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Hey gang, need your help here. There's just 1 leftover 2020 orange 790 Duke for $9,699. Another dealer just received 1 black 890 Duke (and 1 890R Duke, but not interested in a track bike). The 890 Duke is $10,999, which is exactly the same as a 2021 MT-09 SP. Both dealers charge $1K extra for crap fees (including the $550 destination), plus $200 doc fee. The 2021 Dukes include the 'tech pack', so they're equivalent to the 790. Now to my questions.

1. I've read several negative comments about issues with the 790, including Neevesi's review of the 890R... but can't find anything. Hopefully people here can shed light on that, and if any of that involves 2020 bikes. Will visit that dealer tomorrow to catch the build date of the 790, and post it here later.

2. Is it worth saving $1,300 on a year-old 790, vs buying an 890? It looks beautiful, and it's super light. I recently sold my 2017 MT-10, and this bike feels like a bicycle. Ha ha. It's even lighter than a modified SV650 ABS I borrow from a cousin to ride the dragon in NC, the Hill Country in Kerrville, etc. More than enough power. I never really needed the power of the MT-10, which had a dismal range, hence why I sold it.

3. If you don't think the savings is worth it, which of the 2 bikes makes more sense? They cost exactly the same, and both are sold at MSRP (plus the $1,200 fees). The SP includes cruise control (which I really like, even though I use it maybe 5 minutes a day), and the best suspension available (Ohlins), with a remote preload adjuster. Both have everything else: up/down QS with blipper, 6-axis IMU, riding modes, adjustable lean-angle ABS/TCS/etc, TFT display, etc. The advantage of the Yamaha is there are dealers everywhere. My main worry, however, is RELIABILITY. My concern with both the 890 and SP is both have engine changes this year, and that tends to translate into issues and/or recalls. The 790 came out in 2019, so a 2020 has at least 1 year of production to iron out the unknown issues I was referring to above.

Please elaborate all you want :). By the way, this bike will never be tracked, hence not being interested in the R. My kind of riding is just pleasure, so trailering bike to places like Maggie Valley NC, TX Hill Country (3 sisters, etc), etc. And riding several 300+ mile days, so a comfy bike overall is a must, but also one that is fun in the canyons. I had to shorten the peg feelers on my MT-10, and remove them on the SV, but a Duke, with no feelers, should be no problem. I have plenty of track experience, but don't push too hard on the streets for obvious reasons. But definitely at a very spirited pace when traffic permits (travel mostly on weekdays, for that reason). And I like clean wind in my face, hence turning into nakeds lately, now that I don't enjoy traveling on bikes anymore (heavy sport touring bikes are no fun in the twisties, especially at the pace I like). And after battling cancer for 6+ years and counting, I don't have the stamina to travel in 100+ heat anymore. Thanks gang. Appreciate all the comments.
JC
El Paso, TX
 

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Without the large gap in price between the 790 and 890 that usually happens, I'd go for the 890.

I love my 790 and would need to spend a lot more to trade up so I'll stick with it. Have done a few 250 mile days and comfort is fine with the KTM comfort seat and small screen. Reliability has been fine as it's the 790 Adventure that seems to suffer more
 

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As the others said, it depends on the price difference between the 790 and the 890. If it is not significant (for you), it makes more sense to go with the 890. If it is, the 790 is a great alternative. They are not that far off.

Make sure you compare with same options. There are some that come included on the 790 but cost additional $$ on the 890.

As far as an MT-09, it's a different animal. Best is to ride all three and decide.
 

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As far as an MT-09, it's a different animal. Best is to ride all three and decide.
Outside of finding owners that will let you take a spin on their bike, I've found most of my local dealers don't do test rides unless they have specific demo bikes or factory demo days. (The triumph dealer is an exception)
AFAIK, none of the KTM dealers in the region do demo bikes.


For the OP, it might pay to look around for better deals on leftover 790s. $9.7k before freight and prep seems high. I just looked at one of my local dealers and they are still listing their last leftover 790 for $7.9k. granted at this point inventory is probably scarce.
 

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Where are you located? I found 2 2020 790's below your 9600 price. I am debating on whether or not to grab a 790 or a 2020 kawasaki z900.
 

