Is there more to the 890 than just a larger heart?
It wasn't a mystery that KTM would be upgrading its 790 platform to 889 cee cees for Euro 5. The 890 Duke R, showcased at EICMA 2019, was the first sign of this new larger engine platform. The 890 Adventure -- both the standard and R variants -- followed suit late last year. The only thing missing was the base-spec 890 Duke, which has just arrived on the scene. So, what new bits is the 890 packing over the 790?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. The 890 Duke is powered by a 889cc parallel-twin motor. The boost of 100 cubes over the old 790 motor has made it gain 10PS and 5Nm, now pushing out 115PS and 92Nm. However, it is 6PS and 7Nm less than the R trim.
Better Damped Suspension
The 790 Duke’s WP suspension units lacked sophistication, especially compared to rivals that offered more room for adjustment. While the 890 Duke still doesn’t have fully-adjustable suspension, the new WP Apex USD fork and gas-charged preload-adjustable monoshock are tuned to offer a more sorted riding experience. The USD fork is an open-cartridge type, with separate fork legs taking care of compression and rebound damping.
KTM claims that the radial braking calipers and brake pads at the front are better than their 790 counterparts. While the new calipers aren’t Brembo monoblocs, they should still lend more fierce braking performance. (Not that we were complaining earlier)
While the Maxxis Supermaxx STs offered a fine balance between commuting and touring, a bike like the 790 deserved something better. KTM has identified new rubber for the 890 -- the Continental ContiRoads. The new tyres are claimed to offer better traction for cornering fun and get up to optimum operating temperature reasonably quickly.