KTM 690 ENDURO R (2019 - on) Review

Highlights

  • Manic enduro bike
  • A real hooligan's ride
  • Capable on most terrains

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £180
Power: 74 bhp
Seat height: Tall (35.0 in / 890 mm)
Weight: Low (322 lbs / 146 kg)

Prices

New £9,799
Used £8,300 - £8,800

Overall rating

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

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 KTM 690 Enduro R is a trail bike that’s overdosed on steroids and you’ll need to be an experienced pilot to truly use 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, £9799 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.

There's a thriving community of owners online at the KTM Forums.

Ride quality & brakes

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

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

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

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.

Find out more about KTM's smoother 690 engine here.

Keep the engine protected with a bash plate

Reliability & build quality

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

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

Our 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R owners' reviews show very positive comments. There's nothing to suggest underlying issues with the bike. However, KTM aren't well known for building reliable bikes, and some have electrical gremlins a dealer will need to fix. If you're buying used, make sure you check everything

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.

KTM additionally offer optional extras under their PowerParts range, which features everything from service pit mats to exhausts, lever protection and more. 

The KTM 690 Enduro R

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Specs

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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost £180
New price £9,799
Used price £8,300 - £8,800
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 74 bhp
Max torque 54.2 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model 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 for the KTM 690 ENDURO R (2019 - on)

4 owners have reviewed their KTM 690 ENDURO R (2019 - on) 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 ENDURO R (2019 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Engine: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £180
5 out of 5 Go Explore on this do it all machine
11 May 2021 by Teddy Backhouse

Year: 2020

So much fun to ride on road and off-road. Super smooth engine gives dollops of power, it handles way way better in corners than I expected for such a bike. What is wrong with it? The clocks are small and don't give much info - that's all I can think of in my first 2 weeks / 400 miles of ownership.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Handling is awesome - didn't think twisties and roundabouts would be so much fun, but the bike handles exceptionally well for the type of bike. The brakes are good considering its a single disc up front, and I wouldn't change them but they're a step down from twin disc set up - obviously. I rode 150 miles in a day with no issue - standard seat is firm, but it's ok (I'm a cyclist so it's luxury in comparison!). Though I'll probably upgrade the seat at some point. Pillion felt a bit exposed right on the back, also said footpegs hard to plant all of feet on due to the exhaust bulge getting in the way of legs.

Engine 5 out of 5

I had my doubts about the efficacy of the 2nd balancer shaft, but nope - it really does work. Barely any vibes through the bars. Some vibes through footpegs on longer journeys but maybe i need rubber footpeg inserts. Quickshifter is great. Can't fault the engine and power - awesome. Easy to ride slow, easy to ride fast.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

All looks well bolted together, starts on the button. I bought it 1year old with 800 miles on the clock so it's barely run in. Time will tell of course but so far I have no worries or complaints about the quality.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Not had to service it yet, but it is pretty frugal on the fuel. I'll have to see how long the standard Mitas tyes last - I'd be happy buying Mitas again, they are superb on the road and although I've only done a few miles off road so far - they feel pretty surefooted offroad too (tested on dry grass, dry mud, ruts, stony byways).

Equipment 4 out of 5

Overall it's excellent for equipment, safety aids like ABS and Traction Control. I'm only docking a point for the tiny dash screen - would be nice to have something a little bigger with a bit more info.

Buying experience: Bought second hand, got a reasonable price. Seems like these tend to keep their value well if looked after. Not a huge drop in price from new which bodes well for future values.

4 out of 5 Ultimate World Muncher
07 May 2021 by Kaygee

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £150

It's a bit of a handful and tall for anyone under 5'10" but very exciting to ride, with a wonderful engine and super light handling! It feels like a genuine world-munching go any where adventure bike! I love it

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Loves to be pushed on a bit, engine rips in mid to high revs but will plod too! Great on and off road...a true all rounder! Standard seat is not as bad as reviewed...good for 120 motorway miles!

Engine 5 out of 5

Bumbles along nicely with a naughty smirk on it's face...because twist the throttle and it tears the road up...what a peach...basically the ultimate 'twister blitzer'!! Will motorway munch too!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Feels great and very solidly built! Removing plastics and fittings shows the quality, it all fits together very well and is a robust and solid machine...great engineering!

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Brilliant engine and build quality, find a good garage, pay with a smile for good servicing, everybody's happy.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Engine and handling are sublime! Loads of everything on tap. Wings exhaust is high quality and unleashes the hooligan sound! Tail tidy a must for off road (+ Oxford heated grips for all year riding!?) Great OE adventure tyres go well on road but could do with an extra set of supermoto wheels and sticky trackday tyres!

Buying experience: Dealer new £8999

5 out of 5 Such a fun bike
24 October 2020 by Juan

Year: 2020

Could be the best bike I ever had, comfortable on the road and a total beast off road. Pirelli scorpion rally work great on this bike.

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

Torque king.

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

Ktm rally pegs a must, also a lighter pipe if you doing mainly off road as the stock is heavy and worn down the rubber that holds it.

5 out of 5 Nearly a unicorn
08 February 2020 by Snake

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £200

Yes I would

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

A nice bike to ride although it is quite tall but I’m 5ft 7 and I still manage (just)

Engine 4 out of 5

This engine has big performance gains to be made from factory, it comes out all choked up and you can tell theres more! Here’s the fix, I have fitted a wings slip on exhaust, Rade garage intake with aux fuel tank and a power commander 5 and what a difference! She flys now! It’s the way performance wise it should leave the factory in my eyes! Now it’s 5 out of 5

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Nothing has broke on me yet but it’s only been 1 year

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

Quick shifter, abs, traction control all work beautiful, and you can turn them all off to wich is a boost

Buying experience: I bought new from Drysdales in Perth Scotland (highly recommend)

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