KTM 690 Duke


Make Model

KTM 690 Duke




Four stroke, single cylinder, SOHC, 4 valves


653.7 cc / 39.91 cu in
Bore x Stroke 102 x 80 mm
Cooling System Liquid Cooled
Compression Ratio 11.8:1
Exhaust Stainless steel silencer with regulated catalytic converter
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil Synthetic, 15W-50


Generation Keihin EMS with EPT (Electric Power Throttle)


Kokusan DC-CDI

Spark Plug

Battery 12 V / 11.2 Ah
Starting Electric

Max Power

46 kW / 65 hp @ 7500 rpm

Max Torque

65 Nm / 6.6 kgf-m / 47.9 ft-lb @ 6550 rpm
Clutch APTC multi-disc wet clutch, hydraulically operated


6 Speed 
Primary Drive Ratio 36:79
Gear Ratios 1st 14:35 / 2nd 16:28 / 3rd 21:28 / 4th 21:23 / 5th 23:22 / 6th 23:20
Final Drive Chain X-Ring 5/8 x 5/16"
Frame Chromoly trellis frame, powder-coated, aluminium sub frame

Front Suspension

WP Upside-down forks, 4860 ROMA
Front Wheel Travel 140 mm / 5.5 in

Rear Suspension

WP monoshock, 4618 with Pro-lever deflector
Rear Wheel Travel 140 mm / 5.5 in

Front Brakes

Single 320 mm floating disc, radially screwed four-piston brake caliper

Rear Brakes

Single 240 mm floating disc, single piston caliper
Front Rim Cast aluminium wheels 3.5 x 17"
Rear Rim Cast aluminium wheels 5.5 x 17"

Front Tyre

120/70 - R17

Rear Tyre

160/60 - R17
Steering Head Angle 63.5°
Trail 100.7 mm / 3.96 in
Wheel base 1472 mm / 57.9 in
Ground Clearance 155 mm / 6.1 in
Seat Height 865 mm / 34 in

Dry Weight

148.5 kg / 327 in


350 kg / 772 lbs

Engine Oil Capacity

1.7 L / 1.8 US qt / 1.5 Imp qt
Fuel Capacity 13.5 Litres / 3.6 US gal / 3.0 Imp gal

The new 690 Duke has the pleasure of introducing itself as one unique-looking motorcycle with performance to match. KTM made the revamp noticeable by building a new frame and fitting the bike with new fairings and seat, but what really makes this bike stand out is its powerful new engine together with the strong sound coming from a new under engine exhaust.

Very important is the fact that KTM made use of the 690 Supermoto in order to end up with this baby so the suspensions and brakes will remind you of its sister as they remain virtually the same.

KTM first introduced the Duke in 1994 as a supermoto bike featuring a 609cc single-cylinder which came to life using a kick start. It was the manufacturer’s first stock supermoto machine and it could be easily distinguished due to its unique styling and spoked wheels.

In the ‘90s, KTM would make sure that the Duke receives new features from two to two years so 1996 brought the much needed and desired electric starter together with an uprated oil pump.

As you could already guess, it is now all about 1998 model year when the most famous and beloved version was launched, the Duke ||. KTM preferred to mark this way the important displacement change (the engine was now a 625cc beast, not a 609cc one). Also ten years ago was when the bike would have featured stylish new headlights in a redesigned nose cone which helped make the 1998 model year easy recognizable.

The Duke || continued selling well and created quite a fan club even though the manufacturer stayed away of it for a while until in 2005 the Duke || Black entered the scene, followed by a Limited Edition model only a year after. This last version was painted in KTM orange (rims included), and it gave a feel of what was about to come after the 640 Duke || will inspire its looks on its 990cc brother. The result is what you can see today as a 2008 model year. KTM tried to set the bike apart from the Supermoto class in the attempt of individualizing the Dukes, but it still remains a Supermoto bike.


Despite the manufacturer’s attempt of not going with the crowd and have a separate supermoto line, even though the Duke practically started it all, I would like to compare it with real supermoto bikes. If not so, this bike has virtually no competition given to its engine, exterior design and riding position.

When it comes to Supermotards it is impossible for me not to mention the Aprilia SXV 4.5-5.5 as it is one of the most successful and versatile motorcycles out there. Given the fact that it features two cylinders positioned in the V configuration, it is easy to declare it a winner, but let’s not precipitate things. The Duke, despite its single cylinder, manages to put out 65 horses which are more than able to make a rider forget what determines its adrenaline rush. Many will consider the 550cc version more suitable and able to deal with such a powerful single-cylinder, but I’m not underestimating the 450cc V-twin Aprilia motor either. Husqvarva is also known for delivering awesome performing supermoto bikes and the SM 610 is one of its best. Featuring a 576cc 4-Stroke, 4 valves, SOHC, Liquid Cooled Single, this motorcycle seems more appropriate for the race against the subject of this review, the KTM 690 Duke. Shall I even mention that the Brembo brakes and Marzocchi suspensions make it seem like Husqvarna’s Duke? No, I guess you’ve already figured that out.

Riding Impressions

Powered by KTM’s 654cc, 65bhp LC4 single-cylinder engine, the 690 Duke is light, agile and fun to ride. Perhaps more fun than the 65bhp power output may suggest. Motociclismo tested the bike recently, and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about it:

The 690 Duke can be surprisingly tempting. It looks better than its other 690-series cousins, has better ergonomics and a character that’s all its own. Mechanically, the Duke seems to vibrate a bit less than KTM’s other 690 bikes.

On the move, the bike feels responsive – twist the throttle and the small Duke picks up speed immediately – it almost makes you forget you’re riding a bike with a 65bhp single-cylinder engine. Wind protection is non-existent, but otherwise the Duke can be as suitable for longer rides as some of the bigger, more powerful bikes.

With firmer, shorter-travel suspension than other KTM 690s, the Duke feels better when accelerating or braking hard. The bike does not pitch or wallow too much, and the single 320mm front brake disc offers adequate stopping power.

The 690 Duke’s chassis is impeccable: steering accuracy at high speeds and stability in fast corners is exemplary. The lightweight (149kg) Duke gives you the confidence to ride it as hard as you want. And yet, the suspension is not too hard or too soft – it’s just right for twisty mountain roads and even works well on the racetrack, should you take the bike to one. Top speed is around 180km/h, which isn’t too bad. Overall, the KTM 690 Duke is just beautiful – the perfect single-cylinder bike.