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Thread: KTM Duke 790

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    Member AZAZL's Avatar
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    KTM Duke 790

    Anyone in the market for a midweight naked should have a serious look at the Duke 790.

    The engine is a parallel twin but with a 270 degree crankshaft. A ‘twisted twin’. Feel is like a V twin. A linear torquey power delivery and sound. Steady around town smoothly carving traffic in the 2500 to 3000 rev range but get it into the hills and let it scream to 9000 plus.

    I was lent one recently in QLD for 3 days and have come away very impressed with how it performed. Ballistic superbikes are great but in the real world the combination of handling, light weight and power makes this thing a killer streetbike. About 100 RWHP and 170ish kg's wet.

    The absolute buzz of direction change monos on mountain roads on a sure footed bike is hard to beat. None of it was hard work. It has all the electronica. Easy to ignore though it probably really helped making life easy from rough hill roads to Brisbane jams.

    This bike has modded, more comfortable seats as it will serve some twoup time. Lane splitting was a breeze with the underslung mirrors. I didn’t think I’d like them until filtering traffic. Very nimble weaving through the tightest spots and no clashes with car mirrors or body.

    Yes, it looks like a transformer making us traditionalists cringe but you don’t look at the mantelpiece whilst you’re stoking the fire. It performs and that’s all that matters.

    And here’s a picture:


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    Isn't the ride away price like $17 000 over here in the West?

    I was playing with the idea a while ago to trade in the zx10r towards one but once I heard that price it turned me off. Combined with how little I'll likely get for my bike just made it too much money and I didn't really consider it worthwhile. I have purposefully denied myself a test ride to avoid tempation.

    I do actually like the look of the 790. Pull the pillion pegs off, change the mirrors to bar ends (like the pic above), swap out the exhaust (just a slip on) and I would be happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Known View Post
    Isn't the ride away price like $17 000 over here in the West?

    I was playing with the idea a while ago to trade in the zx10r towards one but once I heard that price it turned me off. Combined with how little I'll likely get for my bike just made it too much money and I didn't really consider it worthwhile. I have purposefully denied myself a test ride to avoid tempation.

    I do actually like the look of the 790. Pull the pillion pegs off, change the mirrors to bar ends (like the pic above), swap out the exhaust (just a slip on) and I would be happy.
    If it is competitively priced against the Street triple it will get a fair share of the market.

    For the same reason I wouldn't get one. The resale on the griso 8V would suck.

    Well I wouldn't get one anyway. Little trust in the longevity of modern bikes. Just bought an 81 Laverda

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    Member Hillz's Avatar
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    but its a KTM.. imagine all the problems this new engine will have in the coming months..

    unless my cynical judgement is incorrect & they have made some thing new for the first time with no problems.. i would wait until the 3rd gen
    Last edited by Hillz; 29-10-2018 at 12:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillz View Post
    but its a KTM.. imagine all the problems this new engine will have in the coming months..

    unless my cynical judgement is incorrect & they have made some thing new for the first time with no problems.. i would wait until the 3rd gen
    i dont think you can laught enough. ktm without the rattles n leaks.... hahaha.
    Quote Originally Posted by Paraletic View Post
    little end bearing. best describes as the sound of 'A little black man with a hammer in your engine'. big end sounds like a bigger black man...

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    When I was looking I was comparing it to the MT09 which is ~$12 000 brand new. I didn't think it would be 5k better and it still has non adjustable suspension.

    On that note, how was the suspension?

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    I’ve ridden all the current crop of Middleweight nakeds. The duke is probably my least favourite of the big three (790, MT-09, ST765). IMHO both the duke and MT could benefit from some suspension trickery as they’re not perfect when compared to the modern superbikes and supernakeds, but at least the MT is cheap enough that you could factor in suspension upgrades into your budget and still come out ahead of the 790. I’d give the MT and 790 8.5/10 each and for different reasons. The MT motor is a fucking powerhouse, it’s got loads of torque like the 790 but feels like it has way more top end. Going WOT on the MT is frightening, going WOT on the 790 was fine. The 790 feels like a husqvarna nuda 900 that’s been given some weight loss pills and modern electrical goodness. I’d be buying an MT any day over a 790.

    Triumph’s 765RS is slightly more expensive than the 790, but it’s easily a 10/10 bike. It sounds, looks, and goes better than the 790 and is better in every appreciable way. The salesman I spoke to at causeway agreed with me, so either he’s a shit salesman or the Triumph left a lasting impression on him too.

    The question needs to be: why would you buy a 790 when for less you could get an MT-09 and modify if, or spend more and get a 765RS and not need to mod it ?

    The choice (for me) is simple:

    Last edited by Ryanoceros; 29-10-2018 at 02:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanoceros View Post
    I’ve ridden all the current crop of Middleweight nakeds. The duke is probably my least favourite of the big three (700, MT-09, ST765). IMHO both the duke and MT could benefit from some suspension trickery as they’re not perfect when compared to the modern superbikes and supernakeds, but at least the MT is cheap enough that you could factor in suspension upgrades into your budget and still come out ahead of the 790. I’d give the MT and 790 8.5/10 each and for different reasons. The MT motor is a fucking powerhouse, it’s got loads of torque like the 790 but feels like it has way more top end. Going WOT on the MT is frightening, going WOT on the 790 was fine. The 790 feels like a husqvarna nuda 900 that’s been given some weight loss pills and modern electrical goodness. I’d be buying an MT any day over a 790.

