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KTM 790 Duke 2020 Review - Prices, Specs, Variants, Features and Mileage

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Bike Reviews

By Tijo Tenson - Content Writer Jan 17 2020 Share this blog

KTM has had an explosive journey since its entry in India, so much so that one in every ten motorcycles you see will surely be ORANGE! This has been possible due to its aggressive pricing and unreal performance which is the ultimate package that any Indian wants. But now, KTM has taken a detour with its latest offering.

The 2020 KTM 790 Duke is the Austrian manufacturer’s first parallel-twin offering in India and like all KTMs, it's here to shake up the segment, the middle-weight this time. The 790 Duke is priced at Rs. 8,63,945 and provides a load of first in class features that makes it a very unique motorcycle.

2020 KTM 790 Duke

It takes on the likes of the middle-weight trendsetters like Triumph Street Triple S, the value for money Kawasaki Z900, the much underrated Suzuki GSX-S750 and the classy Ducati Monster 797. Let’s see if the new boy in town manages to shake things up in this segment.

Pros

  • Loads of First in class electronics

  • Impressive power to weight ratio

  • Surprisingly Compact for a Middleweight motorcycle

  • Torquey Engine

  • Superior Build Quality

Cons

  • Explosive engine tends to unsettle at lower RPMs

  • Front and Rear suspension is not adjustable

  • Seat Height is not for all walks of height

  • Priced unlike any other KTM

  • The upswept exhaust discourages pillion riding

What’s New

  • First Parallel Twin offering from KTM

  • First KTM with a Tubular Steel Frame with engine as a stress member

  • Traction Control and Cornering ABS aided with Inertial Measuring Unit 

What's so special about the new heart of KTM 790 Duke?

How exhilarating is the performance in KTM 790 Duke?

KTM started from scratch here and the result has turned out to be a ballistic one! The all-new 799 cc parallel-twin engine has an uneven 435-degree firing order that is the source of the addictive raspy note. The engine is however not synonymous to the exhaust note as it is smooth, thanks to the dual counterbalancer shafts used to eliminate out vibrations.

KTM 790 Duke Engine

The engine is used as a stress-member to help provide a balanced ride. The liquid-cooled unit screams to all of its glory up until 9000 RPM. The 790 Duke has the typical KTM attitude of getting finicky at the lower revs but as soon as it crosses 4000 RPM, all hell breaks loose. The throttle is crisp and if you are not careful, 3-digit on the speedo comes up unnoticed and very very fast. There are four riding modes in total- Rain, Street, Sport and Tarmac which help change the character of this sweet motor. The changes are mostly in power output and throttle responsiveness. The Track model also comes with a launch control system but is only unlocked after completing 1000 km, much like your achievements in a computer game!

Motorcycle

KTM 790 Duke

Suzuki GSX-S750

Kawasaki Z900

Triumph Street Triple S

Ducati Monster 797

Ex-Showroom Price(Mumbai)

Rs. 8,63,945

Rs.7,52,038

Rs.7,69,900

Rs.9,19,500

Rs 8,60,000

Engine 

799 cc 2-Cylinder Liquid-cooled Parallel Twin

749 cc 4-Cylinder Liquid-Cooled DOHC Engine

948 cc 4-Cylinder Liquid-Cooled DOHC Engine

765 cc Inline 3-Cylinder Liquid-Cooled  DOHC Engine

803 cc L-twin air-cooled Engine 

Power 

101.59 bhp

@ 9000 RPM

112 bhp

@ 10,500 RPM

123.3 bhp

@ 9,500 RPM

111.5 bhp

@ 11,250 RPM

72 bhp

@ 8250 RPM

Torque

87 Nm

@ 8000 RPM

81 Nm

@ 9000 RPM

98.6 Nm

@ 7,700 RPM

73 Nm

@ 10,421 RPM

67 Nm

@ 5750 RPM

Two extra cylinders surely bump up the power and so is the case with the Suzuki GSX-S750 and Kawasaki Z900. You can feel a lot of connection with the 790 Duke and Street Triple S as they share the same ideology, despite the Triumph having an extra cylinder. Ducati Monster 797 is low on performance but high on character.


How quick is the 2020 KTM 790 Duke from 0-100?

Twist the throttle and you are treated to a motorcycle which has you holding on for dear life as you take on all of the wind while topping out at 220 kmph. The mind-blowing power to weight ratio gives it an unreal acceleration which enables it to cross the 100 kmph mark in just 3.68 seconds.

