KTM 990 Duke

KTM 990 Duke Review (Baujahr 2024)

Do you still need the 1390 Super Duke R?

KTM 990 Duke im Test 2024Photos: Motorradtest.de
The new KTM 990 Duke fits perfectly between the 790 Duke and the 1390 Super Duke R. It replaces the 890 Duke and, according to KTM, consists of 94% new parts. Volker and Dietmar took the new mid-range naked bike from Mattighofen for a test ride.

You should be orange.

The new KTM 990 Duke costs 14,490 euros. That's a confident price tag compared to the competition. On the other hand, the 1390 Super Duke R, which is also new, costs another 7,000 euros more. The 990 Duke is available in two colors: black and orange. Who actually orders a Duke in black?
Farben KTM 990 Duke; Orange und Schwarz
Let's be honest: You could have given yourself black, couldn't you?
Visually, the machine reminds us of its predecessor, the KTM 890 Duke R (-> test), which is no longer produced due to the Euro5+ emissions standard. The new bike has a similar silhouette when viewed from the side, but looks a bit bigger and more grown-up overall. The exhaust has slipped down and the light mask has been completely redesigned. The KTM designers at Kiska say that the design is deliberately extremely unusual and is allowed to polarize. Either you like it or you don't, the main thing is not boredom. This should have succeeded...
Dimensions and seat ergonomics
The seating position has changed little. As is typical for Streetfighters, you sit leaning forward and automatically spread your shoulders. The two-piece bench seat supports the driver's buttocks and allows the passenger to sit higher. The passenger's footpegs are mounted a little lower than usual on naked bikes, which is good for the pillion's knee angle. The seat height is a manageable 825 mm for the driver. The handlebars are mounted quite low, you sit similar to the 890 Duke.
Sitzposition KTM 990 Duke
This is how you automatically sit on the KTM 990 Duke. Evil united!

360-degree tour of the KTM 990 Duke

CockpitBeleuchtung vorneBeleuchtung hinten

Technology of the new Duke 990

The new Duke has a very easy to read 5" TFT display and completely new switches. On the right there is only the starter/kill switch, everything else takes place on the left. This includes cruise control, hazard warning lights and four switches for menu control. And in our opinion, this has been achieved in an exemplary manner. You understand the operation automatically and all functions are backed up with meaningful pictograms, which should make it clear to even the stupidest driver what he is currently setting. The controls are even backlit. Very strong switch and control solution!

Technically, the 990 Duke is almost completely at the start. Three driving modes, lean angle sensors, USB-C port, self-resetting turn signal, cruise control, etc. are on board. Unfortunately, the QuickShifter, which works in both directions, is only included for an extra charge, but you can try it out in the first 1,000 kilometers. This also applies to the two additional driving modes "Track" and "Performance".

If you want to continue using these features after the break-in time, they can be activated via software for an additional charge. Sounds like a rip-off, but it's not so stupid, because you can see for free whether these things are worth the extra charge. And don't forget: Software development also costs money, so you can't say that the additional features are "already there" anyway.

The light comes entirely in LED technology. As usual with KTM, you decide by setting whether the daytime running lights or the low beam should be active. The light mask has been completely redesigned, but in the rearview mirror, the 990 Duke is still clearly recognisable as a KTM. Four light strips are grouped around the main headlights, which function either as position lights or as daytime running lights. In the event of an emergency situation, light strips in the floor show the way to the exits. Oh no, that was somewhere else.

