2014 KTM Duke 690R

One of the wishes I have in my bucket list is to own a big bike before I hit 40. Long time ago (in year 1997 to be exact), when I came back from Japan after finished my studies, I wanted to cry looking at the price tag of big cc motorcycles in Malaysia. Due to all kind of taxes imposed by the government, they are ridiculously expensive!! Probably, the most expensive in the world! (How ironic, big bikes are cheaper in Singapore than here??) With fresh grad salary I was getting at that time, there was no way I could afford to buy one. If I want to purchase one, I have to choose between own a big bike or a car. With family on the way I had to choose the later. With a car I can ferry my family around.

Fast forward to the present time, only at end of last year I realized I still didn't fulfill this wish. I already have in my mind a few bikes within my budget to consider including Monster, Shiver, Versys, Dorsoduro, 800GS, Z800, Street Triple. Finally, I chose KTM Duke 690. There are 2 types of Duke 690. A standard-version and the latest one is R-version which is just launched in September 2013.

KTM has been my dream bike since I bought MZ125SM in 2003. I still keeping my old bike and our relationship lasted longer than my marriage :P I like supermotard look and its riding position. KTM bikes used to be very expensive until they opened up a factory in Malaysia not long ago and Malaysians have the opportunity to purchase CKD (Complete Knocked Down) KTM Dukes with excise duty being exempted by the government. So, the price is slightly more affordable for people like me. Ohhh BMW... please open up a motorrad factory here, so I can buy BMW 1200GS for my next bike....

KTM Duke 690 (Standard).... Nice bike!

KTM Duke 690R (Racing).... Woweee!! What an amazing bike!

At one glance they look similar with modern street motard style bike and bright orange trellis frame (like Ducati) but there are several racing components have been added up to the R version. KTM claimed this bike has the most powerful single cylinder engine ever built. With less than 150kg in weight and with very powerful torque, Duke 690R is very nimble and agile bike, the handling is top notch. Suitable for daily commuting, swift between traffics like hooligan and weekend ride to enjoy twisties and turns at trunk roads. However, with only 70 hp, it doesn't have top speed unlike 4-inline Japanese bikes. Riding on straight highways is kinda boring. For sure you are going to be left behind by other bigger horse power bikes in motorcycle convoy on the highway.
New riding gears

Komine stuff shipped from Japan

Ernie helped ship it from Tokyo, thanks babe!

Before I purchase the bike, I went to three different KTM dealers in Klang Valley. Motosing at Jalan Pudu is offering the best deal in town and they have dedicated staffs who are attending to my requests and complaints during the purchasing process. Their financier Al-Rajhi bank also offering the best auto-loan for motorcycle available on the market.
Salesman & the mechanic
The bike was ready in less than a month and I'm happy with the services I received from the dealer. The price of the bike was RM52,500 excluding insurance and road tax, only RM6,000 more expensive than standard-version. 
The day I pick up the bike
One of the highlights with R version is the slip-on Akrapovic titanium silencer. Listen to the deeper bass sound exhaust below and it produces extra 2 horsepower too. Nice huh?! ;)

Latest video after I removed the silencer. It sounds much better!!!!

KTM Powerparts came with the bike are ABS assisted Brembo brakes, Akrapovic slip-on titanium silencer, racing gear & brake levers, ergonomics KTM Powerpart seat scalloped to my bum, single seat cover, orange color crash cages, racing air filter, racing sprocket, anodized orange color triple-clamp, fully adjustable WP front forks and rear suspension, Galfer brake disc, lighter rims, lighter kick stand and many more. Which in total will cost up twice more than the price difference between standard and R-version.
KTM Powerparts
KTM Powerparts
On top of all the racing components on R-version, the dealer gave me RM5,200 free voucher to spend on KTM Powerparts. I blinged it up with additional accessories like KTM handguards, radiator grille, a sexy rear light with shorter plate holder, orange color belly cover, windshield for touring, KTM anodized cover for hydraulic brake & clutch, orange color anodized engine screw cover, KTM rim stickers and tank bag & pad. And the result.... it's a wicked bike!!
Additional accessories

