Amid multiple reports of a new Twin-cylinder replacement model, KTM confirmed the Single-cylinder 690 Duke will live on for at least another year with some significant updates for 2016.
While official specifications won’t be available until EICMA in November, KTM has released photos of a prototype and a few details about the revised 690. While it has long been reported that KTM is developing a new 800cc Twin-cylinder platform, recent spy photos suggest a new naked model was imminent. The timing of the release and lack of full details of the revised 690 suggests KTM is trying to play down those reports, as the 800 (or 790 Duke, perhaps?) may not be ready until 2017. Then again, we only have to look at Yamaha’s FZ-09 and FZ-07 to find an example of a manufacturer offering two similar bikes that differ by a couple hundred cc and an extra cylinder.
KTM has revised the Duke’s LC4 Single, increasing the bore but shortening the stroke to keep the displacement around 690cc. The rev limit has been increased by 1000 rpm. To compensate for the larger piston and incresed rev limit, KTM added a second balance shaft to reduce vibrations. KTM also designed a more compact cylinder head while using larger-diameter valves. KTM claims the engine updates produce a 7% increase in maximum horsepower and a 6% increase in peak torque while smoothing out power delivery at low rpms. The exhaust appears similar to the 2015 version but it has been revised to make the new 690 Duke the first Euro IV-compliant KTM.
The 2016 Duke comes with three ride modes, Sport, Street and Rain, selectable by the updated left handlebar switchgear. A Bosch 9M+ switchable ABS will be standard but traction control will be an optional add-on. Electronic settings will be indicated on a new TFT display, the first for a KTM.
The frame appears unchanged from the 2015 model but KTM has changed the triple clamp offset to improve handling. The rider and passenger seats are new, with KTM claiming improved comfort and ergonomics.
KTM will offer the 2016 690 Duke in two colors, black and a second color scheme (likely white and orange) to be revealed at EICMA. The Milan Show will also see the accompanying R model which will have an even bigger performance upgrade with more electronics, fully-adjustable suspension and higher-performance brakes.