Over the past couple of months, many rumours have been surrounding KTM’s next big launch for the Indian market – the Duke 790 parallel twin engined superbike. While some rumours said that bookings for the KTM Duke 790 would be open at KTM dealers from the end of December, Bajaj Auto and KTM were quick to deny this. Now though, another rumour has surfaced, this time on MotorBeam, which claims that the KTM Duke 790 would be launched in India in March 2019.
It will be the biggest and most powerful KTM motorcycle to be launched in India and will sit right at the very top of the KTM range here. Known internationally as a hooligan machine that is big fun to ride aggressively, the KTM Duke 790 will compete with Japanese imports from Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda. However, the KTM Duke 790 is expected to be priced very competitively and is quite likely to undercut its competitors.
This is because Bajaj Auto is likely to assemble the motorcycle at its Chakan factory through the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route. Also, the motorcycle could feature many localized bits, further reducing the price tag. Don’t be surprised to see a sub-7 lakh rupee price tag for the motorcycle. At that price level, the KTM Duke 790 will be much cheaper than the Kawasaki Z900, the Honda CBR 650R and the Ducati Scrambler.
Going into the technical specification of the KTM motorcycle, it will use a 799cc, parallel-twin four stroke engine which is liquid cooled and fuel injected. This motor will get four-valve heads and twin overhead camshafts. Peak power is rated at 103.5 BHP while peak torque is a hefty 86 Nm. This makes the Duke 790 more powerful than the Ducati Scrambler and Honda CBR 650R but less powerful than the Kawasaki Z900.
A 6-speed manual gearbox with the slipper clutch will be standard with this engine. A 0-100 Kph sprint that comes up in less than 5 seconds and a top speed of over 220 Kph will make the KTM Duke 790 a very quick machine. Such performance necessitates a high level of safety, and KTM will offer disc brakes on both wheels, dual channel ABS, traction control and ride modes as standard safety features on this motorcycles.
Other features on this motorcycle will include LED headlamp and tail lamp, LED DRLs, a TFT colour instrument console, smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth and a high mounted exhaust. The motorcycle gets a Trellis frame and top quality suspension components. Up front, there are upside down 43 mm forks. At the rear, the suspension is a monoshock unit.
Ground clearance is an ample 186 mm, which means that the motorcycle can handle almost all Indian conditions with ease. The motorcycle will have a high-riding stance with a seat height of 825 mm. Shorter riders will have to consider lower seats that are available as accessories. All in all, the motorcycle will have a distinct, supermoto-ish vibe around it, making it quite different from its competitors.