Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

KTM Duke 690 - Madness or genius?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by rob_, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I used to ride quite a lot (VTR250), including the odd track day. However, I had to sell the bike to be 'practical'. Now I'm looking to get back on the horse again (after about a year), and I'm thinking KTM Duke 690... Does anyone have much experience with these? Am I mad to consider such an animal? Is there an alternative that I'm missing here? My requirements are such:

    - I'd like a nekkid bike ~600cc, powerful enough to be fun, but not too deadly (not a fan of I4 engines - I like "character")
    - Riding would be some commuting, but mainly going for a squirt in the hills or mucking around on a weekend. The odd 'touring' ride (~200-300km a day) now and again.
    - Occasional ride two-up with the better half
    - About 2-3 track days a year at Broadford (maybe Phillip Island once I get confident enough again)
    - I don't want a bike that'll just leave stains on my driveway and splutter when I want to go for a thrash - reliability is a must
    - The killer factor - budget of $8000 max(ish)

    I love the Street Triple, but even the dropped used ones are too expensive... So, thoughts? Is the Duke the best beast? Or is there other options that I'm missing here...?
  2. Superduke.......you know you want to
  3. Both.
  4. a 690 would be a great bike.

    i want one for a street bike.
  5. Friend has one and raves about it.
  6. Couple of very nice ones on Bikesales that fit your budget.
  7. just remember that ktm did a massive run out on these recently, so you could use that to your advantage in bargaining i guess.
  8. I like.

    But singles on the road can be an aquired taste, so just before you sign anything throw your leg over one for a lap.
    If it helps, I understand the engine characteristics on the Duke 690 is the least like a *traditional single cylinder as there has ever been.

    *compared to the previous model: LC4 625 SM, for example.

    Also, as a sidenote, the hotter Duke 690R has softer fork springs & lower top speed than the regular Duke 690. Yes singles can be alittle wierd like that....
  9. Be careful with these. Friend had one and it destroyed two starter clutches due to backfiring. Can't remember the details but that's how he tells it.
  10. I think it is over-priced... Too expensive
  11. Also look around for the 690SM or SMR. They are quite a lot of bike for the money and will do everything the Duke will do too. The newer SMC is a bit to dirtbike comfortable to do really long days on I found.
  12. I rode one, didn't like it. Decent punch and a real upright riding position.

    Check the tank range if you're planning on doing long rides - a lot of motards have small tanks.
  13. Yeah some people get on with Supermoto type bikes and some just dont gel and hate them. I really like them for what they offer but they have drawbacks too (narrow focus).
  14. I think I can smell french fries - but that makes no sense in this thread
  15. Hmmm, some good points here. I'm riding one tonight, so I'll guess I'll find out soon enough if a single pseudo naked/supermotard is for me.

    No one has really suggested any alternatives that match my requirements though - does that leave the Duke as the only one which meets all my needs/wants?
  16. Well, I guess if you wanted to try a twin instead of a single there's the Shiver 750, and if that's not enough cylinders the Street Triple, and if that's not enough the Hornet 900. ;)
  17. Oops, just re-read the opening post: forget all those! Options on Bikesales that meet most of your criteria, naked, newer than 2004, between 600 and 750, between $7,500 and $8,000:

    Gladius (though probably not for track days)
    Shiver (OK, I was right on that one)
    Monster 695
    BMWF650 Scarver
    And a few Dukes

    There's a Cagiva Raptor for $8,500 you could probably make an offer on...

    {shrugs} it's a reasonably narrow set of specs, but there are a few interesting things in it. The Duke may well still be the most interesting of them...
  18. You've listed some interesting bikes there - I've ridden the Shiver and was left a bit 'meh' by the experience - ditto the Monster (well, it was the 696 but same same). Bit scared of the Cagiva for parts/reliability reasons... Bit of a looker though...

    I guess the Duke is potentially the best of the bunch - I just hope it rides as good as it looks!
  19. they are a fun bike, i love them. just remember that if it has the stock muffler it will be alot better with an aftermarket one and an updated map. ktm does the maps from the dealer too.

    my old man has a 690smc and ran the standard pipe for a while, then put a slip on wings pipe and the akrapovic map from ktm in. the difference was crazy, in the low revs there was so much more grunt with still a noticble difference in peak power.
  20. Given that you'll be going for a 2nd hand one (good call), with a little luck you'll find one with that done already.