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KTM 690 DUKE R (2010-2011) Review

Published: 05 November 2009

Updated: 21 November 2014

"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
  • Read more about the KTM DUKE range.
  • 690cc  -  71.4 bhp
  • 51 mpg  -  184 miles range
  • Insurance group: 11 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • 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.

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 £91
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

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their KTM 690 DUKE R (2010-2011) 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 R (2010-2011)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

11 July 2016 by Bruce 690

It's no all rounder but there's nothing better on B roads. So light, nimble and well suspended that you can afford to give away 130bhp and still show the way.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Brilliant suspension.
4 out of 5
Exhaust, cam and map improve breathing.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Some of the fasteners corrode. Gearbox could be smoother.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Great on fuel and servicing but hard on rear tyres.
5 out of 5
Forks and shock.

Photo Gallery

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  • KTM 690 Duke R
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