KTM’s 890 Duke is inbound

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Words: NZ Autocar
22 Jan 2021

Last year it was the 890 Duke R that launched and now underneath that comes KTM’s 890 Duke, the base model but using the same LC8c parallel twin as the R variant.

The new “rapier for the road” is how KTM describes it, where the 790 was the “scalpel”. The essence of the bike is the compact, lightweight 889cc engine, good for 86kW (115hp) and 92Nm. That’s 10 more horsepower and 5 more newts than the KTM 790 Duke produced.

Moreover, the 20 per cent increased rotating mass means added cornering stability and extra engine grunt at lower revs, something the 790 could have done with. The 890 Duke is also Euro5 ready and is said to consume fuel at a rate of 4.8L/100km. With a 14L tank it should have a range of almost 300km.

KTM suggests the 890 Duke is ‘middleweight’ only by weight; its performance, handling and electronics should make it competitive with litre bikes.

There are four ride modes, kicking off with the Rain mode which reduces output, whereas Street features full power and standard throttle response. Sport mode is more responsive to throttle inputs. Track mode is full bore on both counts.

Nine levels of TC are on offer, while an anti-wheelie device can be disengaged, if desired. There’s also launch control for quick standing starts. A lean angle sensor means cornering ABS is on offer.

Another of the 790’s shortcomings has been dealt to with uprated brakes, KTM using improved calipers and pads for the 890 Duke.

Underpinning the new middleweight is a tubular CroMo steel frame with a cast aluminum subframe, set for a sporty feel. The LC8c engine is a stressed member of the chassis. Overall weight is little different from the 790 at 169kg dry.

Also updated is the WP Apex Suspension (43mm open cartridge upside-down forks) and gas-assisted rear shock. The riding position is more open than that of the Duke R and the seat height lower at 820mm.

All lights are now LEDs, while wheels are tubeless and wear Continental ContiRoad tyres. A range of KTM Powerparts is available for customisation.

Expect to see the 890 Duke here in March, with the R variant costing around the $20k price point, the base model somewhat less.

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