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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

KTM 890 Duke R Will Try to Take Lightweight Performance to Another Level

When we tested the KTM 790 Duke, we couldn’t help but be impressed by the combination of light weight, nimble handling and generous power. Well, today KTM announced a new bike that “takes the 790 Duke to 11”. The 890 Duke R will be available late next year featuring an even lighter chassis and an 890cc parallel-twin motor making a claimed 121 horsepower.

The 890 Duke R will also have top notch components, including fully-adjustable WP Apex suspension front and rear and Brembo Stylema brake calipers.

No word on pricing, as yet, but this could be the ultimate hooligan bike. We also expect KTM (and sister brand Husqvarna) will put versions of this 890cc twin engine in several models over the next few years.

KTM already has a web site with all of the details for the 890 Duke R.

See more of MD’s great photography: Instagram


  1. Dave says:

    I find it really interesting that this update is happening so soon after the 790 came to market. There’s reports of a 550cc (590?) twin in the works from their Indian production partner that’ll be built into the three flavors they’ve been playing on the street so it’ll be interesting to see what they discontinue as that comes into market. My guess is the Duke 690 & 690 Adventure both go away.

    • Pedro says:

      Duke already gone in US. 690 enduro just refreshed and kind of in a class of its own – it’s not going anywhere.

  2. Jim says:

    I have been thinking about replacing my 1290 Superduke. At 66 years old I have been looking for a bike that was not slower, but lighter than the Superduke. This bike might just be the ticket. My only concern is they may have shortened up the seat to peg distance. I liked being able to straighten my old legs on the Superduke.

    • Johan says:

      Hi Jim,
      At the moment I’m riding the KTM 790 Duke, no problem what so ever to find a good seating position.
      I’m 184 cm and quite comfy on the 790

  3. Fivespeed302 says:

    This would be my next bike if only I didn’t have to take a day off from work just to travel to the dealership.

  4. Rick Young says:

    Before I picked up my current 790 Adventure my local dealer lent me a 701 Vitpillen & 790 Duke for a couple of weeks to ride…..I traded my 690 Duke in on the Adventure & previously owned a 1290 Superduke R…so I’m pretty versed on KTM’s …after riding the 790 Duke which is almost as nimble as a 690 I though with a little more power why would anyone buy a 1290 Duke … I guess KTM has just answered that question….from my experience I think an 890 Duke is likely as fast a bike you can get from point A to B in the real world…..

  5. RBS says:

    The article doesn’t really spell out precisely how significant this bike is. 121HP and 366lbs dry weight. At slow speed this will feel like a beginner’s bike as far as handling, and when you crank the throttle this bike should be able to hang with just about anything else up to about 100mph.

    I just wish that there was a slightly different version of this bike with more traditional styling. All that it really needs is a different tank and headlight. Maybe they could offer a kit?

  6. bmbktmracer says:

    I’m happy to see they designed in a place to mount my Scooby Doo lunchbox.

  7. CrazyJoe says:

    This is a good looking bike.

  8. Matt says:

    KTM may have just hit the perfect balance with this engine. I wonder if it will work its way into the adventure series. If it does, I would imagine the 1090 would become redundant which would be a shame, but an 890 might actually strike the Goldilocks zone even better.

  9. todd says:

    Glad I got my 690 Duke since they aren’t offering them anymore. I think there’s no reason for the extra weight and power of these twins other than trying to attract more sales. I have not been able to use everything the 690 has. Grabbing a handful of throttle immediately catapults you into the next turn, dangerously in trouble of overshooting it if it wasn’t for the amazingly effortless ability to switch directions – if your front wheel happens to be in contact with the ground.

  10. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    What is the crankshaft configuration ? 180, 360, 270, other ?

    • bmbktmracer says:

      The 790 is a 285 crankshaft which they used to give the bike the same sound as their 75 degree v-twin models. I imagine the 890 is the same but can’t say for certain.

  11. Ralph W. says:

    At last, somebody is listening. Thanks, KTM. This could be the closest thing ever built to being the perfect road bike (for us hooligans). It has plenty of power for the real world, and the low weight means it will accelerate as hard as some more powerful bikes and should have good agility. The ergonomics appear to be ideal for hooligan riding, and that’s the way I like it. I’d prefer it without any rider aides and modes (it’s just paying for something I don’t want), but at least it has the Supermoto setting which turns off the rear ABS.

  12. VLJ says:

    I’d wager that the same results we saw with the current models (Street Triple RS slightly sharper/more precise/faster at the track; Duke more charismatic, torquey, and just plain more fun everywhere else) will be repeated with the new models.

    One could easily add the MT-09/XSR900 and the Z900 to this comparo. Regardless, the Triumph will always rule at the track, and the Duke will be the most fun.

