2018 KTM 790 Duke First Look
Dubbed “The Scalpel” by Austrian-based KTM, the 2018 KTM 790 Duke is the middleweight street fighter follow-up to the “The Beast,” better known as the KTM 1290 Super Duke R.
The 2018 KTM 790 Duke, which debuted during EICMA, the Milan Motorcycle Show, was designed with street riding at the forefront, although the spec sheet suggests that whipping the 2018 KTM 790 Duke around the track would be just as satisfying.
This latest naked machine looks to be quite enticing, but until we are able to get it in our stable, here are the essential Fast Facts.
1. The new 790 Duke takes much inspiration from the larger, truly uncompromising 1290 Super Duke R, but boils that pedigree down into a lighter, much more manageable package – one suitable for a wider variety of riders interested in sport riding.
2. The 2018 KTM 790 Duke will use KTM’s all-new 799cc LC8c parallel-twin engine. Featuring a claimed 105 horsepower @ 9000 and 63 ft/lbs of torque @ 8000 rpm, the counter-balanced parallel-twin engine has specs that suggest it’ll enjoy having its rev-range explored.
3. Four main riding modes will are available. These include tree preset riding modes, which include Sport (lowest intervention of electronics), Street, and Rain (maximum intervention.) Additionally, a customizable Track mode is available.
4. But wait, there’s a supplemental riding mode: Supermoto. Available as a additional mode that can run concurrently with the four main riding modes, Supermoto disables all restrictions to the rear, including traction control and ABS, allowing you to lock the rear wheel and slide around your favorite Supermoto circuit.
5. The 2018 KTM 790 Duke riding combats wheel hop in two ways: a slipper clutch and “Motor Slip Regulation,” both of which are standard items. A mechanical slipper clutch helps the risk of locking the rear wheel or causing chassis instability due to wheel hop during a botched downshift. Complimenting that mechanical system is an electronic aid known as “Motor Slip Regulation,” which steps in when engine drag torque is too high. The ride-by-wire system balances the throttle to help ensure smooth deceleration. In short, MSR actively adjusts and monitors engine braking.
6. The 790 Duke is in street-fighting shape with a claimed wet weight of 418 lbs.
7. A steel trellis frame will be found in the new 790 Duke. The trellis frame will use the 799cc motor as a stressed member to save additional weight.
8. KTM’s middleweight street fighter should accommodate many riders with its 32.4 inch seat height.
9. WP suspension will help keep the rubber to the road. A non-adjustable 43mm fork will be bolted on to the 790 Duke, with other suspension duties handled by a mono-shock with a progressive spring and preload adjustment.
10. Braking duties will be handled by dual radially mounted four-piston calipers, biting down on 300mm rotors. In the rear, a single piston caliper with a 240mm disc will help you step the rear end out.
11. A steering damper is standard. Keeping you safe from tank slappers is a non-adjustable steering damper.
12. The 2018 KTM 790 Duke arrives with a full color TFT instrument display.
13. A comprehensive IMU-supported electronic package will be standard. Featuring lean-angle-detecting traction control, cornering ABS, wheelie control, as well as launch control, the new Duke has an electronics suite well above the status quo for its class.
14. Forget the clutch; an up-and-down quickshifter is standard equipment.
15. No word yet on pricing or availability.