Monday, September 01, 2008

KTM 690 Duke riding impression


Looking for a lightweight single-cylinder bike that's oodles of fun to ride? The KTM 690 Duke just might be the best of the breed...

Powered by KTM’s 654cc, 65bhp LC4 single-cylinder engine, the 690 Duke is light, agile and fun to ride. Perhaps more fun than the 65bhp power output may suggest. Motociclismo tested the bike recently, and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about it:

The 690 Duke can be surprisingly tempting. It looks better than its other 690-series cousins, has better ergonomics and a character that’s all its own. Mechanically, the Duke seems to vibrate a bit less than KTM’s other 690 bikes.

On the move, the bike feels responsive – twist the throttle and the small Duke picks up speed immediately – it almost makes you forget you’re riding a bike with a 65bhp single-cylinder engine. Wind protection is non-existent, but otherwise the Duke can be as suitable for longer rides as some of the bigger, more powerful bikes.

With firmer, shorter-travel suspension than other KTM 690s, the Duke feels better when accelerating or braking hard. The bike does not pitch or wallow too much, and the single 320mm front brake disc offers adequate stopping power.

The 690 Duke’s chassis is impeccable: steering accuracy at high speeds and stability in fast corners is exemplary. The lightweight (149kg) Duke gives you the confidence to ride it as hard as you want. And yet, the suspension is not too hard or too soft – it’s just right for twisty mountain roads and even works well on the racetrack, should you take the bike to one. Top speed is around 180km/h, which isn’t too bad. Overall, the KTM 690 Duke is just beautiful – the perfect single-cylinder bike…

Full road test on Motociclismo here


Here's the KTM 690 Duke in action. Looks good, eh...

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Elsewhere today:
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