2017 KTM 890 Duke Spy Shots

New motor will underpin new midsize range, including an Adventure model

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We’ve heard the rumors of a new parallel-Twin from KTM for a long time, and now we have pictures of the new motor in a new Duke chassis. And this platform will surely also be adapted into an Adventure model that will fill the hole between KTM’s 690 Enduro and the 1190 Adventure.

KTM Developing 500cc and 800cc Twins

The new engine displays the compact architecture of a modern inline twin-cylinder powerplant that appears remarkably short front to rear, with the countershaft sprocket residing directly aft of the crankshaft location. It incorporates all the current technology, including liquid-cooling, double-overhead cams with four valves per cylinder, and, surely, ride-by-wire fuel injection. Inside info tells us it will use a 270-degree crank angle, a configuration that does a passable job at imitating a V-Twin exhaust note, as opposed to the more typical 180- or 360-degree cranks.

Check out how close the countershaft sprocket is to the crankshaft location indicated by the orange disc – this engine is incredibly short front-to-rear.

Check out how close the countershaft sprocket is to the crankshaft location indicated by the orange disc – this engine is incredibly short front-to-rear.

We know the engine is sized somewhere around the 800cc mark, but its precise displacement is yet unknown. KTM’s recent naming convention is to use 90 as the engine suffix (390, 1190, 1290) even though it doesn’t exactly match the actual displacement (373cc, 1195cc, 1301cc, respectively). So, based on what looks to be a fairly small radiator, could these new Dukes and Adventures be called 790s?

Or will they be 890s? There would be a 300cc gap between an 890 and the current 1190 (which will be updated soon), so an 890 might be more likely. And let’s not forget that KTM’s Chief Executive Officer Stefan Pierer once said the company is also planning to build a parallel-Twin motorcycle displacing somewhere around 500cc. Maybe a new 590 line? (After spending time with KTM at the Super Duke GT launch, it seems as if the the platform in the 500cc range is stillborn and won’t be making its way into production. –KD)

Making power estimates is difficult without knowing the displacement, but it’s reasonable to expect something a little stronger than BMW’s 798cc parallel-Twin, which cranked out 78 rear-wheel hp in the F800GT when tested in this shootout. Based on KTM’s high-performance heritage, we expect KTM’s new mill to pump out something closer to 100 horses at the rear wheel, especially if it displaces anything close to 890cc.

Wheel-speed sensors indicate ABS, which will be standard equipment. The wheel sensors will also play a role in a traction-control system and, potentially, cornering ABS.

Wheel-speed sensors indicate ABS, which will be standard equipment. The wheel sensors will also play a role in a traction-control system and, potentially, cornering ABS.

Other than the engine, the KTM in these spy photos looks fairly conventional. A steel trellis subframe is clearly on display, which is surely matched by a trellis frame hidden mostly by the test rider’s legs. Up front is a WP (a KTM subsidiary) fork and radial-mount Brembo brakes. Out back is an externally braced swingarm, as is modern KTM design, acting on a WP shock. A semi-active suspension may be offered as an optional upgrade.

2016 KTM 690 Duke & 690 Duke R – First Ride Review

Visually, our eagle-eyed editor Dennis Chung notes the bike in these pictures has a headlight, taillight and swingarm that are a match for the components on the latest 690 Duke. The exhaust system looks interesting, as it appears to eschew an under-engine chamber in favor of one behind the engine before exiting to the low-mount muffler on the right side. There appears to be a heat shield in place to insulate a rider’s feet. Tire sizes appear to be the typical 120/70 and 180/55 17-inchers.

The ergonomics look to be similar to other KTM Dukes, with an upright riding position mixed with slightly rear-set pegs. Bracketry under the seat shows crude provisions for seat adjustments during development.

The ergonomics look to be similar to other KTM Dukes, with an upright riding position mixed with slightly rear-set pegs. Bracketry under the seat shows crude provisions for seat adjustments during development.

The passenger footpeg area has a large plate with multiple holes in it, presumably to test different locations. If that’s the case, however, we’d expect to see pegs actually installed in one of the hole locations. Also, take a look at the gigantic size of the bracket where the peg hanger meets the subframe – that’s a serious piece of bridgework that might indicate something more than just a peg support, perhaps some special equipment used during development.

