India was waiting impatiently for KTM to launch its 790 Duke in the country. And when it did get launched, many eyebrows were raised regarding the specs-to-price ratio. Yes, the 790 Duke retails at a higher price of Rs 8.63 lakh (ex-showroom) but it seems that isn’t stopping the KTM lovers and bike enthusiasts from getting one!
KTM has sold 41 units of the BS 4 compliant 790 Duke ever since it was launched on September 23rd. That’s a really great number. Only 100 units of the bike have been made available for now and KTM will bring more of it hopefully in a BS 6 avatar very soon.
KTM isn’t manufacturing the 790 Duke in India rather has brought it down via the CKD route which is one of the reasons for the high price. It has a twin-cylinder engine and there are 4-cylinder bikes available in a similar price bracket. Of course, the 790 Duke can’t give you that exotic in-line 4 exhaust note or that in-line 4 smoothness or the in-line 4 high revs. But it compensates for all that by being actually useable and a lot of fun.
The 790 Duke has been praised for its practicality and usability in the real world. It is extremely light (169kg dry) and narrow for an 800cc bike which makes it very easy to ride even in city riding conditions. Also, it has an enormous amount of torque on tap – 86Nm – which makes things even more interesting.
Another great feature of the 790 Duke that simply puts it above its competition is its extensive electronics package. KTM has equipped it with Bosch Cornering ABS with Supermoto mode, lean-angle-sensing traction control, launch control, a bi-directional quickshifter and four riding modes (including a customisable Track mode).
‘Never judge a book by its cover’, we would say the KTM 790 Duke is a perfect example of that. You shouldn’t judge a bike by its spec sheet, ride it and then make your decisions.
Have you ridden the 790 Duke yet?