While KTM won’t be officially releasing their all new KTM 690 Duke until later this year at the EICMA show in Milan, they have given some journalists access to a pre-production version of the bike in Italy along with a host of images and details on the upgrades the bike will receive.
From what has been disclosed, this isn’t a mild upgrade. The engine has been completely reworked with increased bore and a shorter stroke. Power increases by 7 per cent to 54kw and torque goes up to 6 per cent. Total displacement remains at 693cc but due to the modifications made, redline goes up by 500rpm to 9,000rpm.
But what of the greatest issue with large displacement single cylinder engines – vibrations? KTM thinks they’ve got that sorted with an additional countershaft which is located in the cylinder head. KTM says this all but eliminates that awful buzzing sensation you get through the handlebars and early reports suggest they’ve nailed it.
Chassis wise, nothing has changed on the Duke save for trail which has gained 4mm. But that’s a good thing as the 690 Duke’s issue was never its handling – just its harshness.
In keeping with KTM’s excellent use of technology, the new 690 Duke gets selectable Sport, Street and Rain riding modes along with traction control and a slipper clutch. KTM’s Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) which further assists with rear compression lockups will be available as an optional extra.
In what is a first for KTM, the TFT dash gets sensor that will automatically switch the display between night and day modes depending on ambient light conditions. In another triumph for KTM, the new 690 Duke meets Euro IV compliance a year ahead of schedule – not bad given the power bump.
The KTM 690 Duke will be joined by an R version when it is launched later this year which gains another 1.5KW over the standard version and will also get fully adjustable suspension (front and rear), bigger brakes and a more ‘exclusive’ graphics package. It’s all looking like the new 690 Duke has the best chance yet to win people over to a single cylinder sportsbike.