When KTM Chief Executive Officer Stefan Pierer mentioned new mid-sized bikes at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, he noted that they will be produced in India for the Indian market to avoid the country’s stringent import duties. If this remains part of the strategy, we can expect bikes bound for external market also to be manufactured in India by KTM’s partner Bajaj, which builds KTM’s 390 Duke and RC390. (After poking around at the Super Duke GT launch, we’re now nearly positive the new 790/890 platform will be built in Austria. –KD)


If this new platform is manufactured in India (which we now believe is highly unlikely –KD), its price will be lower than it would if it was built in Austria, like most big KTMs including the 690 Duke, which retails at $8,999. Our sharp-shooting photographer Bernhard Hoehne says he spotted a Triumph Street Triple R ($10,399) and MV Agusta Brutale 800 ($13,498) in the group riding with this new Duke, so we might expect the KTM to be priced somewhere in between: let’s guess $11,750.

We expect to see this newest Duke at the EICMA show in Milan next November, but Hoehne believes we won’t see it until sometime in 2017. We hope we’re right, because we’re anxious to ride it, and it would mean an 890 Adventure won’t be too far behind!

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  • Old MOron

    This bike reminds me of the early Monsters from Ducati, only I like this short engine better. I’ve been jonesing for a new bike, but the longer I wait, the more new and interesting models show up. At this rate I may never buy a new bike!

    BTW, I think MO scooped everyone with these latest photos. At least I didn’t turn up anything else with my quick google search. Congrats, MOrons.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Buy something and start enjoying it. Life is too short to keep waiting.

    • John B.

      There’s a BMW s1000r with your name on it. What more could you possibly need? Perfect is the enemy of the good!

      • Old MOron

        LOL, “Hey, whats a matter, man? We’re gonna come round at 12…”

        • Born to Ride

          I likes me some Puerto Rican girls…

  • DickRuble

    “If this new platform is manufactured in India” — I hope not.

    • Born to Ride

      If you click the link in the article from 2 years ago when the CEO of KTM said that they were developing the parallel twins, you’ll find that these bikes are explicitly being manufactured in India to avoid Indian import duties. So I wouldn’t hold much hope if I were you.

      • DickRuble

        “The new mid-sized models will be produced in India for the Indian market…”. could be interpreted as: those bikes meant to be sold in India will be built in India. Otherwise, good luck to them selling those bikes anywhere in EU or US.

        • Born to Ride

          I suppose so, Harley uses the reverse of that model by manufacturing US Street models here in the US to avoid pissing off their core market.

          • DickRuble

            You mean assembling them (Street) here. How much assembly, they don’t say. Could be as much as installing the light bulb.

          • Born to Ride

            Made in Murica

    • Keith

      I’ve owned a RC390 in my lineup since my crate landed in port with the first wave. I’ve had next to no issues with the bike with only a few minor details. Paint flaking on the gas cap, and a imperfection on the wheel paint color. Both parts replaced by KTM within a week for no charge. They make good products.

    • Novatoan

      The quality level of the Indian made bikes is not bad at all.

    • Kevin Duke

      Turns out the 790/890 will be manufactured in Austria with the other high-end Katooms.

      • DickRuble

        Ah ..I feel better.. Let’s see the ergos.

  • JMDonald

    If this thing weighs in at less than 400 lbs. it could be better interesting.

    • Gabriel Owens

      hard to see that

    • Sayyed Bashir

      I would say 434 lbs.

  • Patriot159

    A few years ago when I saw a tease for a Husqvarna 900 Nuda, I got all excited but that bike never made it here. Looks like KTM will rectify that. Ultimately I’d love a true ADV/Dualsport with 80+ hp that’s under 400 lbs. wet to replace my DR650.

    • Ducati Kid


      Regarding the HUSKY ‘Nuda’ – introduced around our globe before BMW sold the company to (interestingly) KTM.

      Invite you to view the YouTube videos – one GREAT bike!

      As you asked for and was shown previously –

      A BMW ‘F900GSAM’ with 900cc ROTAX-Testarossa (Red Head) Twin Engine (105 H.P. – 73 Ft. Lbs. Torque) and AM (Automatic or Manual choice in operation) Transmission among many upgrades.

      At 475 Lbs. a HONDA ‘Africa Twin’ and other competitors – NIGHTMARE!

