KTM Duke stuns at EICMA in all segments
Under Italian skies, KTM stunned us with new Dukes across almost every segment
More agility with more range, the new line of compact Dukes sport a larger 13.4-litre fuel tank. Pic/KTM
Orange was truly alive and ready-to-race in more ways than one. Austrian giants Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkelpolz Mattighofen (KTM) have long been known for their off-road competent motorcycles and several world titles. But over the past few years, they have seen a surge in their road-bike numbers simply because of a certain class of more compact-engined motorcycles, made right here in India.
The KTM 125, 200, 250 and 390 Duke models, as well as their RC supersport counterparts have taken the motorcycling world by storm with their unbelievable power, surprising handling and out-of-the-box performance, all available at truly attractive prices. The Dukes now have a new look with the orange trellis frame getting a white bolt-on sub-frame. The suspension has been reworked for even tighter performance and better agility. The engines retain the still impressive same state of tune. The big changes are the 13.4-litre fuel tank and a new digital information display.
The 390 Duke and RC 390 continue to receive ride-by-wire throttle, a slipper clutch, dual-channel ABS, and Metzeler radial rubber to go with the other standard equipment. With their extremely competitive pricing and more value-added features, they continue to give competitors more reasons to break into a sweat.
The parallel-twin sibling
KTM also showcased the much-awaited 790 Duke prototype. Drawing inspiration from the larger 1290 Super Duke R, but appearing even leaner, meaner and ready-to-pounce, the 790 Duke will mark the début of the Austrian company's all-new parallel-twin engine. While no numbers were divulged at the unveiling in Milan, we can expect the displacement to be around 800-cc with a peak power in the region of 95-100 PS and torque of about 75-80 Nm. This would aptly put the 790 in a performance place different that of the 690 Duke, that uses a single-cylinder 73-PS engine, thus justifying what will be a much higher but yet competitive price-tag. Again, this is a prototype and the production model will follow in the near future. KTM is also believed to be working on a smaller 500-cc version of the parallel-twin.
Lean big brother
The final Duke is the new 1290 Super Duke R, that actually gets leaner and more lithe, losing some of its chunky, muscular proportions. The engine is still the insane 1,301-cc V-twin making 177 PS and 141 Nm with an even more agile torque curve. The chromium-molybdenum-steel trellis frame now weighs even less and the bike tips the scales at 195 kg. The 1290 Super Duke R naked street-bike was unveiled just over two years ago but has already been sharpened to make it even more desirable.
The new 200 Duke, 390 Duke, RC 200 and RC 390 will be launched in India next year. Production for more than 70 worldwide markets takes place in Chakan, near Pune.
Of course, all of this happens days before KTM will race its all-new MotoGP challenger — the RC16 — at the final race in Valencia, Spain.
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