790 Duke vs. Street Triple - 2018 KTM 790 Duke Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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790 Duke vs. Street Triple

I know the 890 Duke R is coming out in Fall of 2020 for the US, but I'm in the market today.


I want a naked bike that will be mostly for track day use and occasional fun rides around my area. I'm down to a 2020 790 Duke or 2019 Street Triple RS both of which are available in my area at this time.


I have a 390 Duke and like it. It's my first KTM and I dig it. Makes me wonder about the bigger bikes.


I also have a Speed Triple RS and like it, but it is too much for my ability on the tracks I ride. I'm looking at selling it and downsizing a bit to either a 790 Duke or Street Triple.


Wondering if there might be people here that have owned both and have a preference?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 10:07 AM
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My previous bike was a SD 1290 R and I have no regrets going to 790. With the 790 being a smaller bike it is much easier to manage in tight turns and for me funner to ride. Here a video of the 790 vs the Street Triple R.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 01:12 PM
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I had a Street Triple 675 a couple of bikes ago and loved it. Owned it for 6 years. This time, it was down to the 790 or 765R. Test rode both and would have been happy with either but the 790 made me laugh more. Before buying, I chatted to a fellow Kiwi in the motorcycle business and he said something really valuable. He said that if it comes down to a coin toss, it's not which side up which will decide it for you. It's how you feel when you see which side is up. When I did a mental flip of the coin with the Street Triple coming out on top, I felt slightly disappointed and that sealed the choice!

Buying a bike is a combination of specifications (fitness for purpose) and its emotional appeal. I got it wrong with the GSX-S1000 I had before the 790. Totally fit for purpose but I never felt any great connection with it. It's a highly personal thing and good luck with your choice!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 03:37 AM
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I think the 790 is better for the road than for the track. Especially when you compare it to the 765RS. For track use the adjustable suspension and the seating position on the Triumph are a big plus. Also the extra punch at high revs are important, cause that's what you will be using when on a race track. For daily road riding the KTM would be the better choice, in my opinion. Not for track use. But you will have a lot of fun either way. 🙂
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 01:27 AM
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Playing Devils Advocate here. I don't have an answer.

We know KTM offers a "TRACK USE ONLY" setup for the 790. This makes it to all intents and purposes fragile under normal road conditions.

I wonder how a TRACK USE 790 compares to a TRACK USE Triumph (assuming Triumph offers a full blown TRACK ECU map)

I do not mean TRACK MODE - I mean the full on TRACK map designed for use in DECAT.


Of course we really now need to consider the 890R against the Triumph for track work - it comes with all the racy bits.

I'd also like to see a test of a piggybacked 790 (COOBER or PCV) against a similar setup on a Triumph. One never knows!

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019, 09:27 PM
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For mostly track use, my vote goes to the Street Triple. The 790 will certainly pull track duty but, as mentioned above, lacks the suspension adjustability and has lesser quality brakes. The new 890R however solves these shortcomings very nicely.


Quote:
Originally Posted by barbagris View Post
We know KTM offers a "TRACK USE ONLY" setup for the 790. This makes it to all intents and purposes fragile under normal road conditions.
You're referring to the Akrapovic Evo full exhaust, evap delete, and corresponding KTM dealer installed map. Race only as it removes the cat and emissions equipment. Certainly doesn't make the bike "fragile" under road conditions.

2019 KTM 790 Duke
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-20-2019, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj790duke View Post
You're referring to the Akrapovic Evo full exhaust, evap delete, and corresponding KTM dealer installed map. Race only as it removes the cat and emissions equipment. Certainly doesn't make the bike "fragile" under road conditions.
Then I stand corrected - I'd read a fair amount that suggests that the lower end of the rev range becomes VERY lean to the extent of shredding innards. Trying to remember where I saw the photos of melted pistons etc. Maybe the german site?

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-20-2019, 10:06 AM
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I also considered Street Triple in RS version which in terms of equipment is much better, whole bike feels a more refined than Duke 790 but Duke gives much more fun no matter how you ride. Even cruising around city gives a lot of fun so I chose Duke. One thing which is worth to consider all these problems with leaks(of course service fix it but sometimes it can take them some time).
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-04-2020, 05:49 PM
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I've owned a street triple 675 and have the 790 Duke at the moment. I guess it's a bit of a toss up but short-shifting between hairpins in the Alps on the super punchy Duke twin is soooo much fun. The Triple may give more power up top but in the real world the Duke is easier to ride fast in twisties. Never ridden track so can't comment there but here's another video to help you - they address both types of riding. - KTM 790 Duke Review | Road + Track Test -
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 05:03 AM
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Previous bike was a Street Triple 675 R which I had for 3 years before switching to the 790.

When looking for a replacement I test rode quite a few different bikes and it ended up between the 765RS and the 790D. On paper the 765 is a better bike in almost every way, it's more refined, but after riding both multiple times, the 790 just put a bigger smile on my face every time.

I was looking for something different though and if I had been on a twin before I may have ended up with the triple as I fancied a change.

With all that said, both are great bikes, you're not going to go wrong with either.
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