KTM 790 Duke Acceleration

The 6-Speed gearbox is closely packed and because of the low redline, you will have to work your way across the gears at all times. It can become tedious at times but not on the Indian roads as you won’t get tarmac to rip this machine on. A racetrack is this Duke’s natural habitat. KTM has added a slipper clutch that makes shifting easy and it works in conjunction with KTM’s MSR(Motor Slip Regulation) which acts as an auto-blipper.

Motorcycle

KTM 790 Duke

Suzuki GSX-S750

Kawasaki Z900

Triumph Street Triple S

Ducati Monster 797

Engine

799 cc 2-Cylinder Liquid-cooled Parallel Twin

749 cc 4-Cylinder Liquid-Cooled DOHC Engine

948 cc 4-Cylinder Liquid-Cooled DOHC Engine

765 cc Inline 3-Cylinder Liquid-Cooled  DOHC Engine

803 cc L-twin air-cooled Engine 

Transmission

6-Speed

6-Speed

6-Speed

6-Speed

6-Speed

0-100 kmph

3.68 s

4.05 s

3.70 s

3.59 s

4.94 s

Top Speed(kmph)

220

175

194.56

220

158.2

KTM 790 Duke is the chetah of the lot as the power to weight ratio highly complements its quickness. Despite having a cylinder less, the orange rocket manages to clock the same top speed as the Triumph Street Triple. The inline-fours are not that ahead in terms of quickness despite the added two cylinders and we aren't complaining as the sweet note of inline-fours makes us forget about it.


What brakes are used on the 790 Duke?

The brakes from J. Juan is impressive and comes loaded with a lot of tech to keep you stable and in control of the motorcycle during hard braking. The bite is not as strong as some of its competitors but the lightness of the motorcycle gives it an edge over the competition in terms of braking performance.

KTM 790 Duke Brakes

The class-leading ground clearance helps you stay vary of scrapping its underbody and can go hard on the brakes. The Bosch sourced ABS unit is very precise and even comes with a pressure sensor to observe and react to the slightest variations. The Supermoto ABS helps you have a bit of fun on the Duke as it disengages the rear ABS alone.

Motorcycle

KTM 790 Duke

Suzuki GSX-S750

Kawasaki Z900

Triumph Street Triple S

Ducati Monster 797

Front / Rear

Twin-Disc/Disc

Twin-Disc/Disc

Twin-Disc/Disc

Twin-Disc/Disc

Twin-Disc/Disc

Front Rotor Size(mm)

300(4-Piston Radial fixed calliper)

310

300(4-PistonSemi Floating petal discs)

310(Nissin 2-Piston sliding callipers)

320(Semi-Floating radially mounted Brembo Monobloc callipers)

Rear Rotor Size(mm)

240(Single-Piston floating calliper)

220

250 mm(Single-Piston)

220(Brembo Single-Piston calliper)

245(Single-Piston calliper)

Kerb Weight(kg.)

187

215

210

188

193

80-0 kmph

27.22

28.00

28.85

27.33

32.22

ABS (Single or Dual Channel)

Dual-Channel

Dual-Channel

Dual-Channel

Dual-Channel

Dual-Channel

All of the machines are equipped with dual-channel ABS with varying levels of wizardry. KTM stops the quickest as it is on a strict diet. The heavier competition is not far behind as all vary marginally in terms of stopping power, except the Ducati which takes its own sweet time.


What is the mileage figures of KTM 790 Duke?

We don’t have to discuss on the efficiency front as performance motorcycles of the lightweight category and above are generally devoid of efficiency-oriented engines. It’s all about sheer performance and handling from here up. But that’s not the case with this KTM as it offers class-leading efficiency figures which helps it achieve an average above 20 kmpl.

This is because of the wider bandwidth of torque and power which is spread throughout the lower and mid rev range. This helps it chuck on lesser fuel, unlike the competitors which have all of the juice at the higher end. The extremely low kerb weight also helps the KTM’s cause. But it would have been a whole lot better if it had a bigger fuel tank but despite that this orange monster is an avid tourer.

Motorcycle

KTM 790 Duke

Suzuki GSX-S750

Kawasaki Z900

Triumph Street Triple S

Ducati Monster 797

City(kmpl)

20.15

19.2

15.26

21.48

17.7

Highway(kmpl)

24.84

24.8

22.4

23

21.8

Overall(kmpl)

22.72

22.0

15.00

22

20.8

Fuel Capacity

(Litres)

14

16

17

17.4

16,.5

We know that it's pointless to talk about fuel efficiency for performance machines. But with soaring fuel prices, it is apt to mention the same here. KTM manages to chuck out impressive numbers which is closely followed by the inline-fours. The most powerful one will be the thirstiest of the lot and so is the Kawasaki Z900 here.

