KTM has reintroduced the 790 Duke in global markets after a brief hiatus. For the uninitiated, the KTM 790 Duke sport naked was unveiled globally in 2017 and went on sale in India in late-2019. But then in 2021, KTM replaced the 790 Duke with the 890 Duke globally, which never made it to our market.
Now, with the 790 Duke making a surprise comeback in 2022, it plugs the gap between the 390 Duke and the 890 Duke.
For 2022, the 790 Duke is available in two new colours, with the signature orange looking particularly striking. The design is sharp but remains unchanged; not that it needed any change in the first place.
Coming to the heart of the bike, it is powered by a Euro5/ BS6 compliant 799cc parallel-twin engine mated to a 6-speed gearbox. It produces 105hp at 9,000rpm and 87Nm at 8,000rpm. However, the biggest benefit for KTM in relaunching the 790 Duke seems to be in the 95hp variant of the LC8c engine, which makes it available for A2 license holders in Europe.
Just like the design, the bike’s main frame and subframe is the same as before, suspended by a non-adjustable 43mm WP Apex USD fork and a preload adjustable monoshock. Ideally, KTM should've offered compression and rebound adjustment, at least as an option, as it is one area where the 790 Duke needed some improvement.
As far as electronics are concerned, the 2022 790 Duke's suite isn't as comprehensive as earlier. Standard rider aids include lean-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS and three ride modes – Rain, Street and Sport. This list can be increased with options like a quickshifter, engine brake control, a track mode, TPMS and KTM My Ride for Bluetooth connectivity, a number of which were earlier standard.
The point to note here is that the relaunched KTM 790 Duke, at €9,000 (around Rs 7.5 lakh), is significantly cheaper than the €12,000 (Rs 10.05 lakh) KTM 890 Duke in its base trim. Knowing the absolute hooligan that the 790 Duke is and the price to performance ratio it brings to the table, it still appears as a bike worth considering.
KTM hasn't confirmed any plans to relaunch the 790 Duke in India. But if it does so and positions the 790 Duke between the Triumph Trident 660 (Rs 7.58 lakh) and the astronomically priced Honda CB650R (Rs 8.67 lakh), it should sit in a sweet spot.
Do you think the new 790 Duke is a compelling proposition? Let us know in the comments below.