EICMA: KTM 690 Duke R: World’s most powerful thumper

KTM has unveiled their new 690 Duke R, and they claim it’s the world’s most powerful single-cylinder motorcycle.

The changes to the standard model aren’t earth-shattering, but they are forward progress. Weighing in at a scant 150 kg, the revised Duke now puts out 73 hp and 55 ft-lb of torque, due to minor motor updates (it has a 1000 rpm higher rev limit, and there’s less vibration, thanks to an intake camshaft that also serves duty as a balancer shaft). Both the standard 690 and the R version have suspension from WP.

If you spring the extra coin for the R version you get fully-adjustable suspension, an advanced traction control system (that factors in your motorcycle’s lean angle), and cornering ABS that includes a hoon-friendly mode allowing supermoto-style antics. The R model puts out 75 hp; an Akrapovic muffler helps make that extra power. Torque output is the same as the standard version. Sport, street, and rain riding modes are available on the R.

Both bikes get a new triple clamp (4mm less offset) and a new TFT dash, which all the higher-end manufacturers seem to be moving towards.

No Canadian pricing or availability has been announced yet for either machine.


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