KTM 690 DUKE (2008 - 2011) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £280
Power: 65 bhp
Seat height: Tall (34.1 in / 865 mm)
Weight: Low (327 lbs / 148 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £4,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (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.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Specs

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 148kg
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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 48 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £280
New price -
Used price £4,500
Insurance group 11 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

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

Model history

2008: KTM 690 Duke launched.

Other versions

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.

Review your KTM 690 DUKE (2008 - 2011)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Engine: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Equipment: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £280
4 out of 5 A 690 duke in Norway
11 July 2020 by Tony Satchwill

Version: 690 duke 08

Year: 2008

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

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 5

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.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

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.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

4500 kroner was my last service bill

Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 Thhrrrraaaaaaapppp!
23 February 2019 by Jonathan Cavey

Version: R

Year: 2011

Annual servicing cost: £100

Great fun and best looking version to date, took a while to get used to though.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Fully adjustable WP suspension and Brembo brakes. What more could you want? Not for touring though.

Engine 4 out of 5

Great punchy motor and sounds good with the Akrapovic system, but vibey.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Well built and reliable, but some of the paint has started flaking in a few places.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Expensive for a single, but high spec and easy to service.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Top spec for the year made. Needs the Akrapovic system though, which is about £1200!

3 out of 5
27 March 2016 by Christian Thwaites

Version: KTM 690 Duke

Year: 2009

Used as a commuter. Really enjoyed it. Brakes and handling outstanding. But engine was a problem.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5

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.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 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 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
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
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