KTM 690 Enduro
KTM 690 Enduro
KTM 690 Enduro
KTM 690 Enduro
KTM 690 Enduro
KTM 690 Enduro
Top test KTM 690 Enduro
Successor to the LC4
With the legendary LC4, KTM once created a new type of motorcycle: the hard enduro.
W.ar it luck? Was it planning? Hard to find out. In any case, there is one merit for those responsible for KTM: that of having seized the opportunity. With the first four-stroke enduro, which, in contrast to the two-stroke machines with full power, could be approved, they closed a gap that the other manufacturers could not fill. And clearly hit what the zeitgeist called for back then, at the end of the 80s. Because who would have believed in such a success in 1987, when the original LC4 with its own engine rolled out of the factory halls? But the LC4 used and shaped the mood and taste of that time. It has shown itself as a rally, supermoto, motocross, extreme travel or simply as an ordinary everyday machine as universally as hardly any other motorcycle concept before it – and therefore sold 150,000 units in its twenty-year life.
But times are changing. The globe has now become narrow for rallies and adventure trips. And there have long been more specialized drifters, crossers and enduro bikes. What remains? To redefine the way of the middle. To extend universality to include the typical KTM arguments: stronger, faster, lighter. To anticipate: the KTM 690 Enduro has managed the former and the latter. 65 HP and 152 kilograms with a full tank, this combination puts the direct competition in the shade – and at the same time the question of what remains of that universality, which is ultimately based on moderation. Rising up. Uff, 93 centimeters seat height want to be climbed first. Reluctance? Oh well. The seating position is also reminiscent of the genes of those toughest of all hard enduros. Narrow seat, slim knee joint, wide handlebars with grips and a compact cockpit. Only the pressure on the starter button contradicts. The single is dignified. Just as we have known him since the beginning of 2007 when he made his debut in the 690 supermoto. Quiet mechanics and proper concentricity quickly fade memories of the LC4 prancing on its main stand while idling.
Engine and chassis
And the first few meters underline: Nothing is as it was anymore. One might not believe that the engine has exactly the same cubic capacity as its predecessor, exactly to the cubic centimeter – its 654. Nevertheless, the good behavior can be explained. A shorter stroke, a lighter piston, a lower centrifugal mass and, last but not least, a harmonious mixture formation through injection including electronic throttle valve actuation (ride-by-wire), all of this promotes the thick stew into the modern age. Lets it hang neatly on the gas, rev up effortlessly and only brake moderately when taking off the gas. So that no misconceptions arise: It is and remains a single cylinder, after the Yamaha XT 660 the second largest of its kind. Therefore he is forgiven for shaking himself roughly below 3000 rpm, whipping the chain and rebelliously demanding: Give up, boy. One consolation: Compared to the 690 SM, the expressions of discontent are noticeably more moderate. A merit of more moderate control times, a modified mapping, modified intake tract and the exhaust system.
Don’t rush anything now. Think about where you’re going. Off to the terrain? OK. Gravel paths and dirt roads. Not too extreme. It would be possible, but it doesn’t have to be. Dream a little about the Spanish Extremadura, the French Cevennes or the Mecklenburg sand roads. Butt up, now it’s getting bumpy. It is relaxed on the 690 Enduro, bent slightly forward over the butted aluminum handlebar, sporty. Like tuning the suspension. Comfortable rocking? Not on a KTM. Instead, a full 250 millimeters of suspension travel front and rear, plenty of reserves, clear feedback, but also a few hard hits with lateral grooves. Stop, a wire loop behind the side panel releases the seat bench. Unpack the high-quality tool, turn on the compression damping, put the seat on, and go on. Noticeably more comfortable. However, more in the rear than on the fork, whose adjustment range does not have the span of the monoshock. Otherwise a lot is possible in the field.
Controlled drifts, long jumps
Likes to play in the grass: KTM 690 Enduro.
Only when it gets slippery do the fine Metzeler En-duro-3 tires smear uncertainly over the track. If things get tight on top of that, the three hundredweight and the steering geometry trimmed for stable straight-line stability occasionally push the front wheel outwards in tight turns. Only on very deliberate, tricky passages does his colleague Motor speak up again, with the said jerking demand for a helping grip on the clutch. Back on the road. Be careful, the tires are still caked with dirt. Oh, wasn’t there something else? Correct. Damping turned back on. And when the seat is down, three different engine mappings can be called up using the rotary control: standard, soft and sporty. Attempt at level one (soft). Save, the leather neck becomes a warm shower. No tire can be that greasy. No performance, no start, switch quickly.
