2024 KTM 990 Duke vs Yamaha MT 09: Which One Is Best?

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KTM 990 Duke vs Yamaha MT 09

Two Bikes One is the KTM 990 Duke, the successor to their already excellent 890 Duke car, and the other is the Yamaha MT 09, the latest in a long line of super fun nakeds bearing the same name.

So which one should you buy if you are looking for some mid to large-capacity naked fun on the road in 2024.

we will compare them in all the key categories, score them on points and then at the end declare a winner.


Now firstly with the engine, the performance figures arent massively different, but there is still an important distinction.

The KTM gets a 947 cc parallel twin which is 58 cc up on the 890 Duke it replaces.

From it you will get a healthy 123 HP at 9500 RPM and 103 Newton peak torque at 6750.

The Yamaha MT 09 on the other hand uses an 890 cc inline triple and so while you might expect it to be a little bit more top end revvy, its actually tuned for a lot of usable mid range guts.

As such you are looking at reasonably similar figures with 117 HP peak made at 10,000 RPM and 93 Newton meters of peak torque at 7000 revolutions per minute.

Out on the road both are lively and quick to accelerate with just a modest turn of the throttle and both will have the front wheels skipping and hopping without needing to clutch up.

I Had also say both are pretty forgiving when it comes to selecting the optimal gear with enough Torquey pull to prevent the engine from feeling bogged down or thin on grunt.

Now granted the slightly bigger KTM engine has marginally better power and torque figures, but I really do think its less of a factor than the difference in engine character.

The 435 degree firing interval of the KTM twin gives it some of the growl of their bigger 75 degree v twins and theres also a nice bit of snarl and some tasty pops from the stock exhaust system.

The triple in the Yamaha MT 09 also has its charms with that typical howl as it builds through the rev range and they even included some acoustic amplifiers in the top of the fuel tank to get more of the induction sound up into your face.

Honestly, on performance this one is so close run and its really a question of personal taste on sound and feels. So I think ill have to call this one evens.


Now onto the handling here and weve got a really good chassis from each with the KTM using a steel trellis frame which has been redesigned for 2024 with improved rigidity.

Its suspended on their excellent WP suspension with an upside down fork up front and monoshock at the rear, both of which offer plenty of adjustability.

And with the tool less adjusters on the forks being particularly convenient.

Braking comes from their own brand calipers, but fear not, because theres plenty of power and lots of feel.

The Yamaha though, well its pretty comparable in terms of its ability to carve up corners with a similar kerb weight in the 190 kg region and plenty of agility.

There are new suspension settings for this year and a slightly revised headstock on the deltabox aluminum frame, both of which are features that are said to help give this one more front end feel than the previous gen.

Braking is again up to scratch despite the absence of a big name on the calipers

And all round its just a thoroughly engaging bike to ride. But thing is, I will give the point here to the KTM, and thats for one particular reason.

You see, both bikes feel flickable and nimble and quick to turn, but the Yamaha more so maintains that quickness at speed, and it feels the more twitchy of the two.

When youre making progress in a straight line, it could be the difference in geometry, the steering damper, the swing arm which has been made less rigid for this year, or perhaps a mix of all three.

But for some reason, the KTM is the bike that feels more planted and more reassuring.

And so in this category, id say it just about edges.


Now that the single biggest improvement that Yamaha made to the MT 09 for 2024 has to be the riding position.

Previously it had you very sat up with quite high handlebars, sat on these big risers.

And so while it was still a brilliant bike, the ergonomics were just a little bit unusual versus some of the other sporty naked on the market.

And look, some riders might have enjoyed the more easy going position, especially if theyre a little lacking in flexibility.

But for me it made it feel less intuitive and less natural when riding at a brisker pace.

So the good news is that for 2024, the bars are down and slightly forward, the pegs are a little back and up, and the result is a riding position thats pivoted forward from the seat, which puts it much more on a par with the KTM, along with other sporty nakeds like the street triple from triumph or the Kawasaki Z 900.

If we were comparing this KTM 990 Duke with the previous gen of the Yamaha MT 09 then I would have had to hand this point to the KTM, but thankfully now theyre so similar that this one is also a draw.


As for the tech though, well these bikes both have everything you could need and more, and a reasonably comparable feature for feature.

But the Yamaha will still get the point here and so let me tell you why.

You see, both have cruise control, a quick shifter, loads of riding modes and lean sensitive rider aids, a good TFT display, well designed switchgear and some phone connectivity available.

In fact the KTM you could say has the better laid out menus and graphics.

But the big problem lies in the fact that some of these most useful features like the cruise control and Quickshifter are part of their optional tech pack which is the best part of 900 quid.

Now the tech pack I’m told at the moment in the UK comes for free as part of a promotion.

So if you get in there quickly this might somewhat moot this point, but you know 900 quid is a substantial extra on top of an already fairly pricey bike.

And then what might sting even more is that all the tech already exists on the bike, some of it in software and others physically, like the cruise control buttons and the quick shifter.

You see they Are all enabled for the first 1500 kilometers or just under thousand miles to allow you to try them out as part of their demo mode.

But enough to that they switch off automatically and you have to decide whether to make a trip to the dealer to buy the full pack.

Now whatever you make of that, whether you think its a rip off or actually a good thing to allow you to properly evaluate the features before you pay for them.

You know it really doesnt matter for this particular category because the Yamaha MT 09 comes with a quick shifter and cruise control and more line self canceling indicators fitted as standard.

What KTM have effectively given you is a fairly complicated buying decision with some moral questions over their product strategy.

Whereas Yamaha, well they Have kept it simple by just giving you pretty much the same stuff, but for free.


The next category and sorry but we gotta do this one it’s the looks. Both of these bikes get plenty of criticism leveled at exactly the same component and it’s the headlight of course.

Some will say the Yamaha MT 09 looks like Iron Man’s Mask and the new KTM Duke 990, well it kinda goes between insectoid robot mutants and the not so pretty face of the predator.

i thoroughly encourage you to take either bike for a spin though, they Are simply excellent on the road, and you dont really have to look at the headlight when you Are on board.

Genuinely, either would be hard to resist after a decent demo at your local dealer.


And then it just comes down to a question of the price. This category absolutely goes to the Yamaha though.

The KTM has gone up quite a lot since its last iteration, so you’re now looking at 12,999 pounds.

And that’s before you even think about adding that tech pack. The Yamaha though, it’s almost 3000 pounds cheaper at 10,106.

And like I said, of course, all that standard equipment is coming for free.

You could even go for the SP version, which gets upgraded Olin suspension and Brembo breaks, and at 11,806 pounds, you’d still have some spare change versus the Duke.

So that makes it with my extremely rudimentary scoring system, two points each.

And so in one sense you could say it’s a draw, but what I will say is this, the categories in which the KTM earn points, like the extra bit of stability in the handling and the ever so slightly more palatable headlight to me, seem less significant than a much more affordable price and a much more generous offering when it comes to standard equipment and tech.

So look, if it were my choice, I think it would have to be the Yamaha MT 09.

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