  13. Michael says:

    I wonder how many oil filters and screens to clean this one will have? Be cool if they offered a model without any BS electronics or without the need to spend extra $$ for a dongle to delete the stuff. I have a 17 Duke 390 that has about the worst fueling of any bike I’ve owned, my 690 Enduro fuels pretty well though, have to pass on KTM’s for a while, I’ve tried the Kool-Aid and I’m not sold.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      I still think the 690 Duke is the pick of the KTM litter. It’s so light, it apparently meets KTMs agility standards while retaining a proper rock steady, geometry. And it has a proper (for a street bike) linkage rear suspension. Not the trailbrake-or-crash, stinkbug-and-squat concoctions the bigger bikes are fitted with.

    • Curt says:

      I’ve heard about the questionable fueling, including on the current 790 (though I’ve not ridden it). My Super Duke R has the best fueling of any motorcycle I’ve owned (over 20). I hope these kinds of things trickle down. This 890 looks the biz for a LOT of folks.
      Regarding oil filters and screens: the only time I think about those is when I’m changing the oil. Rest of the time? Nope. Forest, trees, etc.
      Regarding BS electronics: I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t stay on my SDR without ’em May be a different situation on the 890.

  14. Neal says:

    P twins are more compact and cheaper to make (one set of OHCs, one cylinder block) than other twins. The downside is that they are often buzzy at any revs where there might be power. The cylinders moving up and down together, the usual crank-mounted balancers shift up and down vibes to back and forth vibes. BMW has a dummy cylinder going up and down to balance it in the F800 but that’s heavy and makes the motor slow to rev. It’s a classic motor configuration but IMO the benefits of using a P twin are for the manufacturer and not the rider.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Their buzziness is largely a solved problem. Mt-07, Z/Ninja 650, ATwin and supposedly the new KTM 790s and Beemers, are now smooth enough to not be bothersome. They are not exciting, though. The SV650 just feels so much more alive, unstrained and unforced, when revved out, than any of the new PTwins I have been on.

      Maybe the KTM PTwin is different (haven’t ridden it) but I doubt it. KTM is, if anything, even more purely pragmatic about designing and tuning for objective numbers alone, than the others. The LC4 690, OTOH, now that’s a cool engine and cool bike. Shame we don’t get the R version of that one over here.

      • mickey says:

        I’ve been saying Suzuki should make a SV 850-900 for years. Great bike, just a little small.

        • Dave says:

          I was just thinking that this (and its predecessor) are kind of like SV-790 “RR”‘s. Similar in spirit, just with the volume knob turned way up.

          They look really fun, though if I’m honest with myself, I’m hoping they will lead to a bunch of really 2016 & newer used KTM Duke 690’s hitting the market at good prices.

        • Dan says:

          The SV1000 must not have been a good seller as it wasn’t around long

          • Evan says:

            I had a 2006 SV1000S. Lots of torque, but pretty heavy with terrible parts bin suspension. Lots of tuning parts and PC5 woke it up, but it always felt like a collection of parts more than a really good bike. I eventually sold it after about 8,500 miles, and never really formed a connection with it. Lots of torque, but just….meh and not particularly good at anything.

  15. Peter says:

    I’d wager this is in direct response to the Street Triple RS. Two great upright naked sport bikes with top of the line (for their price point) components and performance. Awesome!

  16. mickey says:

    There ya go Ralph W and HotDog. Open thee wallets, your ride is here!

    • Hot Dog says:

      Ah damn Mickey, my wife won’t let me buy one. Oh wait (Que video of me slapping my forehead), I don’t have a wife. I spent all of my available cash putting tracks and a cab on a Pioneer this fall but next summer there will be funds available. I can only imagine how a old dog like me could get messed up real quick on this machine. It’s sure beautiful.

    • Ralph W. says:

      Mickey, “this could be the ultimate hooligan bike.” I guess I’m a hooligan and you’re not.

      • mickey says:

        Lol I’m too old to be much of a hooligan. I try though. I was actually speeding on yesterday’s ride.

  17. Kyle says:

    Maybe Kawisaki’s sugomi style so much better for you!

  18. Kyle says:

    Maybe Kawisaki’s sugomi style so much better for you!

  19. Neal says:

    Maybe it’s an unfair bias, but I just can’t see myself paying new bike prices for a parallel twin. At least the latest generation of designs (MT07, Z650, KTM 790) are able to keep the weight down.

    • Dave says:

      Is a P-twin less valuable than a V-twin? What about the cylinder count impacts the value? This thing is reported to put down a lot of power.

      • Ralph W. says:

        I think V-twins only continue to exist for nostalgia. A P-twin with a 270 degree crank has the same engine characteristics and sound as a 90 degree V-twin, but it is more compact allowing better engine placement for better weight distribution. They’re also cheaper to produce and easier to work on, or cheaper if you are paying someone to do it.

  20. Superlight says:

    Well, I test rode a 790 Duke this summer and was impressed, so this bike should be even better. My only wish is that KTM would dispense with the “origami” styling.

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