We pit the newest and the maddest KTM motorcycle in India, the Duke 790 against some of its thoroughbred competitors in the middle-weight naked motorcycle segment.

KTM recently launched the Duke 790 in India. Triumph also unveiled the 2020 Street Triple RS globally and that too is coming to our shores by January 2020. The middle-weight naked motorcycle segment is seeing a lot of action recently. It thus prompts us to see how the maddest KTM in India fares against some of its rivals. And boy, does the KTM Duke 790 have some very capable naked motorcycles around it. We pit the Duke 790 against the Triumph Street Triple S, the Ducati Monster 821, the Kawasaki Z900 and the Suzuki GSX S-750.

KTM Duke 790

Powertrain

  KTM Duke 790 Triumph Street Triple S Suzuki GSX S-750 Kawasaki  Z900 Ducati Monster 821
Engine 799cc, parallel twin, liquid cooled 765cc, inline-triple, liquid cooled 749cc, inline-four, liquid cooled 948 cc, inline-four, liquid cooled 821 cc, L-Twin, water cooled
Power 105 bhp @ 9000 rpm 113 bhp @ 11250 rpm 114 bhp @ 10500 rpm 125 bhp @ 9500 rpm 109 bhp @ 9250 rpm
Torque 87 Nm @ 8000 rpm 73 Nm @ 10421 rpm 81 Nm @ 9000 rpm 98.6 Nm @ 7700 rpm 86 Nm @ 7750 rpm

Now all these motorcycles come with vastly different engines with different engine capacities and cylinders ranging from two to four. The KTM Duke 790 uses a 799cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine to belt out 105 bhp. Now while that power figure is the lowest in the competition, the KTM is also one of the lightest motorcycles in the competition.

Talking about lightness, the Triumph Street Triple S is a further 3 kilos lighter than the Duke 790. The Street Triple S also makes 10 more bhp and even revs up to a manic 11250 rpm, the highest in the competition. However, the Triumph is down by 10 Nm of torque from the Duke 790. Neither Triumph nor KTM has revealed the kerb weight of these motorcycles, so we can’t compare their power-to-weight ratios but even with all fluids in them, both these motorcycles would still be considerably lighter than the competition.

The Kawasaki Z900 has the most powerful engine of the lot

The Suzuki sits right in between all these motorcycles. It has the smallest engine of the lot at 749 cc but its power and torque figures are right in the middle of the best and lowest in the class. Where the Ducati and the Kawasaki clearly have an edge is with their engine displacement. The Kawasaki Z900 is the most powerful motorcycle of the lot with its massive 948 cc inline-four cylinder engine and also produces the most amount of torque. The Ducati Monster 821 has the second-largest engine is among the less powerful ones. Also, these two motorcycles are a little heavier than the rest as well.

Features and Electronics

If these motorcycles were quite different from their engines, they are even more so with their electronic package. Let’s take the Kawasaki Z900 for instance. It gets no electronic rider aids at all apart from just ABS at both wheels. Or take the Suzuki GSX-S750 which features three levels of traction control and ABS but nothing more than that.

The Street Triple S is the lightest motorcycle in the competition

On the other hand, the KTM Duke 790 comes absolutely loaded with electronic rider aids. Some of this tech is not even found on more expensive, track-focused motorcycles. It gets a Bosch IMO engine management system with 4 riding modes – Sport, Street, Rain, and a customized Track mode, traction control, launch control, anti-wheelie and cornering ABS with Supermoto mode. The motorcycle also gets a slipper clutch for seamless gearshifts. The track mode also allows you to choose from nine different levels of traction control and also allows you to completely switch off the rear ABS.

The Triumph Street Triple S and the Ducati Monster 821 come decently well equipped in terms of electronic rider aids but they are nowhere near as comprehensive as that of the KTM. The Triumph also gets tow riding modes – Road and Rain –which alter the traction control system. Of course, there’s a better equipped Street Triple in the form of RS which gets better electronics as well as mechanical hardware but that’s considerably more expensive than most of the competition here.

Also Read: Five Things to Know About the KTM Duke 790, the newest flagship from KTM in India!

Suzuki GSX-S750

Chassis

Unlike most other KTMs which uses a trellis frame, the Duke 790 uses a tubular steel frame with the engine acting as a stressed member. On the other hand, the Z900 and the Monster 821 use a trellis frame while the Triumph Street Triple uses an aluminum twin-spar frame and so does the Suzuki.

The KTM and the Ducati use the same suspension up front – 43mm USD fork sourced from WP. Meanwhile, the Street Triple USD forks come from Showa. The suspension on the Suzuki is from KYB and offers pre-load adjustability at either end. Take a detailed look at each of the mechanical components in each of the motorcycles.

  KTM Duke 790 Triumph Street Triple S Suzuki GSX-S750 Kawasaki Z900 Ducati Monster 821
Seat Height 825mm NA 820mm 795mm 810mm
Weight 169 (dry) 166 (dry) 215 (kerb) 210 (kerb) 206 (kerb)
Wheelbase 1475mm 1410mm 1455mm 1450mm 1480mm
Brakes (front) 300mm Dual Discs 310mm Dual Discs Dual Discs 300mm Dual Discs 320mm Dual Discs
Brakes (rear) 240 mm Discs 220 mm Discs Discs 250 mm Discs 245 mm Discs
Suspension (Front) 43mm USD Forks 41mm USD Forks USD Forks 41mm USD Forks 43mm USD Forks
Suspension (Rear) Monoshock Monoshock Monoshock Monoshock Monoshock
Suspension Travel 140mm/150mm 110mm/124mm NA 120mm/140mm NA
Tyres (Front) 120/70 ZR17 120/70 ZR17 120/70 ZR17 120/70 ZR17 120/70 ZR17
Tyres (Rear) 180/55 ZR17 180/55 ZR17 180/55 ZR17 180/55 ZR17 180/55 ZR17
Fuel Capacity 14 Liters 14 Liters 16 Liters 17 Liters 16.5 Liters

Also Read : Honda CB300R Vs Benelli Leoncino 250 – Specification Comparison

And finally, the Ducati Monster 821 is the priciest of the lot

Pricing

  KTM Duke 790 Triumph Street Triple S Suzuki GSX-S750 Kawasaki Z900 Ducati Monster 821
Price Rs. 8.64 lakh Rs. 9.19 lakh Rs. 7.52 lakh Rs. 7.70 lakh Rs. 10.99 lakh

Summing up all these motorcycles is not all that easy. The KTM Duke 790 has been priced at Rs. 6.64 lakhs, ex-showroom. While it has turned out to be more expensive than we expected, it offers great performance and is very well equipped. However, it still isn’t the most expensive machine out there. The Triumph Street Triple S is the closest to the KTM, both in terms of pricing and performance.

The Suzuki GSK-S750 and the Kawasaki Z900 and the cheaper of the lot here. While they are quite strong on performance, they are not as well kitted as the rest of the competition. Meanwhile, the Monster 821 is the most expensive at Rs. 10.99 lakhs, but hey, look at the name this motorcycle bears. In the end, the KTM actually sums to be great value considering its manic levels of performance and equipment on offer.