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KTM Announces Return of 790 Duke and 1290 Super Duke GT to U.S. Market for 2023

2023 KTM 790 Duke

KTM issued a press release stating that the 790 Duke and 1290 Super Duke GT, previously discontinued in the U.S., will be in the manufacturer’s U.S. line-up for 2023.

The 790 Duke is presumably returning as a lower cost alternative to the 890 Duke and 890 Duke R models that succeeded it.

The 1290 Super Duke GT received changes in Europe last year that will be highlighted in the new-for-the-U.S. model, such as a larger TFT display and lighter wheels.

Details on these two models, as well as other returning Dukes are in the following press release:

MURRIETA, Calif., November 22, 2022 – KTM North America, Inc. is excited to announce the welcomed return of the KTM 790 DUKE, bringing all-new colorways and a renewed rebellious streak to the world of midweight Naked machinery.TM

From its inception in 2017, the KTM 790 DUKE took the worldwide motorcycle markets by storm, selling over 29,000 units. This was later followed by the introduction of the KTM 890 DUKE R, labeled THE SUPER SCALPEL, placing the KTM LC8c parallel-twin engine at the very top of the food chain in the midweight segment. In early 2021, the KTM 790 DUKE was upgraded to the KTM 890 DUKE, with more power and improved electronics.

With the continuation of the KTM 790 DUKE story, which introduced the world to the power and agility of the KTM LC8c parallel-twin platform, the 2023 KTM 790 DUKE will be reintroduced to the streets with further development, offering a true mid-range motorcycle with READY TO RACE character and performance. Neatly filling the gap between the KTM 390 DUKE and KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO, the KTM 790 DUKE provides unmatched ridability with torquey and exhilarating manners to match its lightweight, confidence-inspiring agility.  

Powered by the most compact twin-cylinder in its class, this engine has been tuned specifically for torque to power from apex to apex. However, an impressive top end ensures the KTM 790 DUKE maintains its excitement throughout the rev-range, while meager fuel consumption means riders can enjoy the twisties long before the low fuel light flashes.

A lot of attention was also paid to ensure the typical DUKE feeling. Handling is not only agile but also very precise, thanks to geometry developed specifically for sporty street riding. High-quality WP APEX suspension at each end ensures a perfect connection with the road and rider confidence at all times.

Like a middleweight boxer in his prime, the 2023 KTM 790 DUKE is a champion of merging agility and hard-hitting punch. More so, it continues the trend of being a leader in the market when it comes to power to weight ratio and equipment levels.

2023 KTM 790 Duke

In terms of electronic wizardry, the KTM 790 DUKE boasts the most advanced and complete package in the midrange segment, with standard features such as:

// Cornering sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC)

// Cornering ABS with SUPERMOTO mode

// 3 standard Ride modes to quickly change the feel of the engine and level of MTC

// Full-color 5-inch TFT display

// LED lights front and rear

A number of optional features are also available, adding higher spec levels to the KTM 790 DUKE, namely:

// Quickshifter+, allowing for clutchless up and downshifts

// Motor Slip Regulation (MSR)

// TRACK mode

// Cruise Control

// Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The usual selection of ride modes, notably RAIN, STREET and SPORT settings, provide riders with easy-to-access customization of traction and throttle control, ensuring confident riding in all road and weather conditions.

In terms of looks, the 2023 KTM 790 DUKE introduces two new colorways to the mix, with a traditional KTM orange scheme and an all-new gray and black motif entering the fray.

With its re-entry into the market, and a renewed look to match its already legendary performance and character, the 2023 KTM 790 DUKE is poised to introduce a new generation of riders to the world of DUKE. And when they’re ready to take things to the next level, the 2023 KTM 890 DUKE R is waiting. Taking everything we love about the KTM 790 DUKE and cranking it up to 11, the KTM 890 DUKE R is a true track or mountain road weapon. With adjustable, track-ready WP APEX suspension, monoblock Brembo Stylema calipers grabbing meaty 320 mm front discs, sticky Michelin Power Cup II tires, and of course, increased horsepower and torque figures, THE SUPER SCALPEL remains the undisputed champion of the middleweight segment. Riding the KTM 890 DUKE R also makes for the perfect introduction to THE BEAST.

At the pinnacle of the DUKE range awaits THE BEAST, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO. KTM’s flagship street motorcycle underwent its most radical re-invention in 2020, boasting a number of tweaks and engineering improvements, including a reworked 1,301 cc LC8 engine and an all-new chassis. In 2022, the latest incarnation of THE BEAST was launched and dubbed the EVO, thanks to the evolution of the second generation WP APEX Semi Active Suspension. Enjoying the most power and torque in the family, and the most advanced electronics to keep it all under control, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO returns to rule the world of DUKE in 2023.    

