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New 2023 KTM 790 Duke Review: A Bargain Scalpel?

 New 2023 KTM 790 Duke Review: A Bargain Scalpel?

welcome back everybody to another motoball video and you join me in the studio today with the new 2023 KTM 790 Duke now this is a bike that already used to be in their lineup before being replaced by the 890 Duke but they brought it back as a very aggressively priced middleweight naked option and we’ve had this one for the last week or so to test it out it’s been a lot of fun and so here are my 10 favorite things about this bike thank you now first up I really do like this engine it’s their 799 CC parallel twin nice and light and Compact and yet it revs up freely and makes some nice top end power as well as plenty of usable mid-range grunt globally it will make the same 105 horsepower Peak as the original 790 Duke but specifically for Europe they’ve actually limited it to 95 horsepower and that 

means it can be restricted down to A2 compatibility thus broadening its appeal with younger and newer Riders but fear not because even with that 10 horsepower skimmed off the top you’re still getting the same 87 newton meters of peak torque in both bikes and that means it’s got plenty of guts to it so even this 95 horsepower version is plenty of fun certainly at Road speeds and one of the things that I think makes it still really fun to ride is the throttle map it’s something that KTM do exceptionally well you see it’s super Lively and engaging and yet they’ve still managed to do it without that on off choppiness that might have made it a bit of a challenge to ride for newer Riders you see the initial contact when you just crack the throttle open you know it’s super smooth there’s no lurching or jerkiness and yet the next two three four millimeters of throttle turn you know the bike surges forward and it feels very eager and Lively and look there’s not endless power at the top it is a 95 horsepower bike after all so when you pin It Wide Open especially in the upper gears it’s not going to keep accelerating forever but in that sort of area where you do spend a lot of time riding on the road that first quarter of the turn of the throttle they’ve just absolutely nailed the fun Factor nailed the entertainment and that’s one of the standout features of this bike for me number three is that it also sounds pretty great especially for a stock system and what I like about KTMs is they do sound a little bit different you know all the parallel twins from Honda and Triumph and Yamaha and Aprilia and Royal Enfield pretty much all use a 270 degree crank 

to kind of mimic the sound and feel of a 90 degree V Twin I mean that’s a nice sounding engine so it’s a fine thing to want to emulate but the bigger V twins in the KTM lineup the 1290s they’re all 75 degree V Twins and so they’ve given their parallel twins the same spacing on the crank and that gives it a 435 degree firing interval and it might not sound like a massive deal but in a market where there’s a lot of the same sounding bikes a little bit of distinctiveness is certainly a nice thing they’ve also tuned it pretty nicely for a sort of Bassy tone and there’s a little bit of crackling as you decelerate so all in I think it’s a pretty great sounding bike within the constraints of what’s possible with emissions regulations [Music] oh now in the parts catalog there is an acropovich accessory but it is nearly a thousand pounds which for a bike at this level feels like quite a lot of money so you’ve got to really want that extra little bit of volume it’ll give but it’s still got to be homologated so really it’s about the looks and for me I’ll be perfectly happy with this now jumping on the bike I really like the riding position you’ve got here and the thing that stood out to me first was just how slim it is you know we’ve already talked about the engine being very compact the frame is tightly wrapped around it and the result is a bike that’s really narrow at the waist and at the pegs that means you’ve got a bike that feels pretty sporty to ride and it makes it very easy to move around on and especially in this market where bikes are somewhat targeted 

New 2023 KTM 790 Duke Review: A Bargain Scalpel?

at newer Riders A2 license holders sometimes shorter Riders you know you do tend to find that the naked bikes get watered down a bit in terms of aggressiveness and sportiness which is you know that’s understandable but it’s still nice to have a more performance oriented option the market and that’s exactly where this is now before we get on to the next point I just want to say a massive thanks to brilliant.org for sponsoring this video brilliant is the ultimate way to learn more about maths science and computer science and the focus is on doing rather than just sitting and listening which personally I much prefer two courses that I’d specifically recommend to fellow bikers would be classical mechanics which has plenty of Automotive references and examples but also physics of the everyday which is super interesting to anyone who’s practically minded but on top of those there are thousands of lessons across a huge range of courses that will help you to level up from foundational and advanced maths to AI data science neural networks and more with more and more lessons being added every month and not only will you get specific practical skills from it but also learn how to be a better thinker all round and improve your problem-solving abilities so head to the link in the description or go ahead and type about brilliant.org motobob to get started with brilliant’s free 30-day trial and on top of that the first 200 

of you will get 20 off brilliant annual premium subscription so once again a massive thanks to brilliant.org for their support and with that back to the bike now we’re just talking about that slenderness that I like about this bike but the other thing is the seat height you see look at the competition in this segment stuff like the Kawasaki z650 that’s down at 790 mil The Hornet 795 the Triumph Trident and the Yamaha MTA 7 there 805 mil and the new Suzuki GSX as that’s at 8 10. so this is significantly higher at 825 million it’s the only one of the bunch that actually feels sort of up at the tail and again that adds to that sporty character and look it’s not super aggressive it doesn’t have like really low bars that are going to have you stooping down they’re very nice and high and wide they’ve got four positions that you can adjust between on the clamps there but you just feel a lot more up and over it versus the competition I’ve talked about the pegs are nice and high and really it feels a bit more like a super Moto position which you probably expect from KTM now shorter Riders fear not because there is a 25 millimeter lowering kit so that’ll help there used to be I think a Lucy option as well although I couldn’t find it anymore still you might want to look at the Ergo seat option because this is 

