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I just saw, for the first time, the new KTM Duke 690. I was pretty blown away. 321 lbs dry, 352 with a full tank. White Power suspension, Brembo brakes with ABS standard, ride-by-wire, semi-trellis type steel frame, 64 HP at the rear wheel and 45 ft/lbs of torque (same as the Street Triple), and 57 mpg. The bike is amazingly light to sit on and the reviews I've read thus far have found no issues with it. It's $8999 USD but with standard ABS, ride-by-wire, top-shelf suspension/brakes, and so on that is a very reasonable price. It is going to be very interesting to see the shootout between the FZ9, Street Triple, and this thing. Apparently it is a wheelie monster and accelerates hard and turns on a dime.

KTM 690 Duke First Ride Review- Photos
 

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A few months ago when I was seriously looking at getting a new bike, I was completely torn between the Yamaha FZ8 and the 690 Duke. And then right as the Duke was set to arrive in the US, the FZ-09 got announced, which seemed to me to be just the "blend" between the two that I wanted. The two share a lot of similarities, the seating position and supermoto "roots" seem to show through.

The Duke is a sweet looking bike, and I seriously love the idea of a bike that weighs only a bit more than 300 lbs, it would almost be half the weight of my current ride :D The brakes are fantastic, and handling is supposed to be great as well, although not as good as the previous generation Duke. But that's what you get for the price point, they cut some corners on the suspension & wheels to reduce the price about $2,000 but that new engine is sweet. That sounds familiar doesn't it.... :p

The few negatives to the Duke in my opinion, the seat height is pretty tall, 34 inches I think, still an inch lower than the previous gen (But the lean angles!!). I barely tiptoe that lol, although the weight probably makes it a non-issue, I only put one foot down anyway. And they're known for burning some oil, but that's just the nature of the engine it comes with I guess. $80 oil changes every few thousand miles though, and a rear tire every 2-3k miles from what I hear, so now you know where your gas savings go :p But it's the ultimate hooligan bike.... Everyone says it's the most FUN they've had on two wheels, ever.

I like the styling on the KTM better to be honest, but the Yamaha's motor is the deal breaker for me. Wish I could have both. I'd probably lean toward the KTM if my riding was exclusively in the city and backroads, but I do a lot more highway commuting than that.
 

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I have owned and worked on KTM motorcycles. The parts cost, and small dealer network have always been discouraging to me. I considered buying the 1190 Adventure before settling on the FZ-09 of all things. Price has not been my issue. I want a bike like my 2002 Honda CBR954RR that has never ever failed me. I cannot say that about my KTM's in the past. I have had a few nagging issues with Yamaha, but never anything more than minor, cheap repairs.
 

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I really really like the Duke 690 too but the higher price and maintenance turned me away. (Even though I have a 950 Adv) Also it is still just a thumper, albeit one of the most advanced thumpers on the market, but you can only go up to about 115 mph still. It's a 80-90 mph bike. That's where it loves to be. The FZ-09 is a whole other ballgame. Since I'll be doing trackdays I want something that can get after the straights more.
 

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I thought about getting one, it got pushed out as the top option when Yamaha announced this FZ-09 - 3 cylinders versus 1. The Duke would be great for in and around town but I also want something with some highway passing power and I just think the 690cc single will struggle there. It would be bad-ass if it was a twin like the Super Dukes. Maybe KTM will bring their 990 & 1290 Super Dukes to the U.S.. Those for sure would have enough at highway speeds.
 
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I have owned and worked on KTM motorcycles. The parts cost, and small dealer network have always been discouraging to me. I considered buying the 1190 Adventure before settling on the FZ-09 of all things. Price has not been my issue. I want a bike like my 2002 Honda CBR954RR that has never ever failed me. I cannot say that about my KTM's in the past. I have had a few nagging issues with Yamaha, but never anything more than minor, cheap repairs.
I will keep that in mind. The KTM dealer network is expanding fast; my local dealer just picked up KTM about 6 weeks ago. I never considered one before but the lineup is impressive and from what I can see, the build quality is excellent. But I'll be doing my research before I buy. As far as a track day bike, I have to wonder at the suitability of the FZ9. It's very upright...I just recall my days on the track and the motard style was not too effective. Even at 80 mph on the freeway the wind wants to pull me off any upright bike so I can't picture the FZ9 zipping along at 140. Even on my Gixxer I really don't crack 90 on the street very often and then only if plenty of pavement is ahead, no driveways, cops, loose animals, etc. So the KTM, at least by design, seems perfect for my purposes.

Perhaps as someone else said, it being a first-year design, I may have to trouble myself with some details, but it does come with higher-end suspension, ABS, and one-piece headset, and the reviews I've seen have been 100% positive. Being a naked middleweight does make it a competitor with the Nine.

However it's not a multi-cylinder bike and does lack that capability.
 

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I just saw, for the first time, the new KTM Duke 690. I was pretty blown away. 321 lbs dry, 352 with a full tank. White Power suspension, Brembo brakes with ABS standard, ride-by-wire, semi-trellis type steel frame, 64 HP at the rear wheel and 45 ft/lbs of torque (same as the Street Triple), and 57 mpg. The bike is amazingly light to sit on and the reviews I've read thus far have found no issues with it. It's $8999 USD but with standard ABS, ride-by-wire, top-shelf suspension/brakes, and so on that is a very reasonable price. It is going to be very interesting to see the shootout between the FZ9, Street Triple, and this thing. Apparently it is a wheelie monster and accelerates hard and turns on a dime.

