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KTM Releases Promo Video for 790 Duke (800cc Twin)

After displaying the prototype you see here at the EICMA show in Milan several weeks ago, KTM has released the promo video below teasing the 790 Duke, which is expected to be released as a 2018 model late next year.

KTM is all about a lightweight package with good power. The 790 Duke could prove to be the ultimate hooligan machine.  Have a look at the video.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Daddiey says:

    The “spy” photos you can find online show a different bike. The pre-production models people have photographed look very much more tame and bulky.

    • Scott says:

      Same bike. It’s got lights, mirrors, a proper subframe that can hold a passenger, and less expensive wheels and rotors. And of course the bodywork will look a little different. Please tell me this wasn’t unexpected.

      But the bike in the video can be had with a little bit of money and a just a tiny amount of imagination (which tends to be sorely missing around here…)

  2. Provologna says:

    BMW and KTM compete directly against each other in several motorcycle categories.

    Can/would someone ‘splain to me how it is that KTM and BMW shall be sharing the (generally) same 800cc parallel twin?

  3. Provologna says:

    OK, someone top this: the best analogy for this bike is the “T2” android character from the movie “Terminator 2” walking into the HD bar bare naked.

  4. Provologna says:

    Re. engine reliability for this new KTM…a friend built Doug Henry’s AMA open class Super Moto race bike, a Yamaha 426cc (finished the year second behind Ben Bostrum). Several years ago my friend mentioned his buddy builds BMW F800cc race motors, which are almost unbreakable, even making huge HP per liter.

  5. stinkywheels says:

    It’s a proven hoot. New take on the Monster, not bad. Love the twins this looks like it has a good bit of power

  6. Norm G. says:

    wow that’s nice. ironically I go on vacation, attend one of the bike shows, only to miss out on all the good stuff. how does that work…? 🙁

    anyway just got a text from Xaus, he says “you’re doing it wrong”…

  7. Rayzor says:

    This is one bitching looking bike!! I loved it with one exception…Is it just me or the seat height looks to me like that of off road bike; I am guessing around 33-35in for this prototype, really KTM!? Otherwise, I would buy this in a heart beat…then will have to lower it a few inches…He He!

  8. Pacer says:

    Seems like the 800cc nakeds have a bit of a parallel to the Honda F2 and the like, do it all middle weight. So everyone will fight for market share. Brutale, FZ09, Z900, Street Triple (I think). All of these bikes relatively similar. Then the Duke shows up slightly different, and a bunch sharper. This class will be fun to watch mature.

  9. Doc says:

    Love the idea but not the execution styling wise. Bikes with this styling, of any brand, just make mine look all that much better

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Love the idea but not the execution styling wise.”

      aw c’mon, you don’t like the “dustbuster” tail section…?

      i LOVE that look, MV’s gotta have won some kind of Industrial Design Award for that. just detach the sub-frame and you can catch the crumbs between the seat cushions.


  10. Mike Johnson says:

    KTMs are definitely not built for everyone but they do make a helluva radical statement especially if the looks of an average bike seem too understated. Personally, 4 stroke big singles do not have enough combustions/minute especially at legal speeds so they are a bit like dripping faucets. A twin solves this problem and the stance of this bike above might be the *Ideal* for handling. A bike that handles as good as possible with the ideal rake, trail, swing arm length and so forth has the best looks. This might be *IT* 🙂

  11. TexinOhio says:

    That is a beautiful bike! Dare I say it has a similar front end that my Z1000 has… Slip a stacked dual LED between that front fairing plate to keep the lines and the aftermarket can take care of the rest of the crap the Feds want on these things.

    My only lament is that these bikes are always too tall for me,

  12. Don E. says:

    Another fenderless design that forgets anything past the riders seat. If only they could get rid of that pesky rear wheel that ruins the forward heavy look.

  13. Andrus Chesley says:

    If only I were in my 20’s 30’s 40’s instead of in my 70’s. Sigh!

  14. Matt says:

    This is really the kind of bike that you first pay for, then walk outside and flag down the first officer you see to hand your license over, thus saving them the trouble of chasing you down for it later.

  15. The Spaceman says:

    Meh. Itll probably cost more than the FZ/FJ 09s, have less power, and be substantially more expensive to maintain.

    I used to be excited about KTMs, then I demo-rode a few. Unless orange and black gives you a boner, I really don’t know what all the hubbub is about. They’re nothing special.

    • Mick says:

      It will probably have less power. That’s OK by me if it also has significantly less weight. Hopefully it will have nice suspension and brake components. That would give it an edge in the market. It seems that there is an unwritten rule in the street bike industry that only sport bikes and a few open class nakeds get quality suspension and brakes. I would like to see that mold broken.