Compared to the standard version, the sport mode provides a tad more direct response with the same peak performance. It’s better, but the marginal difference is ultimately a matter of taste. Back to the series setting, back to the country road. So tangled and bumpy, like it was made for the orange gazelle. Switch through. Only now does the coupling, which is light as a feather, become apparent. The reason: The so-called APTC system uses soft springs that are only additionally pretensioned over an inclined plane under load and thus prevent the clutch from slipping. When downshifting abruptly, however, the weak spring pressure acts like an anti-hopping clutch that cuts load peaks by briefly slipping.
Back on the road
Fast line: top times thanks to a successful suspension set-up.
Wise foresight? Because the expected liveliness of the KTM is much more intense on asphalt than off-road. As I said: 65 hp and 152 kilograms. It doesn’t take more than these key data to outline the essence of the 690 on solid ground. To explain that this stallion suddenly mutated into a supermoto bike. Not one with the aggressive forward driving position, but one that goes its own way. The off-roader that has become a hyper-handy corner wetter due to the narrow but good-natured tires (front 90, rear 140 millimeters wide). Thanks to this brilliant pace – the relaxed sitting posture, the moderate load change behavior and the equally formidable and stable front brake – you can also control it effortlessly. The fact is: this KTM doesn’t even have to fear combative super athletes in winding terrain. But again as a reminder:
The 690 Enduro is a single cylinder. Vibrations, albeit in a tolerable form, are omnipresent, two or better three gears must be downshifted when driving through town. If you forget, you will be reminded immediately by an uncouth jerk. And like Supersport riders, the KTM rider will gladly forego passengers who are only moderately comfortable on the rather hard bench in the back. After all, the 690 even lures with refreshing high-speed capabilities. At 170 km / h despite long suspension travel, narrow tires and unprotected rider hanging from the wide handlebars, you need a sophisticated chassis geometry and low manufacturing tolerances. In addition, the seating comfort makes the hurried trip on the autobahn – at least over a medium-distance distance – bearable. So after all: superior off-road qualities, excellent appearance on country roads and acceptable travel suitability – the universal LC4 spirit lives on in a new body. On top of that in a stronger, faster and lighter one.
Comments MOTORCYCLE scoring
No matter how you turn it: the 690’s engine is impressive. Top performance and driving performance are unparalleled among the singles. However: The single-cylinder is rough below 3000 rpm. Vibrations are present in the entire speed range. The smooth APTC clutch and the problem-free starting behavior thanks to injection including well-coordinated engine management remain outstanding.
It’s amazing what a broad spectrum the KTM chassis covers. Although the tuning tends to be sporty and tight, the adjustment range of the WP spring elements allows sufficient comfort even at moderate speeds. What remains surprising – in view of the off-road appearance – is the chassis quality on the road. Nimble handling, good feedback and unlimited lean angles invite you to dance on the asphalt.
Once used to the narrow bench and the always noticeable, but still acceptable vibrations, the 690 can confidently be used for the everyday ride to work, although luggage storage and wind protection are not among the strong points of the Austrian. After all, the range of 273 kilometers is good even for long after-work laps. The workmanship is also impressive.
ABS is still not an issue in the off-road segment without suitable control technology. However, the brakes are unexpectedly stable. The Brembo single-disc system easily withstood the predominant and severe use on asphalt. Also not an issue: standing up when braking.
The moderate consumption does not financially outweigh the high inspection costs due to the short intervals. In contrast, the cost of insurance and tires are quite low.
A two-to-three price-performance ratio. Not great for a well-equipped motorcycle away from the mainstream, but okay.
+ KTM has already relieved customers of the agony of voting.
+ The correct settings for the spring elements stick to the underside of the seat – perfect.
+ The tank in the rear frame saves additional fiddling with the pump when the tank bag is strapped on.
– Torn instrument windows are currently a constant criticism of KTM singles. The speedometer cover of the test machine also tore in several places.
– Heat-damaged plastic parts should no longer exist today.
– The melted edge of the left side panel proves otherwise.
– License plate holders don’t like motocross slopes. Therefore the advice: remove ballast before jumping – otherwise it will do it by itself.
Great: the Enduro develops formidable supermoto qualities on asphalt.
The new KTM 690 Enduro is measured against a single key question: Will it manage to transfer the legendary LC4 concept into modern times? The answer to that is clear: yes. Because the new creation is no less universal than its predecessor – but it is in a completely different league when it comes to running smoothness, performance and finish.
Tech News – Swap
There are four of us: The new 654 engine and the tubular space frame are shared by all four new KTM single-cylinders.
One engine, one chassis, many models – KTM already pushed the modular principle to its limits with the legendary original LC4 with countless variants. And now continues on this path with the new 690 single. The Funbike Duke is based on the Supermoto model 690 SM. The 690 Enduro shares most of its technology with the extremely sporty Supermoto racer 690 SMC.
