2016 KTM 690 Duke First Look

MotorcycleUSA Staff | November 20, 2015
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The 690 Duke returns to the U.S. for 2016 and gets a number of mechanical updates in addition to a facelift.

After a few year hiatus from its U.S. road line-up, KTM revives its light and nimble single-cylinder powered 690 Duke for 2016. From nose to tail, the Duke has been tweaked for more thrills on the road.

After boring the cylinder a few years back (from 102 to 105mm), the Duke’s model name matches the 690cc capacity of the water-cooled thumper. For 2016, a reshaped cylinder head, with larger valve seats was fitted, and also incorporates a second balance shaft to mitigate engine vibration — a welcome change based on the last time we tested it in 2009.

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With a claimed dry weight of 327 pounds the 690 Duke is sure to be a hoot in the city and around tight and twisty blacktop.

The exhaust was re-worked, too, to comply with the upcoming Euro 4 emissions mandate. Lastly, engineers added 1000 rpm to the powerband, which should allow the ‘16 Duke to rev to approximately 9500 rpm. A six-speed transmission and hydraulically-operated APTC-type clutch with slipper function puts power to pavement.

The engine is hung within KTM’s signature steel-trellis frame with WP-sourced suspension. The inverted fork is secured by a reshaped triple clamp with different offset said to improve handling. The passenger seat was also modified for more comfort when riding two-up with a friend. A full-color and ambient light-sensitive digital dash display is also incorporated — a first for KTM motorcycle.

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ABS and adjustable engine power modes are standard, however stability control is a added option.

In the electronics department, the Duke uses a Bosch-sourced ABS controller, with optional stability control offered as part of its “Safety Package”. Three-way adjustable engine power modes (Sport/Street/Rain) is a standard feature. Pricing is set at $8999 but we’re still waiting on official word to when the Duke will arrive at dealers.

2016 KTM 690 Duke Specs
Engine: 690cc liquid-cooled Single, DOHC, four-valve
Bore x Stroke: 105.0 x 80.0mm
Compression Ratio: 12.6:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated APTC-type
with slipper assist
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: Chain, 16/40 gearing
Frame: Chrome molybdenum tubular steel
Front Suspension: 43mm WP inverted fork,
TBD adjustment; 5.3 in. travel
Rear Suspension: WP gas-charged shock,
TBD adjustment; 5.3 in. travel
Front Brake: 320mm disc with radial-
mount Brembo four-piston caliper
Rear Brake: 240mm single disc,
Brembo single-piston caliper
Tires Front/Rear: TBD;
120/70-17, 160/60-17
Dry Weight: 327 lbs.
Wheelbase: 57.7 in.
Rake & Trail: 26.5 deg. / TBD in.
Seat Height: 32.9 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gallon
MSRP: $8999
Warranty: One year or 12,000 miles