Why is the 790 Duke called Scalpel?

How rider-friendly is the riding dynamics?

The handling on this Duke is unreal as firstly you will be shocked as to how KTM managed to squeeze in all of the components in such a small and narrow package. The use of engine as its stress member not only helps make it compact but also eliminates vibrations which in turn translates to an enjoyable riding experience.

KTM 790 Duke Handling

The class-leading wheelbase helps keep the motorcycle stable during high-speed runs and the short handler-bar makes filtering through traffic a breeze. It comes with a steering damper which is neatly tucked behind the headlamp unit. It will take a keen eye to notice it firsthand and the specially designed Maxxis tyres gives you all the confidence to go all out with this KTM.

Motorcycle

KTM 790 Duke

Suzuki GSX-S750

Kawasaki Z900

Triumph Street Triple S

Ducati Monster 797

Chassis 

Chromium-Molybdenum Steel Frame

Aluminium Twin Spar Frame

Steel Trellis Frame

Aluminum Beam Twin Spar with 2-piece High-Pressure Diecast

Tubular Steel Trellis Frame

Tyre-Wheel Size(Front)

120/70-17

120/70-17

120/70-17

120/70-17

120/70-17

Tyre-Wheel Size(Rear)

180/55-17

180/55-17

180/55-17

180/55-17

180/55-17

Front Suspension

WP Inverted Forks(43 mm)

Inverted Telescopic Forks

Inverted Forks(41mm)

SHOWA upside down big piston forks(41mm)

Kayaba Upside Down Forks(43mm)

Rear Suspension

WP Mono-shock with Adjustable Preload

Oil damped link-type mono coil spring

Mono-Shock with rebound damping and preload adjustable

Ohlins STX40 fully-adjustable piggyback reservoir RSU

Preload and rebound adjustable Sachs mono-shock

You flick the motorcycle and it follows your directions without any hesitation, hence the pet name, ”Scalpel”. You won’t need a lot of time behind this monster to tame it as the nimble nature is prominent from its dynamics. The WP sourced suspension setup is well balanced but we miss adjustability on it and that would have made the ride much more tunable. This lot shares the same tyre dimensions and so has the same footprint. This is a section where KTM lags by a huge margin as the suspension setup doesn't provide adjustability, unlike its competition.


Is the seating comfortable for both rider and pillion on the Duke?

People who are on the lookout for a middle-weight performance machine don’t pay much heed to the comfort as it is a universal fact, that, more the power, less will be the comfort. But this Duke is breaking all stereotypes with a well-padded rider seat and an impressively large pillion seat as well. The rider seat is wide and even though it commits you to an aggressive riding position, the wide handlebars bring relaxation to it.

KTM 790 Duke seating

The riding triangle is a bit more than relaxed and surely less than a full-blown aggressive one. This gives you the flexibility to either hoon this orange monster on the racetrack, ride decently in cities and cruise soothingly on the highways. Engine heat is prominent when standing but gets eliminated once on the move. The pillion seat is comfortable but that upswept exhaust discourages one to actually sit, not the most pillion friendly setup around.

Motorcycle

KTM 790 Duke

Suzuki GSX-S750

Kawasaki Z900

Triumph Street Triple S

Ducati Monster 797

Seat height(mm)

825

820

795

825

805

Ground Clearance (mm)

186

135

130

165

180

Kerb Weight(kg)

187

215

210

188

193

Starting System

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

The fuel tank is positioned high and it helps tall riders as well to perfectly fit into the sharp grooves. The high ground clearance gives you the leverage to take on the Indian roads with ease and you needn’t worry about scrapping its underbody. Lack of underbody panel gives you more confidence to ride the orange rocket with ease across varying Indian Roads. Suzuki GSX-S750 surely isn’t on a diet here.

How does the 790 Duke stand out from the competition?

How sharp does the 2020 KTM 790 Duke look?

The 2020 KTM 790 Duke resembles a lot like the 390 Duke. Take out the upswept exhaust system and you will have a hard time explaining to people that it's a 790 Duke. Jokes apart, the twin-cylinder engine is neatly tucked away between the tubular chassis and the upswept exhaust gives it a supermoto look.

KTM 790 Duke body

This Duke also flaunts KTM’s minimal layout with a lot of exposed bits. But the body panels it has, are sharp-looking as a “Scalpel”. Airbox is located below the rider’s seat and inlets for it are on the subframe, carved into it! The headlamp housing design is the same as the one on the 390 Duke receives an updated LED unit to shine brighter. The intuitive TFT display takes up most of the central space upfront and gives it a minimal look. The 790 Duke flaunts LED lights all-round and is visible from afar. KTM could have added a rear tyre hugger as you would be spraying dirt all around you during rains.