2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT


By popular demand, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT returns to North America for 2023, retaking its position as the most potent and formidable Sport Touring motorcycle available. As one of the torquiest machines in its segment, one could argue that the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT doesn’t move across the earth – it simply spins the ground beneath it to help you reach your destination.

In a segment that necessitates comfort and the ability to cover ground effortlessly, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT rewrites the rulebook. Designed to offer riders a unique Grand Touring experience but engineered to be a true Sports bike underneath the touring parts, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT covers ground unlike any Sports Tourer on the market.

Thanks to its enhanced emissions control and the reworked 1,301 cc LC8 V-twin engine, this is the class leader when it comes to punching a hole in the atmosphere or hauling in the horizon. But it’s not only forward momentum where the long-distance BEAST is true to its namesake.

The WP APEX semi-active suspension on the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT works with a specific logic. The design approach to preload adjustability of the rear shock has been geared for the long-distance tourer and is very intuitive. The logic allows riders to set the suspension up according to four different real-life riding situations, namely: RIDER, RIDER & PILLION, RIDER & LUGGAGE, or RIDER, PILLION & LUGGAGE. On top of that, the anti-dive function is fitted as standard.

A new 7-inch TFT display allows for quick and easy ride adjustment on the fly, thanks to a newly designed layout striking the perfect balance between information and style. The setup is completed by the new robust switchgear that not only feels premium but also allows for intuitive interaction between the rider and the dash itself.

The wheels on the 2023 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT have been lifted from the latest KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO. These boast a weight saving of 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of unsprung mass over the old set of rims; this not only improves the overall handling but also sports a more aggressive wheel design.

New Super Duke GT 7-inch display

These all-new lightweight wheels are wrapped in new Continental ContiSportAttack 4 tires, boasting a sportier and more stable riding experience, while delivering on the demand for a sportier tire to match the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT’s versatility.

The KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT will also debut an all-new navigation system called Turn-by-Turn PLUS, which will further enhance the touring experience. TBT+ will be available via KTMconnect. This allows navigation instructions to be projected directly on the new 7-inch TFT display, helping riders navigate more effectively.

Powered by SYGIC®, TBT+ can also operate offline, allowing riders to plan their journey and adventure from remote locations, with the NAVIGATION feature using industry-standard mapping to guide riders to their destination of choice. There’s also an advanced search feature, and a diverse range of POIs including gas stations, restaurants, rest stops, while the system lets you select one of your pre-saved destinations directly from the TFT dash. All the above features can be accessed directly from the new 7-inch TFT dash, while the rider no longer needs to remove their phone from the jacket pocket, making it more convenient and efficient for those quick on-the-fly changes.

The new system also allows for waypoints to be skipped without prompting a turnaround. The system will merely recalculate and find the next available route to get you back on track. Also, the last 10 destinations searched are automatically saved and available directly on the dashboard.


// Updated LC8 V-twin

// 6.1-gallon (23 liter) fuel tank

// Lightweight wheels saving unsprung mass

// All-new 7-inch TFT dashboard

// Turn-by-turn PLUS Navigation (TBT+)

// New handlebar switches

// Continental ContiSportAttack 4


// Optional TECH PACK

// Exclusive KTM SUPER DUKE GT specific CTG

A full rangeofspeciallycreatedKTM PowerPartshas beendeveloped topersonalizeand further intensifyyourride. A dedicated range of KTM PowerWear ensures riders are kitted out to tackle whatever their journey might throw at them.

The 2023 KTM LC8 and LC8c range will begin shipping to authorized KTM dealers from December 2022 onward. For more news about the 2023 KTM model range, visit or your nearest KTM dealer.


  1. Dan-o says:

    KTM 790 Duke is less expensive because it is built in China.

  2. badChad says:

    I hope MCD gets back up to speed, it’s one of my favorite stops on the info highway. Weeks are now slipping by without new content.

    • Nooner says:

      Agreed. I’ve been coming here for 20+ years and I’m not looking forward to the day this url doesn’t work anymore.

  3. TP says:

    I appreciate that we get to comment on all these motorcycles but I would never consider a KTM. I don’t care for black and orange (especially orange) and this particular headlight looks like a wasp head. Who wants to be reminded of a noxious insect? It didn’t work for Honda’s previous generation CB1000R either.