The new single with 654 cm³ displacement and fuel injection and the tubular space frame are identical in all four. The latter in particular creates a problem for off-roaders: Because of the tall single cylinder, there is not enough space between the framework profiles of the frame tubes for a practical fuel supply. To accommodate additional tank volume on the outside of the frame would firstly widen the knee joint enormously and secondly ensure additional weight far in front and above – both extremely undesirable in the field.
The solution: tank and airbox swap places. While the air filter box on the 690 Enduro – and the largely identical 690 SMC, but equipped with 17-inch wheels – sits enthroned directly above the cylinder, the fuel sloshes in the center of the rear frame. But there is also a lack of space there. Battery compartment, shock absorber and the recess for the exhaust set limits. Thanks to the design options of a self-supporting rear formed from plastic, the KTM technicians make maximum use of the installation space.
Even if this twelve-liter solution did not reach the volume of the conventionally installed 13.5-liter tank of the Supermoto or Duke, it was worth the effort. The narrower knee joint and, above all, the noticeably greater freedom of movement make up for the slight loss in range in practice.
Data KTM 690 Enduro
Water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, a balance shaft, an overhead, chain-driven camshaft, four valves, roller rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, injection Ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter, alternator 224 W, battery 12 V / 9 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O -Ring chain, secondary ratio 45:15.
Bore x stroke 102.0 x 80.0 mm
Cubic capacity 654 cm³
Compression ratio 11.8: 1
Rated output 46.3 kW (63 hp) at 7500 rpm
Max. Torque 64 Nm at 6000 rpm
Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 48 mm, adjustable rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, front disc brake, Ø 300 mm, double-piston floating caliper, Rear disc brake, Ø 240 mm, single-piston floating caliper.
Spoked wheels with aluminum rims 1.85 x 21; 2.50 x 18
Tires 90/90 21; 140/80 18
Tires in the Metzeler Enduro 3 test
Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1498 mm, steering head angle 63.0 degrees, caster 115 mm, spring travel f / h 250/250 mm, permissible total weight 350 kg, tank capacity / reserve 12.0 / 2.5 liters.
Service intervals every 5000 km
Oil and filter change every 5000 km
Idle speed 1200 ± 100 / min
Tire pressure solo (with pillion passenger)
front / rear 1.8 / 1.8 (2.0 / 2.2) bar
Two year guarantee
One year mobility guarantee
Price 8395 euros
Additional costs around 250 euros
Single household: the LC4 history
The year is 1983. While most manufacturers of off-road sports machines still rely on two-stroke engines, the future has already begun for KTM: With the 500 GS, the Austrians are presenting their first competitive sports enduro with a four-stroke engine. The Austrian engine manufacturer Rotax supplies the engine for the GS. The air-cooled four-valve engine is voluminous and heavy, but with its robust technology it is a good choice for rough terrain, which Richard Schalber confirmed in its debut year with second place in the European Enduro Championship. The ice has broken, the test engineers are tasked with developing a four-stroke single.
Four years later, in 1987, KTM introduced the "liquid cooled fourstroke", briefly called LC4, as the first in-house KTM four-stroke drive. The technicians consistently implemented compact dimensions and lightweight construction in the new engine. The sporting success was not long in coming. Joachim Sauer and the Italian Giangelo Croci immediately won the Enduro European Championship title in the 350 and 500 categories. In 1988 the first series enduro, the 600 GS LC4 with the LC4 engine (553 cm³) was presented. But at that point in time nobody had any idea what significance this new development would have for the future of KTM.
After all, it was only the high-performance, street-legal LC4 drive that made it possible for KTM to open up the large leisure enduro market. Clever marketing strategies such as the creation of the hard enduro concept, which positioned the LC4 models as puristic, yet everyday off-road bikes, helped just as much as did some favorable developments in the spirit of the times. Regardless of whether it was the supermoto boom of the 90s – which initiated the Duke series launched in 1993 – or the high-profile rallying commitment, none of this would have existed without the idea of that liquid cooled fourstroke – and the current KTM 690 Enduro too Not.
Husqvarna TE 610
BMW G 650 Xchallenge
1-cylinder, five-speed, 53 hp, weight 159 kg, 0-100 km / h 5.0 seconds, vmax 170 km / h, consumption 3.4 liters
8462 euros *
Husqvarna TE 610
1-cylinder, six-speed, 53 hp, weight 149 kg, 0-100 km / h 4.9 seconds, vmax 160 km / h, consumption 4.1 liters
7699 euros *
Yamaha XT 660 R.
1-cylinder, five-speed, 48 hp, weight 189 kg, 0-100 km / h 5.2 seconds, vmax 165 km / h, consumption 4.1 liters
6215 euros *
*Additional costs included
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