Aesthetic Features

  • Triple-Split LED Headlights

  • Upswept aluminium exhaust system

  • Split-Seat

  • Chunky Swingarm

  • Tall and sharp looking Tank

  • Airbox inlets on either side of the subframe

  • Wide rearview mirrors

  • Rear Grab Rail

Motorcycle

KTM 790 Duke

Suzuki GSX-S750

Kawasaki Z900

Triumph Street Triple S

Ducati Monster 797

Length (mm)

2128

2125

2065

2070

2100

Width (mm)

904

785

825

735

799

Height(mm)

1059

1055

1065

1085

1080

Wheelbase(mm)

1475

1455

1450

1410

1435

Kerb Weight

187

215

210

188

193

None of the competition provides us with a more compact package like the KTM. The engineers at KTM have not spared a single inch here! The longest wheelbase in its class helps it maintain posture even at high speed runs. Ducati is the only competitor that comes close to being compact but then again it's low on performance by a huge margin.

What are the class-leading electronics and features in 2020 790 Duke?

KTM has spoilt the 790 Duke with a lot of electronics and by lot, we mean a class-leading lot. This is what makes this KTM the best-packed one in the middle-weight category. The super intuitive TFT display is the command window for all of the features in the Duke. The controls are neatly laid out on the left side of the handlebar and it is easy to use even when on the move.

KTM 790 Duke TFT Display

The most impressive is the number of riding modes which changes the character as per choice. Rain numbs the power for better readability and, Street, Sport and Track have increasing levels of throttle responsiveness which makes riding a lot more immersive. Other than these you also get anti-wheelie, traction control and the most interesting Supermoto ABS. This helps you to switch off the rear ABS alone. KTM wants you to have some fun with this one! A launch control system is also hidden in this set of features, but you have to earn this one as it only unlocks after you complete 1000 km on the orange ship.

Motorcycle

KTM 790 Duke

Suzuki GSX-S750

Kawasaki Z900

Triumph Street Triple S

Ducati Monster 797

Ex-Showroom Price (Mumbai)

Rs. 8,63,945

Rs.7,52,038

Rs.7,69,900

Rs.9,19,500

Rs 8,60,000

Features

Supermoto ABS

3-Riding Modes

Lightweight Trellis frame(13.5kg)

5-inch TFT instrument display

High-visibility LCD dashboard


Full LED Headlight and Taillight

Nissin Sourced ABS Unit

Stepless Rebound and Preload adjustable front forks

5-Riding Modes

LED Position Split headlamps


Riding Aids

Feather-touch starter switch

“Z” Taillight

New “Gullwing” swingarm

Two unique colour options


Upswept Exhaust

Brightness Adjustable LCD Instrument Panel

3-Unique Dual Colour Options

Twin seat

Comfortable Uni-Seat


Unique 435-degree Firing Order

Petal Front and Rear Discs

Split-seat

ABS and Switchable riding modes

Mid-ship Exhaust


Wide 760 mm handle-bar

BATTLAX HYPERSPORT S21 tyres

Wind Deflector 

LED position light bulb headlights

Bosch sourced ABS unit with an internal pressure sensor


Comfortable Split-Seat

Radially mounted front dual discs

Split headlamps

Unique split headlight setup

Retro design cues

Most of the middle-weight motorcycles come with a host of optional parts that can help improve the performance and practicality. KTM also has a list of offerings which can be divided into two main spectrums- Powerparts and accessories. Powerparts include lighter components of the ones already present and also certain aesthetic ones. Accessories improve practicality on it and the various products available are mentioned below. You will get an array of varying components in the official website and will surely be spoilt for choices.

Motorcycle

KTM 790 Duke

Suzuki GSX-S750

Kawasaki Z900

Triumph Street Triple S

Ducati Monster 797

Add-ons and Accessories

Luggage Bag

N/A

Pillion Seat Cover

Alarm Kits

Choice of 2- aftermarket silencer


Baggage Carrier


Radiator guard

Arrow Silencer

Carbon fibre body components


Side bag carrier


Larger meter cover

Bar-end finishers

Aluminium handlebar balancing weights 


Smartphone case bracket


Tank and knee pads

Chain adjusters

Brake protection lever


Front Spoiler


Engine cover rings

Visor kit

Storage bag kits


Factory Graphics Kit


Shroud sliders

Heated grips

Tank protection pads


Licence Plate Holder Support


High Seat

Passenger grab handles

Bike Canvas cover


Fuel tank Protection Sticker 


Tank bag

Quick-release tank bag

Aluminium number plate holder

Suzuki, unfortunately, doesn’t provide add-on packages or accessories, unlike the rest. Ducati is the one that provides a more aesthetic add-on package. The rest have a host of practicality centric accessories.

