Bajaj has dropped the teaser for the Duke 790 in India. Yes you read that right, part owner of the KTM brand, Pune-based bike maker Bajaj is gearing up to bring the latest sibling of the Duke line up in India. Avid enthusiasts must be aware that the Duke and RC series of entry level performance bikes that are sold in India have been selling like hot cakes here and it has spawned a very loyal following in India. These bikes offer great performance at very reasonable prices and hence have been ruling the roost for quite some time now. As and when the 790 Duke will be launched in India, it will go on to become the most expensive and flagship product of the Austrian brand's lineup in India. This will be limited to India only as in the global market KTM sells very powerful bikes such as the 1290 Super Duke R among others.
The latest bike that the KTM brand will bring to India will take the Completely Knocked Down route and will be assembled locally, this could mean a steep price tag for the bike, a part in tradition as KTM bikes have been reasonably priced in India so far. There are reports on the internet stating that the company has already imported around a hundred units of the bike to India for servicing training and other research purposes.
Talking of the mechanicals of the 790 Duke, the engine is a newly developed 799 cc LC8 liquid-cooled parallel-twin unit rated to deliver 104 PS and 87 Nm. The engine is paired to a 6-speed gearbox with two-way quick shifter, which will ensure the ride for the rider remains smooth and pleasurable. The suspension duties are handled on the KTM 790 Duke by a 43 mm WP upside-down front fork and a WP mono-shocker at rear. In the braking department, the Austrian brand has equipped the 790 Duke with a 300mm dual discs with radially mounted four-piston callipers at front while the rear has a 240mm disc with a single-piston floating calliper. The bike is equipped with ABS which has a supermoto mode that can be switched off completely.
Upon launch, the bike will lock horns with the likes of Kawasaki Z900, Ducati Monster 797, and Triumph Street Triple S among others in the Indian market. Although the KTM 790 Duke will come India as knocked down units, some parts will also be sourced locally. The locally sourced parts will not involve the cycle or mechanical parts of the bike, rather these will be units such as the headlamp, levers etc. One can expect the KTM 790 Duke to be priced around Rs. 7.5 to 8 lakhs, which will put it squarely in the range of other naked sports bikes. Bajaj has released no information regarding the launch date of the bike but more information is expected to flow in the near future so watch this space.