2023 KTM 790 Duke Guide

2023 KTM 790 Duke
Contents: ReviewKey FeaturesFeatures & BenefitsSpecifications

2023 KTM 790 Duke 2023 KTM 790 Duke 2023 KTM 790 Duke 2023 KTM 790 Duke 2023 KTM 790 Duke

Contents: ReviewKey FeaturesFeatures & BenefitsSpecifications

2023 KTM 790 Duke: HAIL TO THE KING, BABY.

Introducing the 2023 KTM 790 Duke…

The KTM 790 DUKE is as surgical as its nickname suggests. With the agility you’d expect from a single, combined with the hard-hitting punch of a twin, the KTM 790 DUKE slices up the road with pinpoint precision. With a 799 cc LC8c parallel twin motor – the most compact in its class – nestled into one of the lightest frames around, the KTM 790 DUKE is all about being fast everywhere, with the corners being its playground.

Built for torque, this liquid cooled 8 valve, DOHC unit delivers peak grunt at 8,000 rpm that is almost immediately followed by a roaring power curve. Meanwhile, an advanced ride-by-wire system guarantees great refinement as well as low fuel consumption and emission figures.





2023 KTM 790 Duke Totalmotorcycle.com Key Features


KTM is excited to announce the welcomed return of the KTM 790 DUKE, bringing all-new colorways and a renewed rebellious streak to the world of midweight Naked machinery.

From its inception in 2017, the KTM 790 DUKE took the worldwide motorcycle markets by storm, selling over 29,000 units. This was later followed by the introduction of the KTM 890 DUKE R, labeled THE SUPER SCALPEL, placing the KTM LC8c parallel-twin engine at the very top of the food chain in the midweight segment. In early 2021, the KTM 790 DUKE was upgraded to the KTM 890 DUKE, with more power and improved electronics.

With the continuation of the KTM 790 DUKE story, which introduced the world to the power and agility of the KTM LC8c parallel-twin platform, the 2023 KTM 790 DUKE will be reintroduced to the streets with further development, offering a true mid-range motorcycle with READY TO RACE character and performance. Neatly filling the gap between the KTM 390 DUKE and KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO, the KTM 790 DUKE provides unmatched ridability with torquey and exhilarating manners to match its lightweight, confidence-inspiring agility.

Powered by the most compact twin-cylinder in its class, this engine has been tuned specifically for torque to power from apex to apex. However, an impressive top end ensures the KTM 790 DUKE maintains its excitement throughout the rev-range, while meager fuel consumption means riders can enjoy the twisties long before the low fuel light flashes.

A lot of attention was also paid to ensure the typical DUKE feeling. Handling is not only agile but also very precise, thanks to geometry developed specifically for sporty street riding. High-quality WP APEX suspension at each end ensures a perfect connection with the road and rider confidence at all times.

Like a middleweight boxer in his prime, the 2023 KTM 790 DUKE is a champion of merging agility and hard-hitting punch. More so, it continues the trend of being a leader in the market when it comes to power to weight ratio and equipment levels.

In terms of electronic wizardry, the KTM 790 DUKE boasts the most advanced and complete package in the midrange segment, with standard features such as:

// Cornering sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC)
// Cornering ABS with SUPERMOTO mode
// 3 standard Ride modes to quickly change the feel of the engine and level of MTC
// Full-color 5-inch TFT display
// LED lights front and rear
A number of optional features are also available, adding higher spec levels to the KTM 790 DUKE, namely:

// Quickshifter+, allowing for clutchless up and downshifts
// Motor Slip Regulation (MSR)
// TRACK mode
// Cruise Control
// Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The usual selection of ride modes, notably RAIN, STREET and SPORT settings, provide riders with easy-to-access customization of traction and throttle control, ensuring confident riding in all road and weather conditions.

In terms of looks, the 2023 KTM 790 DUKE introduces two new colorways to the mix, with a traditional KTM orange scheme and an all-new gray and black motif entering the fray.