I took it out for a ride to Putrajaya on Sunday, one day after I got the bike. I need a bonding period with the bike before ride it to the office in heavy traffics. Duke 690R is kinda easy bike to handle even with stronger torque and pick up at mid range. I just need to get used to it.
Space cop Gaban
Ohhh yeah, this fella is a head turner on the street. Especially, at the traffic lights. Kids in cars were waving at me. They thought I'm somewhat a Space Cop Gaban...hahaha.
A boy and his toy
I like this picture the most. Look badass in that mirror shielded helmet.
Sorry girls, I like riding it single-seater
Based on review on the Internet, this bike doesn't have top speed. Maximum speed it can go on the highway is up to 190km/h. With powerful torque and lighter body, it takes only 4.5 seconds to go from 0 to 100km/h. When I get on the bike it feels like handling a scalpel, unbelievably a specialized sharp tool. However, the engine is very rough at low rpm. Just have to play with the clutch but I like it, I like the vibration. Hope to break in the bike quickly, so that I can test the bike's real performance.
Awesome machine
The following weekend, I went up Genting Highland in solo ride through old trunk road to Genting Sempah-Awana-Genting Highland. Although the bike is great in city riding, this country road actually brings the bike alive. To my pleasant surprise, it made easy to do sharp turn and fast exit at every lap. I rode in attack position all the times. It has enough power to tap every time I twisted the throttle and I didn't feel tired at all. It was a great 2 hours trip KL-Genting-KL with stopover at Awana for roti canai and teh tarek.
Asah tayar to Genting
In my opinion, Duke 690R is a fun bike and ideal for daily commuting. Affordable price with all the racing components (I guess still far fetch for most Malaysians, my mum almost fell off the chair when I told her the price. She said with that price tag, I can buy a Perodua MyVi car. But driving MyVi not as cool and fun as riding Duke 690R!). It has very strong torque but lack of top speed (how fast can you ride in traffic jam??). The body slim and light, with upright riding position and ABS brakes also incredible; 10,000km service interval and drive-by-wire lower fuel consumption. I have no regret of choosing this bike as my new babe...haha.
Genting foggy ride
Some tips for newbies before you buy a bike. You gotta ask yourself what type of bike is your taste? How much horsepower do you need? (less experienced riders should start with lesser power engine). What kind of riding position do you like? How much budget do you have? (If you are a beginner, buy secondhand bike unless you got the better deal for a brand new bike especially many CKD bikes nowadays). How do you use the bike? Is it for weekend ride or daily commuting? Do you like speeding on the highway or riding on twisty roads? Do you like touring or venture out off-road? Try sit on a few bikes at the showroom and the best if you can take it for a test ride. Get a friend to go with you to check if the bike suits with your body and look. What I mean is if you are fat, don't go for sport bike because your big belly will slam the fuel tank every time you hit the break. You should get an easy rider or a cruiser like Harley Davidson or touring bike. Or if you are too short, don't go for supermoto or dirtbike. You will be struggling to get on the bike. Whatever it is, don't make a rash purchase. Buying a new bike is an exciting endeavor. If you found the bike and fall in love with it, make sure you will enjoy owning it after the initial thrill fades. If you decided on Duke 690 Standard, don't ever look at Duke 690R because once you look at 690R you will never go back to standard version.

Nowadays on Duke 690R, I always taking long way to the office and this is exactly how I feel everyday going to work... (this video was shot in Poland)

The strongest single-cylinder in the world!!
Make no attempt to emulate the riding scenes above.... you're right! :P

Tanah Aina in Raub

Kuala Kubu Baru

Bukit Ampang

Bukit Ampang


Anonymous said…
Hi. I'm a Malaysian student in India. I have been commuting using yamaha r15 everyday to hospital here. I was really thrilled after reading your post. What a good wirte up. Hoping to get same bike as yours. Maybe we could ride together someday.
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Anonymous, sure we can go ride together enjoying serpentine roads in Malaysia. Good luck with your studies!
Mr.J said…
Hey bro, U r a lone rider? come and join me and some of my buddies riding. We ride in small groups and all are not crazy fast..very the santai...look me up in FB Tuan Moody..great write up btw..
Anonymous said…
Hi.. Nice bike. Can i know where u bought the tail tidy n for how much?
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Mr. J... Sometimes I rode alone, sometimes I rode with friends. Most my friends enjoying fast ride on highways (they have 1 liter bikes) but with Duke690 I prefer twisty roads.

Hi Anonymous... I bought the tail tidy at KTM bike dealer where I bought my bike. If I'm not mistaken the price around RM700, roughly USD200.
Faizal Jaafar said…
Bro, does Motosing sells 2nd hand 690 Duke R?

