Seems like it wasn’t that long ago we were pumped for KTM’s all-new 790 platform, a budget-minded, powerful and lightweight parallel twin. Then the 890 hit the market, an incremental update on the 790. Surely, we’d see this model on the market a while, before KTM muscled up again?

Apparently, no. The Brit bike journos over at MCN have run photos of another new middleweight parallel twin—or maybe not. MCN thinks this is a 990 now, which basically pushes the machine into big-bore territory, at least for parallel twins (which typically aren’t popular in high-cc engines, although that’s changing these days).

Head over to MCN to see the spy snaps (click here), and see their analysis. Basically, MCN thinks KTM is biggie-sizing the 890 to deal with emissions regulations, and that’s probably a very good guess. New rules mean new engines must be quieter, and emit fewer boiled-down dino bits … errrr, hydrocarbons, into the atmosphere.

All very positive-sounding, but how much energy and CO2 is now being expended to keep on top of all these changes, continuously updating the lineup and building bigger and bigger bikes, to overcome power-sapping emissions tweaks?

Anyway. If there really is a 990 coming, we’d expect to see it appear sometime this fall. The 890 Duke was a 2020 model, so this would be consistent with the two-year shelf life we often see in the Euro lineups these days.

We’d also expect to see the Duke first announced as a 990, with the Adventure lineup getting the new engine later (probably). We’re fairly sure the new Husqvarna Norden will have the same engine as the 890 Adventure, and it would seem silly to kneecap the new Husky by announcing it with a smaller engine than the equivalent KTM model.


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