KTM’s Parallel Twin 800 Surfaces!
Published July 29, 2016
KTM’s brand new parallel twin engine 890 Duke has been spotted testing out on the roads around the KTM HQ in Mattighofen in Austria. This is the first proper look that we’ve had of the new parallel twin platform, and this is rumored to be the first of many new parallel twins from the world’s fastest growing bike manufacturer. While the specs are still a closely guarded secret, we estimate that the new engine will be somewhere between 800 and 900cc, and capable of around 100 hp. A great idea, considering the size and power of the current KTM line up has a massive gap between their 72 hp 690 Duke, and the massive 170 hp of the 1290 Duke R. At the moment, we’re guessing that KTM will give the new platform an Adventure style aesthetic, but we’re still hoping for a sportier RC version to emerge at some point in the near future. Because that would be awesome.
The overall styling of this iteration of the Duke differs to the already existing models, thanks to a new rear section and revised subframe, and a redesigned exhaust system too. The exhaust is a strange looking thing, but apparently it has been designed to cope with the new Euro4 regulations without compromising too much…On top of that, the engine has evolved into something different altogether and the brakes have been updated as well. Since we’ve just seen the new Husqvarna Vitpilen (Husqvarna being one of KTMs subsidiaries) out on tests, we expect to have more information about the revolutionary 800 before the end of the year.
The parallel twin platform is set to be one of KTMs most important developments, and will act as a versatile base to bridge the gap between the 125 to 690 range and the smaller end, and the 1090, 1190, and 1301 cc machines at the other end of the spectrum. Since KTM has found itself with such a dedicated fan base, loyalist riders can now graduate through the engine capacity ranks without deviating from the brand…
Let’s not forget that KTM will also be returning to the MotoGP premier class next season (with a test outing coming at the end of this season) and no doubt the Austrian manufacturer will have their sights firmly set on developing their sportsbike brand. At the moment, the current KTM RC8 is a little outdated, but perhaps this new engine development will allow them to take their sportsbike ambitions a little more seriously.
At the moment, KTM have invested some serious money into Research and Design, and their Racing Department in general. They also have the wealth of talent from WP Suspension to offer some of the best racing gear on the market, so perhaps we’ll see that sporty parallel twin coming our way soon?