With its re-entry into the market, and a renewed look to match its already legendary performance and character, the 2023 KTM 790 DUKE is poised to introduce a new generation of riders to the world of DUKE. And when they’re ready to take things to the next level, the 2023 KTM 890 DUKE R is waiting. Taking everything we love about the KTM 790 DUKE and cranking it up to 11, the KTM 890 DUKE R is a true track or mountain road weapon. With adjustable, track-ready WP APEX suspension, monoblock Brembo Stylema calipers grabbing meaty 320 mm front discs, sticky Michelin Power Cup II tires, and of course, increased horsepower and torque figures, THE SUPER SCALPEL remains the undisputed champion of the middleweight segment. Riding the KTM 890 DUKE R also makes for the perfect introduction to THE BEAST.

At the pinnacle of the DUKE range awaits THE BEAST, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO. KTM’s flagship street motorcycle underwent its most radical re-invention in 2020, boasting a number of tweaks and engineering improvements, including a reworked 1,301 cc LC8 engine and an all-new chassis. In 2022, the latest incarnation of THE BEAST was launched and dubbed the EVO, thanks to the evolution of the second generation WP APEX Semi Active Suspension. Enjoying the most power and torque in the family, and the most advanced electronics to keep it all under control, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO returns to rule the world of DUKE in 2023.




2023 KTM 790 Duke Totalmotorcycle.com Features and Benefits

Cylinder head

The 8 valve DOHC cylinder head contains twin chain-driven camshafts and one sparkplug per cylinder. Additionally, the camshafts in the KTM 790 DUKE are assembled, which makes them even lighter than forged camshafts. DLC coated finger followers, steel valves and a hydraulic chain tensioner complete the cylinder head assembly.

Balancer shafts

No one enjoys unpleasant vibes. That is why the KTM 790 DUKE employs the use of two balancer shafts, the first placed in front of the crankshaft and the second in the cylinder head to ensure the smoothest power delivery and minimal vibration.


Nikasil coated aluminum cylinders are an integral part of the sleeveless engine casing design of this 799 cc parallel twin. This open deck cylinder construction allows for optimal cooling, improved production tolerances and reliability.


Forged pistons with three piston rings, combined with a DLC (Diamond Like Coating) coated piston pin allow for lighter piston construction. This minimizes reciprocating weight, which reduces rotating masses, improving overall handling, and maximizing the rev-ceiling of the engine.


The KTM 790 DUKE features horizontally split crankcases, which are aluminum high pressure cast, allowing for reduced wall thickness and less weight.

PASC clutch

The slipper clutch allows riders to enter corners confidently without locking up the rear wheel under hard deceleration or when downshifting, and remaining feather-light on the clutch finger.

Oil circulation

The engine employs a compact, semi-dry sump system with oil being actively pumped out of the crank case, clutch housing, and gearbox. This ensures any unnecessary oil flow through the motor, reducing power loss through friction. To cool down the oil, the engine is equipped with an oil cooler like that fitted to the larger LC8 engines.


Instead of the electronic injection system’s throttle valves being controlled by cables, ride-by-wire processes throttle twist grip movements with the help of electronic sensors and activates the throttle valves accordingly using servo motors. However, our ride-by-wire on the KTM 790 DUKE goes the extra mile: It electronically translates the throttle commands of the rider into the best throttle valve positions for the current riding situation. Choking, jolting and involuntary wheelies are a thing of the past. Voluntary ones, however, could easily be a thing of your future.


A stainless-steel thing of beauty. The middle damper centralizes the mass and allows for a relatively small muffler that plays a dramatic soundtrack. Hundreds of test bench runs and complex simulations ensured that this exhaust system contributes decisively to the tractable torque curve and excellent emission standards.


The airbox sits snugly inside the subframe, with the air intake on either side of the subframe, allowing the bike to keep things cool while you gun it.


