by JC Hilderbrand

2010 KTM Duke 690 R

Fans of the big Super Duke were treated to the 990 R version, but for 2010, the littlest Duke gets an upgrade option as well. The 2010 KTM Duke 690 R ups the ante over the standard model which won our comparison against the Aprilia Dorsoduro thanks to its uncompromising performance and styling.

KTM claims that the 690 R scorches tarmac with 70 horsepower. That would be a big improvement over the standard 690 which cranked out 56 HP on our 2009 dyno session. KTM’s big Single was what won us over with excellent bottom-end grunt that makes short work of twisty pavement. With a claimed weight of 326 pounds, the extra thrust will be especially potent. Not only has KTM managed to boost the engine performance, but maintenance intervals are now longer meaning engineers have planned for durability as well.

As an R model it gets an orange frame and special edition white/black graphics. Standard 690 Dukes are available in black, orange or white, but the R combines all into an especially sexy package. It also gets carbon mudguards, but suspension upgrades are the other important differences. There is no word yet on the price.