KTM 790 Duke Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my 2019 790 Duke for a year now and have clocked about 5,000 miles (no commuting, purely blasts in the Yorkshire countryside).

I find the 790 Duke super-competent, well above my riding skill level and I am starting to think that it is "too good" or to put it in other words "too clinical".

I always had trouble with best-in-class bikes as they are good at everything but brilliant at none and wonder if this is the same for the 790 Duke. I prefer a flawed bike in a few departments but brilliant in others.

Anyway, I am thinking of replacing the 790 Duke with a 2021 690 SMCR. I am going to take one for a spin in December and see if it fits my riding aspiration better.

In the meantime, am I the only one to think that the 790 Duke is too clinical or am I missing something? For those who have ridden a late 690 SMCR (2019+), is there something that the 790 Duke is brilliant at in comparison to the 690 SMCR and vice versa?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
To clinical?? Ya you may be one of the few to call it that mate.
ifyou want to ride a slower bike quickly then the smaller 690 will let you grab more throttle and act more of a hooligan while at more sane speeds than if you rode a 790 in the same fashion

.
 

·
Registered
2021 KTM Duke 890R
Joined
·
527 Posts
No disrespect intended @Olof But it sounds like you want to feel the bike slip and slide in corners so you know where the limits are. On your 790 you can’t reach those limits. I can’t reach the limits on my 890R either. But I like to know that if I get to hot into a corner for my comfort level, I can just pucker up and let the bike do what it does best. Yes. I might scare myself half to death. But better soiled pants then a off-road excursion where I could really hurt myself. 🤓
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
462 Posts
I think that there's a bit more to it than a bike being super-competent, at least in my case. As an example, take my previous bike, the Suzuki GSX-S 1000. I bought it on a whim, without really thinking properly about what I wanted and why. Absolutely no complaints about performance and handling, so that's the "competence" factor taken care of. However, it had no emotional appeal whereas a test ride on the 790 had me laughing inside my helmet and nearly 3 years later, still does! Emotional appeal is a highly personal thing but it does serve to illustrate that if you don't take both technical aspects and emotional appeal into account when choosing a bike, you could be disappointed as I was with the Suzuki. Photo was taken 4 years ago on the Suzuki at a NZ trackday, celebrating my 70th birthday.

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Helmet Automotive tire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
I have had my 2019 790 Duke for a year now and have clocked about 5,000 miles (no commuting, purely blasts in the Yorkshire countryside).

I find the 790 Duke super-competent, well above my riding skill level and I am starting to think that it is "too good" or to put it in other words "too clinical".

I always had trouble with best-in-class bikes as they are good at everything but brilliant at none and wonder if this is the same for the 790 Duke. I prefer a flawed bike in a few departments but brilliant in others.

Anyway, I am thinking of replacing the 790 Duke with a 2021 690 SMCR. I am going to take one for a spin in December and see if it fits my riding aspiration better.

In the meantime, am I the only one to think that the 790 Duke is too clinical or am I missing something? For those who have ridden a late 690 SMCR (2019+), is there something that the 790 Duke is brilliant at in comparison to the 690 SMCR and vice versa?
Too ‘clinical’ - you have to be kidding. To start with, any half decent rider can very quickly push the limits of the standard suspension on a 790.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
I find the 790 Duke super-competent, well above my riding skill level and I am starting to think that it is "too good" or to put it in other words "too clinical".
I hear ya. I have a 790 Adventure R and I have the same thoughts. It's so capable everywhere it's almost boring. In contrast my 640 Adventure (only been thrashed by me) is extremely enjoyable and engaging to ride, while being similarly capable but with a bias further towards off-road.

But that's why I'm looking to sell the 790 Adv in favour of a 790D. Many, many owners and reviewers rate it as being hugely fun to ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
It is. I did the same move as you're thinking about, but that was because my Adv bike was an unreliable heap. Didn't put me off KTMs though. Engine seems much sweeter, the transformation from a large front wheel to a 17 incher took some getting used to but now it feels like a weapon in comparison. I have changed the suspension and brakes though as they were the only points I wanted to improve, but the standard stuff is okay. Just that I was a bit flush having budgeted for the 890R but wasn't that impressed for what I'd gain for the money
 

·
Registered
2020 790 Duke
Joined
·
570 Posts
No one motorcycle will be brilliant for every mission. So if you can't afford to own several different bikes you had better carefully choose your favorite mission.

