2016 KTM 690 Duke First Look

Adam Waheed | November 20, 2015

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.


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.


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

Adam Waheed

Road Test Editor | Articles | Adam's insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.