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KTM 990 Duke debuts in Europe with 123hp and only 179kg

A middleweight that’s creeping into liter-bike territory

What started as a middleweight is now almost into liter-bike territory. PHOTO FROM KTM

We’ve only just begun seeing the 890 Duke R in Philippine showrooms, but Europe already has a head start on the latest and greatest with the all-new KTM 990 Duke.

It may look similar to the 890, but the new bike displaces 947cc, and—with the help of new pistons, camshafts, and connecting rods—belts out 123hp and 103Nm from an updated LC8c parallel-twin. It also gets a new closed-lattice swingarm to go with the familiar trellis frame.

Oh, this bike weighs just 179kg.

It certainly looks the business. PHOTO FROM KTM

The most distinctive feature is a new LED headlight pod that is chunkier than in previous Dukes, featuring integrated position and daytime running lights as well as a headlight that auto-adjusts in intensity depending on ambient light conditions.

A “Coming Home” light function keeps the headlight open after the ignition has been switched off, providing the rider with a few more seconds of illumination.

It gets a closed-lattice swingarm. PHOTO FROM KTM

The 990 Duke’s WP Apex USD fork offers five clicks of adjustable rebound and compression, while the rear WP Apex monotube also offers five clicks of adjustment along with manual preload.

The cockpit is graced by a five-inch TFT dash with anti-scratch glass, with a display providing the usual information along with Lean Angle data and an optional Track Mode with lap timer and telemetry stats. Bridgestone S22 tires provide plenty of stick, too.

WP Apex suspension and Bridgestone S22 rubber for the win. PHOTO FROM KTM

With the 890 Duke R still fresh in the Philippine market, it may be a while before the 990 Duke makes it here, though.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.