Spy photos have given us a glance of a twin cylinder, 800cc ‘Duke’ styled bike that’s set to take on the like of Triumph’s Street Triple and Ducati’s 848 Streefighter. Interestingly KTM has gone with a parallel twin configuration for the engine, moving away from the V-twin layout that they’ve done so well with in their larger bikes and the single cylinder thumpers in their smaller line-up.
KTM’s ownership of Husqvarna, which came about in 2013, would have you think that the 800cc parallel twin housed in this development bike might be from the marque’s short-lived Nuda 900, but no. The engine in the Nuda was basically a pumped up version of BMW’s F800/F700GS motor and KTM has obviously made the decision to develop their own motor for this application. Frame, brakes and suspension all look like normal KTM fair; trellis frame, WP suspension and high-spec Brembo brakes up-front. The photos also show that the bike will come with ABS and interestingly the ugly under-engine catalytic converter that features on the 690 Duke isn’t present on this development bike.
German magazine Motorrad has suggested that the new 800cc engine will produce over 100 horsepower with the bike set to weigh less than 200 kilograms, so performance should be in line with the KTM’s ‘Ready to Race’ ethos. The spec’ sheet also begs the question: Will KTM introduce a performance orientated mid-weight twin cylinder adventure bike to tackle Triumph’s Tiger 800xcx? lets hope so.