2024 KTM 990 Duke Review – Specs

A new middleweight naked contender is set to join the fray this coming riding season with the unveiling of the 2024 KTM 990 Duke. We met The Scalpel, as KTM called it, in 2017 with the exciting KTM 790 Duke. That paved the way for the 890 Duke R, which was dubbed The Super Scalpel. KTM is ditching surgical monikers and aiming to please sport riders with its virtually all-new 990 Duke, affectionately known as The Sniper. The latest middleweight Duke ups the performance ante with a larger 947cc LC8c parallel-twin engine that boasts an all-new chassis and offers many other updates to a traditionally potent package.

We were big fans of the 790 and 890 Duke iterations when they hit the scene, and we can’t wait to see what the latest Duke has in store. Until then, we’ll hit you with the Fast Facts!

A new 947cc LC8c engine enters the game. My, oh my, the middleweight Dukes are growing up quickly, with the latest version increasing its bore to 92.5mm (+1.8mm) and stroke to 70.4mm (+1.6), netting a 58cc bump in displacement when compared to the 890’s engine. Naturally, all this comes to us due to ever-increasing emissions standards. However, the boon for the consumer is an extra sniff of performance, raising claimed peak figures to 123 horsepower (+4) and 76 ft-lbs of torque (+3). KTM states that this middleweight mill is all new, and there’s plenty of evidence when peeking at the new cases, pistons, crankshaft, and conrod. The Austrians highlight that the 990 Duke powerplant utilizes more aggressive camshaft profiles and longer valve openings, citing improved rideability due to increased rotating masses.

Updates continue to the cooling and exhaust systems. A larger radiator accommodates greater airflow and better cooling for KTM’s fiery parallel-twin engine. The powerplant boasts an updated knock control system and a revised exhaust that features new lambda sensors for more accurate readings and, subsequently, greater efficiency. The airbox is still housed within the lightweight aluminum subframe, keeping things as svelte as possible.

Three preset ride modes and a full suite of IMU-supported electronics are standard. As usual for many KTM motorcycles, the 990 Duke has preset Rain, Street, and Sport modes that tailor cornering ABS, traction control, throttle mapping, and wheelie control settings, per the mode’s description.

Adjustable Performance and Track riding modes are optional on the 2024 KTM 990 Duke. Performance-focused riders who wish to dial in their rider aid settings must spring for Performance and Track modes, which allow similar functionality but have unique roles within the grander scheme. Performance mode is street-focused and allows riders to customize WC, TC, and throttle settings, while maintaining cruise control and KTMConnect (Bluetooth pairing). Meanwhile, Track mode converts the dash to a track-focused scheme with a lap timer or telemetry data. The same rider-aid tuning features are present, while cruise control and KTMConnect are disabled—you probably wouldn’t need those at the track. Pricing has not been announced at this time but will likely be packaged with the optional up/down quickshifter, as KTM has traditionally done.

Demo Mode is implemented on the Duke platforms. KTM’s unconventional Demo Mode allows customers to enjoy all of the aforementioned optional electronic features until the bike’s odometer reaches 932 miles. At that point, customers can visit a dealer and purchase the accessory electronic features or continue without them. They can also be permanently unlocked at the point of sale.

An all-new steel-tube frame and 3.3-pound lighter gravity diecast aluminum swingarm come into the fold. Chassis development moves forward with a new frame that boasts an eight percent increase in lateral stiffness and a five percent increase in torsional stiffness. The frame now extends down and bolts to the outside of the swingarm, clamping the all-new swingarm between the frame spars and raising chassis stiffness once more. While those design aspects are said to improve the 990 Duke’s handling capabilities, they are also balanced against the new swingarm, which offers a whopping 35 percent more flex than before, improving traction, feedback, and bump absorption while on the edge of the tire. Coinciding with those changes is a minor relaxing of the rake from 24.2 to 24.3 degrees, while the wheelbase is shortened nearly a quarter-inch.

