790 DUKE PRO­TO­TYPE

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

This is the first of­fi­cial hint Ð be­yond mul­ti­ple spy shots and KTM boss Ste­fan Pierer con­firm­ing the 800Õs ex­is­tence to MCN dur­ing the sum­mer Ð of the style and in­tent of KTMÕS new family of mid­dleweights.

Pow­ered by an all-new par­al­lel-twin en­gine of around 800cc, which the firm have dubbed the LC8C (with the ÔCÕ ap­par­ently de­not­ing Ôcom­pactõ), this Duke ver­sion looks likely to be the first ar­rival of what is cer­tain to be a family of bikes from KTM and sis­ter com­pany, Husq­varna. In­ter­est­ingly, the ru­mour mill sug­gests that Husky will de­but an ad­ven­ture styled 800 model dur­ing the Milan show.

KTM say the new 790 Duke will bring Òun­par­al­leled poise, tele­pathic lev­els of feed­back and light­ness thatõs off the scaleó to the mid-mar­ket Ð which all sounds good. With feet back on terra firma, the more likely cer­tain­ties are that itõll have a ride-by-wire throt­tle, mul­ti­ple rider modes, multi-level trac­tion con­trol and in­te­grated ÔMY RIDEÕ con­nec­tiv­ity. We would­nõt be sur­prised to find a quick­shifter, too.

This is all a lit­tle way off though, so donõt ex­pect to be wan­der­ing into your lo­cal dealer with your bank de­tails any time soon. Weõd ex­pect to see a pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the 790 Duke un­veiled this time next year, with the bike ar­riv­ing in deal­ers in 2018. And it might not be alone if Husky are work­ing on the ad­ven­ture model, too.

It may be a pro­to­type, but ex­pect the real deal to look sim­i­lar

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