KTM 690 Duke First Ride Review- Photos
I was going to buy one, and was on 5 dealers lists for one. Then 2 days later, the MT/FZ was announced. I love this bike especially the "R", it was going to be a replacement for my SuperMoto.

I did tons of research, as I always do. Some reviews say the vibration is excessive, even though it's far better than the previous model. Also the fueling (stock), is fluffy down low. Then there is the oil consumption problem. For some it never goes away, for others it does after 3k or so miles. It doesn't seem to matter if it's broken in the "Motoman" way, or by the book. The oil usage on some is severe (quarts per thousand miles), same with the SuperDuke. Bike magazine reported the same thing with their KTM 1190 Adventure R. "The 1190 has drunk a litre and a half of oil in 3,000 miles. There have also been traces of yellow gunge inside the filler cap, which could just be condensation. Or the first signs of a knackered head gasket". Otherwise they could hardly find any fault with the bike, they loved it.

In fact they gave the 1190 R 4th place in their bike of the year ratings. The KTM 390 Duke got 2nd place, and the Triumph Street Trip (non R) got 5th place. I bet the new FZ will be right up there in the ratings next year. My guess is for sure it will be winner in the "most bang for the buck" category.

I have never had a bike that needed oil added between 3,000 mile changes. Don't want to start now. Plus KTM seem to think it's necessary to have multiple filters. That's ridiculous, you could put 100,000 miles on any Japanese sportbike engine with no problems, and probably not have any oil usage either. I guess that's the problem with "Boutique" bike brands. I just want to ride and change 1 spin on oil filter, and oil, every 3k mi. Not have to carry oil with me.

All that being said. I still would love to have a Duke 690, but I'll let someone else take the depreciation, maybe pick a used one up in a year or two. If they start building the 690 in India alongside the 390, the price would likely come down a couple grand for a new bike.

Almost forgot..... one guy reported that after doing burnouts on his 690, that the abs would stop working. Not sure how he got the abs back, but burnouts gave it fits.
 

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BIKE magazine UK says it's a really fun bike and agile in traffic. But the shifting is very notchy; it's a bit low on power; and it tends to shudder and stall and lower revs.
 

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One day I saw one passing EVERYTHING on Deal's Gap. I'd say they're up to the challenge.
The big difference is that D.G. is a slow road, relatively speaking compared to track speeds. I've been on tracks before leaned over with a knee on the deck at 100+ MPH. You are not going to find that up on the hill.
 
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The big difference is that D.G. is a slow road, relatively speaking compared to track speeds. I've been on tracks before leaned over with a knee on the deck at 100+ MPH. You are not going to find that up on the hill.
Point well-taken. I have a '12 GSX-R 750 for the racetrack; the slow tighter stuff and urban riding is what the KTM would be for. I have always liked big singles and had quite a few, but none with the kind of power of the 690. I also understand it can be remapped to the EU 48 HP standard if desired, which is still a lot more than, say, a Hawk GT...but WAY lighter.
 
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Thanks for that info, it's good to know. Being a Harley and BMW owner (past and present), adding oil between changes is not a big deal. Large pistons will consume noticeable amounts of oil over time, which is quite normal. Generally these engines will eventually break in and use less and less oil but it takes 10-15K miles. At any rate it is not significant unless there's a special problem with a particular bike.

Sometimes the twin filter setup is due to an effort to make the engine package more compact. As far as the ABS goes, yep, burnouts drive the computer nuts. Usually this should reset on the next ignition cycle, though. My F700GS has ABS/traction control which can be turned on/off but it always comes back on when the ignition is turned off/on.
 

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Motorcyclist put the 690 Duke up against the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada. They liked the Strada better - Said the Duke shook like a paint shaker.


I've got a Strada for sale: 2013 Husqvarna TR 650 Strada

--Chris
 
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Motorcyclist put the 690 Duke up against the Husqvarna TR 650 Strada. They liked the Strada better - Said the Duke shook like a paint shaker.
--Chris
Well, at least they made a decision, unlike most of the printed mags (Adams is with SR, Henning with MC so who knows what was said in those rags).
Anyway, based on this review the KTM is exactly what I want. I already have a BMW F700 GS, which is the slightly detuned 800 twin, @75 HP with the aforementioned 19" front/17" rear wheels. And as they stated, that wheel combo paired with the smooth, flat torque of the engine provides a superbly confident, relaxed road-holding feel. What I want is edgy, lightweight, quick-steering, good suspenders, slipper clutch, ABS, and good looks. The vibes don't concern me as I have had a lot of singles and it's just something you live with. So I gotta start saving...
 

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Good luck. I looked for one before buying the Strada, all the KTM dealers around here had none, and didn't know when they were coming in.

The Strada's a great bike, little weak down below but after 4 grand, she wakes up and will power wheelie in 1st & 2nd. I just need some cash for the FZ
 

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Well, at least they made a decision, unlike most of the printed mags (Adams is with SR, Henning with MC so who knows what was said in those rags).
Anyway, based on this review the KTM is exactly what I want. I already have a BMW F700 GS, which is the slightly detuned 800 twin, @75 HP with the aforementioned 19" front/17" rear wheels. And as they stated, that wheel combo paired with the smooth, flat torque of the engine provides a superbly confident, relaxed road-holding feel. What I want is edgy, lightweight, quick-steering, good suspenders, slipper clutch, ABS, and good looks. The vibes don't concern me as I have had a lot of singles and it's just something you live with. So I gotta start saving...
You might look into a used previous generation if that's the case. They were superior in a lot of ways, especially in the handling department. Only downside is the motor was only 640cc, so you give up some power and they're known to vibrate worse than the current generation. But you don't sound concerned about that.
 
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