The incredible handling characteristics of the KTM 790 DUKE are founded on the dynamic, loadbearing design of the tubular chassis. Engineers had one goal in mind, and that was to keep the chassis as rigid and compact as possible, which allows for sharper turn-in and greater lean angles, allowing it to slice through the turns with extreme responsiveness.


The subframe is cast aluminum and houses the airbox. No plastic covers, no additional brackets – everything is cast into two connected pieces to reduce complexity and weight. The triangular shapes in the subframe were inspired by KTM’s trellis subframes, as this allows for a strong and simple construction.


The die-cast, open-lattice swingarm is meticulously manufactured and has been optimized for stiffness and stability while still offering excellent flex characteristics. By using a direct link for the rear shock, complexity and parts are reduced.


The KTM 790 DUKE is fitted with extremely lightweight alloy wheels, manufactured in a low-pressure die casting process. Not only do the lightweight wheels make the bike lighter overall, but they also minimize the unsprung masses and moment of inertia, with a positive impact on the handling and riding dynamics.


The MAXXIS Supermaxx ST tires have been specifically developed for the KTM 790 DUKE. Thanks to a special compound, the tires are grippy in both wet and dry conditions, striking the perfect balance between sportiness and everyday rideability, offering the rider a stable ride and excellent tire wear.


Specifically developed WP APEX suspension takes care of both front and rear wheels. This is paramount in the handling characteristics of the KTM 790 DUKE, with the equally impressive suspension component quality and performance usually only seen on motorcycles in higher classes.

Front fork

A 43 mm open cartridge upside-down front fork from WP Suspension takes care of any front wheel articulation, using split function technology. This means that compression and rebound damping take place in separate fork legs, allowing for better tuning of the fork behavior. The fork springs are progressive, ensuring a smooth operation throughout the fork stroke, being softer for the initial stroke, and harder further down the stroke to prevent bottoming out.

Rear shock

Making sure the rear wheel behaves when the going gets fast, is a high-quality gas-assisted WP APEX rear shock, featuring progressive spring and preload adjustment. This means the KTM 790 DUKE maintains a sporty ride quality, while still being comfortable enough for longer trips.

Steering damper

This reliable and sensitive WP steering damper has been setup to give the rider ultimate feedback through the bars, while keeping the front wheel uncompromised over uneven tarmac. You won’t even know it’s there, until that one nasty bit of road comes up mid corner.

Triple Clamps

The cast aluminum triple clamp stiffness has been tuned to match the flex of the fork, contributing to the sporty handling and excellent feedback. Clever engineering of the triple clamps and the handlebar clamps mean four different handlebar positions are possible for that perfect riding position.


Maximum deceleration is ensured at the front wheel on the KTM 790 DUKE by the two radially mounted four-piston fixed calipers and two 300 mm discs. The spacing between hand brake lever and handlebar is adjustable so that the lever is within easy reach for every rider. The front brake receives effective support from the disc brake on the rear wheel, which features a single piston floating caliper, clamping down on a single disc. All this stopping power is supported by KTM’s Cornering ABS.

Fuel tank

Holding 3.7 gallons (14.3 liters) of fuel, the KTM 790 DUKE is ready to attack mountain passes miles away and hunting apexes for hours.


A tapered aluminum, 810 mm wide handlebar puts you in full control. Adjustable in 4 positions on the triple clamp, which can also be rotated by a further three positions, it allows for that perfect riding position.

Hand levers

Grabbing a handful of front brake or reaching for the clutch is made extra easy with span adjustable levers.


Cast from aluminum, the foot pegs fitted to the KTM 790 DUKE cater for a comfortable riding position, while still creating maximum ground clearance allowing for impressive lean angles. Reverse (race) shifting is possible without any additional parts. Adjustable foot pegs are also available as a KTM PowerParts option for those who would like to go all out.


At 32.4 in (825 mm), both shorter and taller riders can enjoy the bike at full tilt, without losing sight of the daily usability. The seat cover is grippy but still allows the rider to move easily around the bike. It has been developed to work with textile and leather, and catering for a wide range of riders and riding styles. The pillion seat cover uses the same material and combines sharp looks with passenger comfort. An optional KTM PowerParts seat can reduce the seat height to 805 mm.

