We first saw it in at EICMA 2019, and we were told we wouldn’t see the KTM 890 Duke R until model year 2021, with a Fall 2020 debut. Well, KTM has moved up its time frame, and there will be a limited number of 2020 KTM 890 Duke R available to KTM dealers in America before summer. Let’s take a look at this naked upright sportbike, the first 890 from Austria.
1. Like the 790 Duke, the 2020 KTM 890 Duke R will have a parallel-twin powerplant.
2. It’s not just the displacement that is increasing—the motor is new. Inside new cases, here’s what’s different:
- Connecting rods
- Longer stroke
- New piston design w/ larger bore
- Larger valves
- Higher compression ratio
- Higher redline
3. Without providing hard numbers, KTM claims more horsepower and more torque from the 890 compared to the 790. That’s not a surprise, giving the additional displacement. Additionally, KTM says that the 890 will have “better rideability due to increased rotating mass.”
4. The 2020 KTM 890 Duke R will have sophisticated engine mapping. Each cylinder gets its own adjustments.
5. Rider aids are plentiful. Traction control settings have been updated, and there’s a 6D lean-angle sensor. There are various ride modes, and you probably won’t want to pass up the optional Track mode and up/down quickshifter.
6. The 890 gets new WP Apex suspension, with both ends fully adjustable. The shock has both high- and low-speed compression damping adjustability.
7. With a faster motor, the 890 Duke R gets better braking. Brembo calipers will be working on larger discs. Bosch ABS includes a Supermoto ABS mode that allows the rider to get seriously aggressive. The entire braking package is claimed to be lighter than what is used on the 790.
8. Tires have been upgraded to Michelin Power Cup 2 rubber. Michelin calls this model its “street legal sportbike tire designed for 90 percent track use.” This tire also debuted at EICMA 2019. The upswept exhaust should let the 890 Duke R test the edge grip of the Michelins.
9. With more performance comes sportier ergonomics. Compared to the 790, KTM has installed a handlebar with a lower and flatter bend, as well as moved the footpegs up and back. The cover for the pillion seat is standard, and there are new mirrors.
10. “The KTM 890 Duke R is a sportier and edgier no-compromise naked motorcycle for conquering twisty mountain roads or hard riding on the racetrack,” according to KTM. This sort of news is exactly what we need right now—a 2020 KTM 890 Duke R. We loved the 790, and cannot wait to throw this one into a corner. We’ll let you know the MSRP when KTM announces a price.