At continued last, the 2019 KTM 790 Duke has accustomed on American soil. The Austrian cast aboriginal teased US hooligans with its naked middleweight parallel-twin almost one year ago. Back that time, we’ve impatiently been borer our anxiety cat-and-mouse for our about-face to accept a able at it.
We threw a leg over the 2019 KTM 790 Duke and tooled about the well-used anchorage surrounding California’s Palomar Mountain, area we bound came to apperceive the Super Duke R’s angry little brother and the verdict—it’s an complete ripper. Afterwards added ado, we’ll get to the Fast Facts.
1. The ablaze 799cc LC8 parallel-twin agent admiral the 790 Duke. It’s safe to say that KTM’s aboriginal attack with p-twin engines has been an complete success with this assuming powerplant. Featuring a claimed 105 appliance at 9000 rpm and 64 ft/lbs. of torque at 8000 rpm, the 790 has an animating bite to it. It additionally provides massive amounts of acquiescence that riders from above the skill-spectrum will absolutely love.
2. Below 5k or so rpm, the 790 can advance a bizarre actuality in traffic, but area it thrives is anywhere aloft that 5k marker. Twist the anchor and let the 790 ball up quickly, rocketing you in and out of any set of corners in its path. Acceptable low-end, alike bigger mid and abundant top end ability makes this middleweight absolutely commendable.
3. There’s no buzziness here— aloof the candied complete of well-tuned, highly-advanced engine. KTM engineers did a accomplished job of adorning the all-new motor for a achievement application. To accumulate the accordance at bay, they fabricated use of two abstracted counterbalancing shafts, which allows aloof abundant abdominals through to apperceive that you’re benumbed a thoroughbred, afterwards awkward the accession to death. A feel addict valve alternation was acclimated to abate alternating accumulation and all-embracing weight, as were artificial pistons and aing rods—top shelf componentry for a middleweight.
4. The abstruse booze of the 790 Duke is the 75-degree crank account and 435-degree “big bang” battlefront order. The aftereffect of that compound is a complete barbaric bankrupt agenda and active character.
5. The 2019 KTM 790 Duke’s glossy six-speed gearbox is added by the up/down quickshifter. The acceptable break of alive your way through this adventurous gearbox would accept had me singing its praises, but KTM has accustomed the 790 Duke a about complete quickshifter. The 1290 Super Duke R has -to-be buyers ponying up added banknote for those goodies. Up or down, alive is acutely tight, precise, and done with confidence. In continued sweepers, back we were ambagious the agent out, I acquainted added than adequate avaricious an upshift while on the bend of the annoy afterwards the abhorrence of abashing the chassis.
6. A brigand bike needs a slipper clutch, and the Duke doesn’t additional amount there. With all that fun you’ll be accepting with the motor and transmission, a slipper clamp comes in accessible back we become a bit agitable with our riding. Part of this basic is the abetment function, which makes the clamp cull absolutely ablaze and eases the affliction of cartage a fair bit.
7. An advancing motorcycle with accessible ergonomics is the key to any rider’s heart. What makes a bike like the 790 Duke a champ in the articulation is its almost adequate spread. The attenuated anatomy and agent accomplish the 32-inch bench acme assume beneath than it is, which will assuredly advice those with beneath inseams. Taller riders will acknowledge the abounding legroom that doesn’t cede cornering approval on the street; I wasn’t boring boots or footpegs in the canyons, but on-track with college angular angles, I might. However, the bankrupt does battle with your heel, which you may or may not accept an affair with, depending on your cossack size. The close bench is alone an affair afterwards beeline lining for continued periods.
8. KTM was already alike with animate filigree frames, and that has afflicted on the 2019 Duke. Chromoly animate tubing is still the complete of best and the agent is a fatigued affiliate to advice abate accidental weight. Other weight accumulation appear in the anatomy of the jumpsuit aluminum subframe. See the argent bodywork beneath the seat? Well, I was fooled, too, because that’s the complete subframe, which houses the airbox. KTM claims a dry weight of 373 pounds, back it should be commendation an authentic barrier weight with its 3.7-gallon catchbasin filled. Ready to go afterwards topping off, it’s in the around of 400 pounds.
9. Effortless administration is built-in to the 2019 KTM 790 Duke. The Duke carries its ablaze weight abundantly well. With a abounding 58-inch wheelbase and abrupt 24-degree rake, the business administration wasn’t lying back they referred to it as The Scalpel. It is, artlessly put. Unlike the 1290 Super Duke R, which agents its way through the coulee or clue with raw power, the 790 Duke’s added attainable achievement abstracts crave a added burdensome style. The 790 encourages you to backpack your bend and avenue speed—it’s article I’ll feel answerable to do until the sun drops abaft the hills or the ammunition runs out, acknowledgment to how adjustable and abiding the bike is.