pretty firm but yeah for taller riders or if you just don’t want something that feels too much like a learner bike then this stock seat is a really nice height now this riding position that I like so much plays into a great handling bike and much like with the engine that we just talked about it’s a very Lively and engaging bike to ride it turns quickly and it definitely delivers on that scalpel nickname now the way without fuel is 174 kilograms so very competitive it does feel light on its feet and also it’s set up to be quite tall I mean the suspension from WP that’s their in-house brand it’s not adjustable at the front here and it’s just preload adjustable on the shock so the dampage it’s pretty much fixed but it is set up to be firm and sporty certainly when you set it against something like the Yamaha mt-07 which does tend to go a little bit soft this is more flickable and composed and although it might not do the sort of comfy commute I think quite as well as some of the competition this is definitely the one to go for if you want the most performance orientated ride when you get to the actually good roads number seven would be the braking I think these are probably made by Jade wine because they make a lot of KTM stuff in fact they make a lot of braking hardware for a lot of people but these ones have been branded with the KTM logo you’ve got four part radially mounted calipers on the front twin 300 mil discs and then really nice 

feeling levers in fact they’re adjustable both the levers which is a nice feature as well in fact I just spotted the J1 logo on the end of the adjuster there so yes they are plenty of power on this bike plenty of bite as well and again they’re just a little bit more premium and sporty feeling and a bit more sharp than what you’ll find on a lot of the other bikes in this market likewise it’s really impressive too so you’ve got a nice clear easy to read well laid out TFT display a good set of four buttons here on the left hand switch gear so you can navigate the screens easily and through this you can manage the riding mode so you’ve got Rain Street Sport and there’s also a track mode available and those incorporate settings for the throttle response but also you’ve got Corner interaction control Corner in ABS there’s a Super Moto setting for that ABS as well which disables the ABS on the rear MSR which is their engine drag torque control system there’s an optional quick shifter there’s cruise control as an option as well and so given the price point it really is impressive although there’s a bit of a caveat with that in the some of the more advanced settings do come in the accessories catalog so cruise control quick shifter the track mode the phone connectivity with the TFT display MSR I think as well and so that’s obviously going to start pushing the cost of the bike up if you do add those all although I must say they are offering the quick shifter for free at the moment for the 799 price tag but yeah previously to this I would have said the Honda Hornet had the most comprehensive Tech package in this sort of affordable middleweight naked Market but I think this out does it especially with the cornering TC and abs that’s not something you’ll find on any of the other bikes that I’ve just mentioned and also the TFT displays just got a little bit more of a exciting and visceral design to it whereas the Honda does come up a little bit sterile so look as you may have observed from this video that’s a lot of features and Tech and hardware for a very aggressive 

price point and it does have you wondering how they’ve done it well it’s now built by one of their Partners CF Moto out in China I mean previously the 790 Duke was about 899 I think when it launched back in 2018 or 2019 so pre-pandemic before all the prices of everything got completely out of control and so to knock a grand off it for what is effectively the same bike albeit built elsewhere I think it’s still pretty impressive and I’ve got to say I was expecting the build quality to be a little bit sub part I’ve found that with Chinese built bags that I’ve borrowed in the past that they haven’t looked quite as good as perhaps I’d hoped to despite the fact that you’ve got to allow that a bit for the budget pricing but I think this is one of the best built Chinese bikes I’ve ridden if not the best and honestly it’s quite difficult to tell it apart from a regular KTM I mean perhaps that’s aided by the fact that KTMs do tend to be a bit plasticky they’ve got that race bike kind of vibe so you’re not looking at like a luxury premium sort of really well finished bike they’re always a bit lightweight and Bare Bones now I don’t mean that in a bad way but yeah there’s still lots of nice details here the subframe with those air intakes on the side the way the exhaust is finished little details like the foot Peg hangers as well the mirrors the open latte swing arm they all look pretty good and certainly up to KTM standards so that brings me nicely on to number 

10 which has to be the price 799 pounds and while that does put it at the top end of that middleweight naked Market you’ve got to say when you look at the performance and the features and the way it looks I think it’s quite easy to justify especially a few hundred quid more than some of the other options just as long as you’re happy with that CF Moto build the other thing to consider as well is if you’ve been looking at an 890 Duke but maybe don’t quite have the cash then this is certainly a great option to look at definitely recommend this for anyone who’s looking for something a little more exciting than the other middleweight nakeds on the market but as always I’d love to know what you guys think of it down in the comments below and if you want to see more of the best new naked bikes on the market for this year then I’ve already made a list give it a click here give it a watch let me know what you think thank you for watching and we’ll see you next time

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