KTM's new 690 Duke: A better thumper

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Want to rip around madly on KTM's new Duke? You'll have to travel to Europe to find one.
Want to rip around madly on KTM's new Duke? You'll have to travel to Europe to find one.

Sometimes we get a raw deal here in Canada.

Take, for instance, the 2012 KTM 690 Duke. This could be the hottest thumper we’ve ever seen, but it seems the machine won’t be available here next year. Or the year after. KTM hasn’t even included it in their leaked 2014 lineup.

But, if you’re still interested, here’s a look at what you can’t have. The motor’s been upgraded – new ride-by-wire electronics, new twin-plug head – and should get better fuel economy, as well as longer, 6,000-mile oil-change intervals, and 12,000 mile valve checks.

The one-lunger should put out 70 horsepower, and KTM says the counterbalancer will keep the bike running as smoothly as a multi-cylinder engine.

The seat has been lowered about an inch, the exhaust has been moved to the side of the machine. Braking comes from a single-disc unit in front with a Brembo radial-mounted four-piston caliper, and single-piston caliper, single-disc unit in rear, with Bosch ABS.

Suspension is provided by fully-adjustable units by WP. KTM says the bike weighs 335 lbs without any fuel in the 6-gallon tank.

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