KTM 790 Duke

KTM 790 Duke in review (Baujahr 2018)

A Duke for all cases ...

KTM 790 DukeThe KTM Duke 790 is designed to bridge the gap between the single-cylinder Duke 690 and the large Duke 1290. For the first time, KTM relies on a row twin, which neither sounds like this nor feels that way. For just under 10,000 euros, KTM builds a Naked bike that is less than 170 kilograms light and 105 hp, which clearly carries the genes of the Duke family. Whether the Duke 790 can actually close the gap between 690 and 1290 is explained by our detailed test.


KTM reportedly developed no less than four years on the 790s. The 250 employees of KTM clocked 111,000 working hours and almost one million test kilometres before the KTM Duke 790 was finally launched in April 2018 - respect!
So there she is, the new Duke. From the point of view of appearance, not a big surprise at first. Typical Duke front view, a mixture of alien and hornet - sharp and somehow sexy. We got the black version for the test of Motorrad Ruser, the version in orange would have been honest. But no matter, it looks pretty good, the 790 duke.
No wonder the Duke 790 is currently one of the most bought bikes in Germany. In the top 5 she argues with the Yamaha MT-07 and the Kawasaki Z 650. Both similarly built Naked bikes, but not so well equipped and not quite as powerful, therefore significantly cheaper than our Duke. Cool: You can buy the Duke 790 with 95 hp and throttle it to 48 hp, making this machine mobile for owners of the A2 driver's license.

Seat sample on the Duke 790

Duke 790 SoziusbetriebThe first seat test: Okay, typical Duke - you sit far forward leaned towards the tank, almost already on the front wheel. That's how it should be and that's how it feels on the 690s. The seat is tightly padded and quite wide and has a clear boundary between the driver's and the passenger seat. Sure, the Duke 790 is not a touring bike, but shorter rides are quite reasonable for the Sozius or the Sozia.
Cockpit der Duke 790Schalter linke SeiteLED Lampe mit Tagfahrlicht

Cockpit and equipment

The very good technical equipment of the Duke 790 is already noticeable when it is switched on. The coloured TFT cockpit spoils with good readability and lots of information. There are four driving modes, namely Sport, Street, Rain and Track. The on-board computer spoils with a lot of information, there really is no eye dry here: average speed, average consumption, residual range, travel time, service due on, service due in km, ABS mode, QuickShifter, shift erupt and so on - there really is nothing that does not exist or that could not be switched on or off on the Duke 790 or at least queried. Technology-enthusiastic bikers will get their money's worth here.

The whole thing works with four buttons at the left end of the handlebars and is intuitively usable even for beginners. But beware: this diverse information and setting possibilities tempt you a little to play around while driving. Of course, this should be omitted as best as possible, even if it is difficult.

DOHC-Reihentwin mit 105 PS

This is how she drives herself

The DOHC row twin produces 105 hp at 9,000 rpm and 87 Nm at 8,000 rpm. It has a 75 degree lifting pin offset, so the Twin sounds more like a V2 and feels like that.
The Duke 790 is quite fast due to its low weight and is extremely agile. KTM itself refers to the 790 as a "scalpel". We can sign this, the bike actually rides razor-sharp and obeys any change of direction immediately and very precisely. Actually, it is enough to think of a curve, already the Duke drives exactly in the desired direction. It steers in excellently and is super-easy to throw back and forth. Of course, the short wheelbase and the low weight support this optimally. Nevertheless, the KTM 790 Duke is lane stable on longer straight-line tracks, which should be due to the steering damper.
Bremsanlage vorne J.JuanHinterradWe were a little surprised with the standard "Maxxis Supermaxx ST" tyres. We have nothing against this tyre and the manufacturer, but in our opinion the choice does not quite fit with the other equipment of the KTM, as otherwise only premium material can be found here. For example, the braking system, which was jointly developed by KTM and a Spanish supplier ("J. Juan"). At the front we find radially screwed 4-piston fixed-seat stoppers on a double disc with 300 millimeters and at the rear a 1-piston floating caliper (single disc 240 millimeters). The brakes have easy play with the KTM, they are nice biting, but still good to dose. In addition, there is the 2-channel curve ABS from Bosch with an inclined position function.

