Everyday super naked: meet the new KTM 990 Duke

KTM have whipped the covers off a brand-new 990 Duke naked, which takes over from the departing 890 as the firm’s mid-size sporting option – designed to thrill on track, as well cut the mustard on a winding country road.

As before, the Chinese built 790 Duke twin will remain, as will a refreshed smaller 390 Duke single – with the new 990 providing the final stepping stone towards the firm’s ballistic 1390 Super Duke R

KTM Duke 990 - wheelie

Producing a claimed 121.4bhp from its Euro5+ compliant 947cc DOHC parallel twin engine, the 990 Duke features new pistons, crankshaft and conrods, whilst also tipping the scales at an impressive 190kg with a full 14.5-litre tank of fuel onboard.

“Our benchmark is no longer the 890, it’s the Super Duke,” KTM’s Product Manager Stefano Branca told MCN ahead of the full reveal. “With this bike, we are approaching the Super Duke. The 890 is just the basic platform that basically inspired the 990. 

KTM Duke 990 - burnout

“All the riding experience, the look, the design, the headlight, it’s 100% approaching the Super Duke and we want to make a step forwards,” he continued.

“One of our best in class values for the 890 was the agility – the bike was amazing for this. But on top of that we had some customer feedback on issues with stability. In this bike, the main goal was to maintain the agility of the 890, while making a step forward with stability.”

Available in an ‘electric orange’ design that nods to the original 2005 990 Super Duke V-twin, the new bike uses the twin-cylinder motor as a stressed member within a stiff new powder coated steel frame, paired with a new closed lattice swinging arm. 

KTM Duke 990 - without bodywork

This comes suspended by compression and rebound adjustable WP Apex 43 forks, and a rebound and preload adjustable single shock, with a pair of 17in rims shrouded in grippy Bridgestone S22 tyres.

These cast aluminium wheels are also combined with 300mm discs and dual radially mounted four-piston calipers. At the rear, there’s a two piston design, with a 240mm rotor – both equipped with Bosch cornering ABS, and a Supermoto mode – disconnecting the anti-lock function at the rear when skids are required. 

KTM Duke 990 - digital screen

Being a KTM, the advanced tech doesn’t end there, with three-stage lean sensitive traction control as standard, plus additional options for Track and Performance. You’ll also find a TFT dash, a standard ‘Rain’, ‘Street’, and ‘Sport’ riding mode and even a USB-C charging port for practical duties. 

This 5in new anti-scratch bonded glass display shows your lean angle data, plus a timer and telemetry stats with the optional Track pack installed. There are also revised graphics and menus, with an integrated light sensor that helps the new front running lights to adjust to the conditions. 

This new headlight set-up is sure to divide opinion amongst fans – featuring no outer lens and moving away from the traditional KTM Duke look. 

KTM Duke 990 - rear with rider

“The idea to update the headlight is to make the bike grow up. As you can see, the new headlight has the position lights, the low and high beam in the centre. It’s super sharp,” Branca continued.

“The general design is to make the bike grow up and make the design integrate perfectly with the side fairing and the side parts of the bike,” he added. “I would say that if you ride this bike compared to the old generation, you will see a massive difference at night.”

Bikes are set to arrive in February 2024, with pricing and full specifications to follow. Keep an eye out for the KTM 990 Duke review coming soon.