It’s been a little over a year since the KTM 790 Duke made its entry into the Indian market as a BS4-compliant model. The Austrian company brought in only 100 units of ‘The Scalpel’ via the CKD route. At present, the 790 Duke is not on sale because it does not comply with the BS6/Euro5 emission regulations. And going by the recent rumours, it seems that it never will.
Speculations say that KTM might be considering to not update the 790 Duke to meet the BS6/Euro6 emission standards. The company could replace ‘The Scalpel’ with ‘The Super Scalpel’, i.e., the KTM 890 Duke R. While these are just speculations and rumours and KTM has not said anything in this regards, the whole plot does make sense.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the 890 Duke R is like the 790 Duke on steroids. It has been designed to do everything its not-so-younger sibling could do and then some. It features fully-adjustable 43 mm split-open cartridge WP Apex USD forks at the front and a fully adjustable monoshock at the rear. The front brake assembly consists of dual 320mm rotors with Brembo Stylema Calipers and is 1.2 kg lighter from that of the 790 Duke. Some of the electronics of the Super Scalpel include a lean-angle sensitive traction control system which offers four riding modes (Sport, Street, Rain and Track) and an engine slip control.
As for the engine, the 890 Duke R uses a bigger, 890cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin mill which produces 121 PS of max power at 9,250 rpm and 99 Nm of torque at 7,750 rpm. It is linked to a 6-speed gearbox. This engine has a new crankshaft, connecting rod, larger and lighter pistons and a camshaft with an aggressive profile.
With such specs, the 890 Duke R has to be a better motorcycle than the 790 Duke, especially in terms of performance. Of course, the extra goodies do come at a cost. So, if KTM is indeed planning to not give the 790 Duke its BS6/Euro5 update, it would be interesting to see how it’d manage the pricing for the 890 Duke R. It’s concerning because even though The Scalpel packed in quite a punch, its high price tag disappointed many enthusiasts.