All Tests – 690 Duke and 990 SMT: two oranges pressed in the sun … – Day 2: Go have some sport!

690 Duke and 990 SMT: two oranges pressed in the sun…

All Tests - 690 Duke and 990 SMT: two oranges pressed in the sun ... - Day 2: Go have some sport!

We have tested two very wanton KTMs for you. This is not a head to head because there is no need to compare these two hybrids, but rather a joint test on roads as varied as they are extraordinary. Road book test !

Day 2: Go have some sport !

After a good night’s sleep, we are ready to do battle with our two Austrian moths cleared of their luggage. We carry out the necessary refueling of the machines to see big differences.

If the mono 690 is rather sober, the twin 990 is frankly more greedy! Indeed, the Duke will consume on our test only 5.1 l / 100 km on average, which, despite its small tank of 13.5 liters, allows a nice range of more than 200 km before reserve..

It’s less good on the SMT which will never drop below 6.3 l / 100 km with peaks of 7.6. So, despite its 19-liter tank, the autonomy is hardly greater than that of its little sister !

Assault on Ventoux

The particularly good weather helps us to choose: today, it will be Ventoux. Indeed, this mountain of nearly 2000 m of altitude posed in the middle of the plain can be very hostile, even downright dangerous, when the conditions are not good..

Already, expect to lose no matter what 10 or 15 degrees from "down". Then you can easily find yourself in the clouds, or even the rain or the snow, even in summer !

Finally, if a strong mistral blows at the bottom, it is certain that it will be almost twice as strong at the top. It has already exceeded 300 km / h … But in these stifling temperatures, we are sure to find a little freshness up there.

A climb to take its marks

We arrive at the foot of the Giant of Provence via Malaucène. We are starting the climb at a good pace, but we should be careful. Le Ventoux is not a circuit and you have to share the road with a number of motorhomes and bicycles.

Nevertheless, the perfect agility of our two supermotards works wonders in these magical virolos, perfectly coated and protected by double safety rails. The SMT immediately speaks of its power and ease.

Whatever the gear, the twin throws you out of curves with force. For its part, the Duke demonstrates outstanding handling but still requires a little round of observation to get the most out of it. In these 20 km of climb where the Provençal vegetation gives way to fir trees and then to a lunar landscape, the mono does not forgive any approximation and is difficult to control.

If you approach a curve while staying high in the laps, you are penalized by significant engine braking on the angle but you benefit from a good recovery when exiting the curve. If you are lower in the laps, the opposite is true and the go-around can be a bit laborious. And the closer we get to 1,912 m altitude, the more the lack of oxygen penalizes the 65 hp mono…

The Duke, all schuss downhill

After a short break at the top to admire this unique panorama, we descend to Bedoin at a more lively pace. The Duke regains the advantage because its mono is more festive downhill !

Suddenly, the bike presents a perfect homogeneity between its punchy engine and its lightweight chassis to take and hyper rigorous. Admittedly the 690 requires skill and experience, but it is extremely effective in fast rows as well as in small corners.

Yet heavier and more powerful, the SMT is paradoxically easier and more affordable for a majority of bikers. Its front axle is very natural and immediately gives you confidence. Its engine and gearbox accommodate all uses, from the softest to the most brutal.

A cool day

Of course, it will still be necessary to deal with a necessarily greater engine inertia and a weight in running order greater than 60 kg than the 690.

The day finally passes very quickly on this huge pebble. We take advantage of its magnificent panoramas to take many photos and videos during multiple ascents and descents, each as exciting as the next..

While the plains are stunned by more than 35 ° C under cover, we take advantage of the same radiant weather but with 20-25 ° perfectly pleasant to ride !

Benjamin LALO

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