TFT dashboard

A multicolor combination of relevant information, presented in an uncluttered way. As you rev the engine, the display bars change color, either spurring you on or warning you that the engine’s still cold. The display also automatically adapts its illumination to the ambient light and gets racy when the optional TRACK MODE is selected.

LED lights

Instantly recognizable and 100% DUKE, the KTM 790 DUKE rips into the darkness with a unique LED headlight and LED taillight following the design direction started by the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. The high-performance LED headlight, flanked by two LED strips that function as daytime running lights, ensures maximum illumination and instant street-cred.

Rider aids

The KTM 790 DUKE has taken electronic riders aids to another level for a bike in this class, with an electronics package that is comparable to the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. The secret is minimal interference with the rider experience, meaning all electronic wizardry feels natural, improves performance, power delivery and, most importantly, adds safety.

Track mode

When the urge takes you to the track, we give you, TRACK MODE. Available as an optional addition to the KTM 790 DUKE, TRACK MODE unlocks several track-ready adjustments, such as Traction Control slip adjuster, Anti-wheelie mode, Launch Control, and 3-levels of Throttle Response variation.

Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC)

Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) is a mouthful, but it’s an important part of the KTM 790 DUKE. MTC is a lean-angle sensitive traction control system, which reduces engine output extremely smooth, barely perceptible. MTC intervention will intervene depending on the selected ride mode, MTC also allows for several levels of traction slip at the rear wheel. But that’s not the end of it – Daredevils, we give you: the off-switch!

Quickshifter +

The KTM 790 DUKE can be equipped with the optional, race-derived Quickshifter+. This makes shifting gears as fun as it is fast, with upshifts and downshifts being made without using the clutch. The benefits are equally impressive, with shorter shift times, more precision, and improved rear-wheel traction.

Motor Slip Regulation (MSR)

The KTM 790 DUKE can be equipped with MSR (Motor Slip Regulation) as an optional extra. MSR works in the opposite direction of the MTC, this means there is no chance of accidentally locking up the rear wheel under downshifting or abrupt throttling-off. MSR ensures you retain full traction and complements the slipper clutch and is especially effective in low grip situations.

Supermoto mode

SUPERMOTO MODE allows enthusiastic and experienced riders to lock up the rear wheel – a prerequisite for committed Supermoto riding and deliberately executed slides. This means ABS is deactivated on the rear wheel, while maintaining ABS function on the front.

Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) with cornering ABS

A key component of the comprehensive BOSCH MSC assistance package is the lean-sensitive cornering ABS. In a nutshell, this means riders have increased confidence during hard braking, even at extreme lean angles.

Ride modes

Riders can choose from four ride modes, namely: SPORT MODE for more aggressive riding, STREET MODE for comfortable urban riding, RAIN MODE for when things get a little slippery, and the ultimate attack mode – TRACK (optional). This gives KTM 790 DUKE pilots full power output, the ability to dial down the traction control, smooth out the throttle, switch off the anti-wheelie for rear wheel antics.



2023 KTM 790 Duke – Totalmotorcycle.com International Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price: $ See Dealer USD
Canada MSRP Price: $ See Dealer CDN
Europe/UK MSRP Price: £ See Dealer (On The Road inc 20% Vat)

COOLING Liquid cooled with water/oil heat exchanger
STARTER Electric starter
STROKE 65.7 mm
BORE 88 mm
CLUTCH PASC™ antihopping clutch, mechanically operated
EMS Bosch EMS with RBW
DESIGN 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, parallel twin
LUBRICATION Forced oil lubrication with 2 oil pumps
CHAIN 520 X-Ring
FRAME DESIGN Chromium-Molybdenum-Steel frame using the engine as stressed element, powder coated

Manufacturer Specifications and appearance are subject to change without prior notice on Total Motorcycle (TMW).

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