    Triumph’s 765RS is slightly more expensive than the 790, but it’s easily a 10/10 bike. It sounds, looks, and goes better than the 790 and is better in every appreciable way. The salesman I spoke to at causeway agreed with me, so either he’s a shit salesman or the Triumph left a lasting impression on him too.

    The question needs to be: why would you buy a 790 when for less you could get an MT-09 and modify if, or spend more and get a 765RS and not need to mod it ?

    The choice (for me) is simple:
    This is exactly why they won't sell in huge numbers. The MT09 is insanely good value. You're right, after a year of living with it and after deciding I'm going to keep it long term, I just lashed out on re-spring/re-valve in the front and a new shock. That's about $14k for what is essentially the perfect streetbike. Better yet, if you like blue get the SP for about the same and be done with it. $17k for the KTM just doesn't stack up. The Street Triple was never on my radar as I just don't like the way it looks. It's still a miles better looking that the KTM though. It has so much potential but the tail unit, swingarm, and exhaust make it unsalvageably ugly. I love KTM but this thing misses the high end WP suspension that makes a KTM worth the lash out. They just missed the pricing mark. It's like they forgot Yamaha and Triumph already set the benchmark in the category and relied solely on people who really really like orange.

    But hey, there is a bike out there for everyone so have at er'

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Known View Post
    When I was looking I was comparing it to the MT09 which is ~$12 000 brand new. I didn't think it would be 5k better and it still has non adjustable suspension.

    On that note, how was the suspension?
    The 44T guys said they were perfectly happy with the standard suspension and lack of adjustability but I just can't see myself not wanting to tinker with setup. It's impossible for one setup to cover all riders and conditions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticEnd View Post


    The 44T guys said they were perfectly happy with the standard suspension and lack of adjustability but I just can't see myself not wanting to tinker with setup. It's impossible for one setup to cover all riders and conditions.
    Tbh maybe it's coz the suspension doesn't like my svelte physique, but I didn't love it as much as I thought I would (or as much as 44T did). I'm not sure, but is the 790 cheaper there ? If it was more MT priced I'd consider getting one
    Last edited by Ryanoceros; 29-10-2018 at 02:44 PM.
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    A note for CM's. Don't be fucking girls. You can pass anything. Just fuckin' "Nail It". Take ya panties off you faggots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanoceros View Post
    but is the 790 cheaper there ? If it was more MT priced I'd get one
    Yeah, the 790 is only 500 pounds more than the MT-09 in the UK. Which is why I was so surprised by its pricing here.

    Also cheers for the little write up

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    Quote Originally Posted by Known View Post
    When I was looking I was comparing it to the MT09 which is ~$12 000 brand new. I didn't think it would be 5k better and it still has non adjustable suspension.

    On that note, how was the suspension?
    I'm 180cm, 100kg. The suspension was fine indeed good. No high speed weave and the thing was easily controlled in tight mountainous stuff. Not unsettled by bumps. Unless you are seriously fat or rhinocerous you wont have a problem with it. If you are the said fatty or the irhonikerous, spend some money.

    Funny thing about suspensions and an analogy. Everyone seems to think they are Casey Stoner at PI requiring infinite adjustment for different conditions when their riding is mostly goat-tracks.

    I hear people bitching about sachs rear shocks on Guzzi Grisos and spending a shitfkton and saying how fantastic their upgrades were. Then I watch them ride and their heels are on the pegs and their bloated arses are banging on their Corbin fatty seats. They should be riding properly with the weight off their arses and allowing their bodies to move with the bike and suspension. But noooo, the problem is the bike not the rider. (apologies to fatties)

    But yeah, for the cost of the 790 the Jappas have it all over them. Which seems to always be the case. I'd be thinking this bike's competition is for buyers of the dragster R 800 or triumph street triple which I'm guessing they'd be more comparably priced. The 790 is a new toy and priced accordingly so you'd expect the price to come down.

    I've also worked on explodey KTM's and as said to my bro before he bought the thing, keep your warranty services up and decide what to do when that runs out.

    But as a fun toy, gee it was nice and that twisted twin is different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanoceros View Post
    my svelte physique...
    Yeah you’re built like a racing snake, with a meth problem, from Ethiopia.
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    Now I was a bit rash in comments about fatknz whining about suspension when I said "Everyone seems to think they are Casey Stoner at PI" well some like the apathetic end are and do.

    This is sigworthy: Yeah you’re built like a racing snake, with a meth problem, from Ethiopia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZAZL View Post
    Now I was a bit rash in comments about fatknz whining about suspension when I said "Everyone seems to think they are Casey Stoner at PI" well some like the apathetic end are and do.

    This is sigworthy: Yeah you’re built like a racing snake, with a meth problem, from Ethiopia.
    It's as much about value for money as function for some people. Why pay more for something that was less costly to build AND is less capable of adjustment? I'd certainly demo one like you did before I completely write it off but when I was last shopping for a bike the biggest thing I was looking for was enjoyment/$. Max laughs per dollar spent. Like many KTMs, it's a fairly original bike/design so credit to them for building it.
    EXPERIENCE: noun: Knowledge or skill derived from actual participation or direct contact rather than mere study, interest or internet.

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    In the case of the buyer of this 790, the decision was his wife's. He had several bike options.

    The wife had the final choice after test rides. The optional KTM ergo seats the deal sealer. Only bike she felt comfortable on.

    I had a ride on a little MT and was impressed. An MT09 for 12K? that would be very desirable.

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    fuck the 790...

    "Fuck Network 10, I hope the entire board of directors die in a house fire. "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillz View Post
    fuck the 790...

    Very tempting. Especially if this 690 isnt like the leaky stally 690's
    We have a gene for gossip.
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