      I haven’t noticed and higher maintenance costs associated with the KTMs that I have had in the past. The last one I bought was a 2003 525 EXC. That is until I bought a 2017 300 XC. The 2003 did have two oil filters. But they weren’t that expensive.

    • sbashir says:

      I have the 2015 KTM 1190 Adventure R with almost 17,000 miles and no problems. Have not even reached the first major maintenance milestone of 18,600 miles which costs around $300-400. 150 hp and 92 ft lb of torque on a 518 lb bike (with 6.1 gals of fuel) should be enough for anybody.

    • silver says:

      In the right hands it would shred the Yamahas.

  16. Matt says:

    I have no clue as to how this will translate into the street legal world, but I like it just the way it is.

    • Auphliam says:

      I would think, besides the plethora of gov’t mandated reflectors and lighting, the biggest addition would be a large tin catalytic converter under the belly.

  17. Dave Joy says:

    Wow. If only I was a 25 year old hooligan and not a 68 year old prat!

    • Bob says:

      Ditto. There was a time I would have owned a bike like that — if it had been around 40 to 50 years ago.

  18. Provologna says:

    What is an appropriate context to think about this bike? Might it share some attributes with a mid 80s 500cc GP championship winner? I estimate peak power is similar, but the KTM’s effective torque and power band is at least 2.5 to 3x as wide. Probably the KTM handles and brakes much better, and it’s street legal, w/a limited warranty, fuel injection, a dealer network, and runs on modern pump gas w/o oil injection.

    The question is how do you traverse one city block w/o committing a felony or two……or half dozen? Something tells me riding this bike is like riding Secretariat in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (if he was alive, which he’s not).

    Why are the Japanese brands allergic to such ride?

    • Mick says:

      Even by the mid seventies the GP bikes made more power than this bike is likely to make. They were much lighter than this bike is likely to be as well.

    • Auphliam says:

      “Why are the Japanese brands allergic to such ride?”

      I would add American brands as well. They’re like the Wicked Witch to water when it comes to anything in this manner or style. Shameful, really.

      • Dave says:

        “Why are the Japanese brands allergic to such ride?”

        We’re getting ahead of ourselves. KTM does not yet make this bike for public consumption. This is a track only prototype. It remains to be seen what it will be once it’s road legal and built to a price the market will bear.

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: how do you traverse one city block w/o committing a felony or two (?)

      A: gotta “felonize” somethin’.

  19. Bigshankhank says:

    Oh my, that’s lovely that is.

  20. jim says:

    Make a Scrambler version. I have money!

  21. Bart says:

    That’s going to make an awesome ADV/SE kind of bike!
    Tell me it doesn’t need 10W-60 oil!

  22. Denny says:

    This thing is major departure from understanding of “motorcycle” as we knew them even 5 years ago. To me it looks kind of hysterical. Thanks god we have Honda.

  23. Pacer says:

    This is aimed at the Hypermotard. They will most likely offer a GT version, and it has already been leaked that an AVD is due in 2019.

    This is how KTM rolls, and I for one am digging it.

  24. paquo says:

    I like the svelte size of it. I’m so sick of enormous ktm road bikes. I demoed a 1190 adv and it was cartoonishly big, nothing like my old super enduro top heavy but still slim. 790 adv could be sick but not sure i could be an early adopter of a new ktm platform so it’s probably good they launch this 790 duke first so those owners can beta test

  25. Gary says:

    So much to love about this bike. A minimalist design with a powerful engine. Is it ugly? Sure as heck is…that’s part of its charm.

  26. North of Missoula says:

    That bike is all business, love it. IMO it would look better with a blacked out engine. No doubt it will be more of a bike than the FZ9, except for the sticker price.

  27. endoman38 says:

    That thing is ugly. BMW ugly.

  28. nickst4 says:

    Having seen the latest crop of KTMs, I suspect this bike already has what passes for a headlight and probably integrated turn signals too. Not that that makes it remotely attractive to me but I thought some people on here would be happier…

  29. red says:

    Looks like a totally impractical wild child! walking a fine line between funky and fugly. Think I like it.

  30. richard says:

    got an 08 990 it ..havnt found a bike worthy enough for replacement yet…Superduke is too big and heavy !

  31. Mick says:

    I like that the engine doesn’t have a super deep sump, like some of the other P-Twins on the market.

