KTM 690 Duke R

KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 Adventure Touring Enduro

The Austrian KTM factory has enormous experience and ability to generate extremely offroad capable enduros and the KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 is one of those, probably the king of the light adventure touring category. The KTM enduros are famous from superb offroad handling features. Also the KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 is designed to be used out of tarmac and represents the hard core of challenging adventure touring enduro category.

One more step up to the most extreme would be a high maintenance ready to race DAKAR racing style enduro such as the KTM 500 EXC 2014 with rally accessory.

The standard KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 is clearly made for local dirt road riding, but the true character fits very well beyond any roads, allowing to enter the most challenging routes with a reasonable amount of payload and speed. The 690R is one of the strongest choices for demanding adventure touring through challenging routes far away from tarmac roads. The 690R offers for most of us state of the art riding ergonomics both in standing and sitting posture.

The KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 is very agile and highly offroad capable enduro, being at the same time fit for longer service maintenance frequency (10 000km / 6.214 mi.) which is necessary for touring purposes.

When riding offroad the KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 brings right away confidence into the front tyre which makes riding a lot more fun. The 690R has very good dirt road and trailing features which opens the access to extremely remote places and heights. The smaller, more winding and badly maintained the road, the better.

The long stroke single cylinder 690 engine LC4 provides very smooth and practical torque which leads also to lower need for shifting.

Even though the KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 is very much offroad capable, it is a heavy offroad bike which has also it`s limitations. Going sideways up a hill, the rear wheel slips easier compared to roughly 35kg lighter racing offroad enduros. The highway speed is generally too much for this type of enduros. The frame is slightly too flexible, there is not enough wind coverage, the front wheel becomes too light, the engine vibrates on high revs and the gear ration is not designed for high speed.

The KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 is at it`s best on gravel using the second gear up to the 6th as long as the speed remains below constant 105Kmh (65Mph.). The 690R has a special vibration balancer shaft eliminating most of the jittering, but above 4500rpm the single cylinder LC4 engine still vibrates quite a lot. Therefore riding on fast roads is not ideal and routing should be planned through the smallest roads.

KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 Features

The KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 LC4 engine management provides 3 different maps and throttle behaviour. The map ranges from soft, advanced to standard setting of throttling and power delivery characteristics which can be a practical adjustment for very different type of riding and speed requirements. The KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 requires standard 95RON fuel for a sophisticated injection system and fuel mapping.

For some reason, the factory offers no low octane settings, even though the 690R is very much capable of taking the most distant adventures in the hinterlands. It should be a standard feature and some of riders use anyhow the 690R with the low octane too.

The KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 fuel tank is below the seat and provides modest 12L (3.2 USgal.) capacity which is not enough for exploring the remote locations that would be natural for the 690R riding features. The equipment providers offer bigger and additional tanks which covers the handicap easily. The 690R WP suspension is one the best choices offering excellent performance. It is designed for poorly maintained dirt roads and trailing.

The WP shock absorbers allow to quick adjust both the high and slow speed compression at both ends which covers the requirements at the offroad and road riding with a reasonable touring load.

The KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 riding ergonomics are excellent as long as riding takes place in the adventure related environment. The 690R handlebar can be adjusted in 4 different positions according to the rider preferences. The 690R seat is very much offroad oriented and practical when riding actively and moving a lot, but otherwise it`s slightly hard and not comfortable. The 690R foot pegs are wide offroad type of foot rests and therefor appropriate in every way.

Earlier KTM produced the 690 with a tall Dakar rally type of fairing, but today the 690R is delivered with standard offroad enduro fairing parts with adequate H4 bulb headlights. The key KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 features are:

Seat height 910 mm. or 36.81in.

Ground clearance 280 mm. or 11.02in.

Suspension travel 250/250 mm. or 9.84in.

Tyres 90/90 R21 and rear 140/80-18

Max performance 67HP and 68Nm.

Alternator 224W

Weight fueled 147kgs or 324.1lbs.

Payload 200kgs or 441lbs.

Fuel tank 12L, 3.2USgal. 2UKgal. (min. 95RON – 89AKI)

KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 Instrumentation

The KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 provides the very basic instrumentation, but with an up to date technology. The engine revs are shown with a traditional tachometer. The 690R provides no fuel gauge which leads to trip counters used as a reference.