We particularly liked the two-way automatic switch ("QuickShifter"), which is on board as standard. Dome was yesterday, today is simply pressed on the shift lever. This works really well in both directions - not butter-soft (you always feel a short jerking), but still simple and precise. A note is worth mentioning the launch control, for which, however, must first be switched to track mode. The software function takes away everything you need for maximum acceleration. So you can completely tear open the rooster and still you don't have to fear going capeister. In 3.3 seconds you can make it from 0 to 100 km/h and that feels at least as fast. Our tester was able to get such an "OH MANN!" Don't stop screaming during the acceleration test - see video.
What the Duke 790 doesn't like so much is under-touring driving. Below 3,000 revolutions, the engine starts to bite and calls for revolutions. But when you cheer up the engine, it goes off like the post office. The engine screams with joy and the driver does the same under his helmet - what a acceleration! Thanks to the lifting pin offset, the engine feels more like V2 than row twin and sounds like that. The sound is absolutely worth listening to, you just like to turn on the throttle handle to do it. The engine's favourite is the speed band between 5,000 and 9,000 rpm.
Even when driving fast, the Duke 790 doesn't get uncomfortable. Although the chassis is quite sporty, due to the long spring travels at the front (140 millimeters) and at the rear (150 millimeters) it never gets rough. Since one sits Duke-naturally very upright, the overall result is a rather commode driving position, which, however, makes the wind "very nice and direct" from the speed 140 km/h, to put it mildly. Sure, the Duke 790 doesn't have a windscreen, so it blows around your ears accordingly quickly.
If you don't want to use the technical helpers, you can switch off ABS, traction control, wheelie control & Co. on request and conjure up a beautiful, thick black line on the asphalt. Dick is the then really, the 17 inch rear wheel comes with a wide 180 push.

Conclusion - what gets stuck

Well, the Duke 790 is a real announcement in terms of equipment and comes dangerously close to the Duke 1290. There is really nothing that does not exist with this bike. This may be too much for some, but most potential buyers are likely to be happy about a technically sophisticated bike at the level of time.
The current sales figures prove the fine touch that KTM has shown in the development of the Duke 790: Many bikers seem to have been waiting for such a bike: light and agile, with a lot of power as well as a powerful motor - despite the row twin. In this respect: Yes, the Duke 790 closes the gap between Duke 690 and 1290 - a great bike!

Price/Availability/Colours/Years of Construction

  • Price: 9.975€
  • Used (6 months old): from 8,000 €
  • Built: 2018
  • Availability: from 04/2018
  • Colours: black, orange

Zubehör für die
790 Duke


Pro & Kontra

  • very agile, light bike
  • Anti-wheelie function
  • Launch control for maximum acceleration
  • 4 driving modes + dyn. Traction Control + Ride-by-wire
  • A2 version available
  • Engine jerks below 2,500 rpm
  • Tyre quality does not quite match the bike

New registrations of the 790 Duke

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New registrations of the 790 Duke

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Von unserem Team geprüft:




2,100 mm
187 kg
Ab. Weight
428 kg
825 mm
1,470 mm

Driving Performance & Range

0 to 100
3.3 s
60 to 100
3.5 s
Tank contents
14 l
4.8 l
300 km
235 km/h

Motor & Power Transmission

Engine design
Number of cylinders
799 cc
88 mm
65.7 mm
105 HP
87 NM
Number of gears

Suspension & Brakes

Lattice tube frame
Suspension front
USD fork from WP 43mm
140 mm
Strut rear
WP Apex Monoshock
150 mm
Suspension rear
Two-arm swingarm made of aluminum
Brakes in front
4-piston fixed caliper radial / double disc
300 mm
Tyres at the front
120/70 17 inches
Brakes rear
1-piston floating caliper / single disc
Rear tyres
180/55 17 inches
2-channel Bosch curve ABS with slant function