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2016 KTM 690 Duke Announced With Substantial Changes


We not only enjoyed our test of the KTM 690 Duke, we found it one of the best handling street bikes we had ever ridden … capable of carrying crazy speed through tight, twisty canyon roads. When we heard about the improvements for 2016, we began to itch for another test ride.  More power, more torque and much lower engine vibration … sounds good to us! Now that KTM has announced the new machine, we have the following details and specifications:

2016 690 Duke Specifications & Highlights

The next generation of 690 Duke has arrived. While holding onto the pure, unadulterated character for which the Duke is so well known, KTM has redesigned the 2016 690 Duke to be smoother, more powerful and have more features than ever before. Starting with a redesigned LC4 powerplant, the 690 now has 7% more horsepower and 6% more torque but has less vibration thanks to a second balancer shaft in the new compact cylinder head. The usable rev range has been increased by 1000 rpm as well, giving the 690 Duke performance unmatched by any single-cylinder street bike. Three riding modes (Street, Sport, and Rain) are selectable via the KTM-first TFT full color dash. An optional Safety Package further enhances the 690 Duke’s ride with Traction Control (MTC) and Motor Slip Regulation (MSR). Throw in a more comfortable seat and even better handling and you have the next chapter in the 690 Duke’s exceptional history.


2016 Highlights

  • Heavily Revised LC4 with 7% more horsepower and 6% more torque
  • All-new compact cylinder head with integrated second balancer shaft for reduced vibration and increased smoothness
  • Larger intake and exhaust valves
  • Increased usable RPM range by 1000 rpm
  • Three riding modes with new selection switch – Sport, Street and Rain
  • KTM-First light-sensitive full color TFT digital dash display
  • NEW exhaust is Euro IV compliant while increasing power and torque
  • NEW triple clamp with revised offset for better handling
  • NEW Passenger and pillion seats for more comfort and improved ergonomics
  • Bosch 9M+ two-channel ABS
  • Optional Safety package with Traction Control (MTC) and Motor Slip Regulation (MSR)


  690 Duke Specifications
Engine type Single cylinder, 4-stroke
Displacement 690 cc
Bore/stroke 105/80 mm
Starter/battery Electric starter / 12V 8.6Ah
Transmission 6 gears
Fuel system Keihin EFI, Throttle Body 50 mm
Control 4 V / SOHC
Lubrication Pressure Lubrication / Two Oil Pumps
Cooling Liquid Cooling
Clutch APTC Slipper, Hydraulically Operated
Ignition/EMS Keihin EMS with RBW, Dual Ignition
Frame Chrome-moly Steel Trellis Frame
Subframe Aluminum, Powder Coated
Handlebar Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 28/22 mm
Front suspension WP-USD, Ø 43 mm
Rear suspension WP-Monoshock with Pro-Lever Linkage
Suspension travel ft./rr. 135/135 mm
Front/rear brakes Disc brake 320/240 mm
Front/rear rims 3.50 x 17″; 5.00 x 17″ Cast Aluminum
Front/rear tires 120/70 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17″
Steering head angle 26.5°
Wheel base 1,466 ± 10 mm (57.7 ±0.39 in)
Ground clearance 192 mm (7.55 in)
Seat height 835 mm (32.9 in)
Tank capacity, approx. 14 l (3.7 US gal)
Weight, approx. 148.5 kg (dry) (327.4 lb.)


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  1. Silver says:

    But does it burn 7% more oil?

  2. Randy in Ridgecrest says:

    I too test rode a 2013 Duke. I too really like everything about it except the vibes. I am really looking forward to this bike as it may be THE ONE, finally. Unless a Husky 350 gets in the way first.

  3. fred says:

    A balancer shaft in the head? That is new

  4. Skybullet says:

    I too tried a Duke a couple of years ago and could not live with the vibes. Compared to my DR650 (that I wanted to replace) the vibes were the deal killer. But, I like everything else about the 690.

  5. ApriliaRST says:

    Is a price listed?

  6. Jeremy in TX says:

    If they really have quelled the vibes, I am interested.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      It’s KTM. What the second balancer giveth, the additional 1000RPM taketh away….. They could put a thousand balancers in there, and still manage to just up the rev ceiling until the engine is within an inch of vibrating itself to pieces. I doubt they could help themselves even if they wanted to. I’m test riding this bike with intention to possibly buy. Which, again since they’re KTM, is actually easy to do. The current one is by far the peach in their lineup, with it’s biggest problem being running out of revs a bit too quick in first, and always seeming to require an up shift 90% of the way down any straight. Which I have no doubt is the reason the engineers-cum-hooligan-test-riders felt they needed to reduce “vibration” in the first place…..

      • Provologna says:

        I take your post to mean the 2nd counterbalance smoothed the motor, which allowed them to increase RPM 1k, which increased vibration back to the same as it was prior. Do I understand correctly?

        I want the Husky dual sport with this improved motor. I doubt it needs the extra power, so I’d by happier with the smoother motor and less rpm.

        • Stuki Moi says:

          Pretty much. The current one is pretty smooth (for a KTM single)until you start approaching redline. Then vibration increases exponentially. It never feels like it runs out of breath, so it’s not breathing than limited revs before. And neither does it sound like internals have been lightened 1000rpm worth. Ergo, vibration reduction is how they achieved the added 1000rpm. In practice, unless they also fell for the temptation of shortening gearing, it will still vibe less at any given speed, so it’s not as if there is no gain at all aside from performance. I didn’t find the current one bothersomely vibey, either, so in my book, the longer powerband is the big price, unless early reports from Europe has the engines blowing and bending internals all over the place.

          Those new Huskies are beautiful. They always seem to sell out before I’m even aware they’re out yet, though.

      • John says:

        You don’t actually HAVE to rev it 1000 rpm higher just because you can. And even so, when tooling down the highway, you’d be revving about the same so either way it’s a benefit.

      • sbashir says:

        They did not increase the rpm by 1000, they widened the useable rpm range by 1000. In other words they widened the power band, which is a good thing. This did not increase the vibration, it only increased the torque range.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I had test ridden the current model a year ago, and I didn’t much care for it. It vibrated everywhere – the seat, bars, foot pegs – and it vibrated all the time, not just at high rpms. The bike was fun, a lot of fun, but it wasn’t anything I would want to live with day in and day out unless I lived at the base of a mountain road or something.

  7. RAD says:

    I love this thing , have always been a fan of the Duke .
    With all that said it is very pricey for a bike with one lung.

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