A good navigator can also assist by counting the distance travelled and comparing it to given fuel consumption. Therefore it is not a problem what so ever. There are 3 control buttons to play with the LCD settings. The standard KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 digital LCD display offers:

Digital speed reading

Mileage in total

Trip 1 – 2

Fuel reserve trip


Coolant temperature bar

KTM 690 Duke R

KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 Equipment Accessory

The KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 is one of the best choices to build up an adventure touring enduro. There are a lot of alternatives and equipment, both model specific and universal to tune the 690R. For those with slightly less extreme requirements, the list can be relative short and not so expensive, but when taking the 690R to extensive global tours with highest demands, the rider could make significant investments.

There is a lot of alternatives to gear up the 690R for serious adventure touring. The standard KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 needs at least a real skidplate and engine cover, +9,5L bigger fuel tank perhaps even with a reserve canister such as ROTOPAX, luggage system such as GiantLoop and a windscreen. Since there are no fuel gauges, by choosing a natural white fuel tank, the rider can estimate the amount of fuel from the side.

Those who want more can upgrade the 690R with Dakar rally style fairing kits. Note that the rear brake cylinder is also quite exposed. The alternator is quite modest and can not cover several electrical accessories at the same time.

KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 QUEST TuneUp Kit

In order to bring the KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 to the adventure globetrotter class, upgrades must be made. A Swiss KTM dealer in Basel offers a 690 QUEST tune up kit which brings additional fuel capacity, better headlights and wind protection on board. The fuel capacity increases up to exceptional 32 litres (8.45USgal. 7.04UKgal.) which takes the 690R far away and back.

The standard headlight is very modest and hardly sufficient for touring. The 690 QUEST twin headlights bring a lot more safety in riding, but due to the small alternator, there is hardly capacity for a pair of auxiliary riding lights on top of grip heaters, navigators etc. The tall – narrow navigation tower is a typical Dakar rally style fairing which provides adequate wind protection for the upper body in sitting posture, but also the middle of the body in standing posture.

The 690 QUEST -fairing is not designed to cover the whole rider which is not even a good idea for adventure riding in challenging conditions. The KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 QUEST tune up kit upgrades the 690R to the level which matches the adventure touring requirements and the true character – capabilities of it.

KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 RallyRaid TuneUp Kits

Another alternative for KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 would be RallyRaid Adventure tune up kits. The EVO1 and EVO2 Adventure tune up kits extend the fuel capacity, provide proper twin headlights and wind coverage with a Dakar rally style fairing. The fuel reserve expands from the standard 12 litres (3.2USgal. 2UKgal.) up to 22,5 – 23 litres (5.94USgal.

4.95UKgal.) depending on which kit is in question, but there are also additional rear fuel tanks which put up a 26,5L fuel capacity altogether. The RallyRaid Adventure tune up kits are installed without modifications and can be easily removed from the 690R and the bike returned back to the standard condition.

On top of the KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 RallyRaid Adventure tune up kits, the RallyRaid offers also other tuning parts such as lower fenders, power outlet sockets, fairing graphics and hard core replacement parts that are tested in competition environments. The RallyRaid seems highly committed to KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 tuning.

KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 Comparison

Compared to the offroad enduro KTM 500 EXC 2014, the KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 is clearly much more road and touring capable. Although the 690R is 27kg heavier, offers 3L more fuel capacity, has 65 mm. less ground clearance, 60 mm. lower seat height and a kind of road riding seat instead of racing. Perhaps the biggest difference from the road riding perspective is the frame and the amount of torsion resistance.

The 690R has a space frame and a more rigid swing arm which makes the 690R much more road capable at high speed compared to the 500EXC. From the practicality point of view, the 690R has a long service maintenance interval and the 500EXC a very short one.


Compared to the YAMAHA XT660R 2013. the KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 is clearly much more offroad capable and clears challenging riding situation with ease. The 690R is 34kg (75lb.) lighter, offers 3L less fuel capacity, 14kg (30.9lb.) more payload, 50 mm more suspension travel. The XT660R is on the other hand more comfortable on the road at a reasonable speed. The XT660R has also a longer gear ration for road use and the 690R an offroad oriented gear box.

Still the KTM 690 Enduro R 2013 offers the best platform and widest range of parts to start equipping and building an extreme adventure touring enduro.

KTM 690 Duke R
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