  4. motorhead says:

    Any bike even within the vicinity of 400 lbs is all I ask. The rest is up to me to stay in shape, lose a bit of my own fat. This 790 is damn good! The 1290 Super Duke approaching 500 lb. is even better if I’m doing mostly all-day highways with the trucks blowing by.

    • Mick says:

      Ever check out Kramer Motorcycles? They make race bikes in Fargo, ND. They have KTM 690 and 890 engines and really show the kind of weight ballpark the bikes would be in if the street bike industry were to fog the mirror on weight savings.

      Curb weights for the two bikes are 276 and 308 pounds. They get a bit more power in race form as well. But about five pounds here for some lights and another few pounds for a quieter pipe and you have yourself some serious canyon rippers. They are both electric start. Lose the fairing and brackets and lights and a pipe would be a push.

      Kramer is quick to point out that they don’t want you getting plates for their bikes. But there are the occasional guys like me who don’t really indoctrinate well at all.

      • Dave says:

        We’ve been over this before, Mick. A race bike can’t become a street bike with “about five pounds here for some lights and another few pounds for a quieter pipe”. There’s a lot more to it than that, forgetting for a moment that the bike you’re proposing converting already costs $34k..

  5. John says:

    I have 30 motorcycles 1937 to new, i always like KTM, light strong ethic -chassis -brakes- engine. I have a 690 duke, It will run away and hide from our 990 super duke and our Street triple R. A 690 duke is hands down the best twisty road bike i have ever owned or ridden. I still wait anxiously for the 490 twin which better come soon before i fall off the planet. Regards to all.

  6. Gary says:

    Why on Earth would they slice the mid size naked segment so thin? Seems like cannibalism.

    • Fred N says:

      Gary, Because of the newly announced Honda and Suzuki 755/800 parallel twins, that’s why.

      • Curt says:

        Others have said it and now I have to wonder, especially with the recent announcement of a returning 790R Adventure – are these bikes presented instead of the rumored 490 range? If the price is, as others have observed, lower than when they first came out, I have to wonder. It does seem that the 790 and 890 bikes are too closely related to really serve this purpose very well.

  7. Rapier says:

    So are there any reports of plus 50K mile or more KTM twins?

    • todd says:

      The 950/990 (simply called “9X0”) range of KTM engines are bulletproof. I come across many of the Adventure versions with high mileage and the forums have lots of good things to say about them. My KTM single is also racking on the mileage without a hitch. Knock knock.

      • TF says:

        Not a single issue with my 2017 1090R that I purchased new. It’s been on three trips that averaged over 3K miles each and never hiccupped. It’s also been on countless trips around Michigan and northern Ontario. There has been one recall that resulted in a replaced fuel pump. I’d ride it anywhere.

  8. Gremlin says:

    KTM needs to significantly improve their reliability. My 2019 1290 Superduke GT was in the shop at least a dozen times for numerous issues. The most concerning issue was the engine shutting off while riding on three occasions, once in the neighborhood, once on a high-speed interstate, and once on back roads. KTM Customer Service In Murrieta California showed little concern. So I sold it. Loved the bike, hated the unreliability. Check out Motorcycle Consumer News (MCN) for their long term test on the 1290 GT…they had numerous reliability issues, ultimately causing them not to recommend this bike.

    • Curt says:

      Ugh, if mine did that, I’d sell it, too. I guess I’ve been fortunate, having had very few issues with three 1290s now. Admittedly none of mine are super high mile machines, but I intend to ride my SAS to 50,000 miles to see what it’s like. MCN also described some problems with their 1290 SDR, though these problems were, IMO, less significant to the point of being really no big deal.

      Like you, I love the bikes. I’d ask, what bike with similar capabilities and features is markedly more reliable? The Ducati or Aprilia? I wouldn’t bet on that! My plan for reliability is to have more than one to ride. 😉

  9. Grover says:

    Not really a direct comparison, but I’m waiting for the Honda Hornet or the new Suzuki GSX-8S. I wouldn’t take this 790 off-road anyways so that capability and lower weight doesn’t figure into the equation. The lower price and increased reliability of the Japanese offerings doesn’t hurt, either.

  10. Mick says:

    Has this ever happened before? I don’t understand why they would add the 790 to the lineup that includes the very similar bike they replaced it with.

    And what got someone to whine about tubes again? These two bikes are tubeless. Odd the team retro should run and hide behind their mommy at the mere thought of an inner tube. Like 100% or real life old bikes didn’t have inner tubes. That and the entire dirt bike market. Give it a rest. Pop a cork in the tear ducts. Go drive a car.

