Fast Bikes - - PRODUCTS -

When KTM teased ‘The Scalpel’ al­most a year ago (YouTube it, you won’t be dis­ap­pointed), it had fans of the mid­dleweight naked class sali­vat­ing un­con­trol­lably. So much so that the orange bri­gade de­cided to put their money where their mouth is and make the con­cept a re­al­ity. Fol­low­ing suit with the brand’s big­ger and bad­der 1290 Su­per Duke R, the more af­fa­bly sized of­fer­ing fea­tures a knock­out power-to-weight per­for­mance thanks to its all-new 799cc KTM par­al­lel twin engine, which makes an im­pres­sive 105bhp and 86Nm of torque. That’s an in­crease of over 30bhp com­pared to the 690 Duke it su­per­sedes, mak­ing it the feisti­est of­fer­ing in its sec­tor.

They haven’t just fo­cused on build­ing a stonk­ing engine though, as KTM openly ad­mit they went all out to en­sure the 790 han­dled like a finely tuned 600cc sports­bike. In or­der to make the Duke the most light­weight, ag­ile and pre­cise ma­chine con­ceiv­able, KTM cre­ated a brand new chas­sis for the naked bike con­sist­ing of welded pre­ci­sion chrome-molyb­de­num steel sec­tions, which ac­tu­ally uses the light­weight and nar­row engine as a stressed mem­ber, while the alu­minium sub-frame in­te­grates air ducts and the air­box into its de­sign to help min­imise weight and pro­file.

The 790 weighs in at just 169kg (dry) and sports ag­gres­sive ge­om­e­try to guar­an­tee it’s no prude in the han­dling de­part­ment. To ham­mer this cre­den­tial home, the KTM has also been equipped with top notch WP 43mm open car­tridge forks, and aWP gas as­sisted ad­justable shock which is di­rectly mounted on the open-lat­tice swingarm.

In terms of brak­ing, the 790 packs up­rated 300mm twin discs and ra­di­ally mounted calipers that are pur­ported to be of track rid­ing qual­ity. Tech lovers will be pleased to hear that the bike comes as stock with a whole host of elec­tri­cal good­ies which are all high­lighted on the model’s TFT dis­play, in­clud­ing a Blue­tooth mu­sic func­tion. Rider aid wise, the KTM of­fers four rid­ing modes (one of which is a track set­ting).

Bet­ter still, the Euro 4 com­pli­ant ma­chines come as stan­dard with dis­en­gage­able cor­ner­ing ABS and a four-tier trac­tion con­trol pack­age that can also be com­pletely switched off. A quick­shifter and blip­per make life even eas­ier, as does the Mo­tor Slip Reg­u­la­tion fea­ture, which is a fancy way of say­ing slip­per clutch. No pric­ing has been an­nounced just yet, but the model’s look­ing likely to be ter­ror­is­ing a street near you in the first quar­ter of 2018.

‘Who put that banana there?’

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