KTM launched the all-new Duke 790 and when we say all-new, it is allll new! With all-new twin-cylinder 799cc LC8 engine, the KTM Duke 790 is the company’s new “ultimate street weapon”!
Nicknamed “the scalpel”, the KTM Duke 790 is the latest addition to the orange stable and it sports quite a lot of goodies. First things first is the all-new twin-cylinder 799cc LC8 engine and it sounds great! Performance is a given with 105 bhp and 86 Nm propelling you forward in ferocity, like all KTMs. Looks stunning with lots of cues from the flagship 1290 Super Duke! KTM looks to have a certain winner here in the middle-weight segment!
KTM haven’t stopped at that and have made the Duke 790 very intelligent as well with lots of tech bits to keep the bike on the road and in control. There is an advanced ride by wire system for accurate throttle inputs and many next generation rider aids like Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) that monitors lean angles and reacts when the rotation of the rear wheel doesn’t match the riding situation. The system won’t be intrusive and will still allow you to have fun without dropping the bike.
Advanced Ride Modes are also available and the electronics are said to have your back even when you are on the limit using the maximum from that engine. Paired with the ride-by-wire technology, throttle inputs are accurately controlled in each mode, increasing rider safety in all sorts of tricky conditions. For the pros, there is the option to turn everything off as well.
There are four ride modes:
» Sport: has the most direct throttle control, allows respectable drifts and a perceptible amount of slippage.
» Street: keeps things smooth for comfortable, controllable riding.
» Rain: is all about early intervention and maximum grip in the wet
» Track: customize your ride, dial down the traction control, smooth out the throttle, switch off the anti-wheelie.
There is also the obligatory Supermoto mode (KTM haven’t forgotten their genes) where the rider can turn off ABS off the rear wheel and just slide. ABS is still active on the front wheel.
Coming to the engine, there are lots of racing tech like forged pistons which reduce rotating masses helping the engine to gain revs faster. Refinement is also considered with the engine have two balancer shafts for a smoother ride. The new pressure lubricated slipper clutch keeps the engine torque and rear wheel in check while downshifting. Gear changes will also be easy on the fingers as clutch action requires fewer effort now.
The chassis is also capable, made from extra strong CroMo steel so the KTM Duke 790 will be nice to flick about and game for quick direction changes. Braking is taken care of with 300 mm twin-disc brake at the front and a single rear disc brake with adjustable brake levers. There is also the proprietary KTM Cornering ABS.
Coming to the little things, the bike will be friendly towards short and tall riders with a height of 825mm. The fabric of the seats also looks to make things easy for the rear of the rider. A screen replaces all the dials of the bike and it looks cool, matching the design of the bike. As you rev the engine, the display bars change color, egging you on. The display also automatically adapts its illumination to the ambient light and gets racy when TRACK mode is selected. There is also the customary Ready to Race logo at the start!
The Dominar 800!
Well KTM are bringing the Duke 790 to India by 2018. So it would make sense for Bajaj to launch a Dominar 800. It also aligns with Bajaj’s bigger ambitions of launching larger bikes. A Bajaj Dominar 800 would be welcome news for the Indian bikers as it would make middle-weight motorcyles affordable for us.
Too lazy to type anything, so re quoting from the best F1 driver in the world:
“On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”
― Ayrton Senna