Motor und Endschalldämpfer

This is how it drives itself

The sound is typical KTM and typical in-line twin with 270 degree pin offset: Sounds like V2 and rumbles along erratically. The stationary noise is 95 dbA and the pass-by noise is 77 dbA. So the machine is not loud, but still sounds nice and rascal and rough-legged. Especially when accelerating, the airbox speaks up, which is now positioned under the pillion seat. In our opinion, hardly any other manufacturer manages to push the intake noise to the more prominent part of the overall acoustics as well as KTM. Ducati and KTM are definitely in the mix - sounds really evil.
So, now let's get on the track. It's a pity that Heist Airport, near which we are filming, doesn't want to let us onto the runway! Volker would have loved to play smoking guns. But it also works on the country road, as I have to realize. The KTM 990 Duke accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds. I can hardly keep up with the camera. The sprint from 60 to 100 km/h in 5th gear is also fast, namely in 2.5 seconds. The new Duke brings 123 hp and 103 Nm of torque to the road and to the powertrain. Volker says: "This thing burns everywhere!". A small disadvantage: You more or less automatically have one foot in prison. The crate ALWAYS tempts you to drive fast, so be careful!
The fully adjustable chassis matches the driving performance. It's nice and tight, gives good feedback and doesn't dive too deep at the front. Rebound and compression damping are very easy to adjust using rotary controls in the fork tubes. The frame has reportedly become stiffer and the new swingarm a little softer. This should enable even more precise driving and better absorb shocks at the rear. To be honest, you probably have to drive a little longer and faster than we did. But what we can say is that the new 990 Duke is ultra-precise to drive.
As far as the brakes are concerned, we have to complain a little. They anchor well, but you need more manual strength than e.g. with the Super Duke R. There is no Brembo Stylema installed, and of course you can tell. But don't worry, this bike also brakes quite well, just with a little more effort and not quite as easy to control. "No one-finger brake," Volker complains. The quickshifter works, but it's not quite as buttery smooth as machines with three or four cylinders. It stutters a little here and there, but you don't necessarily have to book it.
Anyway, we don't let that irritate us and enjoy the hustle and bustle of corners with the very light Duke of the (almost) one-liter class. It's really wonderful how the machine harmonizes with the Bridgestone S22 and again and again we pull on the whisk because it's just so much fun. This, however, should significantly increase the stated consumption of 4.7 liters per 100 kilometers. The calculated range is 315 kilometres for slow rides.
The warranty is 2 years and the service is due every 15,000 kilometers. Normal values, not exhilarating, but not bad either. The competitors in the naked bike class between 100 and 130 hp are well-known: Kawasaki Z900, Yamaha MT-09, Triumph Street Triple 765 R, BMW F 900 R and Ducati Monster send their regards - and in some cases at significantly lower prices. Nevertheless, the KTM 990 Duke will make a lot of friends because it is simply a fun grenade of the first order. Here is the data comparison with the competitors:

>>> Comparison KTM 990 Duke vs. Kawasaki Z900 vs. Yamaha MT-09 vs. Triumph Street Triple 765 R vs. Ducati Monster vs. BMW F 900 R <<<

Conclusion on the new Duke 990

The new KTM 990 Duke packs a punch. The rascal twin has become even more powerful, especially in the mid-rev range. Equipment, quality and finish are superb. Above all, the operation has benefited from the new switches and the new cockpit. All in all, a real fun rocket at an ambitious price.
The test bike was kindly provided to us by Motorrad Ruser from Haseldorf. There is the new Duke as a presenter - and not only him. The new giant hall of Motorrad Ruser (near Hamburg) is full of the most beautiful KTM's and Yamaha's, a visit is always worthwhile. If only because of the equally excellent coffee machine. Tip: Cappuccino. Let's go to Haseldorf !

Price/Availability/Colors/Years of Construction

  • Price: 14.490 €
  • Availability: from 03/2024
  • Colors: Orange, Black

Zubehör für die
990 Duke

  • Moneta
  • Polo
  • Amazon

Pro & Kontra

  • Engine with endless power
  • nice babbling sound
  • Precise chassis
  • Logically structured operating concept
  • technically very well equipped
  • QuickShifter only for an extra charge
  • Ambitious price
  • Brake needs some force
Von unserem Team geprüft:




2,090 mm
1,128 mm
190 kg
Ab. Weight
390 kg
825 mm
1,476 mm

Driving Performance & Range

0 to 100
3.2 s
60 to 100
2.4 s
Tank contents
14.8 l
4.7 l
315 km
240 km/h

Motor & Power Transmission

Engine design
2-cylinder, 4-stroke, in-line engine
Number of cylinders
947 cc
92.5 mm
70.4 mm
123 HP
103 NM
Number of gears

Suspension & Brakes

Chromium-molybdenum steel frame, motor is structural component, powder-coated
Suspension front
WP APEX 43, fully adjustable
140 mm
Strut rear
WP Apex monoshock shock, spring preload and rebound adjustable
150 mm
Suspension rear
Two-arm swingarm
Brakes in front
Dual disc, 2 x radially mounted four-piston caliper
300 mm
Tyres at the front
120 / 70 ZR 17
Brakes rear
Single disc, 2-piston caliper
Rear tyres
180 / 55 ZR 17
Bosch 9.3 MP dual-channel ABS