    • TMR says:

      So what is wrong with not wanting to deal with inner tubes?

      Not trying to be sarcastic, but how did it feel when disk brakes replaced drums, starter motors replaced kick, and halogen lights replaced sealed beams?

      • TimC says:

        The real problem with bikes these days is they aren’t steam-powered. THAT is a real motorcycle.

      • Jeremy says:

        You forgot to ask him how he felt when 4-strokes replaced two strokes.

      • Ed says:

        I miss wooden spoked wheels. I remember what a major difference it was when they developed that new-fangled “steel” and added that as wear bands to the wheels. No more broken spokes when hitting rocks on the trail. Sigh.

    • ORT says:

      Mick, you are the biggest whiner in the 27 known Galaxies on how
      “heavy” bikes are now so do not try to foist the faux high & mighty attitude on any one here, brother.

      Get to the gym because unless you are way above average even someone that has trained into their 70s is likely stronger than you and can lift a bike.
      Besides, you ride the bike not the bike rides you.

      Happy Thanksgiving luddite!

      ORT 😉

      • Grumpy Farmer says:

        Micks been to the gym, but he found the weights to be too heavy!

        • Mick says:

          Mick rides tubeless mountain bikes and would die of boredom in a gym.

          Tubed tires don’t burp and go and stay flat when you dent the rim. That’s why the entire dirt bike market runs them.

          I understand that the majority of the guys here don’t ride hard off road, if at all. I bailed on my DP bike simply because I want to ride a real dirt bike off road or skip the idea.

          My street legal suprtmoto doesn’t see a lot of hard off road use. But it runs tubes anyway. I change 99% of my tires myself and I honestly don’t know where all the fear and loathing comes from. I’d wager that a lot of the guys who whine about tubes never deal with their own tires anyway.

          That and this may not be the future, but it isn’t the past either. There are tubeless solutions for almost any motorcycle wheel.

          Whatever, I grow weary tube related whines. I might whine about how ridiculously heavy street bikes are. But that’s because they are ridiculously heavy and a real pain to lighten. You can easily source a set of tubeless wheels for any motorcycle. I have multiple sets of YZ wheels. An extra set of wheels for my KTM and my electric and I at least have an extra rear for the Ducatis, I could source more in a heartbeat. It can be done, easily.

          If you are whining about tires you never change or wheels you can easily replace, or more likely have someone replace for you, you’re just making annoying noises. Get a pulse.

          • Reginald Van Blunt says:

            Some of these tubeless whiners are also the adult males seen standing next to their BMW cages, with a flat tire, listening to their cell phone – forever.

          • Relic says:

            If you wonder where the market went, go to a bicycle race, on or offroad. Last cx race had three rows in 55+.

    • My2cents says:

      Could have saved your breath and just left it at “ I don’t understand “.

  11. arbuz says:

    is the 790 the cheapest bike that has cruise control, or are there less expensive options?

  12. ORT says:

    Todd, just because you say it’s a “giant pig” does not mean it is a big, fat, bore.

    Me? I have no use for the abundance of power that either the “giant pig” or the piglette that is the 790 Duke. By the weigh, the 790 is not nearly 100 lbs more than the 690.

    You’ve been vetted, brother. What was it that hill billy said to Ned Beatty’s character in “Deliverance”? “Squeal like a KTM!”? Nope.

    I’m looking for either an upgraded for the new year 390 Adventure for 2023 or perhaps the much rumored for 2023 twiin cylinder 490 Adventure with a nice large fuel tank of at least 5 US gallons and tubeless wheels cuz I don’t buy bicycles even if they do have motors.

    Get to the gym and let me know when you can lift your 690 and take it for a walk of at least 10 feet without dropping it. If you can do that, the bikes supposed weight should NOT be a factor for you any longer. All the best, sir!


    • Dave says:

      Unfortunately, I think this 790:is the 490 we were hoping for – KTM punted..

      Funny that there’s an 890 ad imbedded in the 790’s re-launch. Not a very cohesive launch strategy, even if this 790 is a great bike on its own.

      • ORT says:

        Thanks Dave! I had not considered that and you could be right!

        As for why the 790 is back? Maybe KTM has a bunch of 790 parts it wants to use up. Kinda sorta like Honda and the older GL1800 engines being put into those “new” Valkyries years ago, LOL!


        • Dave says:

          Could be. It’s telling that this 790 costs less than it did when it was last offered. I think this is more the satisfying of a need for a price point they identified a need for.

          The 690 should’ve held this place but As cool as it is, it’s a single and most riders don’t value a single as much as a multi. The market is growing more competitive in this space and maybe the 890 is too expensive to compete with the others.

