KTM 790 Duke long term review, first report

    KTM’s big-capacity thriller enters our long-term fleet!

    Published on Jul 20, 2020 08:00:00 AM


    Make : KTM
    Model : 790 Duke

    This was a decision made a few months ago, but the 790 Duke that my wife and I bought has only just arrived due to circumstances now known as the ‘new normal’. Understandably, I’ve had no opportunity to ride it, and because the magazine deadline is about to slam into my face, this report will be restricted to why I picked this bike, and what the delivery was like.

    Despite the pleasure of having ridden many, many big bikes over the years, this is the first one I’ve actually owned. One of the less spoken about downsides of my job is that since you get to ride everything, you also know the negatives of everything, and that makes it hard to decide what bike you’d actually like to own. I know, poor me. 

    Only 1km has been clocked as of writing this!

    But the truth is, one of the happiest motorcycling memories from 2019 is playing with the Scalpel on KTM’s Chakan test track. And when you’re sitting on the fence about a decision, that’s the kind of emotion that can make all the difference.

    Back then, there was no decision to be made. I’m of the opinion that sports bikes are wasted on our roads, and since my home in Mumbai is at least 1,251km from the nearest racetrack, I always assumed my first big bike would be an ADV. Still, there was no shaking the thought in the back of my head that every motorcyclist should own at least one sports bike at some point. So when news broke that the last few BS4 790 Dukes were going at a fantastic price, a decision had to be made, and fast. Memories from Chakan helped nail down our choice, and the bike was delivered to our house.

    Plastic key cover looks nice, can be tethered to a keychain.

    It’s a strange experience, buying a bike in these times, and we did it all from the safety of our home. We had someone come over to our place for all the initial paperwork a few months back, and once the registration was completed, we had the choice of either picking it up from the showroom or paying extra for it to be delivered. Rs 1,200 later, one of those purpose-built flatbed mini-trucks was neatly winching the bike down into our society parking area. Of course, everything must be sanitised these days; so much liquid was sprayed onto touch points like the bars, levers and grab rail. And along with the bike comes a nice folder that holds all the papers, manuals, tool kit and spare key.

    Well, that’s about it. The original plan was to ride the 790 to the track about twice or thrice a year to fully (and safely) scratch that itch that KTMs tend to create. That’s definitely not happening anytime soon, so I now have to figure out how to properly enjoy this absolute hooligan of a machine, while keeping it sane on the public road. Good thing I’ve got 999km of engine run-in ahead of me.

    Also see:


    KTM Bikes

    Fact FilePetrol
    Distance covered1km
    Price when newRs 8.63 lakh (ex-showroom)
    Maintenance costsNone
    Previous ReportNone

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.


    No comments yet. Be the first to comment.

    Ask Autocar Anything about Car and Bike Buying and Maintenance Advices
    Need an expert opinion on your car and bike related queries?
    Ask Now
    Search By Bike Price
    Poll of the month

    The Mahindra XUV 300 facelift will be called the XUV 3XO. Should more brands rename models for facelifts?

    Yes, it could give new life to a slow-selling car



    Yes, but only if there are significant changes



    No, it's confusing and dilutes the brand name



    No difference, the product speaks for itself



    Total Votes : 1288
    Sign up for our newsletter

    Get all the latest updates from the automobile universe