While cultivating its specificities, the Austrian brand, launched a roadster medium capacity for a wide audience.
Building on the success of the 125 Duke, an authentic roadster, KTM has decided to apply the same recipe to his middleweight fetish, I called the 690 Duke. Its fourth generation, draws a line on the mind “supermotard” of his predecessors, but not the powerful cylinder, that has built its reputation. This one here, knows a new development with power increased to 70 hp and an electronic throttle control (drive by wire) supposed to make it more flexible.
If a cylinder does not offer a multi-cyclic regularity, it has the advantage of a strong character, more lightweight and easy maintenance (overhaul every 10,000 km). With a chassis, that is longer than the roadster supermoto, 690 Duke wants to be more easy to understand by ordinary bikers. Its seat height (835 mm) remain problematic for less than 1.70 m, but its smoothness, a lightweight 165 kg fully fueled and the series of Bosch ABS, easy to hold hands.
In town, the softness of commands and the lightness of this great contrast with a 690 engine, that needs to be maintained above 2500 r / min, otherwise unpleasant knocking. Beyond this threshold, the KTM 690 is very bright and cheerful shows between 5500 and 7500 r / min. A nice surprise in the case of a cylinder large displacement. On the track, the Duke without fairing and manages to exceed 200 km / h.
This is however not straight as the qualities of the 690 Duke will emerge but on smaller roads. Its space frame, its quality WP suspension and Brembo brakes provide him a road leading efficiency. His behavior is intuitive, only the engine that demands more gear changes than four cylinders specifies a minimum of experience to his driver.
If the 690 Duke is the most versatile ever produced by KTM, it does not become sterile so far. In the city, including, it must deal with a lack of flexibility at low revs. His “big mono” retains a strong character and on winding roads, the average agile engine will be able to remonstrate with many large. An amateur informed choice somehow.