Earlier this week, there were reports that KTM was getting ready to launch the Duke 790 in India by the end of the year. The reports also claimed that dealers had starting accepting unofficial bookings at Rs 30,000 for the bike. However this does not seem to be the case.
The Duke 790 is one of the most anticipated mid-sized sports bikes in the country and a launch in India, while likely for next year, will not happen this year and definitely not after Diwali.
Responding to the news about the launch, Amit Nandi who heads KTM India told Overdrive, “The 790 duke is under evaluation for launch. Nothing is finalised yet. These stories (about the impending launch and open bookings for the 790 Duke) are speculative and wrong! We are keen to introduce but nothing is finalised yet.”
First showcased as a prototype in 2016, the Duke 790 was unveiled a year later at the 2017 EICMA. The naked bike sports a 799cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin motor that churns out 105 PS at 9,000 rpm and 86 Nm of peak torque at 8,000 rpm. It comes mated to a 6-speed transmission. Named the LC8, it is KTM’s first parallel-twin engine.
The Duke 790 sports a steel frame and uses the engine as a stressed member. This allows it to be the lightest bike in it segment with a dry weight of just 169 kg. In terms of features, the bike gets a full-colour LCD instrument panel, ride-by-wire throttle, slipper clutch, Bosch cornering ABS with supermoto mode and traction control.
The bike will launch in India via the CKD route and will be assembled by Bajaj at their Chakan plant in Pune. It will compete against the likes of the Triumph Street Triple, Ducati Monster 797 and the Kawasaki Z900.