KTM 690 DUKE R (2010-2011) Review

Published: 05 November 2009

"Altogether a different machine than non-R model 690 Duke"

KTM 690 Duke R

"Altogether a different machine than non-R model 690 Duke"

  • At a glance
  • 690cc  -  71.4 bhp
  • 51 mpg  -  184 miles range
  • Insurance group: 11 of 17
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  • High seat height (865mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Even though the bike tested was a pre-production unit – virtually finished bar the paintwork and decals – this bigger capacity 690 Duke is altogether a different machine than non-R model 690 Duke (654cc). The extra 36cc (KTM won’t confirm this figure until after official model launch, mid Nov ’09) of the new R-model with carbonfibre front mudguard and revised suspension makes the new Duke-R a sharp-looking back road scratcher.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

An agile package that really loves to be ridden hard on twist-laden roads. Grab the wide and high bars and make use of new suspension – softer front springs and friction-reducing coating on the tubes, with revised damping front and rear – to get it on. A blast is guaranteed. It also makes for a traffic buster around town especially with the views ahead from the tall seat height (865mm) and a front brake that stops 148kg (no fuel) of bike instantly. 

Engine 4 out of 5

The extra 36mm (tbc) capacity comes via a longer piston stroke. This also increases midrange torque and ups horsepower by 7bhp to a claimed 71.4bhp. The result is a punchy little number with the ability to cruise at 80mph without fuss, fuss in the sense the vibes are minimal. A three-way power (soft, standard, sport) switch is fitted, where ‘soft’ eases power delivery in the lower gears, which is particularly useful in the wet, and ‘sport’ to give a greater direct feel between throttle and injection of the ride-by-wire system. 

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Main complaint about the previous 654cc Duke was the instrument cluster letting in water to knacker the LCD readout (warranty item). The new model has a revised waterproof (hopefully) assembly.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

A projected price figure of £7695 is a bit hard to swallow for a single-cylinder machine regardless of its quality and fun to be had from it. Especially so when you consider Aprilia’s V-twin Dorsoduro is as funky and functional for £1000 less at £6599. Find a KTM 690 Duke for sale.

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

Superb Brembo front brake set up, all-singing WP suspension, natty QD fasteners for bar clamps, carbonfibre front fender, Marchesini wheels, slipper clutch. Compare and but parts for the 690 Duke in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

No owners have yet reviewed the KTM 690 DUKE R (2010-2011).

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Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2010
Year discontinued 2011
Original price £8,899
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost -
Max power 71.4 bhp
Max torque 51.6 ft-lb
Top speed 112 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 51 mpg
Tank range 184 miles
Engine size 690cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke. Six gears
Frame type Tubular steel, twin spine
Fuel capacity 13.5 litres
Seat height 865mm
Bike weight 148kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable
Rear suspension Spring preload
Front brake 2 x 320mm disc with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 316mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Front tyre size 150/80 x 17
Rear tyre size 240/50 x 16

History & Versions

Model history

2008: 690 Duke introduced
2010: 690 Duke R introduced

Other versions

Photo Gallery

  • KTM 690 Duke R
  • KTM 690 Duke R
  • KTM 690 Duke R
  • KTM 690 Duke R
  • KTM 690 Duke R
  • KTM 690 Duke R
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