According to recent news, KTM has decided to revive the old 790 Duke as an entry-level to their midsize naked bikes and, in turn, has axed the standard 890 model, leaving just the performance-oriented 890 Duke R on showroom floors. 2023 doesn’t look to have any refreshes for the Duke R, but we’re just glad that the “Super Scalpel” lives to fight another day.
Rocking about 120 hp and 73 lb-ft of torque straight from an 889 cc parallel twin, the Duke R is a pretty spicy ride. Weighing in at just over 400 lbs fully loaded, there isn’t a doubt in our mind that this naked bike has enough go in it to have some fun.
A power-assisted slipped clutch makes the Duke R a breeze to ride and keeps any wheel hop in check. A dual-directional quick shifter is an optional upgrade for 2023, but we can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want it on a machine with this much racing pedigree. On top of that, the bike can be equipped with an optional Track mode (more on that later).
With a seat height of 840mm (33in), the Duke R is a bit on the taller side of naked bikes but should still be comfortable for a range of riders. For comparison, the Kawasaki Z900 sits at 820mm (32.3in). The Austrian bike builder cites a more aggressive stance and greater lean angle as reasons for this higher height. The handlebars have two points of adjustment for optimal riding comfort and control. As with many other KTMs, the 890 Duke R features a set of adjustable WP Apex forks in the front and an adjustable WP shock in the back.
Despite its intensity, the Duke R seems to have all of the creature comforts that can be found elsewhere in KTM’s 2023 lineup of motorcycles. Standard equipment includes an LED headlight, a full TFT dashboard, and a full suite of riding modes & aids. The various riding modes control how much interference can be run by things like traction control and ABS. Standard modes are Rain, Street, and Sport, each of which with decreasing levels of interference, whereas the gloves are off with the optional track mode, which allows near full customization of every aid to suit the rider’s preference and skill.
The KTM 890 Duke R is only available in one colour for the 2023 model – a brilliant blue, silver, and orange ensemble, no doubt a reference to KTM’s MotoGP racing team that has helped develop many of the features found in this bike.
The 2023 KTM 890 Duke R starts at $12,949 USD/$13,999 CAD
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc., so you can read up on the new 2023 KTM 890 Duke R in one place.
Developed from the same parallel twin that powers the KTM 790 DUKE, the KTM 890 DUKE R engine has been worked into a fire-breathing, high-performance midweight titan. With its increased bore and stroke, higher compression and higher max. RPM limit, the KTM 890 DUKE R churns out an impressive new level of horsepower and torque.
The KTM 890 DUKE R features horizontally split, high pressure cast aluminum crankcases, allowing for reduced wall thickness and weight. A heavier crankshaft and flywheel setup also helps to pump up torque.
Developed specifically for KTM by DELL’ORTO, new sensors in each throttle body measure the manifold pressure and adjust the mixture accordingly per cylinder, improving throttle response and smoothing out throttle action for more precise throttle inputs.
Just like the KTM 790 DUKE, the KTM 890 DUKE R’s handling characteristics are thanks to the dynamic, loadbearing design of the tubular chassis, which allows it to carve through twisty tracks and mountain passes with extreme responsiveness. Just like every other KTM R, the frame is painted orange to highlight its sporty credentials.
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 allow for a stronger, stiffer construction.
Adapted to suit the added power of the KTM 890 DUKE R but still retaining the signature DUKE agility, the adjustable suspension on the KTM 890 DUKE R has been fettled to be sportier with improved high-speed stability, while retaining real-world street riding comfort.
The die-cast, open-lattice swingarm is optimized for stiffness but features a steeper angle for increased stability as well as excellent flex characteristics. This makes the KTM 890 DUKE R every bit as sharp as you’d expect it to be.
The tapered aluminum handlebars are positioned flatter, lower and further forward to increase feeling from the front tire and give the KTM 890 DUKE R a racier riding position. Riders can also tailor their preferred reach with three rotational adjustments and 4 positions of fine-tuning on the triple clamp.
The KTM 890 DUKE R casts an intimidating shadow thanks to its menacing profile and ultrasharp lines. In the metal, however, it’s obvious that this DUKE means business. Compact proportions, loud graphics and a bright orange frame are all unapologetically KTM R.
2023 KTM 890 Duke R Photos
2023 KTM 890 Duke R Videos
2022 KTM Duke 890 R | First Ride by Chaseontwowheels:
The KTM Duke 890R Is An ANIMAL! by Spite’s Corner: