New Bikes

Is a new KTM 890 Duke in the offing?

A keen-eyed photographer has caught a glimpse of what could be the newt generation of KTM Duke being tested on track

KTM’S 790 Duke could be about to get a serious makeover for 2020, after a photographer at a track noticed a taped up 790 Duke, complete with soft top box for telemetary and data logging kit, being put through its paces by former GP racer Jeremy McWilliams.

First reported on Mottoradonline.de, the images show a stock looking bike riding some hard laps at the hands of McWilliams, with the website reporting that the machine had a unique engine note when compared to the 790 model. They state that the bike sounded duller than the 790, which is rev-happy and howls to the red-line.

Now, the data-logging kit on the tail of the bike could just be for testing out some fancy new ABS or traction control system for the new 790 Duke, although there is one more clue that the internals of this bike may not be what they seem. Kramer motorcycles currently make and sell a privateer GP2 machine called the Kramer GP2R which features a KTM parallel twin-cylinder engine. But the displacement of the €29,990 machine is listed as 890cc and pushing out a healthy 130hp.

130hp in KTM’s featherlight and flickable 790 Duke frame sounds like a match made in B-road heaven, but it’d be foolish to think that KTM would put such a highly stressed engine in a road-going machine and still expect the reliability they need. The 890 Duke, if that is what we are seeing, would be a much lower state of tune and probably pushing out maybe 10% more power than the 790, albeit with a revised power and torque curve.

It’s not known at this time if the 790 Duke is going to be put out to pasture totally, it is feasible it could become another high profile victim of the Euro emissions regs, or if the 890cc engine is to be reserved for an ‘R’ version of the bike.

Whatever the route KTM choose to go with this, we’d expect our questions to be answered at EICMA this November.

Pictures: Roman Kadicik

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