    • todd says:

      Ok, so it just felt like 100 pounds heavier. Looking up the specs, it’s 417 lb with half a tank of gas. I weighed my Duke at 329 pounds after I changed my muffler. That’s 88 pounds or about 27% heavier, and it’s noticeable. I park my Duke in the garage but it’s a little tight in there so I pick up the back of the bike and swing it out if the way. The 390 is made in India by Bajaj, the scooter manufacturer, but it still seems fun.

  13. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    todd – This sounds like a clear and qualified observation. I am not surprised, and must add that other issues with KTM and BMW preclude any serious purchase consideration of either brand, even though I know some models are quite good performing. Reliability, serviceability and ergonomics, are more important to me than outright performance.

  14. todd says:

    Don’t bother. I tried the 790 Duke when it was new and the 690 Duke was just plain better. The 790 wasn’t as quick and didn’t accelerate any harder, the bike weighs 100 pounds more, didn’t turn or handle as good, had a more cramped riding position, and the engine would send terrible buzzing through the handlebars. To top it off, the 790 is made in China and has that weird looking headlight. I’m also reading here that the new 790 “has been tuned specifically for torque” meaning they likely reduced the power of the engine to put more of a gap between it and the 890. The 1290 was just a giant pig.

    • joe b says:

      Kind of sounds like you dont care for KTM? With the new 270° crank vertical twins now coming out, the Suzuki GSX8S, the Honda Hornet, they make me think back to the original 790 Duke, at the time I thought it was really something, although i never rode one. with the old one weighing less than 400lb, with 64 torq and 105hp, to criticize it because it was cramped, and made in China? this is obviously not the bike for you. possibly you might find the piggy GW more luxurious. “Didnt turn as good”, boy, picky picky picky. May I ask, just what is your daily rider, that “turns good” ? I would put them all in the same category, in these modern times, how can a 375lb 105hp machine with 64torq something to not bother with? just what would be, then? (my CB1000R, from ’12 seems so old fashioned, these days)

      • todd says:

        You must be new here. I went cross shopping the 690 and 790 Dukes, along with the CB650R and some other bikes. The 690 Duke was the best of them all; more fun, punchier, more comfortable, much lighter, smoother than the twin, even quicker. Just better. I daily the Duke, along with a K75S. What is “64 torq”? That sounds about what my teenage daughter cranks out on her bicycle, tubes and all. And, the 790 doesn’t make anywhere near 105hp, especially in its new “tuned for torque” guise.

        • Dave says:

          I think the Duke 790 claimed 105hp at the crank. Since it dyno’d in the mid 90’s at the wheel (visor down pulled 99hp on whatever dyno they use), I find that plausible.

          The 690 is well loved but I think too many consumer/riders undervalue the single cylinder engine, regardless of how well it actually works. Classic “more is better” thinking.

          • todd says:

            I’m even more impressed by the 690 then since it’s on par with 105 hp bikes in acceleration but quicker off the line and better handling.

          • Dave says:

            No doubt. Over 70+hp from a ~700cc single, smoothly and reliably is almost miraculous.

            I know a couple of guys who were spoiled by owning the pre-2016 version (without the 2nd balance shaft). They liked them for about 1/2 hour, then they couldn’t deal with the vibration anymore. Funny because they were both long time enduro racers. The 2016+ is supposed to be a peach. I’d love to try one.

        • joe b says:

          Not new here, I was quoting Cycle World magazine for torque and Horsepower figures (sorry if you didnt see torq and HP, for what most describe in how an engine works). If your happy with the smaller bike, great. I could ask what is “Daily the Duke”, i presume you mean you ride it daily. if you ride both daily, your better than me, I seldom get out and ride every day, just getting old I guess. the 105 hp quote was from Cycle World. I get it, you like the smaller bike. I know here locally, in the twisties, a small single will punish the big sport bikes, big time, while the rider smiles just as big. Nice to see someone like the KTM styling, I think its not that bad, and the Japanese have finally scootched over somewhat, as the Honda Hornet is looking more KTM like.

    • TimC says:

      The funny thing is, any time I’ve seen/sat on a Super Duke (no I have not ridden one), I’ve been shocked at how compact it is for such a “large” bike.

    • greg says:

      I ride a 2019 1290r.It’s not a giant piglet.I ride with buddies who are on r1,gsxr.etc.Absolutely no problem keeping up in the twisties.I sold my ZX10 because the KTM is more fun,not to mention easier on my old neck.

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