolor combination of relevant information, presented in an uncluttered way. As you rev the engine, the display bars change color, either spurring you on or warning you that the engine's still cold. The display also automatically adapts its illumination to the ambient light and gets racy when "Track mode" is selected.
Form and function are seamlessly integrated in the KTM 790 DUKE. Take the LED headlight for example, a highlight in this bike’s design. It combines optimal illumination of the near field with maximum light output. And the daytime running lights on both sides ensure that the motorcycle is perceived better and is more differentiated by other traffic users, thus offering massive safety benefits. The LED taillight is mounted on the license plate holder to make it easy to remove for trackday use or customization.
When you suddenly find the limit, it’s good to know you’ve got science on your side. The KTM 790 DUKE has been engineered to not only give you the best mechanical feedback, but also the best in electronic aids.
Track mode, as the name suggests, offers unlimited thrills and READY TO RACE characteristics. It features a launch control function for quick getaways, variable slip adjustment, increased throttle response and the ability to pull epic wheelies by disengaging Anti-Wheelie.
Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) is a mouthful, but it's an important part of the KTM 790 DUKE. MTC is a lean-angle sensitive traction control system, which reduces engine output while being extremely smooth and barely perceptible. Depending on the selected ride mode, MTC also allows for several levels of traction slip at the rear wheel. But that's not the end of it - Daredevils, we give you: the off-switch!
The KTM 790 DUKE allows for slick, clutchless up and downshifts thanks to KTM’s own Quickshifter+ system. It reads and responds to your riding under any load to ensure shift action is as fast as you are. When downshifting, the system matches the engine speed to the speed of the lower gear.
The KTM 790 DUKE is equipped with standard MSR (Motor Slip Regulation), which works in the opposite direction of the MTC. This means there is no chance of accidentially locking up the rear wheel under downshifting or abrupt throttling-off. MSR ensures you retain full traction and complements the slipper clutch and is especially effective in low grip situations.
"Supermoto mode" allows enthusiastic and experienced riders to lock up the rear wheel - a prerequisite for committed supermoto riding and deliberately executed slides. This means ABS is deactivated on the rear wheel, while maintaining ABS function on the front.
A key component of the comprehensive BOSCH MSC assistance package is the lean-sensitive cornering ABS. In a nutshell, this means riders have increased confidence during hard braking, even at extreme lean angles.
Riders can choose from four ride modes, namely: "Sport" for more aggressive riding, "Street" for comfortable urban riding, "Rain" for when things get a little slippery, and the ultimate attack mode - "Track". This gives KTM 790 DUKE pilots full power output, the ability to dial down the traction control, smooth out the throttle, switch off the anti-wheelie for rear wheel antics.
Built for torque, this liquid cooled 8 valve, DOHC unit delivers peak torque at 8,000 rpm, almost immediately followed by a roaring horsepower finale. Meanwhile, an advanced ride-by-wire system guarantees great refinement as well as low fuel consumption and emission figures.
The 8 valve DOHC cylinder head contains twin chain-driven camshafts and one sparkplug per cylinder. Additionally, the camshafts in the 790 DUKE are assembled, which makes them even lighter than forged camshafts. DLC coated finger followers, steel valves and a hydraulic chain tensioner complete the cylinder head assembly.
No one enjoys unpleasant vibes. That is why the KTM 790 DUKE employs the use of balancer shafts placed in front of the crankshaft and in the cylinder head to ensure the smoothest power delivery and minimal vibration.
Coated aluminum cylinders are an integral part of the sleeveless engine casing design of this 799 cc parallel twin. This open deck cylinder construction allows for optimal cooling, improved production tolerances and reliability.
Forged pistons with three piston rings, combined with a DLC (Diamond Like Coating) coated piston pin allow for lighter piston construction. This minimizes reciprocating weight, which reduces rotating masses, improving overall handling and maximizing the rev-ceiling of the engine.
The KTM 790 DUKE features horizontally split crankcases, which are aluminum high pressure cast, allowing for reduced wall thickness and less weight.
The slipper clutch allows riders to enter corners confidently without locking up the rear wheel under hard deceleration or when downshifting, while remaining feather-light on the clutch finger.
The engine employs a compact, semi-dry sump system with oil being actively pumped out of the crank case, clutch housing, and gearbox. This ensures any unnecessary oil flow through the motor, reducing power loss through friction. To cool down the oil, the engine is equipped with an oil cooler similar to that fitted to the larger LC8 engines.
Instead of the electronic injection system's throttle valves being controlled by cables, ride-by-wire processes throttle twist grip movements with the help of electronic sensors and activates the throttle valves accordingly using servo motors. However, our ride-by-wire on the KTM 790 DUKE goes the extra mile: It electronically translates the throttle commands of the rider into the best throttle valve positions for the current riding situation. Choking, jolting and involuntary wheelies are a thing of the past. Voluntary ones, however, could easily be a thing of your future.
A stainless-steel thing of beauty. The middle damper centralizes mass and allows for a relatively small muffler that plays a dramatic soundtrack. Hundreds of test bench runs and complex simulations ensured that this exhaust system contributes decisively to the tractable torque curve and excellent emission standards.
The airbox sits snugly inside the subframe, with the air intake on the sides, allowing the bike to keep things cool while you gun it.
At 825 mm (32.5 in), both shorter and taller riders can enjoy the bike at full tilt, without losing sight of the daily usability. The seat cover is grippy but still allows the rider to move around the bike easily. It has been developed to work with textile and leather, in keeping with the wide range of riders and riding styles. The pillion seat cover uses the same material and combines sharp looks with passenger comfort. 805 mm (31.7 in) is possible with the lower KTM PowerParts seat.
A tapered aluminum, 760 mm wide handlebar puts you in full control. It’s adjustable, with 4 positions on the triple clamp and can be rotated in three further positions for that perfect riding position.
Cast from aluminum, the foot pegs fitted to the KTM 790 DUKE cater to a comfortable riding position, while still creating maximum ground clearance allowing for impressive lean angles. Reverse (race) shifting is possible without any additional parts. Adjustable foot pegs are also available as a KTM PowerParts option for those who would like to go all out.