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Dude the 890r is not a ”track bike” I highly suggest you watch Bike Worlds review of the 890r Chris voices the same preconceptions about the 890r intended purpose but has some great rider feedback about the bike. I had an piped, tuned, suspension upgraded 15 FZ09 my 890 feels like a better more refined bike in every way. I know the SP are getting good reviews but I’m so happy with my 890r so far.

I prefer and am lucky to live where there’s a lot of tighter twisty secondary roads, unfortunately the pavement isn’t always the greatest. So the nimble Duke with awesome brakes and quality suspension is really fitting the bill for me so far.
 

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Who doesn’t like more powah? :love:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Reliability has been fine as it's the 790 Adventure that seems to suffer more
Do you know what exactly is causing reliability issues with the Adventure? It's supposed to be basically the same bike mechanically, no? Curious about that.

As the others said, it depends on the price difference between the 790 and the 890. There are some that come included on the 790 but cost additional $$ on the 890.
I messed up on the price of the 790: It's $9,699 + $200 doc fee (and TTL, of course). Basically dealer is making the same money like if it was new: $10,699 + $1,000 fees - $2,0000 rebate = $9,699.
The 890 has the 'tech pack', meaning up/down QS and the additional modes. Dealer guy said they installed it, but it was BS. Apparently they just 'activate' those options. Why the heck KTM does that? Just to allow dealers to gouge the price.

I've found most of my local dealers don't do test rides
For the OP, it might pay to look around for better deals on leftover 790s.
I wish I could test drive bikes. Absolutely nobody allows that anymore. And zero factory demo rides around here, or anywhere close, unfortunately.
As I mentioned, I screwed up with the pricing on the 790. it's $9,699 + $200 doc fee. But it's still high for a year old bike. Will stop by today and offer $9K, and see what they say. But will check it out, make sure it wasn't serviced (no fuel, etc), that it has no scratches (like the brand new 2021 890 I saw yesterday), and see the build date.

Where are you located? I found 2 2020 790's below your 9600 price. I am debating on whether or not to grab a 790 or a 2020 kawasaki z900.
El Paso, TX, brother. Let me know where you found them, and for what price. Thank you.

Dude the 890r is not a ”track bike” I highly suggest you watch Bike Worlds review of the 890r Chris
That's what dealer told me. And it had basically track tires. Will search for that video later. But hey, since you have one, can you please elaborate on what are the differences, please? How about suspension tuning? Seat seemed super hard compared to the 890, but maybe it's the same.

Thank you to all for the great answers. Greatly appreciated.
 

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I went from the Duke 390 to the 790. To me , the 790 feels like a slightly heavier 390 with 4 times the horsepower and torque. I love it.
I tested the MT07 and was very disappointed with the handling of the Yamaha. The MT felt clunky and fat . The 790 was light and fast and dialed in.
I don’t ride balls out fast on the highway, I love twisty roads and exploring new routes in the areas around the Pacific Northwest. I highly doubt I will ever get on a track .
I think my 790 has more power and features than I will ever fully exploit, and that’s perfect for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Came back from that dealer, and the bike is orange, with a build date of 11/19, and several scuffs and scratches from being there well over a year. And they don't want to budge on the price, so it's out. And with the possible issues on an early 2020, just not worth the risk. Still want to know what issues it was having, to make sure they're not getting passed to the 890.

So these bikes have a freaking chip on the key, then? Somebody who is selling his bike due to numerous issues said it all started with that. That was the reason I passed on a Triumph Street Triple RS, and bought an MT-10 instead... but I wanted something lighter and smaller all along. But with good components (adjustable), and good electronics. At that time, the RS was the only smaller bike with the advanced electronics, but they couldn't even get right a freaking chip key. Ha ha.

I guess will wait to see if I can find a pristine black 790 at a great price, and keep doing research to see which is a better buy: 890 Duke, or MT-09 SP, since both would cost exactly the same. I don't want to spend any more than that, so I'm not going to consider the R. I'm 165 now, but typically 160, so right on the target weight for stock suspensions, so don't really need a super sophisticated system. But prefer it's adjustable, of course (and the SP is). Thank you again for all the help :).
 