This needed its own fast fact—the claimed “ready to ride” weight of the 2024 KTM 990 Duke is 394 pounds. That’s the lightest in class by a significant margin, which speaks to the success of KTM’s spartan design choices.

Adjustable WP Apex suspension is standard. The 43mm WP fork offers 5.5 inches of travel, along with compression and rebound adjustment with split-function technology—that means each damping function is isolated to one leg individually. Spring preload adjustment is not offered, a consistent omission from WP, a brand under the Pierer Mobility umbrella with KTM. A new forged aluminum triple clamp with a 32mm offset tuned to match the flex characteristics of the fork. The shock features a lighter linear-rate spring, while offering only preload and rebound damping adjustments. These suspension features provide more tunability than the 790 Duke offered, though slightly less than the 890 Duke R, which is currently absent from the 2024 model lineup. All this leaves the door open for a higher-spec 990 Duke R model.

Ergonomics are updated. The KTM Dukes are notable for their narrow chassis and easy reach to the ground. In light of that, the 990 Duke cites a slightly taller seat height of 32.4 inches. In addition, KTM says the seat is higher in front and flatter overall to prevent riders from inadvertently sliding into the marginally larger 3.8-gallon fuel tank. The handlebar is adjustable in four ways—two on the risers and two on the upper triple clamp.

Four-piston radial-mounted calipers and 300mm rotors provide braking power. KTM-branded calipers clamp onto updated 300mm rotors with a 1.1-pound-lighter internal carrier. While that doesn’t seem like much, that’s vital unsprung, rotational weight.

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires are an OE fitment. The S22s are an excellent match for this sporting steed, as they provide plenty of grip for spirited riding on the road while offering commendable racetrack performance. In addition, the 17-inch wheels come to us from the Super Duke R line, but are adapted for a conventional swingarm instead of a single-sided unit.

The 990 Duke sports a new look. According to KTM, the 990 Duke borrows several traits from the 1290 Super Duke R, and other liter-class-adjacent naked motorcycles. This is all to make the middleweight Duke seem more mature. The 990 Duke has a fuller figure overall with more shapely bodywork than prior iterations. All-LED lighting is featured.

Pricing and availability haven’t been announced, but we’ll update this story soon. The Austrian firm hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet, though the 2024 KTM 990 Duke will be available in orange or black.

Location and action photography of accessorized KTM 990 Duke by Rudi Schedl

2023 KTM 990 Duke Specs

ENGINE

  • Type: Parallel twin
  • Displacement: 947cc
  • Bore x stroke: 92.5 x 70.4mm
  • Maximum power: 123 horsepower
  • Maximum torque: 76 ft-lbs
  • Valvetrain: DOHC; 4 vpc
  • Engine management: Bosch ride-by-wire
  • Lubrication: Pressure lubrication w/ 2 oil pumps
  • Cooling: Liquid and oil
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Clutch: PASC slipper clutch
  • Final drive: 520 X-ring chain

CHASSIS 

  • Frame: Chromoly steel
  • Front suspension; travel: Damping-adjustable WP Apex 43 fork; 5.5 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Damping-adjustable WP Apex shock; 5.9 inches
  • Front wheel: 17 x 3.50
  • Rear wheel: 17 x 5.50
  • Tires: Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22
  • Front tire: 120/70 x 17
  • Rear tire: 180/55 x 17
  • Front brakes: 300mm discs w/ radially mounted four-piston calipers
  • Rear brake: 240mm disc w/ 2-piston floating caliper
  • ABS: Bosch 9.3 MP; defeatable w/ Cornering ABS and Supermoto mode

DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES

  • Wheelbase: 58.1
  • Rake: 24.2 degrees
  • Seat height: 32.5 inches
  • Fuel tank capacity: 3.9 gallons
  • “Ready to ride” weight: 395 pounds
  • Colors: Orange; black
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