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Thread: 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions

  1. #1
    Rusted Adarsh_Bk's Avatar
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    Default 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions

    I just wanted to try something new so this is my first video log riding the KTM Duke 690.



    This is not a thorough review by any means, just wanted to talk about first impressions and what it felt like to ride it.
    After having a 390 for a year in India, I wanted to know what 690 feels like hence I took a test ride for few hours and also decided to make this video. I hope you enjoy watching this (and not get bored ) and please drop your feedback as to what can be done better. Talking to myself for the video feels weird since I am not used to it!

    You might wonder why I was riding slow most of the time, the speed limits are quite strict here and they have installed automated speed cameras almost everywhere so I was always near the limit to avoid getting tickets! Moreover, since I was mainly riding in built up areas and not in mountains etc its always safe to stick to the speed limits. I wish I could take it to proper mountains & curvy roads but they are a couple of hours ride away and I didnt have time for it.

    Regarding audio, the breath deflector on the helmet seemed to increase the breathing sounds captured by the mic. I also had a slight cold which made it worse! I need to see what can be done about it.

    Coming to the bike, this is the latest 2016 version (specs & details can be found here KTM 690 DUKE 2016)

    There are quite a few things I missed to mention in the video. Here a few points:

    1. Price : Since even across countries in Europe, the price of bikes varies quite a bit (sometimes more than a 1000 euros) and also I have no idea at what price KTM would launch this in India, (if they ever decide to launch it that is), I didnt discuss anything about the price.

    2. Maintenance : Again, I have no idea how much it would cost to maintain it (like life of chain, brake pads, tyres etc) but the KTM service interval is 15,000kms/ 1 year so I am guessing it wouldnt be too high.

    3. Looks : I wanted to say it is quite an ordinary looking bike but missed to say that in the video. But sometimes simple unassuming looks are the way to go

    4. Engine heat, other issues : The temp was around 15C so there was no engine heat at all while riding even in slow speed. I didnt face any issues like false neutrals, bike stalling, not starting quickly etc, which are trademark 390 issues!

    5. Build quality : Compared to 390, it is definitely better. The switch gear surely looks well made and even overall build quality is good.

    Would I buy this? No, coming from a Duke 390, even though I totally love the throttle response and the way it handles, the single cylinder vibes are a big let down and I am looking for something that provides a smoother ride. The engine has a range of rpms (something like 5k-8k) where its quite smooth, but its difficult to always be in that range.



    Here are a few pics,













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    Moderator Divya Sharan's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions

    Impressions approved!

    Someone's having way too much fun out there.

  3. #3
    Rusted Adarsh_Bk's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
    Impressions approved!

    Someone's having way too much fun out there.
    Thanks for approving sirjee!

    Just trying to make the best use of the stay here
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    Default Re: 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Adarsh_Bk View Post


    Would I buy this? No, coming from a Duke 390, even though I totally love the throttle response and the way it handles, the single cylinder vibes are a big let down and I am looking for something that provides a smoother ride. The engine has a range of rpms (something like 5k-8k) where its quite smooth, but its difficult to always be in that range.

    I heard that they have added some mechanism like balancer shaft for 2016 690 models to remove the vibrations. Do you feel the vibrations inspite of this balancer shaft ??
    Past & Current Bikes :

    KB 100 <-- Great performer (SOLD)
    Yamaha RX 135 (4 Speed) <-- Always a Legend no matter what (SOLD)
    Honda Unicorn <-- New Legned already born (SOLD)
    Honda CBR 250R <--Good Tourer (SOLD)
    KTM Duke 390
    <-- The Hooligan (SOLD)
    Benelli 600i<-- In-Line 4 :) (SOLD)
    Triumph Daytona 675 <-- SuperSport and the king of 600s (SOLD)
    Yamaha YZF R3 <-- Sold
    Interceptor 650




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    Rusted Adarsh_Bk's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrocky View Post
    I heard that they have added some mechanism like balancer shaft for 2016 690 models to remove the vibrations. Do you feel the vibrations inspite of this balancer shaft ??
    I guess my conclusion sounds a bit harsh Yes, they have done quite a bit to reduce vibrations (you can read about specifics in their website). I havent ridden the older 690s so I dont know how bad it was. Like I said, its smooth at certain rpm ranges but you cant always be in that range.


    Also in many ways, the way the bike behaves was very similar to 390 and I am looking for something different on my next bike, so I guess I wouldnt buy it even if it was smooth.
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    Default Re: 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions




    Review of the older 690. I guess I'll continue to maintain a mile length from the Orange showroom.

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    Rusted Adarsh_Bk's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by HyperRetard View Post



    Review of the older 690. I guess I'll continue to maintain a mile length from the Orange showroom.
    Oh c'mon. Its not like all KTM bikes are like that. Only big single cylinder bikes (390 & 690) have these vibrations, which cannot be avoided no matter what. Duke/RC200 are relatively smoother. And here, their ADV bikes are a different league altogether!

    I would still love to ride a 690 in proper twisties, just that I dont want to own one for long term that's all.

    Btw, the above review from RJ may not be the best reference to compare, as he is coming from S1000R & Super Duke and he himself says he may be a bit spoiled
    Ride hard.. Ride safe.. Always!

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    Default Re: 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Adarsh_Bk View Post
    Oh c'mon. Its not like all KTM bikes are like that. Only big single cylinder bikes (390 & 690) have these vibrations, which cannot be avoided no matter what. Duke/RC200 are relatively smoother. And here, their ADV bikes are a different league altogether!

    I would still love to ride a 690 in proper twisties, just that I dont want to own one for long term that's all.

    Btw, the above review from RJ may not be the best reference to compare, as he is coming from S1000R & Super Duke and he himself says he may be a bit spoiled

    Hear the bike at idle at 3:46 - 4:00. Look at how frustrated he is that he literally slams the engine kill button. I think he looks right to the mini truck, realizes its the Duke 690, and literally wants to kill himself.

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    Default Re: 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by HyperRetard View Post
    Hear the bike at idle at 3:46 - 4:00. Look at how frustrated he is that he literally slams the engine kill button. I think he looks right to the mini truck, realizes its the Duke 690, and literally wants to kill himself.
    690 CC for a singl cylinder is an overkill IMO.All good vendors will always go for a twin post 300+ CC.However i do agree that the D200/RC is altogether a different league.Its smooth,reined and Kick A#$.Its a very different bike altogether when compared to Higher capacity Single Cylinders

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    Default Re: 2016 KTM Duke 690 : First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by HyperRetard View Post



    Review of the older 690. I guess I'll continue to maintain a mile length from the Orange showroom.
    That is ridiculous dude. For every negative review of any bike, someone can put up 10 glowing ones. Watching an internet video should not decide your bike decision.

    I have ridden 3 generations of the Duke 690 (the first one was a 640 actually) and while it may not be refined and smooth, it's probably the most fun bike I have ever ridden. And I have ridden over 50 different bikes. The thing is light as a feather, torquey like a bull and fun like a disneyland roller coaster. Yes, its a niche bike built for a very specific purpose - having balls out fun every time you ride it. Does it vibrate? Yes. Will you notice this while pulling a 100M long 2nd gear power wheelie or braking hard and flicking the thing on its side into a corner at the last second? Unlikely.

    Big singles vibrate. Its what they do. Like inline 4s wail. This is not good or bad, this is their character. Some people like one and others prefer the other. You will notice the vibes if you sit all day on the highway doing 120. For city and twisty riding, there is no better bike in the entire world.

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