2008 KTM 690 enduro breaks cover

1 of 2

These are the first pictures of KTM’s first enduro bike to use the new 690 LC4 engine.

The KTM Baja 690 is officially being called a ‘sports prototype’, but the levels of development apparent over the 690SM (the only machine to use the new engine so far) make it highly likely to be the base for the next big four-stroke off-roader.

The Baja’s chassis is completely changed from the 690SM, boasting a new frame and swingarm from the factory Paris-Dakar rally bikes with off-road specific WP forks and rear suspension.

The SM’s radial Brembo caliper and massive brake disc make way for a smaller, conventional caliper and wavy disc mounted on larger diameter, narrower rim-width off-road wheels and tyres.

No specific details about the engine have been released, but expect a retune to make the power delivery more suited to off-road use and lower gearing.

The distinctive vertical exhausts of the SM have been removed for practicality reasons – the under-slung down pipes would be too exposed to rocks and rough ground, so a conventional high-level exhaust runs along the left-hand side and under the tail piece.

The bike shown will be campaigned by KTM factory riders Cyril Despres and Chris Blais in the Baja 500, a shortened version of the legendary Baja 1000 rally running from May 31 to June 3.

The bike will then be tested further in the Baja Aragon rally in July and the Las Vegas-Reno event later this year.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

Chris Newbigging

By Chris Newbigging