    I hope they do whack the low weight ball out of the park. Something like that is long overdue. It’s a shame the style now days seems to indicate stubby tails sections and afterthought slash protection. But as long as they have a bolt on tail section that can be replaced by any clever welder, I’m OK with that. It’s the whole rest of the bike that you really need from the industry. So you don’t have to start with a bare engine replace the entire chassis to significantly lighten the finished motorcycle. It’s way easier to start with a ballpark bike.

  32. Ryan Muller says:

    OH baby! Yea that is the business right there

  33. Randy in Ridgecrest says:

    I think it should come as a package with advanced riding lessons at your track school of choice.

  34. Tom says:

    When I buy one I’ll remove that orange wrap-around shroud just to expose whatever is beneath it, and to scare my wife and children. Seriously, without that orange plastic it would be a bike straight out of a dystopian world without government, just what my inner anarchist longs for.

  35. allworld says:

    This is my favorite category of bikes, I have owned and loved the Shiver, Street Triple R, and currently have a Brutale 800 RR. This video sends notice to the competition. Let the good times roll.

  36. Butch says:

    Finally. A lightweight vertical twin with some teeth.
    I could get seriously hurt riding this thing.
    Guess I’ll stick my trusty old CL450.

  37. Tommy D says:

    I’m really surprised that this is the bike they want to launch first and not the “missing link” of AVD bikes. Those of us that really want an ADV bike that weighs in closer to a DP bike than the >500lbs behemoths in the market. In North America mid-bore naked bikes seem to fall into that category that people walk past and move to either end of the spectrum. It’s either a cheap beginner bike or a 1000cc monster. How many Duke riders in the USA will say cool bike and walk right past it to sit on the big DUKE?

    Yes its a cool bike but we like things super sized. Now a light weight step up from the 500 EXC-F would be more exciting to me. Yes there are rumors and spy photos so we will just have to hope this motor ends up in a bike like that.

    • ApriliaRST says:

      > I’m really surprised that this is the bike they want to launch first and not the “missing link” of AVD bikes.

      I’m surprised at that too. This is not a bike I’d buy. A different iteration of the bike was shown testing, and that was one I’d buy. It had a seat for two real adults, which is a necessity for me to consider before purchase. Passenger ergos that are unrealistic are another deal killer. I’m not ready to race and truthfully have no interest in it.

    • Randy in Ridgecrest says:

      A “light step up” from the 500 EXC-F? Isn’t that the 690 Enduro? I can’t imagine needing more than the 500 in a DS. Do you mean something like the 640 Adventure? I’d like to see that with the 2016 gen Duke 690 engine.

      • JVB says:

        690 Duke makes a ton of sense, I just could not get past the 10K price. 500EXC valve adjustment interval would be an issue for someone who doesn’t wrench. Hell, Ducati had that stigma about 4500mi adjustment intervals, why would one sign up for every 15-20 hrs??

        • Randy in Ridgecrest says:

          That’s simply not the case – the 500EXC valves are far more durable then that, according to the owners.

    • Pacer says:

      The AVD version will be a 2019.

  38. KenLee says:

    Great proto design, but I’m afraid it will be ruined with street legal stuff and adjustments. Herr Kiska is really good at making ugly steet legal head lights and plate holders…

  39. Luis says:

    Love it. I’ll take a orange one. I’ve been waiting for a bike like that for years. Light weight mortard with 100 hp. Yeehaa

  40. Wendy says:

    OooooooH. I am fanning myself on this one.

  41. mcmotohistory says:

    Dam KTM’s always have great perfomance, but they always look like overgrown dirtbikes. Will they ever make a pretty streetbike?

  42. Paul says:

    When the teaser info came out earlier in the year there was talk of a ‘revolutionary’ twin. I thought maybe 270 degrees crank or head on backwards, oval piston, even two stroke, who knows?
    This motor sounds like a conventional 180 degree crank, does not look revolutionary, does look very cool and sounds cool, but I expected something exotic!
    This is the spiritual successor to the Husky Nuda 900, I like it a lot, just wanted a little more radical.

  43. Lenz says:

    My current ride is a 2013 KTM 690SMCR. The biggest issue I have with the bike is it’s lack of tractability below 3000rpm – it just herks and jerks and will not pull. Now a twin that evens out the power pulses over the 690 single would be interesting indeed. Don’t get me wrong the 690SMCR motor is a weapons grade critter from 4000 to redline now that it’s been on a dyno and the fuelling sorted but a really light 800 twin with plenty of suspension as per the 690SMCR would be a great ride. The enduro front suspension shim and valving in the smcr would be less harsh than the original smcr setup…. maybe

  44. Mark says:

    Does anybody think this is a nice looking bike?

