KTM 690 ENDURO R (2019 - on) Review
- Manic enduro bike
- A real hooligan's ride
- Capable on most terrains
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£180|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
- Latest news: KTM reveal updated 2021 Enduro R and SMC R models
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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).
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||Single-cylinder four stroke|
|Frame type||Steel tube|
|Fuel capacity||13.5 litres|
|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|
|Used price||£8,300 - £8,800|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||74 bhp|
|Max torque||54.2 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
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.
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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£180|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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!
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!
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!
Brilliant engine and build quality, find a good garage, pay with a smile for good servicing, everybody's happy.
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
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.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Yes I would
A nice bike to ride although it is quite tall but I’m 5ft 7 and I still manage (just)
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
Nothing has broke on me yet but it’s only been 1 year
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)