This is the 2012 KTM 690 Duke

Dailies, Galleries -


Ah, the increasingly bizarre world of motorcycle teaser videos. Since the concept of tipping off professional spy photographers as to the location of prototype testing appears lost on bike makers, they instead assemble promo footage which often fails to actually promote the bike in question. You know, because they can’t show the model itself because these are “spy” videos. There’s hardly even a self aware wink-wink, nudge-nudge. This latest masterpiece is for the 2012 KTM 690 Duke, now restyled to look more like its 125cc sibling, fitted with a more human-appropriate seat and had its under-engine exhaust swapped for a huge side-mount one. Despite that change, power is way up, we just aren’t supposed to tell you by how much yet.

But, oh yeah, this thing isn’t coming to America.

YouTube Preview Image
  • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    I actually liked the old headlight :/

    This thing looks too normal, but I suppose that’ll make it do better in sales.

  • the_doctor

    You can’t tell us? But we are all friends here, Wes. C’mon. Please?

    • Wes Siler

      Eh, we’ll probably get fed up with KTM and tell you anyways.

      • Taco

        I get it. On Halloween, you treat us with this tease then the trick is it’s not going to be sold in the U.S.

  • 10/10ths

    Which would you rather own, this new Duke, or a Hypermotard 1100 evo?

    • Wes Siler

      This Duke. Light is right.

      • gkanai


    • Myles

      Depends on location, unless you’re comfortable with doing all the work yourself. Duck has ~5x the dealer footprint of katoom in my area.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

      When I was buying my Duke, I also considered the Hyper and the Aprilia Dorso. The Dorso was a pig — too heavy to be fun — and the Hyper was too spazzy — and felt like a major downgrade in ride quality from my 950 SM. The Duke was just right.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    From this teaser video and the screengrabs, the new 690 looks like the bigger, uglier, too-much-make-up-wearing sister of the cute 125.

    • Wes Siler

      Yeah, not a big fan of the redesign, aside from the switch away from those awful headlights of old. Wait till you see the specs though, this thing is neat.

      • stickfigure

        Those “awful headlights” are what made the 690 duke the best-looking motorcycle on the market today. This new one is BORING.

        Specs be damned.

        • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

          The projector headlamp assembly looks way better when married to the smoked black, taller, optional touring screen. Plus, highway comfort becomes reasonable.

      • szu

        Nobody was buying the previous one, because 690SMC was equally impractical and waaay more fun.

        It seems they trying to make it a typical naked bike this time. Bigger seat, ABS.. and it’s supposed to be ~15% cheaper.

        That means 70HP road going single with the price tag of Yamaha XJ6/FZ6R. Nothing wrong with that I think;-)

  • Deltablues

    It is a Cruel Tease…the background shots look sorta like the American West, but the video looks like Spain. Oh, well. Almost bought a Husqvarna SMR510 this weekend. I am in the market KTM, if you wanted to sell me a ridiculously powerful single-cylinder motorcycle.

  • Mark D

    I love the idea of a lightweight, single-cylinder sporty road bike, and I know KTM is a dirt bike manufacturer, but…it looks too much like a dirt bike.

    Now, if they copped the RC8′s crazy lines and made it look more like the road bike it is…

  • gkanai

    I hope this thing has ABS?

    I’ll sell my ’03 LC4 Supermoto for this…


    Why did the 690 Duke R never Make it here. That thing was a nice setup with an Akra… I use an older LC4 Duke 2 as a town bike. Like riding a 60 hp mountain bike through traffic it is sick- Never late for work and always a good time. Just out of its element on fast sweepers. Newer one is more robust in the Transmission and engine though. Would want the R for more power but the standard is on par with a pumper carbed 640 LC4 with a big bore kit. Performance bits all over Germany for these things. Thing is if you put miles on it, singles never outlast twins. Get a 950 for any distance riding

  • Kurt

    From a business perspective, KTM would be stupid to bring this bike to the U.S. Unless they have some pretensions toward dirt capability, big singles have always sold like shit here. Multiply that for one that lists at 10 grr. Not a chance.

    • evilbahumut

      Especially since no one knows it exists due to lack of marketing and a poor dealer network. You can’t see it if it’s invisible right?

      I love my 3rd gen Duke 690; knee down at the track or foot out at the dusty garages and docks, the bike is a riot!

  • AHA

    The styling (exhaust, headlamp unit & graphics) looks like a retrograde step compared to the current European Duke 690. At first I thought this was a new 690SM, not a Duke. More re-trenching by KTM I guess? 2010/11 sales have been through the floor unfortunately.

  • Russ Gunn

    I hear it’s pretty frugal on fuel. Any ideas?