No, before that... is there any 2nd hand 690 Duke R around~?
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Faizal, last time I was there, I saw a secondhand 690 with full system Akra. But it wasn't R type. If you buy a brand new 690R, it comes with evo kit now. Try check it out at the showroom.
cptai said…
Hey! Great write up on a great bike. My question is, is it suitable as a fist bike? I am a crazy mountain biker looking to have my first motorbike, but only a B2 license. Cheers! Tai
Faizal Jaafar said…
cptai, imho Duke 690R might not be suitable for a first bike. Especially if you've never rode any motorbike before, not even a kapchai (mountain bike is not applicable).

Try to settle with Duke 300 first. Eventually, you can upgrade to 690.
Kam Kasturie said…
Thanks Cptai! On your question as first motorbike... I think it is okay to have it as your first bike. Duke 690R is very light and nimble, easy for first time rider to handle it. If you think it is too powerful, you can buy Duke 390 which is a lot easier to ride.
If you do not wish to upgrade your license to B Full, you can opt for Duke 200.
Mohammad Helmi said…
Dear Sir, what is the average fuel consumption for daily ride? I am thinking of getting this bike for my daily ride to the office. I will be travelling daily from Seremban to Shah Alam next year Insya Allah.
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Helmi, full tank is 14 liters and can hit 300km before the tank empty. IMHO long distance journey on the highway is no fun with this bike, especially if you gonna do it everyday.
Andy Walkabout said…
Hi, I'm an avid biker too and chanced upon your blog from one of my readers. You have owned your Duke 690 R for a few months now. Care to share your thoughts after owning the bike for thus far and was it easy to live with? Am thinking of adding the Duke 690 R to my stable and would appreciate your thoughts.

Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Toyota Lexus, Thanks for stopping by. I've been using the bike mostly for daily commuting to work. Once a while, I will go riding with bunch of friends. All of them are riding much bigger cc with more than one cylinder bike. I was struggling to catch up with them on the highway. Sometimes I regret not buying Hypermotard but there was no CKD the time I purchased my bike.
So far no technical problem with the bike I can share.
Anonymous said…
Hi Bro..
any much difference in term of power btween 690 r and 690 r evo?.. currently i'm using Duke 690 CBU.. thinking of change my bike to 690 r EVO or ducati hypermotard/hyperstrada.. coz my current bike start to give one after another minor prob (milage >50k)

Its for daily use to office and weekend bike to karak & klawang as well.. luv to the big willie after exit corner..from ur opinion shud go for 690 r EVO or ducati hypermotard/hyperstrada?
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Anonymous, what I know with EVO kit you will get extra 2HP only. And probably better exhaust sound :P

If you ask me, I would buy hypermotard. Definitely it will cost more. And I hate the stock exhaust on Hypermotard, additional RM9k to change Termi exhaust. For long distance traveling, maybe you should consider Hyperstrada.
Unknown said…
hi, i just wanna ask about the vibration of the bike. some review said not that bad. care to share your experience with your bike?
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Helmy,

In term of vibration, it is pretty strong becoz Duke 690 is single cylinder. If you hate vibration, better not get this bike. But it is not a big deal to me. I'm okay with it.
Unknown said…
Hi, where did you get the tail tidy and the tail light? how much it costs?
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Max, I bought it at Motosing Jalan Pudu about RM700.
emil said…
Hello. I plan to buy this 690 for daily commute appx 100km per day, what would be ur opinion on this? Is it suitable? Tq bro..
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Emil, 100km daily commute is okay to ride on this bike. It will be fun to ride it daily.
emil said…
Thanks Kam.. Now already in my 2016 wishlist..:) oh also already went to motosing pudu..jalan2..:)
Yudis said…
Hai Bro, nice story on the duke 690R

Im from Indonesia and im having hard time looking for some aftermarket parts for my Duke 690R

May i know where you buy your aftermarket parts in Malaysia? I have friends than often come to Indonesia and i think easier if i ask for his help to buy for me

