What happens when you take the already potent KTM 790 Duke, bump its displacement to 890cc, add in fully-adjustable suspension components, and add top-notch brakes? You get the KTM 890Duke R! First the bad news, though: The KTM 890 Duke R will not come to the United States until the fall of 2020 as a 2021 model. Deal with it. Now, onto the cool stuff.
Getting the engine to 890cc was more than a mere bore and stroke update, though they did change to 90.7 mm and 68.8 mm, respectively. The head had to be completely reworked to handle the larger 37 mm intake and 30 mm exhaust valves. Also, new balancer shaft was added to match the increased RPM and rotating mass. You read that right, the 890 has a higher rpm-ceiling along with a higher compression ratio. On the fueling side, each throttle body receives new sensors to measure the manifold pressure and adjust the mixture on a per cylinder basis for improved throttle response and more precise throttle inputs. Add it all together, and you get a parallel-Twin that KTM claims puts out 121 hp and 73 lb-ft of torque. One surprising change to the engine package is that the Quickshifter + becomes an option on the 890 Duke R. However, cruise control becomes a new option. (No word is available as to whether this will be available as an update to existing 790 Dukes.)
The frame itself remains unchanged save for the orange paint that graces KTM R model frames. However, that doesn’t mean that the chassis didn’t get massaged. The fork swapped its progressive springs for linear ones, and fully-adjustable WP Apex cartridges replaced the non-adjustable bits on the 790 Duke. Out back, a fully adjustable WP APEX shock, complete with high- and low-speed compression damping plus rebound adjustment. The rear preload enjoys a new hydraulic adjuster for easy suspension setup. The orange wheels appear to be unchanged from the 790 except for the racy color. However, the rubber selection is a set of Michelin Powercup II hypersport tires.
If you thought the suspension changes were exciting, the brakes will have you over the moon. First, the master cylinder is a Brembo MCS radial unit that allows the rider to adjust the lever ratio to their preference. At the other end of the braided steel brake lines sits a pair of Brembo Stylema monoblock calipers gripping 320 mm discs that are 2.65 lb. lighter than those on the 790.
To handle all of the forces that the 890 generates, the handlebar is flatter and lower, and further adjustability is available via three rotational adjustments and 4 positions of fine-tuning on the triple clamp. The 33.1-inch seat is higher than that on the 790 and, when combined with the handlebar, gives a more aggressive riding position. New pegs are mounted higher and more rearward, too.
All of these changes combine to make the 890 Duke R an even sharper scalpel than its smaller sibling. Still, U.S. fans will have to wait until late 2020 to see them in showrooms. Price has not been set.