Watch The KTM 790 Duke Prototype In Action

We'd hold off if you're in the market for a sport naked bike

This video is a doozy. I was too caught in the riding the first watch (or three) to notice that he was staying perfectly on the line on the ground (with watches four and five spent trying to see if they'd put the line down digitally after he rode). The 790 Duke Prototype has no problem doing anything the rider commands, but that doesn't say a ton for what a production bike would be capable of given it has the best WP suspension bits KTM could find, a completely custom exhaust, and likely lots of other bits intended more to wow on first appearance than be seen rolling down the production line.

I've been excited about KTM's new 800cc parallel twin motor since I first heard rumblings of it two years ago. The 690 Duke is an absolute scalpel of a motorcycle, and the 1290 Super Duke R and 1190 Adventure are incredibly potent weapons in their respective categories. The thing is, they're also overkill for a lot of people.

KTM prototype
KTM 790 Duke PrototypeCourtesy of KTM

All of KTM's big bikes have incredible electronics that make them tamable by the common man, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're the best choice. In the same way that we love the Honda Africa Twin for having a sum great than its parts, and for putting the job of being good in a setting over being good on paper; I think these new KTMs are going to be Goldilocks bikes.

Hopefully, they'll make somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 horsepower and weigh somewhere in the 425 pound range, placing the Duke in the same range as the Ducati Hypermotard or new Aprilia Dorsoduro 900, and pretty much blowing away anything in the ADV segment. KTM say it'll have variable and customizable rider modes, traction control, and a host of other electronics.

KTM prototype
KTM 790 Duke PrototypeCourtesy of KTM

It'll be another year or so before we see what a production model looks like but, if you're in the market for a middleweight naked, I would absolutely wait before buying something else.