KTM 690 DUKE R (2010 - 2011) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Power: 71 bhp
Seat height: Tall (34.1 in / 865 mm)
Weight: Low (326 lbs / 148 kg)

Overall rating

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

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

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

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. 


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

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. 

Reliability & build quality

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

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 51 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 11 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 71 bhp
Max torque 51.6 ft-lb
Top speed 112 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 184 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2008: 690 Duke introduced
2010: 690 Duke R introduced

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the KTM 690 DUKE (2010 - 2011)

2 owners have reviewed their KTM 690 DUKE (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 (2010 - 2011)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
4 out of 5 2010 KTM Duke. A singular attraction.
10 May 2021 by Original Rugsta

Year: 2010

Some bikes are Swiss Army knives. Lots of tools for lots of jobs. This is not what an 07-11 KTM Duke is. The Duke does a single job extremely effectively. It devours corners at a rapid pace. It is pretty rubbish at everything else. If you can live with this you should try one.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The duke is not a cruiser, it hates straight roads, city traffic, any kind of luggage being strapped on it, pillion riding, being ridden in a chilled out or relaxed manner. Get on, find twisty road and plug in. Use all the throttle and all the braking capability. Return home with big grin knowing that (most) of the time you've kind of been within 30mph of the speed limit.

Engine 4 out of 5

Its a single. Its a bit vibey but weirdly if you ride as mentioned it seems to find a really smooth groove. On the right roads being ridden hard between 4-7k it can be incredibly smooth. Its rapid too, not in a 160hp pull your arms off way but the way it can convey you between corners via a blur of quick gear-changes and stomping braking capability is sublime.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Had mine for 10 years and 20,000kms. So far nothing has gone wrong or broken. You get the impression everything was thought about on this bike. Where Yamaha used old angle iron their XTX660X, KTM decided to use some lightweight alloy bracket intricately designed and manufactured. Brakes, suspension, wheels, the whole design philosophy is one of building a quality machine. Sure if you decide to use it on salted roads in the middle of winter it will no doubt corrode and fall apart but treat it with the same respect as those who designed it did and you won't have a problem.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Serving every 6000kms, larger valve check service every 12,000kms. I service mine every year before summer. Bike comes with a great manual that tells you most of what you need to do for simple oil changes etc at home.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Theres a couple of reasons why this bike didn't sell well. Its singular purpose and its price. The price came down to the parts used from the factory: radial brembo brakes, proper fully adjustable suspension (high & low speed compression, preload and rebound damping), crazy 48mm front forks, Marchesini wheels, well mapped fuel injection, almost slick Dunlop Alpha tyres, in a package weighing 148kgs. Some might not like the way it looks but you have to admit it was penned as a singular design. It is so good at what it does well because of the attention to detail. I have a few bikes and I've owned a fair few over the years, I don't use the KTM that often but when I do it always blows me away. 10 years on it is still my favourite.

4 out of 5
11 July 2016 by Bruce 690

Version: R

Year: 2010

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.

Engine 4 out of 5

Exhaust, cam and map improve breathing.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Some of the fasteners corrode. Gearbox could be smoother.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Great on fuel and servicing but hard on rear tyres.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Forks and shock.

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