KTM pre­pares to put stun­ning 790 con­cept bike into pro­duc­tion

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jor­dan Gib­bons SENOR RE­PORTER

KTM are get­ting ready to un­leash this sharp-look­ing 790 weapon. MCN man­aged to get hold of th­ese spy shots as the Aus­trian firm held se­cret tests of the bike it showed in con­cept form at the big Euro­pean mo­tor­cy­cle shows at the end of last year.

The Scalpel got a lot of at­ten­tion – as did sub­se­quent videos of it do­ing wheel­ies, stop­pies and gen­er­ally mak­ing a nui­sance of it­self. Look­ing at the pho­tos of the test bike, a sur­pris­ing amount of the con­cept bike has re­mained.

Miss­ing in ac­tion

Sadly gone is the un­der­seat ex­haust fit­ted to the Scalpel. There is no way that the un­der­seat system would pass emis­sions reg­u­la­tions, but it’s still a shame. It has been re­placed by a con­i­cal unit on the right of the bike with an ad­di­tional col­lec­tor un­der the swingarm, sim­i­lar to the 790 Ad­ven­ture we have seen pre­vi­ously.

Mak­ing way for nor­mal­ity, there is also a new sub­frame along with rider and pil­lion seats. The whole lot looks very well fin­ished, which sug­gests this is likely the fi­nal de­sign. There’s a small gauze port un­der the seat too, which could well be the open­ing for the air­box although on the sub­frame of the Scalpel it was just a bit of dec­o­ra­tion.

Speak­ing to MCN at EICMA last year Hu­bert Trunk­en­polz, KTM’S Chief Sales Of­fi­cer, said that there will be two ver­sions of the 790 Duke: a stan­dard model and an R. Trunk­en­polz said that the R would be 115bhp, while the stan­dard Duke would be 97bhp to re­main A2 li­cence-friendly. It’s pos­si­ble that the R will have a sin­gle seat and slightly tastier ex­haust more akin to the pro­to­type.

The front end is also dif­fer­ent to the Scalpel’s. The 790 Duke has gained mir­rors, switches, in­di­ca­tors and the new head­light fit­ted to the rest of the 2017 Duke range. The in­di­ca­tors ap­pear to be mounted on clear plas­tic – this could be some­thing to do with the Euro4 day­time run­ning light reg­u­la­tions but it’s more likely to be some rapid pro­to­typ­ing that’s not been re­placed. The 790 Duke has also gained the TFT dash that is present on many 2017 KTMS, con­firm­ing KTMS sug­ges­tion this will be a pre­mium model.

Them’s the brakes

That said, costs have to be reined in some­where and in the case of the 790 Duke it’s the brakes. While they may look like fancy Brem­bos from a dis­tance, they are in fact J.juan. We imag­ine th­ese will be branded up as KTM on the fi­nal pro­duc­tion bike.

So when can we ex­pect to see the fin­ished bike? Well Trunk­en­polz said that the 790 Duke will be launched later this year, with stock hit­ting show­rooms in 2018. While he wouldn’t be drawn on price, Trunk­en­polz said it would not be a cheap model to com­pete with the MT-07 – but more ex­pen­sive as it at­tempts to take on bikes like the new Tri­umph Street Triple – which KTM has been test­ing against.

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