The Scalpel Returns: The 2020 790 Duke
KTM’s sharp middleweight naked machine returns for 2020, sharper and fiercer than ever before. Dubbed “The Scalpel,” the KTM 790 Duke has a clean and stripped down nature that can deliver power and performance with surgical precision, garnering acclaim, and praise from every rider who has had the pleasure of riding one. The 2020 model promises even more performance and pleasure than the last iteration.
Powered by KTM’s relatively new 799cc LC8c parallel-twin engine, the 790 Duke offers outstanding power and punch. The motor is capable of delivering 105 horsepower and 64 lb-ft of peak torque, and thanks to the engine’s compact and slimline nature keeps the overall weight down. This makes for a highly maneuverable motorcycle that can plunge into corners with unparalleled accuracy and precision.
The beastly power and feisty agility is kept in check with a few key riding aids that help manage your ride experience. These include multiple riding modes, a dedicated track riding mode, lean sensitive traction control, motor slip regulation, a quickshifter, stability control, and cornering ABS.
The 2020 790 Duke has everything a rider needs, and excels at almost all kinds of riding. For 2020, the Scalpel is available in orange or black, and with an MSRP of $10,699.
On this page: we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new KTM 790 Duke in one place.
- Price: $10,699
- Key Features:
- Anti-lock brakes (ABS)
- Clutch lever protection
- LED lights
- Engine type: 799cc LC8c parallel-twin
- Power: 105 horsepower
- Dry Weight: 169 kg
- Seat height: 825 mm
- Triumph Street Triple R
- Yamaha MT-07
2020 KTM 790 Duke Specifications
|Engine||799cc LC8c parallel-twin engine|
|Bore x Stroke||88 mm x 65.7 mm|
|Lubrication||Forced oil lubrication with 2 oil pumps|
|Clutch||PASC™ antihopping clutch, mechanically operated|
|Suspension Front||140 mm|
|Suspension Rear||150 mm|
|Brakes Front||2x radially mounted 4 piston caliper|
|Brakes Rear||2 piston caliper, brake disc|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||14 L|
|Ground Clearance||186 mm|
|Seat Height||825 mm|
|Curb Weight||169 kg|
2020 KTM 790 Duke Features
Engine & Exhaust
Built for torque, this liquid cooled 8 valve, DOHC unit delivers 87 Nm at 8000 rpm, almost immediately followed by a roaring 103 hp finale. Meanwhile, an advanced ride-by-wire system guarantees great refinement as well as low fuel consumption and emission figures.
The 8 valve DOHC cylinder head contains twin chain-driven camshafts and one sparkplug per cylinder. Additionally, the camshafts in the790 DUKE are assembled, which makes them even lighter than forged camshafts. DLC coated finger followers, steel valves and a hydraulic chain tensioner complete the cylinder head assembly.
No one enjoys unpleasant vibes. That is why the KTM 790 DUKE employs the use of balancer shafts placed in front of the crankshaft and in the cylinder head to ensure the smoothest power delivery and minimal vibration.
Coated aluminum cylinders are an integral part of the sleeveless engine casing design of this 799 cc parallel twin. This open deck cylinder construction allows for optimal cooling, improved production tolerances and reliability.
The incredible handling characteristics of the KTM 790 DUKE are founded on the dynamic, loadbearing design of the tubular chassis. Engineers had one goal in mind, and that was to keep the chassis as rigid and compact as possible for sharper turn-in and greater lean angles, allowing it to slice through the turns with extreme responsiveness.
The subframe is cast aluminum and houses the airbox. No plastic covers, no additional brackets – everything is cast into two connected pieces to reduce complexity and weight. The triangular shapes in the subframe were inspired by KTM’s trellis subframes, as this allows for a strong and simple construction.
The die-cast, open-lattice swingarm is meticulously manufactured and has been optimized for stiffness and stability while still offering excellent flex characteristics. By using a direct link for the rear shock, complexity and parts are reduced.
Ergonomics & Comfort
A tapered aluminum, 760 mm wide handlebar puts you in full control. It’s adjustable, with 4 positions on the triple clamp and can be rotated in three further positions for that perfect riding position.
Bodywork & Graphics
A multicolor combination of relevant information, presented in an uncluttered way. As you rev the engine, the display bars change color, either spurring you on or warning you that the engine’s still cold. The display also automatically adapts its illumination to the ambient light and gets racy when “Track mode” is selected.
Form and function are seamlessly integrated in the KTM 790 DUKE. Take the LED headlight for example, a highlight in this bike’s design. It combines optimal illumination of the near field with maximum light output. And the daytime running lights on both sides ensure that the motorcycle is perceived better and is more differentiated by other traffic users, thus offering massive safety benefits. The LED taillight is mounted on the license plate holder to make it easy to remove for trackday use or customization.
Software & Electronics
When you suddenly find the limit, it’s good to know you’ve got science on your side. The KTM 790 DUKE has been engineered to not only give you the best mechanical feedback, but also the best in electronic aids.
Track mode, as the name suggests, offers unlimited thrills and READY TO RACE characteristics. It features a launch control function for quick getaways, variable slip adjustment, increased throttle response and the ability to pull epic wheelies by disengaging Anti-Wheelie.
Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC)
Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) is a mouthful, but it’s an important part of the KTM 790 DUKE. MTC is a lean-angle sensitive traction control system, which reduces engine output extremely smooth, barely perceptible. Depending on the selected ride mode, MTC also allows for several levels of traction slip at the rear wheel. But that’s not the end of it – Daredevils, we give you: the off-switch!
The KTM 790 DUKE allows for slick, clutchless up and downshifts thanks to KTM’s own Quickshifter+ system. It reads and responds to your riding under any load to ensure shift action is as fast as you are. When downshifting, the system matches the engine speed to the speed of the lower gear.