2016 KTM 690 DUKE

Performance Bikes (UK) - - CONTENTS - STEVE WEEKS

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

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