  • JerryMander

    I love the displacement for an adventure but my knee hurts just looking at all the KTM’s

    • Novatoan

      Because of leg room? Leg room on the 690 Duke is decent, and the 1190 Adv is spacious.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Kevin says: “A trellis frame hidden mostly by the test rider’s legs”. Motorcyclist says: “KTM’s use of a steel-tube trellis frame gets the heave-ho, replaced by what appears to be a welded-steel main section that uses the engine as a stressed member; note the lack of an engine cradle or prominent tube members between the head stock and the swingarm pivot”. But later on they say: “It’s very likely this is simply an engine and electronics mule”. I agree with Kevin that KTM and Stefan who are so proud of their sturdy and lightweight steel trellis frame that they are using it on their MotoGP bike are not going to abandon it. This mule is not the finished bike.

  • Born to Ride

    If this bike ends up in the 12k price range, I think it will be a sales failure. The duke 690 sells poorly at 9 grand, despite the fact that it outperforms everything in its class. At the price MO is guessing, it would be an under-performer with an 800cc twin. Here’s to hoping that it’ll end up being closer 10 grand and under 400lbs.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Price is not a factor if you want a KTM, just like price is not a factor if you want a Harley. If you want a cheap bike, buy something from Japan.

      • Born to Ride

        When you are cross shopping bikes in that price range, you run into other premium brands like MV Agusta, Ducati, and Triumph. KTM has been fighting an upward battle for years with their relatively expensive Duke models. My local dealer says that he sells 4 or 5 street triples to every Duke. I find it unlikely that making it far more expensive and heavier will even out that ratio. Unless they somehow manage to get well over 100 HP out of an 800cc twin… Which I suppose wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility given that this is KTM.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          As the article says, they may be able to get 100 hp out of the engine. Besides a KTM is not a mass market motorcycle (at least not yet). Everyone doesn’t like the extreme styling or the raw and crazy performance. They are not competing with Triumph. The Italian brands possibly, but their prices are not that much lower. KTMs are usually the lightest bikes in their class. This bike has a parallel twin taking up very little space. Why would it be heavier?

          • Born to Ride

            A twin cylinder power plant of similar displacement will almost always outweigh a single cylinder. Look at the width of the engine casing in comparison to the current duke and you’ll see what I am talking about. You have a larger casting for the cylinder head and block, extra piston, connecting rod, valves, and larger cams. It’s going to weigh more. However, Yamaha can package a parallel twin bike under 400lbs, and Ducati can get 115hp to the ground out of an 848cc twin. If KTM can combine those properties and keep the handling as great as it is on the 690, then we may have another slam dunk of a bike here and I will rescind my previous comment.

          • Novatoan

            Agree with what you say, but I doubt it will outweigh other twins on the market.

  • Sentinel

    Can’t avoid the opportunity to pun, so here goes, “Kevin, this bike has your name written all over it!”. Now as for the bike, I am very interested!

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Kevin is well aware of the name and loves it.

  • Y.A.

    This should be interesting. I wonder what the cost will be. I am not hot on KTM’s design language though. But my Ninja 650 with less weight, more power and a better suspension sounds like a lot of fun.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Estimated price is $11,750, since it is a KTM, not a Ninja.

  • Buzz

    KTM needs a model named after Kevin.

    Who wouldn’t line up and pay full sticker for a KTM Duke Duke?

    • spiff

      Their special editions. Example: The 1290 SuperDukeK.

      My only concern is it would infringe on Kevin’s existing gmail account.

    • Old MOron

      Or maybe they could call it the E-i-C edition.

      Hey Ducati Kid, maybe you can mock up a Super Duke with an “E-i-C” graphic scheme.

  • Reid

    God preserve me until this day comes.

  • KPC

    I’ve been waiting for the 500(or so)cc platform. I’m hoping for a 60 hp, 350 lb, non A2 license complaint, little screamer. The 390 dukes is a little too mild and light weight trumps peak engine performance (no 600 please)
    for me. Plus its GOT to be cheaper than the $8 – 9K for a duke 690!

    • Kevin Duke

      Turns out the 500cc platform ain’t gonna happen. At least that’s the word I got from speaking with KTM engineers this week at the Super Duke GT launch. I’ve updated this article to reflect this new info.

      • KPC

        That’s disappointing news. Thanks for the update, Kevin. Maybe Honda will drop a version of their 500cc twin into the production version of their “Superlight twin” prototype, with my dream specs….Maybe, I hope, possibly???? What do you hear?

        • Kevin Duke

          Honda is in another league of protection about future product compared to KTM, so I have no inside info about that one.

  • Keith

    This excites me! I wanted a twin from KTM for the last few years. I’ve got a 1190 duke and RC390 in the garage and a middle rounds machine would be amazing! Cannot wait for 2017.


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