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That's what dealer told me. And it had basically track tires. Will search for that video later. But hey, since you have one, can you please elaborate on what are the differences, please? How about suspension tuning? Seat seemed super hard compared to the 890, but maybe it's the same.
the 890r has compression and rebound adjustments on the front and rear as well as preload on the rear. If you watch any of the 890r reviews in comparison to the 790 basically the shortcomings of the 790 were the brakes and suspension. I’m 190lbs and while I haven’t set the sag or anything yet (new suspension tends to break in and settle) Ive found the ride firm but less jarring than the racetech modified springs and gold valves I put in my FZ09. The brakes Rotors on my bike are getting replaced under warranty, but even with that the brembo system is the best set of brakes I’ve owned hands down. Yes these power cup tires are sure track focused but this bike is super fun as a street bike. (I also own a zx6r for primary track use) The MT09 sp is a hell of a bike, the motor was a lot of fun. I crashed my FZ09 on track after putting rearsets on it and the engine case touched down mid corner. There’s a few other guys on the FZ09 forum that have rubbed engine case on aggressive canyon carving, so I know you mentioned removing peg feelers, I wouldnt put rearsets on an FZ/MT as that’s your early warning system lost.

Ya the seat is a big flat board but for me it was also more comfortable that the FZ09 seat shape.
 

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Came back from that dealer, and the bike is orange, with a build date of 11/19, and several scuffs and scratches from being there well over a year. And they don't want to budge on the price, so it's out. And with the possible issues on an early 2020, just not worth the risk. Still want to know what issues it was having, to make sure they're not getting passed to the 890.

So these bikes have a freaking chip on the key, then? Somebody who is selling his bike due to numerous issues said it all started with that. That was the reason I passed on a Triumph Street Triple RS, and bought an MT-10 instead... but I wanted something lighter and smaller all along. But with good components (adjustable), and good electronics. At that time, the RS was the only smaller bike with the advanced electronics, but they couldn't even get right a freaking chip key. Ha ha.

I guess will wait to see if I can find a pristine black 790 at a great price, and keep doing research to see which is a better buy: 890 Duke, or MT-09 SP, since both would cost exactly the same. I don't want to spend any more than that, so I'm not going to consider the R. I'm 165 now, but typically 160, so right on the target weight for stock suspensions, so don't really need a super sophisticated system. But prefer it's adjustable, of course (and the SP is). Thank you again for all the help :).
Sounds like the Yamaha is for you. It appears KTM's are going to be a bit fussier than the Japanese bikes. The MT-09 lacks the outright character and fun of 790 and 890 dukes. But since that is not your focus you will like the vanilla Yamaha better. Good luck with your purchase. Remember what Noco Motos says "There is no crying in motorcycles"
 

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I think the 890R is the best option of your trio. I personally would only consider the 790 at about a 4k discount over the 890. While it may be good on a track, I ride mine as a every day rider. I've put about 400 miles in a single days ride.

A coworker has the FZ09. We've traded back to back. Even with the improvements of the SP version, I'd sill go with the 890R. The handling is better, suspension is better (though Ohlins may even that up), the brakes on the 890 are some of the best out there. What I love about the 890 besides how sharp the handling is, would likely be the stonking midrange pull this bike has. It will outpull my supercharged Kawasaki until the Kawi is at least 7-8k revs.

One thing to help put the 890's performance in perspective is that according to one of KTM's development riders, the 890 lapped several tracks faster than the Super Duke 1290R. It probably has at least a good 60-70 HP deficit to that bike. Apparently only on the really fast bikes was the 1290R able to lap quicker. So that tells me the 890 has a great balance of power, brakes and handling to lap faster than one of the best, and biggest, hypernakeds out there.

My 890 has been totally reliable. I am not a KTM fanboy by any means but it is one of my favorite bikes I have to ride. You can carve corers if you want, do some light touring, play hooligan, or just be a daily rider if you want. You also don't see many of them on the roads if that matters to you. If you are commuting, it is even very fuel efficient. If running it normal speeds, I can get close to 60 mpg on a tank too. It also has a pretty decent headlight if you do some night riding.

My absolute biggest complaint is the chain is a POS. Cheapest chain I've seen in the last 30 years on a motorcycle. They also should have made all the track pack options standard as well as cruise. At least the cruise does work way up into the speed range. For some stupid reason on my Kawi it stops at 85 mph indicated and with speedo error, that is more like 80. A lot of the traffic here is running over 80 mph.

