2016 KTM 690 DUKE
2016 KTM Duke 690, 1989 Honda NC30, 2018 BMW S1000XR and 1998 Triumph Daytona T595: this month’s readers’ rides
THIS IS MY current 690 Duke – the first thing I did was install the Track Pack which gives traction control, which wasn’t cheap...
I then added a Wilbers rear shock, sprung and valved to my weight. The front end is a set of orange anodised KTM Power Parts yokes with a set of 690 R forks. The reason for the swap is that they’re fully adjustable for both rebound and compression, whereas standard forks have no adjustment at all.
It also has a clear airbox cover; not the most exciting mod but I really like the way it looks. Plus, I’ve fitted an Evotech tail tidy and radiator guard.
The latest modification is a Hilltop re-map. This gained 35% in the lower/midrange up to 5000rpm, and 4bhp at the top end. It’s now making 74bhp on Hilltop’s dyno, and this work has absolutely transformed the bike.
I know the 690 is an unusual choice to most people, but I could wax lyrical for pages about how much I enjoy it. I have a long history of owning sportsbikes, including a 916, 848, 1098, five R1s... but for me now, the 690 is the best bike on the planet.
I’ve ridden it at Donington, Mallory, Silverstone, Pembrey and Rockingham. I also recently took it on a tour of Germany and Belgium. And I can’t see any reason to change it for anything else in the near future.
Sensible engine and suspension mods ramp up this 690’s track appeal