  45. todd says:

    Nice. I’ll take mine with a headlight and a seat. That, and some mirrors, turn signals, a rear fender, and a place to hang a license plate…
    Add a subframe and panniers so I don’t have to wear a backpack, maybe a little wind deflector of sorts. maybe a shorter side stand would be good for the occasional time I need to park on a hill. Other than that, it’s perfect.

  46. xLaYN says:

    sure, it’s missing signals, plate holder, rearview mirrors and the sink but that concept is beautiful.
    Would be risky to assume 80hp from that engine? 90?

  47. VForce says:

    The only thing polarizing about anything on this page is the people commenting. How can anyone NOT be excited about this bike? That’s one of the most bad a$$ OEM promo videos ever. If that doesn’t make you want to go rip around your favorite backroad then it might be time to switch over to a Spyder or Slingshot. Or a trike.

    Even if you don’t like “transformer” styling, even if you don’t like supermotos, even if you aren’t a KTM fanboy, even if you can’t afford a new bike at the moment, hell… even if your woman has your balls 24/7 now…

    For years we motorcyclists (the real enthusiasts at least) had nothing all that new to lust over. Now, even Honda has shown some really awesome concepts.

    I’m not suggesting that everyone love this bike. But some of the comments are just silly.

    No wonder the OEMs think the buying public is so fickle. Sometimes I don’t blame them for not listening anymore.

    It hasn’t been this good in a long time. So why don’t we celebrate instead of bitch???

    • mickey says:

      the buying public IS fickle. All it takes is a tank seam, or an indent for a centerstand in a pipe, or a headlight shape, or a rear wheel width or a horsepower figure to turn someone off. I was sitting on traffic on my bike the other day and looked around at the vehicles around me. No two were alike. Different manufacturers, different colors, different sizes, number of doors, different everything. That tells me there are very few people that like/want the exact same thing. That’s all you see here, some people like it, some don’t, some would change little things, some would change everything. People are fickle whether they are motorcyclists or not.

      • MGNorge says:

        I hear people all the time mention that all (too many) of the cars today look alike. I don’t view it that way but hey, that’s me. Yes, the video is inspiring and when I was younger I probably would have hopped on my bike after viewing it. Today, not so much, as it’s not a bike I’d buy, at least as presented, and I don’t ride that way.
        Now, if they were to use that motor in other chassis I might be more interested. But I’m not who this is aimed at I’m sure.

        • VForce says:

          This won’t be an only bike for most. But could be #9 or #10 in the fleet. I like inexpensive bikes that are fun to rip around town on and this would probably be even more fun than an FZ09 or Aprilia Tuono. I have my VFR for crushing miles comfortably. So I don’t care about comfort/ wind protection/ fuel mileage that I would if it was my only bike. Just simple, light, great torque, not super expensive, reliable and such an absolute blast to ride that I can’t wipe the smile from my face.

  48. Provologna says:

    First responders have a phrase “DRT,” for dead right there. I’m not saying this to troll, or only for effect, but really, this bike just has DRT written all over it. What I mean is any particular rider’s likelihood of dying while riding is higher on this bike than any other bike.

    I’m probably wrong. Probably 99.9% of the riders of this bike are extremely mature, having owned at least a couple dozen other bikes prior. Maybe they’d ride a little nuts, but not necessarily die on it (hopefully, God forbid).

    But just look at this thing! A wittle frame and wheels w/a rocket motor. T-R-O-U-B-L-E is written all over it!

    • Scott says:

      What a morbid state of mind you’re in tonight. Sheesh.

    • Grover says:

      I have to agree with Provo- the smaller, lighter, high-powered bikes bikes make me ride way more radical. 300 pounds and 80hp would be my Kryptoniate. Like they say, “live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse.”

  49. jim says:

    Polaris has to be kicking themselves for letting KTM get away.

  50. Jeremy in TX says:

    I love the bike personally. I think it looks great, and judging by every KTM product I’ve ever ridden, I trust that engine will make power in the most exciting way possible.

  51. Skybullet says:

    I understand this a revision of the Rotax/BMW F800 series engine. I owned a F800GS for 20,000 miles. The engine was under powered and the bike over weight for my taste. Up the power, lose some weight and this little number could be the best ride in the mid-size range. It’s all about power to weight you know. I have a Super Duke GT and a SMT, both great bikes in every way. KTM does not cut corners to save a buck an it shows.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I’m not saying you are wrong, but I’d be surprised if this were a variant of the BMW engine. BMW retained the rights when it sold Husqvarna. These engines don’t look alike either: countershafts are on opposite sides and the architecture in general (beyond the fact that they are both P2s)looks pretty different.

