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KTM 690 ENDURO R (2019-on) Review

Published: 21 February 2019

Updated: 21 February 2019

A monster raving lunatic that blurs the scenery like no other

The KTM 690 Enduro R in action

A monster raving lunatic that blurs the scenery like no other

  • At a glance
  • Read more about the KTM DUKE range.
  • 690cc  -  74 bhp
  • High seat height (890mm)
  • New: £9,599

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The clue is in the name. This is an enduro bike with 74bhp, a monster raving lunatic that blurs the scenery like no other. Put simply, the Enduro R is a trail bike that’s overdosed on steroids and you’ll need to be an experienced pilot to truly utilise its full performance.

Is it worth it? Again, for such a niche product, you have to find the right environments to exploit the Enduro R’s strengths.

On one hand, £9599 is pricey. On the other – when compared to genuine off-road rivals – it’s on par with competition-ready bikes, and the KTM has rather handy electronic rider aids in its arsenal, as well as delivering genuine versatility. Another hooligans' ride from the Austrians.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Sharing many components with also-new 690 SMC R, KTM’s new 690 Enduro R is every bit as niche as its supermoto cousin. In fact, off-road suspension and bigger, more suitable wheels are the only substantial alterations.

KTM are pitching the Enduro R as a do-it-all hybrid capable of munching road miles and holding its own on an array of trails. You could tag this as a trail-to-trail weapon.

Our test route consisted of a 60-mile loop, 90% of which was off-road – comprising a testing mix of dusty trails, soggy mud and sandy parts as we neared the beach – and a smattering of 80mph open sections and far more technical challenges.

Mitas E-07 tyres will come on the bike as standard, but given the terrain on the launch in Portugal, KTM decided to fit more appropriate Continental TKCs (which come on the bike in American markets).

In action on the KTM 690 Enduro R

Despite the more aggressive tread pattern, the TKCs didn't adversely affect its road manners, and the Enduro R was already proving its undoubted versatility within half an hour in the saddle.   

Its slightly cumbersome manners and salad-dodging mass problems were only truly highlighted when we attacked deep sand, as the front-end attempted to bury itself and tie the chassis in knots

The Enduro R comes with off-road developed traction control, which boasts lean-angle sensitive traction control system that acts on the throttle valves, softening the delivery until grip is returned. It can also be switched off.

KTM's Cornering ABS mode allows you to use the full power of their brakes in all conditions, even while leant over. In off-road mode, it only acts on the front wheel, while cornering-sensitivity is disabled. It can also be disabled.

Engine 4 out of 5

New LC4 engine is still a big thumper, but now smoother thanks to a second balancer shaft and lots of cylinder head work, including a resonator chamber that balances out pulses in the inlet tract to smooth out throttle response.

Keep the engine protected with a bash plate

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Although hard to say at this stage, reviews of previous incarnations would suggest nothing to worry about.

Insurance, running costs & value 2 out of 5

For a bike that costs nearly £10,000, it’d be nice to peruse a dash that doesn’t look like it’s been hiding in a parts bin since the 1980s. That said, the dash matters less on an off-road focussed machine and the traction control is amazing.

The KTM 690 Enduro R

Equipment 4 out of 5

Trying to tame this 146kg lump as it kicks out its full 74bhp isn’t a job for an inexperienced enduro rider. Even on the softer throttle setting, controlling its aggressive delivery can often feel like an intimidating losing battle. 

But, like the SMC, the Enduro has been treated to a decent suite of advanced rider aids; including specially developed off-road traction control that’s beautiful in use, permitting a certain amount of spin and slide before subtly keeping things in line with a whisper of electronic intervention.

The technology is far from idiot-proof for ham-fisted Neanderthals, but works dreamily in conjunction with a deft right hand – as does the Off-Road ABS – which is available as an aftermarket accessory.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2019
Year discontinued -
New price £9,599
Used price -
Warranty term Two years
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 74 bhp
Max torque 54.2 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 690cc
Engine type Single-cylinder four stroke
Frame type Steel tube
Fuel capacity 13.5 litres
Seat height 890mm
Bike weight 146kg
Front suspension WP 48mm fork, fully adjustable damping and preload
Rear suspension WP monoshock, fully adjustable
Front brake 300mm disc with Brembo twin-piston floating caliper
Rear brake 240mm disc with Brembo single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 90/90x21
Rear tyre size 140/80x18

History & Versions

Model history

MCN first rode the original KTM 690 Enduro back in February 2008, when it made up part of an all-new 690 family using the firm's LC4 engine.

Alongside this, there was a new 690 SMC supermoto and road-biased 690 Duke. It has since undergone a number of changes, before reaching this model.

Other versions

KTM 690 SMC R: Essentially the same bike as the Enduro, bar a few tweaks, the SMC R is the bonker supermoto version. 2019 sees the latest generation LC4 motor slotted into a tweaked chassis, with the added bonus of electronic rider aids and a quickshifter/blipper, and KTM claim 65% of the bike is all-new.

Owners' Reviews

No owners have yet reviewed the KTM 690 ENDURO R (2019-on).

Review your KTM 690 ENDURO R (2019-on)

Photo Gallery

  • The KTM 690 Enduro R in action
  • This KTM logo is a neat touch
  • The KTM 690 Enduro R
  • There is some adjustment in the suspension
  • There is an Akrapovic silencer available
  • The KTM 690 Enduro R
  • Hitting the trails on the KTM 690 Enduro R
  • Steer clear of damage with this bash plate
  • KTM 690 Enduro R front brake
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