What are the various safety features on offer in the 790 Duke?

“With great power comes great responsibility”. The KTM is high on power and so is it on safety. The class-leading list of features also includes a host of safety ones as well. All of these safety features have been neatly integrated into the motorcycle and a host of sensors monitor your riding at all times to provide you with a safe ride.

KTM 790 Duke Safety Features

Dual-Channel ABS makes sure that the ride stays put and in control at all times and the traction control system kicks in as soon as it detects any kind of slippage. KTM uses an Inertial Measurement Unit(IMU) which backs up the traction control and ABS, both of which are pressure sensitive. The various safety features available in this orange rocket are listed below.

Safety Features

  • Motorcycle Traction Control(MTC)

  • Quickshifter+

  • Moto Slip Regulation(MSR)

  • Bosch Dual-Channel ABS with pressure sensor

  • Motorcycle Stability Control(MSC) with Cornering ABS

How does the Competition add up against the 2020 KTM 790 Duke?

KTM 790 Duke vs Suzuki GSX-S750

Suzuki GSX-S750

This is a very odd comparison as if KTM 790 Duke is an energetic young person then the Suzuki GSX-S750 is a mature gentleman who has lived his part. Both of them vary drastically in riding characteristics. The Japanese sure have two extra cylinders but that also makes it heavy and thus not as nimble as the Austrian. KTM comes with a load of electronics which makes the GSX-S750 shy away. The Duke is loud in terms of design as well as it’s all about sharp lines and edgy body panels. Suzuki, on the other hand, is a very subtle looking machine. But when it comes to pricing, the Duke is Rs. 1,00,000 costlier and two cylinders less. So if an inline-4 is your fetish, then the Duke doesn’t stand a chance, but if you want to get hold of the latest technological features in a shockingly compact package and budget is not an issue, then Orange is the colour for you.


KTM 790 Duke vs Kawasaki Z900

Kawasaki Z900

You are again treated to a rather odd comparison as its two vs. four here as well. Kawasaki has managed to build a name for itself in the superbike segment in India. It is the most well-established superbike manufacturer in India and that will surely help in your after-sales experience. KTM is no less but Kawasakis are known to be easy to live by and that is a strong point in a country where we love value for money products. It is the most powerful of the lot and comes in much cheaper than the 790 Duke. We don’t see a reason to not choose the Japanese here.


KTM 790 Duke vs Triumph Street Triple S

Triumph Street Triple S

The middle-weight champion and the only motorcycle that can boast about its features in front of the KTM 790 Duke. Triumph Street Triple S is a well-packaged machine that is also differentiated with its unique whistling exhaust note. These two sure have a lot in common. It is also the one that comes close to the level of riding experience that KTM offers. But this is also where we know about the value for money proposition of the 790 Duke. The Street Triple S has a premium of Rs. 60,000 which doesn’t justify the added suspension adjustments. The British have finally found an opponent of the same caliber. We choose the orange underdog here for the impressive value it provides.


KTM 790 Duke vs Ducati Monster 797

2019 Ducati Monster 797

You don’t buy a Ducati for the value it provides, that isn’t right at all! A Ducati is owned by one who loves the motorcycle for what it is. There is a lot of drama and the Italians do it best. There are no top of the line gizmos here and not as many aids as the ones found on the KTM. But there is charisma and a character to it. You will look at a Ducati in awe and drool over the curves it has. The air-cooled engine is also not the best performer of the lot. Frankly speaking, we compared these two to show how drastically motorcycles have changed and both of them are for two contrasting audiences. The 790 Duke is for outright performance and lap times and Monster 797 is for a sunset ride along the coastline. 

Who would love to be coloured in this shade of orange?

KTM always has dropped a bomb with its new offering. The only difference is that the 790 Duke is an all-new Parallel-twin 799 cc bomb that is new to the middle-weight segment. The pricing is, however, a downside for many in India as it goes against the dream which KTM has been providing us with its other offerings. But bear us out on this one as we believe that the premium is well worth it. 

The amount of features it provides in this compact package is second to none and it is at par with the number of features offered in the boss of middle-weight, Triumph Street Triple S while costing a whole Rs. 60,000 less. KTM has built a unique machine in the 790 Duke and there is no direct competition to it. It might be criticized for having a premium price tag but when you get to feel and experience one firsthand, you will not forget the Scalpel for the immersive ride it provides.

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