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KTM 690 DUKE Naked Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

With the 2012 Duke KTM have made a bike that can give an experienced rider the thrill they are looking for whilst being a more usable package with a broader appeal to a wider spectrum of riders than the previous version. The Duke is spot on for commuting and hammering down twisty country roads, where bigger, more powerful bikes would struggle. If you want a pure, no-nonsense bike, the 690 Duke should be top of your list.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

The twin spark single cylinder engine is impressive, just under 70bhp and 70NM of torque are more than enough when the Duke only weighs 150kg. The low and mid range torque make the Duke great fun through town and powering between bends on twisty back roads. It's even fine at motorway crusing speeds, with minimal vibrations.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

Thanks to the small dimensions and low weight the Duke handles incredibly well. It can be flicked into corners with ease and has no problems holding a line. Find a twisty back road and take great pleasure in destroying sports bike riders.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

The KTM Duke has historically been an uncompromising hooligan weapon, but for 2012 it has been tamed a little with the inclusion of ABS and switchable riding maps. The ABS works excellently, giving more confidence on the brakes and getting you out of trouble. As standard there are three riding modes, with another four which can be custom mapped to suit your needs. Basic compared to some other electronics-laiden bikes of today, but spot on for the little Duke.

KTM 690 Duke (2012-current)

Detail Value
New price £6,999
Dealer used prices
£5,060 (2012) - £7,190 (2013)
Private used prices
£4,640 (2012) - £6,470 (2013)
  View full used price info
Engine size 690 cc
Power 67 bhp
Top speed mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Build quality doesn't feel quite as high as Japanese manufacturers but KTMs are still solid, reliable motorcycles.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

At under £7000 the Duke is priced competitively with other funk naked bikes such as the Ducati Monster 696 or Yamaha MT-03. In terms of fun per pound spent the Duke is brilliant value.

Insurance

Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

2012 - model introduced

Other Versions

Specifications

Top speed mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 67 bhp
Max torque 70 ft-lb
Weight 150 kg
Seat height 835 mm
Fuel capacity 13.8 litres
Average fuel consumption 56 mpg
Tank range 160 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 690 cc
Engine specification Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine, liquid-cooled
Frame Tubular space frame made from chrome molybdenum steel, powder-coated
Front suspension adjustment WP Suspension 4357
Rear suspension adjustment WP Suspension 4618 EM with Pro‑Lever linkage
Front brakes 320mmdDisc brake with radially mounted four-piston brake caliper; floating brake disc
Rear brake 240mm disc brake with single-piston brake caliper, floating
Front tyre size 120/70 ZR 17 (58W)
Rear tyre size 160/60 ZR 17 (69W)

See all KTM 690 DUKE motorcycles for sale

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690 DUKE

8300 miles

£3,900

KTM
690 DUKE

2121 miles

£4,100

KTM
690 DUKE

3242 miles

£5,299

KTM
690 DUKE

442 miles

£6,895

KTM
690 DUKE

2024 miles

£4,995

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(5 reviews)

  • Watch out for seized rocker bearings

    urbanfireblade

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Fab bike to ride. Very punchy and willing engine all to easy to hit the rev limiter. Mpg can be as high as 80! Good quality parts but the engine longevity is questionable due to the highly strung nature and also there is a big problem if you search the ktm forums of the valve rocker bearings failing due to poor quality of them, can happen at any milage, as little as 700 miles in some cases. Rough sounding engine and metal fragments on the magnetic oil sump plug are giveaways. Tho engine still runs half ok. There are German manufactured bearings available to replace the cheap Chinese ones if you are affected. Apparently not too big a job but almost inevitable that sooner rather than later this will happen to you. Aside from that its a stonking bike, going one tooth less on front sprocket helps with the mentioned snatchy juddering problem at low revs in traffic. Handling is great, little to no dive at the front when braking, as quick as a Fazer 600 from 40-90mph so it's a fast single, capable of an indicated 120mph,

    24 November 2013

  • Great first bike

    spread4

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I brought my Duke after passing my test, I love the look of it with the orange. I cannot believe the lightness of this bike for a near on 700 feels like riding a much smaller capacity bike. That is until you twist your right wrist! The acceleration is great due to the abundance of torque, the handling is fantastic due to great weight distribution and wide bars. However there are some negatives to mention the bike judders at slow speed making it a bit of a pain in stop start traffic, no fuel gauge . These do not distract from the overall experience worth a try.

    09 November 2013

  • Still Loving It

    pandora58

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have now done 4k miles on the Duke and am still having a great time. The better I get the more I am enjoying what this bike can actually do. I commute 70 miles a day in heavy traffic and the agility is brilliant. With a bigger screen the motorway work is fine, not sure I would want to do hours on a motorway, but that's not what this bike is about. The only complaint is the lack of a fuel gauge.

    01 June 2013

  • Fantastic First Bike

    pandora58

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This is my first bike and I know it's not the fastest thing on two wheels but its amazing fun to ride. I do not get the feeling it's going to kill me if I make a mistake, but neither do I think it's going to be boring. I am still learning how to cope in very slow situations as it is a little lumpy but I think that's me and not the bike. I get round corners faster than I would have believed possible and the lack of weight is fantastic. Fear of dropping a heavy bike is probably at the front of most novices minds, the Duke just makes it all so easy. There is plenty of grip even in the wet, and the bike is more than comfortable enough for commuting. A real winner.

    27 December 2012

  • Still Running In

    rog5150

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I've spent around 12hours sat on the bike so far, two 4hour sessions and some shorter - so comfort is fine! Seems to make the same power whatever the mode, only the delivery is different. Using up to 6000RPM I got 64mpg for the first tank and 66mpg for the second. Brakes are fab, handling is fab and very stable, look at the forks - they are kicked out, not like my old MY-03 which was not as stable. Got a quality chain/lock under the seat, So so far all good and running in is no pain 6K is 90mph and even now it would murder my old MT-03. Can't wait to explore the rest of the rev range.

    21 May 2012

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birchie1

birchie1says

 my better half loves hers and has covered 15600 miled since may 2012 however at 10k it packed up with bloked fuel filters . The tank drain hole is at the rear of the filler. Good idea on a tank that slopes forwards so when it rains and you go to fill it up guess where all the water goes.mm clever. Also despite having the oil chaged every 3000 miles the rocker bearings seized at 15400 miles. Not exactly great build quality.

18 September 2013 20:35

jaycloth

jayclothsays

duke 2012

I have done 1200 miles on mine and been getting between 68-74mpg and thats on A/B roads.Comfortable to ride for hours and had 200 miles from a tank ! a very balanced bike and good fun. Soft mode is good for just commuting or a lazy ride . Advanced mode if your in a hooligan mood lol, shame you can't switch maps on dash. A friend tried it and could not stop laughing when he got back as had so much fun. You certainly get noticed on it and get attention .

06 June 2012 20:29

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