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2018 long term fleet – Laura’s KTM 690 Duke

Orange really is the new black 

Laura Thomson's picture
Submitted by Laura Thomson on Tue, 10/04/2018 - 21:34

2018 long term fleet – Laura’s KTM 690 Duke

GINGERS don’t suit orange, fact.

So imagine my chagrin when editor Alan announced that he’d secured me a KTM 690 Duke long termer, in a shade of orange brighter than my hair. What a stitch up!

No amount of whining could persuade Al that I’d be better suited to something a little more toned down, and so I just had to accept that orange really is the new black.

Not that I actually cared. The 690 Duke is a wicked bike and well suited to my daily commute through London thanks to its high riding position, narrow body, good fuel economy, low weight, agility – I could go on…  Plus, that shocking orange will hopefully help the Capital’s cagers to notice me in their rear view mirrors (I doubt it).

I collected the Duke this afternoon, after returning Suzuki’s SV650X to the company’s Milton Keynes HQ. A 30-minute taxi ride between the two was long enough for lethargy to set in and I arrived at KTM GB far less excited than I should have been.

It took one look at the Duke to wake me up. The most recent facelift really has worked wonders – it looks boisterous and aggressive – and those orange rims are plain awesome. Mine is the standard model, but I’ve already mentally spec’d a whole load of PowerParts, which will only make it meaner.

On the list is an Akra exhaust, K&N air filter, KTM’s ‘track pack’, a fly screen, luggage kit plus many other goodies.

But before my extensive shopping list can be fitted, I’ve got to run it in. A 60-mile ride home took the Duke to just 70-miles, and I have another 530 to go before its first service. But given how fun it was on this cold, grey Tuesday afternoon, that won’t take long at all.

Check back in a week or two to read my first impressions...



Once you've added a few bits, and especially if you go for the 690R?

I didn't realise they were still making the 690 now that the 790 has arrived. The Huqsvarna looks better, and the 790 is better.

KTM needs to replace their design Department, this 690 and 790 are ugly as hell

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