    • John says:

      I really don’t think so. Plus it’s a different camshaft design too.

  52. Randy in Ridgecrest says:

    Definitely a strong midrange engine, he never winds it out, sometimes it sounds like a 690!

  53. Austin ZZR 1200 says:


  54. Hot Dog says:

    Boy, would my wife be pissed off if I bought one of these home! Oh wait, I don’t have a wife…

  55. WJF says:

    Nasty, very nasty

  56. marloweluke says:

    Absolutely love it. Love the edgy styling and the minimalist concept. I’d never buy one but it would be great it if they made a Duke 790 GT out of this platform. I don’t need a 1301 cc sportstourer but a lightweight 800cc would be awesome.

  57. CrazyJoe says:

    Are those 12″ wheels? Is this KTm’s answer to the Grom and the Z-125. The Duke 190. Brilliant marketing plan get people interested in a Duke 790 while showing the 190. Pictures of the 800 to come with a lower seat. Say about 38 inches?

  58. mickey says:

    And we’re back .. To insect, transformers, anime

    Now doesn’t the CB look good, like a real motorcycle should lol

  59. atlantarandy says:

    Poor guy….needed a white line to follow. Nearsighted maybe? I’m not a fan of under tail exhaust. Give me a little more rear end and a shorty pipe down low. Actually, I think I’ll strip it and make it look like a boring Honda from the seventies and THEN take it to the track. I’ll just point the Go-Pro at the faces of the other racers. I do love light weight wheelie monsters….in safe places..of course..

  60. Matt says:

    Love the Mad Max looking bike. Make mine murdered out please. This will also be the motor in the 800/790 Adventure I’m guessing.

  61. darmahman says:

    Beefier subframe – Gas in “normal” place. Perfect platform for adventure bike!

  62. JPJ says:

    Polarizing look,(can’t look at it, can’t look away). 100 more cc over a 690 Duke, we all know what that bike is to ride. 790 Duke would be a blast, more torque, horsepower, and RPM to play with.

  63. RD350 says:

    Yes this is a hooligan tool or a perhaps a fun track day bike. And the styling is love it or hate it. But consider that this highout-put, light-weight twin will likely find its way to several other models .. SuperMoto, Adv.Tour, Enduro and possibly even a Sportbike. Not to mention that Husqvarna will likely adapt it to their own line of bikes. So all in all, this intro is very good news for many enthusiasts, even if you are too … ah .. mature .. for this bad boy. As for me .. I want one.

  64. Tom R says:

    That would be the goofiest, silliest-designed production motorcycle ever IF it went into production as-is. That being said, it would certainly serve the hooligan/maniac demographic well. I fully expect to see it in Fast and Furious 17 or whatever version is due next.

    • Provologna says:

      Have not seen them all, but #6 is must see, and I generally hate this pointless genre. Watch it in a room w/good light control, on a 1080P or 4K front projector > 90+ inch screen. Oh, and my custom built sound system won’t hurt!

  65. dt 175 says:

    With this as his pit bike, Smith won’t care if his work bike is slow…

  66. ABQ says:

    They took an ax to the backside, and it looks good.

  67. Rusty Nail says:

    Any ideas where that track is ? If he left a little earlier he wouldn’t have to go so fun to get there.

  68. Tim C says:

    Honey, did you take part of the new bike out with the trash?

  69. Randy in Ridgecrest says:

    Seems to have good pickup.

  70. jimmihaffa says:

    Another polarizing design…let the games and opinionated comments begin! I suppose if you’re going to make a hooligan bike to appeal to relatively young riders, it would end up looking like this. The motor is completely unstylized and hideously ugly imo. The fork stanchions look huge and worthy of wheelie-a-minute riding.

    • Romp'n Rick says:

      “if you’re going to make a hooligan bike to appeal to relatively young riders, it would end up looking like this”… years apparently have no bearing on defining youth, at 62+ I’m think’n this is one of the best visual offerings I’ve ever seen from KTM! “Hideously ugly” motor… c’mon.

    • Cyclemotorist says:

      The motor looks great! The rest of it, not so much.

    • blitz11 says:

      I have a 690 Duke. It’s a hoot. My daughter, who is 20 loves it more than I do. She wants it.

      I told her that if she finishes her engineering degree in 4 years, i’ll give her my duke 690,and I’ll get a new one. (Hey, I rode airheads for 30 years to save money for my kids’ tuition. I earned that new 690.) She was good with that until she saw the 790 duke. The deal now is that if she graduates in 4 AND has a job, i keep the 690, and she receives the 790. Way cheaper than another year of college. More fun, too.

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