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Thrill seekers, get ready for the ride of your life. The KTM 690 Duke will carry you at unimaginable speeds. This motorcycle is small but packs more punches than many fast bikes.You will, of course, need to know its strengths and imperfections before you ride it home. Naturally, you will have concerns about whether it fits your needs.
One question you will ask is if you should get a small or large motorcycle. You will answer this if you compare the Duke with other rides.
A small but tough dirt bike, this motorcycle has its strengths. These are reasons you can consider putting it in your garage.
a. Dynamic engine
To begin, KTM’s engineers fitted it with the company’s original one cylinder engine. This 690 CC engine offers six-speed-transmission and 69.1 horsepower. It takes the Duke through difficult road situations.
While a one cylinder engine may make this motorcycle seem simpler than its counterparts, it is more fun to ride. The engine weighs less and allows you to take the bike around sharp corners, at high speeds.
b. Economical engine systems
The economical engine system is impressive. The service interval of the Duke is at 6000 miles, considerably higher than KTM’s other motorcycles. You will not need to call your mechanic so often.
The Duke’s fuel consumption is also lower to KTM’s other bikes. The company has decreased it by 10%. This impresses riders, who say that this motorcycle can travel at speeds of 50 mpg despite using less fuel.
c. Compliant Suspension
With a WP inverted fork front suspension and a gas shock, the Duke can handle almost any road situation. Though the suspension may seem soft, three and four-way adjusters enable it to handle annoying road bumps and rough terrain.
d. Handles complex movements
If you are a rider who pushes your motorcycle around road curves at top speeds, you will love the Duke. With 52 ft of torque at 5500 revolutions, it caresses winding bends. To add, it is lightweight, so you can race it down rough roads.
e. Stopping power
The Duke is a powerful dirt bike, but it is safe. KTM mounted it with 4-piston Brembo caliper front brake and a single piston rear brake of the same brand. It also has ABS rotor brakes, so you can bring it to a halt quickly, even when it travels at high speeds.
f. Small display
The small display on the Duke is an advantage. It is easier on the eye, less cumbersome and will not distract you. This creates ease of movement and gives the motorcycle good directional stability. You can turn it in any direction.
g. Good ground clearance
Riders mentioned being pleased with the Duke because it has good ground clearance. This allows them to avoid grazing their feet on roads.
No motorcycle is without flaws. The KTM, like every other motorcycle, has a few drawbacks you must consider.
a. Too lightweight
The Duke uses a single cylinder engine so that it remains lightweight. You may question its stability, especially if you prefer heavier, three-cylinder motorcycle models.
Some reviewers commented that they found this motorcycle’s exhaust rather disappointing. It does not have the necessary rumble to impress.
Having a one-cylinder engine means that the Duke vibrates constantly. Though KTM has taken steps to lessen the vibration, it still annoys riders. This disturbance makes this bike unsuitable for long-distance travel.
d. Slippery seat
The Duke has a rather slippery bottom. A few riders commented that they constantly felt as though they were going to fall off.
This motorcycle retails at nearly $9000 USD, slightly expensive for a mid-range motorcycle with only 67hp. It is also small for its price.
3. Comparing the KTM Duke with the Yamaha FZ1
You may wonder whether a small motorcycle like the 690 Duke suits you. Comparing it with a bigger motorcycle, like the Yamaha FZ21, will help you decide.
To start, the smaller Duke tends to shake more than the F21. The steadier F21 performs better over long distances, and in stationary traffic.
With the efficient suspension and better stopping power, the Duke is easier to manage. It is a better motorcycle to race with, as it turns sharp corners quickly.
c. Higher speed
Smaller and lighter, it travels faster than the F21. There is little doubt about which motorcycle you should pick for racing purposes.
A motorcycle is an asset that will last for many years. These last recommendations will tell you if the Duke is worth investing in.
a. For racers
KTM is a company noted for manufacturing dirt bikes. It uses conventional technology to make the Duke. So saying, it is a motorcycle for those who thrive on adrenaline rushes. If you want a motorcycle you can use to travel over long highways, do not buy this motorcycle.
b. For petite riders
For small-sized riders, riding huge motorcycles like the Triumph Rocket III or the F21 is difficult. At a small 690 cubic centimeters and weighing only 330 lbs, the Duke is a boon for many female riders.
If you prefer striking colors and patterns, this motorcycle will suit you. It is orange frame will stand out immediately. Avoid buying it if it is the mean, dark look you are after. Try an imposing motorcycle like the all-black Ducati Diavel instead.
If your garage has room for a small, yet powerful racing bike, the Duke will fill it.