KTM celebrates 30 years of DUKE, with unveiling of 3 bikes

Clifford Chow

KTM, the motorcycle guys in orange, have unveiled the next generation of Duke naked bikes; the KTM 390 DUKE, KTM 990 DUKE and KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R

Photos: Clifford Chow


During a fan-packed bikers’ event at Rounding SG cafe, Austrian motorbike brand, KTM commemorated 30 years of the DUKE nameplate, by unveiling three models; the KTM 390 DUKE, KTM 990 DUKE and KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R.

The DUKE nameplate first surfaced in 1994, when KTM revealed the 609cc single-cylinder, DUKE 620, which was a cross between a Supermoto and a Street Fighter. Today, the DUKE has become one of the most sought-after naked bikes.

So away from intoxicatingly-wonderful barbecue smoke, good food and great company, we got acquainted with the three bikes KTM has for 2024. First-off, is the new 390 DUKE, which is the biggest within the single-cylinder DUKE line-up. It now features a shorter seat and standover height, which helps cater to more riders. For the suspension set-up, there is  flexibility, by way of the WP APEX open cartridge front fork, as its rebound and compression is adjustable to five-steps. At the rear, the 390 DUKE features a unique off-centre WP APEX shock absorber setup. 

Power comes from a new lightweight and compact LC4c single cylinder engine. With a longer stroke of 64mm (previously 60mm), engine capacity for the 390 has increased to 399cc, while the cylinder head has been optimised for improved delivery. On-paper, power and torque values are 44hp and 39Nm respectively. The gearbox has also been given a revamp, and buyers can now opt for the QUICKSHIFTER+, which works like a semi automatic, enabling riders to shift and down, without the need to pull on the clutch lever. Selectable ride modes for the 390 DUKE include STREET and RAIN, the latter which tones down the throttle response, for better wet surface purchase. TRACK screen is also available for the first time, which swaps out the regular screen design for a larger rev-counter. Together with the TRACK screen, Launch Control can be activated, which keeps revs at 7,000rpm for quicker “take-offs”.

The second bike in the 2024 line-up is the new mid-weight 990 DUKE. Now visually closer to the larger SUPER DUKE R, the mid-weight bike is presented as an even more serious offering. In the handling department, the 990 DUKE’s 43 mm WP APEX open cartridge forks are designed to provide 140mm of suspension travel, and allow compression and rebound damping to be handled by the left and right fork legs respectively. Its intensity for both compression and rebound can be adjusted to five clicks. A gas-assisted 5-click adjustable WP APEX Monotube shock absorber at the rear completes the set-up.

For the 2024 990, its frame stiffness has been adjusted upwards, while the swingarm has been softened by some 35-percent, to improve traction on the rear wheel. KTM says that the 990’s new frame geometry also contributes to added stability.

Power comes from a new 947cc parallel-twin, good for 123hp and 103Nm. There are in-all five available Ride Modes, where the first three come as standard – RAIN, STREET, SPORT; while PERFORMANCE, and TRACK Modes are optional extras. Interestingly, KTM has included Demo mode to the 990 DUKE, allowing riders to sample the full suite of riding modes, and other optional features for the first 1,500km of ownership.

The 1390 SUPER DUKE R which tops the DUKE line-up, gets an extensive technical facelift for 2024. The revamp brings with it a more aggressive and muscular appearance, while upgrades include a new fuel tank, with an increased capacity of 17.5 litres, and also a new tank spoiler, which not only contributes to the new look of the bike, but also adds more downforce and reduces front wheel lift. 

An updated 48 mm WP APEX Open Cartridge fork with split functionality, allows riders to set their own compression, rebound and preload values to the front-end’s 125mm of wheel travel. At the rear, an updated WP APEX shock absorber, with separate gas and oil reservoirs, is also fully adjustable, featuring separate high and low-speed compression adjusters. The suspension system also features the most advanced version of WP’s Semi-Active Technology (SAT), where the dampers are controlled by magnetic valves, at a touch of a button; which can provide anything from maximum comfort to track-ready stiffness. There are five different damping modes – AUTO, COMFORT, RAIN, STREET, and SPORT. Additionally, owners can opt for the SUSPENSION PRO pack, which unlocks TRACK and PRO modes. Additionally, KTM also offers a suite of other ride-enhancing features, that include an all-new Engine Brake Control, that dictates five levels of forward-lurch. The revised Anti-Wheelie mode now offers up to five settings, to manage front-wheel-lift. This ensures that the front only lifts to a set maximum of 0.36-degrees, when set in ‘Very Low’ mode. In ‘Very High’ mode, riders can lift the front wheel to a maximum of 22.25-degrees.

Power comes from a revised version of the LC8 V-Twin, which now has an increased bore of 110mm, up from 108mm. This results in the increase of the engine size from 1,301cc to 1,350cc. Power and torque figures have increased from 180hp and 140Nm to 190hp and 145Nm respectively. KTM also says that they have made steps to improve engine durability. 

For those who are keen on an even greater expression of performance, the 1390 SUPER DUKE R EVO may just be the right fit.


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About the Author

Clifford Chow

Lives to travel... there he goes again with his strange quirks, and ranting on about how diesels are underrated. Shifting Gears has to be One of the Top pleasures in life. IG:@thenewcarguy

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