For me it's twisty mountain roads and my 790 Duke is absolutely brilliant in this arena.

Plant Green Natural landscape Road surface Sky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,091 Posts
I hear ya. I have a 790 Adventure R and I have the same thoughts. It's so capable everywhere it's almost boring. In contrast my 640 Adventure (only been thrashed by me) is extremely enjoyable and engaging to ride, while being similarly capable but with a bias further towards off-road.

But that's why I'm looking to sell the 790 Adv in favour of a 790D. Many, many owners and reviewers rate it as being hugely fun to ride.
There is always


Keep the 21/18's for off road - Have a set of 17" for SuperMotarding in the twisties. Two birds - 1 stone.

Yes - I am absolutely taken by the idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
No one motorcycle will be brilliant for every mission. So if you can't afford to own several different bikes you had better carefully choose your favorite mission.

For me it's twisty mountain roads and my 790 Duke is absolutely brilliant in this arena.

View attachment 8389
Exactly. With respect, perhaps it would be worthwhile him trying a Harley. I am told you can have fun on one without leaning it over too much or going too fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
No one motorcycle will be brilliant for every mission. So if you can't afford to own several different bikes you had better carefully choose your favorite mission.
Very true. As I said to someone looking at my AdvR last night - if I could only have one bike, this would be it. No hesitation, no question. Caveat: with two sets of wheels, although that's not actually necessary.

I do have other bikes. I have another adventure bike. I have a sports-tourer. Both old and not worth much money (a bit like me!!!), but I really enjoy riding them, and I 'like the cut of your jib'. The interesting thing is that while doing my research on the Duke, I'm getting the same feeling about it. And a street-sport bike is what's missing from the stable; I was actually hunting for something like a GSX-R750, ZXR750, ZX-9R, YZF750, early 'Blade, RGV/TZR/NSR/RS250 etc when the VFR750F popped up as a bargain so I grabbed it instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
There is always


Keep the 21/18's for off road - Have a set of 17" for SuperMotarding in the twisties. Two birds - 1 stone.
That is an option - but an expensive one. By all accounts definitely a step up in the road fun factor for the Adventure.

The other PITA is that the standard rims are halfway between the sumo rims and proper off-road rims. If I went down this path, I'd want sumo rims and narrower tube-type off-road rims with proper off-road rubber. Again $$$. But I have to keep reminding myself I have the 640 for the really gnarly stuff, and it's already set up for full off-road mode.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Not so sure it's overall THAT expensive - if you factor in annual insurance/tax for additional vehicles.
Buying power from here makes it more expensive, but yes if say I sold the VFR750, that would fund the sumo wheels. VFR only gets a couple of months of vehicle license now and then, to keep it ticking over. We can do that here :) Third-party property insurance is very little, 30 UKP/year. So the running costs are negligible. Would be very different if it was a new-ish bike worth decent money and paying hefty insurance.

It would be more appealing if the sumo wheels would also fit my 640, but I don't think they do. There's limited compatibility between 1x90 and 7/890 Adventures, but not to the older LC4 and dirt bikes. One of the great thing about KTMs is the long model runs on parts, and the interchangeability between bikes. My EXC and the 640 can swap wheels, forks, front guards, indicators, hand levers, mirrors. Rear sprockets and chains are the same, and also for 790 which shares the front sprocket with the LC4s. In fact the 790 AdvR mirrors are the exact same part as the 640 from 15 years earlier, and they probably weren't new back then either.

Still, it's food for thought, so thank you for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I have both...2020 690 SMC R and a 2020 Duke 890R. If I had to get rid of one, it would be the 890. Take this opinion with a grain of salt as I come from a moto-x background and like the 690 dirtbike feel and I can get stupid on it. Both are wildly different machines. The 890 is for longer rides (still can get stupid but in a different way) and the 690 is for around town and shorter rides where I can ride it and throw it around like I hate it. That's how I view it anyway.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top