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Does The KTM 890 Duke Have What It Takes To Upset The Triumph Street Triple R?


890cc vs 765cc. Twin vs triple. Austria vs Britain. Who wins?

KTM has unleashed the larger 890 Duke, making a significant step-up in terms of performance from the 790 Duke. It has the wherewithals to take on the Triumph Street Triple R with lesser compromises on board than the 790. So, does it overcome those small compromises and prove to be a better package than the Triple R, or will the sublime handling British naked still have the edge?

Engine

Specifications

KTM 890 Duke

Triumph Street Triple R

Engine

889cc, 270-degree parallel twin, liquid-cooled engine

765cc, triple-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine

Power

115PS @ 9,000rpm

118PS @ 12,000rpm

Torque

92Nm @ 8,000rpm

79Nm @ 9,350rpm

Gearbox

6-speed, hydraulic clutch

6-speed

The Duke makes its displacement advantage known in the best way possible as it manages to pack 13Nm more than the Triple R. There’s more than 80Nm available from 5,500rpm and it is present until it almost reaches the 10,000rpm mark. The 890 is surely going to be a firecracker, making for lightning getaways from traffic signals.

But the Triple R shouldn’t be that far off. The wider powerband and linear power delivery will help maximise the potential of every single cog of its six-speed gearbox. While the extra 3PS might not count for much in real world scenarios, it will be beneficial when you do venture out onto the track. And yes, we know that this is a spec comparison and we are supposed to compare the two spec-sheets but we cannot stay away from citing that the Street Triple R has probably the sweetest exhaust note in its class. No twin, or even an inline four, can come close to the triple howl it creates at almost all rpms.

Underpinnings

Specifications

KTM 890 Duke

Triumph Street Triple R

Frame

Tubular steel backbone

Twin spar aluminium

Front suspension

43mm WP Apex USD fork

41mm Showa (SF-BPF) USD, fully-adjustable

Rear suspension

WP Apex gas charged monoshock, preload-adjustable

Showa piggyback reservoir monoshock, fully-adjustable

Front brake

320mm discs, 4-piston radial brake calipers

310mm discs, 4-piston Brembo M4.32 monobloc calipers

Rear brake

240mm disc, 2-piston caliper

220mm disc, Brembo single-piston caliper

Front tyre

120/70 ZR17

120/70 ZR17

Rear tyre

180/55 ZR17

180/55 ZR17

Tyre make

Continental ContiRoad

Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3

There is a clear winner here: the Street Triple R. It is a name dropper, no two-ways about it. But the suspension has loads of adjustability, the braking hardware is proven and so are the tyres. The Duke on the other hand has made a step up with WP Apex suspension bits but there’s not much adjustment on offer. The Continental ContiRoad tyres are somewhat of an unknown entity, especially in the Indian sportbike context. 

Dimensions

Specifications

KTM 890 Duke

Triumph Street Triple R

Wheelbase

1,476mm

1,405mm

Rake/trail

24-deg/99mm

23.5-deg/98.3mm

Ground clearance

191mm

NA

Fuel tank capacity

14-litres

17.4-litres

Seat height

820mm

825mm

Kerb weight

169kg

168kg

It might look like the smaller bike but in reality the KTM 890 Duke is the larger of the two motorcycles. The Triumph’s compact build, sharp rake and short wheelbase are what lends it its sublime handling characteristics. It holds more fuel on board as well, which could be a boon for touring enthusiasts. In terms of manageability, both motorcycles are near equal. 5mm difference in seat height and 1kg in dry weight aren’t enough to tip the scales in any bike’s favour.

Features

 

KTM 890 Duke

Triumph Street Triple R

Colour-TFT dash

Yes

No

Smartphone connectivity

Yes

No

Bi-directional quickshifter

Optional

Yes

IMU-aided electronics

Yes

No

KTM has improved the feature set of the 890 Duke from the old 790. While there are no additional electronic aids, there is a new six-axis IMU that allows for more precise operation. Plus, there’s the crisp colour-TFT dash with smartphone connectivity offering a rich user experience. No such fancy features on the Triple R, the only bit of standard equipment worth mentioning is the bi-directional quickshifter.

Price & Verdict (all prices ex-showroom India)

KTM 890 Duke

Triumph Street Triple R

Rs 9 lakh (expected)

Rs 8.84 lakh

Picking one over the other in such a manner would be a bit too harsh for both motorcycles. It calls for a proper comparison but we will have to wait for until perhaps 2022, which is when the 890 Duke is expected to reach our shores. Hence, if buying a middleweight naked was on your agenda for 2021, the Triumph Street Triple R makes for a great purchase. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with the bike and cannot think of anything that makes for a better VFM as well as enthusiastic buy in the middleweight naked space.

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