This is the first official hint – beyond multiple spy shots and KTM boss Stefan Pierer confirming the 800’s existence to MCN during the summer – of the style and intent of KTM’s new family of middleweights.
Powered by an all-new parallel-twin engine of around 800cc, which the firm have dubbed the LC8c (with the ‘c’ apparently denoting ‘compact’), this Duke version looks likely to be the first arrival of what is certain to be a family of bikes from KTM and sister company, Husqvarna. Interestingly, the rumour mill suggests that Husky will debut an adventure styled 800 model during the Milan show.
- All-new 800cc parallel-twin
- First of a new family of 800s
- Custom rider modes & TC
KTM say the new 790 Duke will bring “unparalleled poise, telepathic levels of feedback and lightness that’s off the scale” to the mid-market – which all sounds good. With feet back on terra firma, the more likely certainties are that it’ll have a ride-by-wire throttle, multiple rider modes, multi-level traction control and integrated ‘MY RIDE’ connectivity. We wouldn’t be surprised to find a quickshifter, too.
This is all a little way off though, so don’t expect to be wandering into your local dealer with your bank details any time soon. We’d expect to see a production version of the 790 Duke unveiled this time next year, with the bike arriving in dealers in 2018. And it might not be alone if Husky are working on the adventure model, too.
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