EICMA 2015 saw KTM updating the 690 Duke and 690 Duke R for 2016.

It has been 21 years since the DUKE, KTM’s first modern Street bike, was released. The bike became a milestone in KTM’s history and now a DUKE is automatically associated with motorcycles built for having truckloads of fun across the capacity range! Around 50,000 have been built in Mattighofen over the course of those two decades. KTM has launched another generation of Duke's for 2016, the fifth since it was originally launched. This year’s main modification: a re-design of the LC4 engine. The KTM won't be just powerful like before it promises to be butter smooth as well.

For outright purists, KTM will also continue to offer an “R” version in 2016, with even more power, components,
an engaging chassis and sophisticated riding assistance.

The new engine of the 690 DUKE builds on the successful big single of its predecessor: 690 cc of displacement, electronic fuel injection, dual ignition with plug-selective mappings and ride-by-wire function are details that bestow the single with a solid punch as well as immaculate throttle response. For the latest edition, the engineers have once again pulled out all the stops, increasing the performance to 73 hp and, for a single, a record breaking 74 Nm of torque. The R version delivers 75 hp. On top of that, the already pretty wide powerband gets an extra 1,000 rpm of range on both models. Making the power delivery noticeably uniform even in the lower rev range. Yet, the most
complex innovation has been introduced to the cylinder head. Fearing no amount of design complexity, the technicians have managed to install another balancer shaft for drastically reduced vibrations. And that’s not the end of it; thanks to its optimized intake and exhaust systems, the new LC4 engine even complies with the Euro 4 emission control standards.

The latest generation of the 690 DUKE gets top quality WP suspension components, a four-piston front brake with radial calipers by Brembo and a super lightweight but extremely stiff trellis frame made of chrome molybdenum steel sections. New triple clamps with less offset ensure the new 690 DUKE tracks with even greater stability in corners and the 690 DUKE R even has a fully adjustable suspension plus Brembo Monoblock calipers machined from solid aluminium. Furthermore, the exhaust system of the 690 DUKE has become a full kilogram lighter. A new slip-on silencer and catalytic converter contribute to a linear torque delivery as well as outstanding emission levels. The great sound at high engine speeds is also a benefit of this new stainless steel system. And since the pre-silencer has been placed under the engine, lowering the center of gravity, even the handling characteristics benefit from all of this. The rating of “best power-to-weight ratio in their class” is a virtual certainty for the two DUKEs anyway.
The R version has a high quality Akrapovič slip-on that not only contributes to the low weight, elegant looks and fantastic sound but also to the 2 extra hp that roll out of the 690 DUKE R.

With this new generation, KTM offers DUKE riders additional assistance in the form of state-of-the-art electronics. Besides the disengageable two-channel ABS, KTM’s Ride Mode technology (optional for 690 DUKE with “Track pack”, as standard for 690 DUKE R) is available, managing the power delivery of the LC4 engine with three different settings. The rider can choose from the “Sport”, “Street” and “Rain” modes via the new mode switch on the left handlebar, even on the go. A traction control system is also included in this electronics setup, allowing more or less rear wheel slippage depending on the selected ride mode. This is included in the optional “Track pack” for the
690 DUKE, which also incorporates additional features like the Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) and a Supermoto mode. MSR counters the tendency to lock up the rear wheel, should the rider chop the throttle or drop the clutch while downshifting. In the 690 DUKE R, the ABS is even controlled with regard to the current lean angle thanks to a lean angle sensor. The same goes for the traction control and Motor Slip Regulation of the R, available as standard.

Some more interesting bits found on them are the combination gauge, a large and interactive TFT color display whose practical menu functions are operated intuitively with the illuminated control element on the left handlebar. Or the LED brake light with its lightning fast response. The two-part seat has also been optimized, offering
more comfort front and rear as well as giving the rider even greater freedom to move. The triangle making up the seat, the offset aluminium handlebars and the ideally placed rider foot pegs ensures a focused riding position with the torso bent slightly forwards for perfect control in any situation. The latest DUKE generation also gets new paint and graphics – insiders will pick out the 690 DUKE R easily by the orange paint on its frame and wheels.