The KTM Scalpel is coming to the U.S. But not next year…
KTM’s mid-size nakedbike—the hugely anticipated 790 Duke—made its first official public outing at the EICMA Show in Milan today, accompanied by the news that sadly it will be a 2019 model, not 2018 as previously hoped.
Dubbed ‘The Scalpel’ by KTM in their lavish presentation in Italy, the 790 will eventually take the fight to class stalwarts like the Triumph Street Triple 765, BMW F 800 R and Suzuki GSX-S750, with a decent level of firepower at its disposal.
The 790 has been in development for several years and uses KTM’s first-ever production parallel twin under the LC8 banner, which KTM says is good for 105hp and 63 lb-ft of torque. The package is said to weigh a delicious 418-lb curb, with KTM claiming the best power-to-weight ratio in the class.
KTM says you’ll be cranking MotoGP-levels of lean with the 790, which is why the exhaust has been packaged under the rider’s seat. The muffler design should also produce a lovely deep exhaust note, depending on how much meat they stuff into the catalytic converter.
The chassis is KTM-standard tubular steel but with the engine as a stressed member, and the 43mm front fork and rear suspension is taken care of by in-house partner WP.
On the electronics side, you’ll be getting four riding modes (Sport, Street, Rain, and Track), lean angle traction control, a quick shifter, and ABS with supermoto mode for backing it in like Chris Fillmore—all accessed by the new TFT dash.
There’s absolutely zero doubt the KTM 790 Duke is going to be a street weapon par excellence, but there’s also no doubt we are going to have to wait until the winter of 2018/start of 2019 for 790 to make it to U.S. shores.
Good things come to those who wait, it would seem.
If you want to have a deeper look at the new 790, click here.