On one of my favorite mountain roads, I make roughly 120 clicks in the third gear, the thrust almost pinned towards its end. I see a familiar crest coming up and spinning the rifle. The motor is rising, the machine is gathering more energy, and I am reaching the peak. The next second has the front wheel pawing in the dirt and I can’t help, I’m just laughing. I get back off the throttle after I have experienced the rain, go on the brakes in the next corner and, like a paragraph above, the machine operates again. I murmur inside my helmet. “This is a crazy machine.” The 790 is a motorcycle with huge ambitions for KTM and refusing to pretend that it is’ mere’ a nude midweight road bicycle. It has a blowing, 150PS liter-class aggression naked and even savvy riders know what it’s like. It did not impress us at the test track Bajaj, but this is only half the picture. Now it’s time to see the real world how nice that is.

Design and engineering

I like the minimalist design method of KTM — which has been a hallmark of all the Dukes, but the 790. And this has a lot to do with the straight boundaries and the hump of the fuel tank, which is lined with plastic orange sheets. Nevertheless, the headlamp and rear appear like the Duke’s 390, which eliminates some of the luxury limit. It ensures that construction quality, fitness levels, material consistency and surface design are all of the highest quality. The broad forking and twin 300 mm discs physically mean business, and the 180 mm wide tailpipe Maxxis Supermaxx ST is always a street combatant, and ultimately the 790 Duke is. I also like the TFT monitor for the amount of information, but I needed the color scheme to be lighter for more visual excitement.

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The 790 Duke is India’s first major KTM and its equipment list is amazing not only for the machinery but also for the applications for the mid-weight market! Currently, the 790 Duke has the biggest electronics package in its section. Nice things like cornering ABS and wheelie control, seen only on bigger, costlier machines, are the only medium weight naked in India with launch control and an IMU! An electronic two-way fast shifter is also available that can be shut down by menu settings, but the acceleration is too powerful to use the quickshifter later on. Four modes are available, including Rain, Road, Sport, and Track. Power, throttle response, traction control, and nine traction control rates can be changed and the grip reaction can be altering.

The 790 Duke is also known as KTM MSR, in a way the opposite of the traction control. The traction control decreases strength when the rear momentum lacks power is observed, but MSR primarily senses a coming wheel hop when the driver violently down shots and shuts the jets suddenly. So soon so TC shutes the leap successfully, MSR allows it to fit engine revs at the rear wheel speed to prevent jumping with the slipper clutch. As I heard, this works marvels once you enter a spot with water, step down and close the spray in a panic situation simultaneously.

Engine and performance

The 790 Duke Acceleration is easily the more aggressive in its class, as I found during the first ride, and KTM Engineers deserve a big thumb for the way their 798cc paralegal fluid-cooled motor is designed. But although the crazy performance was more than appropriate, I was interested to see whether the violent performance on the road is a little too intense and kid. The Duke 790 is similar to liter-class vehicles and is able to surprise even the most professional pilots. Rohit, the only one in the squad who currently owns a super-sports machine, was shocked by the pace at which I was 790. 105PS and 87Nm on paper may be similar for the road, but there is a difference in how the KTM lowers its strength. Each throttle crack has speeds built up by the bike quickly from a standstill or through the gears. The engine also generates revs high, helping speed up. 3.8 seconds is all the 790 Duke needed in our VBOX testing to speed up from 0 to 100 km/h. Of reality, during measuring, the rear tire was at its last legs and fresh rubber would help to shave away the legal superb region for two ten times a second!


The bike has its full wealth and it is surprising how linear the torque curve is when it rolls onto more gusts at almost any given time. This can confuse inexpedient riders with frenzied power supply and I’d advise rookies who are interested in turning the 790s throttle with a word of warning. Driving off the corners is dangerous, but reliable power supplies show very predictable results when the throttle is raised, which is good. There is also a feeling of smoothness in the engine, with the courtesy of getting two balancer shafts which help curb the vibration. But that’s more of an inherent character of the motorcycle. Then the fastshifter is there. The 790 Duke is so fast, as already described when you send it the boobs you can notice the clutch pulling a little manually. The bi-directional quickshifter is therefore preferred. That said, the system is a bit too reactive and even minor pressure on the gear lever causes it to decrease motor power for a short time if you shift gear. That was an issue when driving normally and it was even more noticeable as I pulled the wheels as I like the gear lever to be balanced with my foot if necessary. Nevertheless, the friction on the trigger contributed to the sensor turning and cutting power down.

The strain on the lever therefore forced the sensor to turn and cut power to lower the engine. As with most devices originating from racing, the quick shifter still works best with higher revs and requires for some reason a throttle control. We have even checked the 790 Duke for fuel efficiency and handled the bike for 18,2 kpl on the highway and returned a fair 14,8 kpl traffic. In fact, the engine and its output are definitely the stars of the 790 Duke series.

Ride and handling

In 790, Duke was all like a route instrument and he had the same appreciable feeling on the way too. The Duke was called scalpel. The huge Duke battles that he’s a middleweight naked with intuitive and super-sharp handling with the aid of his hanging rig and tubular structure. You can strike corners with fast accuracy. The 43 mm upside-down bifurcations are exceedingly defined not only by the quick turn, but also by the good feeling and input you give. Your set-up is a little too strong, though on damaged paths, because our roads are steep on the front. The capacity of bifurcation to maintain a stability of the wheel is commendable, but it is prudent to slow down potholes, ruts and the like.

In addition, the front furrows are unadjustable, and are sometimes a downer on a spectacular bike. In addition to being balanced, the back monoshock is slightly weaker. The Maxxis tires are also deserving of praise for being incredibly pleased on the road and feeling good, and they have great grip. The ergonomics are also good on the road, because you are just a little forward and the handlebar gives a very good leverage. This being said, the rider’s seat might be heavier so I found that the seat should have been farther back. The seat is long which makes it accommodating but every time you accelerate hard, its flat angle means you slide backward, especially in a leather suit. On another point, the brakes are good, either in terms of stopping strength or a slow feel and fast shedding pace.


If you want an easy, can medium weight naked, the 790 Duke is an excellent proposition. It also has this side of liter-class machines which adds to its desirable character, easily the best electronic kit. Given the intense level of performance, it’s not easy for the Duke to get near to its limits, but the bike definitely honors the riders skilled by encouraging them to reach their limits. Rs 10.05 lakh, which feels expensive, is just over ten lakh rupees on the road. Yes, the bike has much to sell, but it should be more better with a lower sticker price.

   Starts Rs     8,63,945   799cc   6-Speed     105.00      87.00    22.72 Kmpl

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