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KTM 690 DUKE Naked Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The KTM 690 Duke's new LC4 single cylinder engine is the most impressive part of the new Duke. It’s hard to believe it’s a single, so much better than the lumpy single cylinder engines of old. The styling is very aggressive, it’s laden in quality parts like WP suspension and Brembo brakes, and on the right road, hairpin after hairpin its almost untouchable, shame we do not have those kinds of roads in the UK.

 

Watch KTM's 690 Duke, 690 Enduro and 690 Supermoto in action at the LC4 range launch

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The KTM 690 Duke's liquid cooled 654cc, single cylinder engine is a huge step forward compared to the previous single engines. Its not lumpy, loves to rev and makes really good power. Where most singles start running out of power around 80-90mph the all new Duke keeps on going. In many ways it shares many characteristics with a small V-Twin rather than a single, which is a huge accomplishment for KTM.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The KTM 690 Duke is very toy like, the new LC4 Duke only tops the scales at 148kg, combine that with quality fully adjustable WP suspension and wide Renthal bars, means it turns quicker than an angry dog. It’s ideal for carving in mountain roads or making mince meat of city traffic. The quality Brembo four piston radial calipers are shockingly good, as the bike weighs so little you can almost outbreak anything, or rescue you from blind bus and taxi drivers when you’re in a rush for work.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

At this point I would like to refer you back to the KTM 690 Duke's price at only £6195, you get a hell of a lot of quality names for the budget price. The fully adjustable WP suspension which has both high and low speed compression on the rear are normally associated with race bikes. But it's not all just fancy labels and trick parts it's practical too, like the three way ‘power mode’ switch position under the seat which allows you to select from three different fuel mappings. There’s also some nice detail touches like the under slung exhaust, very Buell like.

KTM 690 Duke (2008-2011)

Detail Value
New price £6,945
Dealer used prices
£4,250 (2009) - £5,360 (2010)
Private used prices
£3,820 (2009) - £4,830 (2010)
  View full used price info
Engine size 654 cc
Power 65 bhp
Top speed 122 mph
Insurance group 11 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 3.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 2.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 3

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 2.5

As the KTM 690 Duke's a brand new bike it’s very difficult to question and comment on the reliability, however it is worth noting KTM have a long tradition in building quality single cylinder engines both for the road and competition use. Up close the standard of finish is very high, everything fits well, even with a critical eye its hard to find fault, the list of quality components is as long as my arm, impressive considering the price.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

Considering the KTM 690 Duke's price and the end product you have to say its exceptional value for money, However, you have to remember you are buying a £6,000 road based Supermoto. There are much cheaper alternatives, obviously they have a lower spec and are not as quick but if you just want a fun, single cylinder, good looking town bike then there are cheaper alternatives. Find a KTM 690 Duke for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 11 of 17

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Model History

2008: KTM 690 Duke launched.

Other Versions

Specifications

Top speed 122 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.3 secs
Max power 65 bhp
Max torque 50 ft-lb
Weight 148.5 kg
Seat height 865 mm
Fuel capacity 13.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 48 mpg
Tank range 100 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 11 of 17
Engine size 654 cc
Engine specification Liquid cooled 4 valve single
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment WP 48mm fully adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment WP single shock fully adjustable
Front brakes 320mm
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

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£5,694

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£5,799

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(2 reviews)

  • First week, 900km

    thumper3

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Initial concerns about ride and stability were easily solved by adjusting preload and damping. The touring windscreen is a must for any extended highway use, and should come with the bike. Now that it is set up the way I want it, this thing is stupid-fun. Its unbelievable in the twisties, and very forgiving when pushing the limits (mine not the bikes)a bit too far. I have one major complaint about the whole affair, though. This is that for some reason the front wheel just doesn't want to stay on the ground.

    14 April 2009

  • MY KTM690LC4

    hondavtr1000sp2

    Average rating rating is 2.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Well to say i am dissapointed would be an understatement, i had a good look at all reviews before buying and could see nothing to worry about. I bought the bike to get me to work during the winter time as they make off road bikes i thought there would be no issue. 1st thing to fail during the warranty period was the the hydraulic clutch slave cyliner, not good as it failed while riding. 2nd was the failure of the ignition system, this i traced to the connector block under the headlamp which had been completely corroded away to a green goo, easily fixed with new bullet connectors. Then the ignition failed again, this time there where multiple failures of the ignition loom including the master relays which had completly disolved. This has resulted in the bike being returned again under warranty for a full electrical loom/harness replacement which is no small job. Overall i like riding the bike but as i have found the electrical system can not deal with winter conditions at all so beware, it is an issue that KTM are aware of, i do not know if i will get an improved loom to cure this but if not i will have to go back to the good old reliable Honda!!!! It would help if KTM sealed the large oblong hole under the headlamp that lets all the water in and put a front mudguard on it that is actually practical!!

    12 March 2009

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Anonymous

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Anonymoussays

Living with one

Have had 690 Duke since March. Generally good to ride but front end quite vague until get up to temp. Also back end not to happy in the wet but bike is balanced enough to keep under control when back end steps out. Loves to be wheelied and best on twisty roads. Top speed only around 125mph but wind blast would take your head off much beyond this anyway due to otherwise comfortable, upright riding position. Unfortunately, seems to be at best when ridden hard and thererfore back tyre only fit for around 900 miles (on standard Alpha 10's).

27 July 2008 22:36

dev_d7

User's Badge

dev_d7says

Only a single

Wow - having ridden a few older singles around I must say i'd love to ride this new Duke. Was not super impressed with an older 690 KTM i rode (not sure which model it was) - which felt rather underpowered! VIVA technology and hopefully i'll get a chance for a spin on this new 690 soon!

23 April 2008 09:44

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