KTM 890 Duke base model opens up latest generation ‘scalpel’

The KTM 890 Duke range is expanded to include a more affordable, but still sport-focused base-variant of the firm's middleweight naked.

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The latest generation of KTM’s venerable naked - the 890 Duke - has just become a touch more accessible with the introduction of a new base model, which officially supersedes the now discontinued Duke 790 range.

The Austrian firm has been busy updating the majority of its new models with new engine architecture in response to the Euro5 regulations, with the 890cc version of the new naked introduced last year in sporty ‘R’ guise.

Now the range has grown with the arrival of the ‘R-less’ base variant which makes use of the slick chassis and punchy new powerplant at a (to be confirmed) more affordable price.

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Under the skin the Duke 890 features KTM’s new LC8c parallel-twin unit tuned for a sporting rasp and pumping out 115hp and 92Nm of torque, a minor reduction from the R (121hp).

We will have to wait to find out whether the Duke feels any different to its sibling on the road but otherwise there are still plenty of familiar KTM traits to entice, including the Chromium-Molybdenum Steel frame and APEX suspension tuned by KTM’s close partners WP. The new base Duke 890 is slightly heavier than the R at 169kg compared with 166kg, with KTM’s press release describing it at an ‘extreme power to weight ratio’.

Out on the road riders will get the choice of four different engine modes to suit conditions, including Rain Mode (smooth throttle response, maximum traction control, reduced power and anti-wheelie), Street Mode (standard throttle response, normal TC, full power, anti-wheelie) and Sport Mode (sport response, reduced TC, full power, anti-wheelie). For those tempted by the full potential of the KTM 890 Duke the optional Track Mode allows the setting to be tweaked for time attacks.

Visually the Duke and Duke R are distinguished by minor detailing - the lack of a pillion seat cover and standard footpegs on the former - but otherwise you will also find the TFT display and of course those orange decals very much in presence.

No prices have been confirmed as yet but will undercut the £10,399 KTM 890 Duke R.