KTM Duke 790

KTM Duke 790 Review

An attractive, fun and lightweight bike which inspires me to go out in all weathers and I'm still disappointed that I've reached home - that's how much I love it.

KTM Duke 790 for sale


Torque, electronics, weight, headlight, handling, sound, suspension
× Finicky day/night display mode switching, brakes, can get hot in traffic

This is my third KTM bike. My previous bikes were the 125 Duke and the 390 Duke so for me a natural progression on to the 790. I had previously had another make but on visiting a dealers on a bitterly cold rainy winter's day I spotted the the 125, for me the colour hit me, the whole fun look of the bike (could even inspire to ride on cold and dreary days) so bought on the spot and that is where my affair started with KTM.

I have always been pillion passenger on motorbikes and have travelled to many overseas countries on bikes. Then six months before I hit 50, and I still don't know why, I booked up for a CBT and went for my licence and passed not many days before my 50th and I really still can't believe i did it...

As much as I loved the 390 I wanted to have a bike with the capacity for motorway riding and short trips to Europe if I want to go on my own so this pushed me on again to progress. This bike ticks the boxes and the biggest one is the weight. It's so easy and so nippy around traffic with my commute into the city for work.

Changes I've Made

  • KTM grips
  • R&G radiator guard
  • R&G engine bobbin protectors
  • R&G side stand plate
  • KTM tank protectors
  • KTM wheel graphics
  • Oxford Aluminium handguards
  • KTM luggage and rack
  • Orange brake reservoir cover
  • Fly screen

Good Points

  • Weight of the bike, especially for me as a female rider so this was a big deal for me, it gave me confidence as only a couple years in so still learning
  • Front light - what a great look, so bright you are visibly seen in the dark, do get flashed though as other drivers think I'm on full beam
  • The overall look of the bike
  • The sound of the bike
  • The handling so responsive
  • Ride is just so much fun
  • Economical
  • I personally find them comfortable (125, 390 and 790)

Bad Points

  • Display unit reacts to day and night far to much, 125/390 did not so will bring it up next service, shame it can't be overridden
  • Clock / temp - wish it was bigger as it hard to see but very overly large mph
  • Does get hot on the legs and the fan kicks in, not as much as previous bikes, does rather heat my knees up if stuck in traffic
  • Over tightened chain / noise had to be corrected
  • As all motorbikes heated grips should come as standard, we live in a cold climate
  • Still waiting on Power Parts to purchase or receive, crash bars not available or KTM hand guards

I've ridden other bike makes in my short motorbike career but this bike for me is what biking is about. An attractive, fun, lightweight bike. It inspires me to want to go in all weathers and I'm still disappointed that I've reached home - that's how much I love it.

All bikes have their good points, bad points and issues but I would still continue with the KTM brand.

- Samantha H, 2018


Capacity: 799 cc

Power: 103 bhp

Seat Height: 825 mm

Wet Weight: 174 kg

Range: 150 miles

RRP: £8,500

All specs and price guide

Similar Bikes

Another Review? Let's Go!

KTM Duke 790

Had countless bikes over the last 40+ years. Mostly been sportsbikes but decided to 'go naked'. Had an XSR900 (lovely bike), but fancied a change. Read reviews on the 790 and took one for a test ride.

Very different to the XSR and not sure at first, but got such a good deal on one that I took the plunge. Going in for 1st service tomorrow. Standard apart from R&G Tail Tidy and the 'Ergo'/comfort seat. Having KTM heated grips and Oxford handguards fitted. I went for the black as think it looks classier.


  1. Engine character and sound...all the pops and crackles on the overrun
  2. Suspension quality...just right. Never adjusted any suspension on any of my bikes, and the 790 is definitely plusher than the XSR
  3. Electronics...TFT dash, quickshifter, modes etc
  4. Looks...not 'pretty' but mean looking
  5. Handling..light and flickable
  6. Fuel Economy
  7. FUN
  8. Longish service intervals
  9. Ergonomics and comfort


....mmmm..not much at all really

... OK so far, but have read about various issues on forums, which is a slight worry 😕...although mine seems to be fault free at the moment

- John N, 2018