KTM 690 DUKE (2008 - 2011) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£280|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||Liquid cooled 4 valve single|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||13.5 litres|
|Front suspension||WP 48mm fully adjustable|
|Rear suspension||WP single shock fully adjustable|
|Rear brake||240mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||160/60 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||48 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£280|
11 of 17
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||65 bhp|
|Max torque||50 ft-lb|
|Top speed||122 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||13.3 secs|
|Tank range||100 miles|
Model history & versions
2008: KTM 690 Duke launched.
KTM 690 Duke R: higher spec version launch 2009
Owners' reviews for the KTM 690 DUKE (2008 - 2011)
5 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£280|
Version: 690 duke 08
Annual servicing cost: £450
As with most bikes what I find endearing others cannot stand, the single cylinder engine is a characteristic I love (coming from a 625 it seems very smooth). The handling is brilliant on road and fire roads. The pillion seat requires a close friend or partner Who enjoys pain. Also the mudguards are mudguards in name only, it seems they were designed to cover you and the bike with water/crud
Its not a good pillion bike🤨 my wife and I can manage about 90 minutes before a break, its very dependant on the terrain, some of the Mountain roads are quite rough. For my style of riding its almost the best all-rounder.
I like the single cylinder my only complaint is the fuel injection, it is not as good as the carburetor on my old 625 especially for low speed.
Mine is an 08 model and apart from some Minor scuffs on the rear body work there is no real corrosion. But here in my part of Norway the bike can be off road for 5 to 7 months of the year depending on what type of winter we have had. I do ride in the winter but on an E bike with studs.
4500 kroner was my last service bill
Annual servicing cost: £100
Great fun and best looking version to date, took a while to get used to though.
Fully adjustable WP suspension and Brembo brakes. What more could you want? Not for touring though.
Great punchy motor and sounds good with the Akrapovic system, but vibey.
Well built and reliable, but some of the paint has started flaking in a few places.
Expensive for a single, but high spec and easy to service.
Top spec for the year made. Needs the Akrapovic system though, which is about £1200!
Version: KTM 690 Duke
Used as a commuter. Really enjoyed it. Brakes and handling outstanding. But engine was a problem.
Engine blew up at 10,000 miles. Oil ok. Oil pump fine. Rods broke. Local dealer in San Francisco says he's seen this four times. Apparently new engine for later bikes is fine. $3,000 rebuild for bike worth ~$3,500.
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.
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!!