As soon as KTM announced the 890 Duke R, we knew the base model bike would also be receiving the latest version of the LC8c parallel twin, and the boys from Mattigofen haven't disappointed.
KTM says the 890 Duke R is a track weapon, so with that role filled the 890 Duke tones things down a little to make for a better street focussed machine.
“With the KTM 890 Duke R we knew we were bringing a bike that was distinctly KTM to the market and it was only a matter of time before we could reshape that package to introduce the ideal second generation of The Scalpel", says KTM Head of Product Development, Adriaan Sinke.
"We found where we could either improve or offer the rider more than could be found on the KTM 790 Duke. The KTM 890 Duke is stuffed with the DNA of KTM: READY TO RACE, technically advanced and engineered to meet the demands of any rider. It takes pride of place in the Duke family and is another big statement in not only the midweight market but also the naked bike segment. I’d normally tell riders to enjoy this one but, this time, there is really no need.”
The larger displacement engine (889cc from 789cc) uses a more sophisticated ECU mapping and pumps out 115 Hp and 92 Nm of power. That's 10 more horsepower and 5 more newton meters of torque than the KTM 790 Duke and thanks to an increase in rotating mass by 20% the 890 engine helps bring better cornering stability and smoother engine action at lower revs and part throttle.
Electronics are, as you'd expect from KTM, top-notch as well including a customizable TFT display, three rider modes (with the option to add a fourth Track mode) adjustable traction control which can be increased or lowered on a nine-gauge scale, anti-wheelie control which can be disengaged, and even throttle response has three levels. Oh, and there's launch control in the package as well.
Despite the larger displacement and other advances, the 890 Duke keeps the same weight as its predecessor at just 169 kg dry. The subframe is innovative with the whole single unit containing the air intakes and airbox; designed to be simplistic, minimal and light.
The suspension, one of the "weak" points of the 790 Duke, has been updated and upgraded WP APEX Suspension (43mm open cartridge upside-down forks) and a gas-assisted rear shock.
The rider ergonomics have been relaxed when compared to the R model with the obvious idea behind it being to accommodate a wide demographic of rider. This is partly achieved thanks to a lower seat height of 820mm.
Other features of the 890 Duke include a full set of LED lights, Continental's new ContiRoad tyres as well as KTM myRide App compatibility.
Pricing and availability for the New Zealand market is yet to be announced at the time of writing but we'll update you as soon as we know.