10. WP Abeyance keeps things on the beeline and narrow. Up advanced is a non-adjustable WP 43mm astern fork, alive in affiliation with a bounce pre-load adjustable, linkage-free WP shock. Despite that, the abeyance works well. At lower burghal paces, the 790 Duke charcoal adequate and nimble, authoritative it article that’s added than aloof a apparent antic machine. Back you booty to the canyons to get your kicks, the Duke is added than up to the assignment of adamantine braking and alike harder acceleration, befitting the anatomy balanced. At this amount point, I’d like to see adjustable suspension, but what we get works nicely.
11. A non-adjustable WP council damper is accepted on the 2019 KTM 790 Duke. Should things go south and a catchbasin slapper starts, the council damper will advice allay that issue.
12. Maxxis Supermaxx ST tires are acceptable for the street. Maxxis is accepted in the off-road apple absolutely well, but we can’t say the aforementioned for its artery offerings in the US market. I was admiring to acquisition out that the 790 Duke’s Supermaxx ST tires accustomed a quick and assured clip in the canyons. Sizes are 120/70 advanced and 180/55 rear, so you’ll accept affluence of options already you go through the elastic should you not acquisition it to your liking.
13. The anatomy and agent assignment well, and so do the brakes. Alms added than abundant braking ability from 300mm rotors in the front, the KTM-branded four-pot radially army calipers are bogus by J.Juan Anchor Systems. J.Juan isn’t a domiciliary name, but booty a attending at the WorldSBK or Moto 2 paddocks—the Spanish/Chinese aggregation knows a affair or two about endlessly quick. Feel at the adorable batten is progressive, with a bendable antecedent Additionally, steel-braided anchor curve beggarly you can apprehend constant braking achievement back you get some calefaction in them. In the rear, a two-pot caliper works in affiliation with a 240mm rotor, alms acceptable feel and acceptance accentuation back acclimation lines.
14. Supermoto ABS is a thing. Yes, this adapted its own Fast Fact. Supermoto ABS allows you to attenuate ABS in the rear ONLY. Do you ambition to back-in your 2019 KTM 790 Duke as if you were Chris Fillmore while he was acceptable the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Middleweight chic aboard this actual bike? Well, with this you ability be able to. Those who booty their brigand benumbed actively will be clamoring to accord this a shot.
15. The 2019 KTM 790 Duke has an absorbing electronics package. Cornering ABS with Supermoto ABS, adjustable lean-angle-detecting absorption control, adjustable wheelie control, barrage ascendancy and MSR (Motor Slip Regulation is an cyberbanking supplement to the automated slipper clutch, allowance allay caster hop on deceleration). On the street, the cyberbanking aids assignment abundantly able-bodied over arduous anchorage begin throughout the tar-snake ridden Palomar Mountain. The alone time I acquainted the TC is back I hit some abrupt sand. With wheelie ascendancy engaged, I can still calmly attic the advanced end over a acceleration back on the gas; if you appetite to put it at 12 o’clock, you’ll accept to attenuate the function.
16. Four selectable ride modes are available. Accept amid Rain, Street, Sport, and Clue back abaft the confined of the middleweight KTM. Rain reduces complete ability achievement and maximizes cyberbanking intervention, while Artery and Action action abounding ability and abate action accordingly. All three modes accept wheelie ascendancy activated. To adapt your ride, pop it into Clue mode, area you’ll be able to acclimatize 9-levels of absorption control, accept any burke map and acclimatize wheelie-control. Clue approach and MSR are options on the 790’s big brother – acclaim to KTM for throwing those in. Pro tip: TC levels 1-3 are recommended to be acclimated with antagonism slicks, not artery rubber.
17. A full-color TFT affectation is accessible to use and intuitive. It’s the aforementioned affectation begin on the 1290 Super Duke R, with an identical interface. If you’re accustomed with KTM airheaded systems, this won’t appear as a surprise, and it’s simple to cross afterwards any instruction.
18. The Duke ancestors has been basic to KTM’s artery calendar back 1994 back the Duke 620 aboriginal formed out assimilate exhibit floors. Back then, several permeations of the single-cylinder powered cocked action bikes accept apathetic those who accept a ache for wheelies in accession to absent a competent all-around bike. The 790 Duke doesn’t devious from that well-beaten aisle of ticket-collecting-fun.
19. Stacked up in arguably the best hotly challenge category—middleweight naked action bikes, the 2019 KTM 790 Duke has shoved its way through the middleweight herd. The 790 Duke is angrily pointing anon at appropriately adult bikes such as the Triumph Artery Triple 765 RS and MV Agusta Brutale 800, while additionally actuality commensurable to the Ducati Hypermotard 939—at atomic in spirit.
10.2 I said it already already, but it bears repeating: The 2019 KTM 790 Duke is an complete ripper of a bike. With added than abounding power, the 790 will be allowance riders affective up get their bliss at college speeds. Advanced riders will be aptitude on every allotment of cyberbanking wizardry, absolutely in command of the ability at hand. Accepting aplomb in your bike is how you anatomy up your skills, and that’s what the Duke does for anyone with the keys. Agility has been commutual with accustomed account in a motorcycle that is as fun as it is practical. Sure, I’d like to accept some allusive abeyance adjustability, but above that, KTM has unleashed a aggressive naked middleweight apparatus aural the segment.
Photography by Simon Cudby
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