KTM 690 DUKE (2008-2011) Review

Published: 17 April 2008

"On the right road, hairpin after hairpin, it's almost untouchable"

KTM 690 Duke bike review action

"On the right road, hairpin after hairpin, it's almost untouchable"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

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

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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.

Engine 5 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

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 group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their KTM 690 DUKE (2008-2011) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KTM 690 DUKE (2008-2011)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 3.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

First week, 900km

14 April 2009 by thumper3

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

MY KTM690LC4

12 March 2009 by hondavtr1000sp2

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... Read more 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!!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued 2011
Original price £6,945
Used price £3,900 to £4,700
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £81
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 65 bhp
Max torque 50 ft-lb
Top speed 122 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.3 secs
Average fuel consumption 48 mpg
Tank range 100 miles
Specification
Engine size 654cc
Engine type Liquid cooled 4 valve single
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 13.5 litres
Seat height 865mm
Bike weight 148.5kg
Front suspension WP 48mm fully adjustable
Rear suspension WP single shock fully adjustable
Front brake 320mm
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2008: KTM 690 Duke launched.

Other versions

KTM 690 Duke R: higher spec version launch 2009

Photo Gallery

  • KTM 690 Duke bike review action
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review static
  • KTM 690 DUKE  (2008-2011)
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review action
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review action
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review action
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review action
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review detail
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review detail
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review detail
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review detail
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review detail
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review action
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review static
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review action
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review action
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review action
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review action
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review detail
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review detail
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review detail
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review detail
  • KTM 690 Duke bike review detail
All related reviews
All related bikes for sale