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World Launch: 2016 KTM 690 Duke / R

Published: 28 November 2015

Updated: 28 November 2015

MCN Senior Road Tester Adam Child is at the launch of KTM’s new 690 Duke and 690 Duke R on the roads of Gran Canaria, and a the Maspalomas circuit on the island. MCN have already ridden the prototype machine near KTM's Austrian headquarters, but this is the first ride on the finished production bike.

KTM are renowned for producing superbly flexible single cylinder motorcycles, cutting themselves a niche in a crowded middleweight naked market. For 2016 KTM have increased the power of the middleweight Duke by 7% to a new peak of 73bhp, while also boosting torque by 6%, to 54.48ftlb.

There are now rider modes, traction control settings, and even an optional Supermoto mode which allows you to deactivate the rear brake and have some sideways fun with the standard slipper clutch. ABS comes as standard as does quality WP suspension and a single Brembo radial caliper up front. At only 148.5kg the new Duke has the potential to be seriously good fun.

Bikes are expected to arrive in UK dealers just before Christmas, and both versions can be seen at Motorcycle Live at the NEC from today until Sunday December 6. The standard 690 Duke will start at £7699, while the higher-spec R version will cost £8999.

Full test report here soon, and in MCN this Wednesday December 2. 

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