Well, that’s what KTM is calling this bike. Which based on what they are telling us about it I tend to agree. The question is where to start?, I say the chassis which is based on the 790 Duke an already amazing bike. However, KTM has made some changes to the setup to make a sharper handling bike. The ride height has been raised by 15mm creating a steeper swingarm angle. This tilts the rider a little more forward into a more aggressive riding position. The 890 now also uses fully adjustable WP Apex suspension front and rear. In standard trim, the 890 Duke R comes in 3.3kg lighter than the 790. Couple the lightweight with the new Brembo Stylma braking system grabbing two 320mm discs upfront and a 240 single at the rear this thing should stop on a dime.
Another big talking point it the engine. powered by an 890cc parallel-twin which produces 121hp(89kw) and 99nm of torque. That’s 10nm more than the 790, the larger capacity and higher compression are the main contributors. This power combined with a low dry weight of only 166kg should make for quick bike especially out of the turns. As per today’s norm, the electronics package is quite comprehensive. At the forefront is KTM’s colour TFT display from which most functions are managed. The KTM 890 DUKE R makes use of Cornering ABS and Cornering MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control) with a new 6D lean angle sensor that not only detects the side-to-side and forwards and backwards pitch of the bike but also its drift positioning.
Among the ride modes (RAIN, STREET and SPORT) comes an optional TRACK setting: a nine-level ‘slippage’ gauge that gifts the rider full customization on traction, anti-wheelie and throttle control. The core focus of the 890 R lives up to the KTM ethos of “Ready to Race”. There are a few bikes in this segment but I find, on paper, at least the Triumph 765RS the closest in terms of weight, power and tech, however, the KTM does have 20nm more torque. This is expected given the larger capacity. Overall I think this will be the scalpel that KTM claim it to be!.