They Yammie would be the safe choice if that is your thing. While the KTM is ready to race, it is more than capable in a lot of other areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
FZ09 forum that have rubbed engine case on aggressive canyon carving, so I know you mentioned removing peg feelers, I wouldnt put rearsets on an FZ/MT as that’s your early warning system lost.
Oh man; that's not good. Thank you for the heads up. And no, I wouldn't put rearsets anyway, just for the comfort factor alone. But I wouldn't remove the feelers either. Just put shorter ones, like I did on my MT-10 (from a Suzuki C90 cruiser with floorboards, so very small).

Sounds like the Yamaha is for you. It appears KTM's are going to be a bit fussier than the Japanese bikes. The MT-09 lacks the outright character and fun of 790 and 890 dukes.
At least the 790 yes, so I'm removing that one from consideration. As far as character, I've never ridden any of those bikes, to judge for myself, but both engines (parallel twins with 270 crank, and triples) are said to have a lot of character, with the triple being the smoother, and higher revving one. My MT-10 also had a lot of character, being cross-plane as well. I've owned literally dozens of inline-4s over the decades, and no more. Can't stand them due to the high-frequency vibes anymore, anyway.

Will continue researching while a wait for a Palisade Calligraphy SUV, which might take 2 more weeks, then install a hitch, then buy a single trailer, at which point I'd be ready for a bike. So probably at least a month from now. Thank you again for all the input and help.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think the 890R is the best option of your trio.
Hey, thank you very much for that very detailed review. So the 890R has cruise control??? How about a remote rear preload adjuster? That'd be a BIG plus. How about suspension tuning vs the 890/790? Is it the same, just with adjustments, or stiffer? How about the seat, and riding position? I like the Brembo radial master cylinder with bite adjustment; it's rare to find one stock. I also liked it doesn't have passenger accomodations; one less thing to remove, etc. The only issue could be insurance. I've read that it's insane, for some reason. Need to check that too. And price. But if it has cruise and a remote preload adjuster, like the MT-09 SP, it'd be more justifiable, since the R is probably like 2 grand over the SP. It's a lot of money for a relatively small machine; prices are insane now. I paid exactly 10 grand for my MT-10 not long ago. Crazy. Thanks again for your help. Really wish I could ride a bike before buying it. I'm having a hard time buying blindly again. Frustrating.
 

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Will continue researching while a wait for a Palisade Calligraphy SUV, which might take 2 more weeks, then install a hitch, then buy a single trailer, at which point I'd be ready for a bike.
Really! The cage can wait. Maybe a gold wing is your speed. :ROFLMAO:

6871


6872
 

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Cruise is an option that the dealer can install. I think I spent something like $300 for it but worth it. The 890R has remote preload adjustment stock. It is on page 157 of the manual for the 2020 model.

Insurance isn't cheap but I shopped around a bit. Geico and Dairyland were best for me rate wise. Dairyland would have been best if I was just insuring one bike. Overall Geico was better. I think I pay about $440 a year for very comprehensive coverage. By comparison my cheapest bike is $70 a year for the same coverage and my most expensive bike in recent memory was a S1000RR and that was $1000 a year. My 2020 Africa Twin is about half the cost of my KTM. My Z H2 is about $50 a year more than the KTM.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The cage can wait.
Not where I live. Don't want a whale of a bike anymore. And yes, I owned a Goldwing 1800 too, but sold it when my wife didn't want to travel with me. I've owned basically every sport-tourer available. So now want a fun bike, and trailer it. And need an SUV to do that. Wife wants a large one for the dog, and have plenty of space for long trips, and that is the best bang for the buck by far. I like it even better than the way more expensive MB alternatives, and has heated/ventilated front and middle seats, head-up display, fully digital dash, huge integrated wide screen, nappa leather, etc.

Cruise is an option that the dealer can install. I think I spent something like $300 for it but worth it.
I didn't know that, but it'd require replacing the entire left side control pod, even if it's already pre-wired for it. And to get to the connectors, you'd probably have to dismantle half the bike. Maybe you know somebody there, but with the greedy dealers here, they'd probably charge a minimum of $1K to add it. Plus I bet they'd screw something up in the process, so a no go for me. Ha ha. I'd just add a throttle-locker (throttle-meister, etc), if I end up with a bike without cruise.
 
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