Thank you very much
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi bro, all aftermarket products on my bike bought at the shop I purchased my bike. But you can ask your friends to explore Jalan Sentul which known as the center of motorcycle aftermarket and spare parts in KL.
Faizal Jaafar said…
Wow dis post has been yrailing since 2014.. LIKE! Bro Kam, post lah gambar terbaru bike ni. Or perhaps time to upgrade? #KasiBakar
Kam Kasturie said…
Thanks bro Faizal. Last ride was 4 days ago. I had to do site visit at Celcom Exchange in Senawang, Merlimau & Skudai. So, I took the opportunity to make the trip on 2 wheels. A week before that I was off to Ipoh on day trip in heavy rain. Coming back to KL using trunk roads. So, back to my trip to Skudai JB recently.... For the first time I took trunk roads all the way back from JB to KL more than 400 kilometers. JB-Skudai-Senai-Kulai-SimpangRenggam-AirHitam-YongPeng-Chaah-Labis-Segamat-Gemas-Rompin-Bahau-BatuKikir-SimpangPertang-Titi-GentingPeres-SemenyihDam-Batu14HuluLangat-Ampang-Home. It was such a fun ride even during puasa time. Upgrade??? MT-09 Tracer CKD dah available kat Malaysia. Might consider that.
Unknown said…
Wow nice bike bro with all the KTM powerparts installed. Is the pillion seat sold separately or comes together with the bike?
Kam Kasturie said…
Thanks Demolitia! Pillion seat comes together with the bike. But it isn't comfortable according to those who have been pillion riding with me.
Unknown said…
I have a plan to buy this bike KTM Duke 690 for my husband b'day present. But I don't know that they have so many types. Such as 690R or Evo?! It makes me confused. Hehe... I hope that you can give me some opinions. We staying at KL but my husband work at S.Alam. He ride everyday with his LC bike (I bought it since 2012 for him). I think, now is the good time to buy a new bike for him. As a surprise present. I know that he like this KTM Duke so much. I hope that I can find one and with a good price
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Puan Siti, your husband must be the luckiest person on earth. When many wives don't allow their husbands to ride motorcycles, you are buying one for your hubby. Reason they give is dangerous riding motorcycle but I believe the actual reason is they don't want their hubbies to pick up girls. Well, girls attracted to guys on motorcycle because we look like bad boys... hahaha, just kidding! :D
Anyway, back to your question on Duke 690. My advice is just buy the highest spec Evo which come with full system Akrapovic. Slightly more expensive but not much different from R version I believe. If I am not mistaken the 2016 model come with colorful TFT display panel and changing the riding mode can be done easily with a switch on the handle bar. But if you don't mind the old models, you can always get good deals at www.mudah.my for model year 2014. Hope my answer helps you.
begger said…
hi bro, ride hard! anyway.. i jus wanna know how is the bike so far in terms of care and its maintenance? tq
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi begger, so far maintenance is easy. Just change engine oil and filter. I did major maintenance before my warranty expired last Feb by sending it to KTM Service Center in Kota Damansara. For engine oil you can use motorex but very expensive or any other cheaper options also no problem. Just make sure once a month you check for missing screws from the bike. Single cylinder bike vibration very strong.
Jep Elli said…
Hi Kam,

So do you still have and ride your Duke 690?
How has the maintenance and reliability been these last few years?
I've been considering to buy a low mileage used one...
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Jep,

Yes, I still keeping & riding the same bike for 4 years now. Some of the issues I encountered...
1. Rear brake caliper jammed. Fixed by the KTM service center while under warranty.
2. Rocker arm jammed and scratched the camshaft. I have to replaced both. Heard it is common issue with this model.
3. Brembo braking system was stolen. After i got it replaced, I cemented all the nuts & bolts including handle bar to prevent it from getting stolen again.
4. Gasket leaking and radiator coolant got into the engine. I have to overhaul the engine and replace some of the component. This is very rare but hard luck, it happened to me.
5. Losing a few screws due to vibration.

Hope that answer your question.
Jep Elli said…
Thank you for you answer, Bro Kam.

Scary also lor. LoL
Especially the rocker arm issue. Heard about it too. If no more under warranty, then it will cost a bomb to repair, I suppose...

Anyway, whatnks again for your insight.
Jep Elli said…
One more question;

Does the engine run hot (especially in traffic jam)?
*I have a Duke 390, and it runs very hot when in slow traffic and stopping at traffic lights. Plus the radiator fan blows hot air unto my calves and thighs.

I was wondering if the Duke 690 have this issue too.
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi Jep,
If rocker arm only, not that expensive la. I didn't notice the rocker arm jammed, so I just ramming the throttle as hard as I could. Until I sent for service, the mechanic listened to the engine, he said something is wrong and he suspected the rocker arm. Unfortunately, it already scratched camshaft.

And yes, the radiator fan blows to my thigh. If i have to stop longer at the traffic lights, normally I will switch of the engine. No big deal to me.
Anonymous said…
Assalam and hye kam....nice story of your duke 690.i love duke n like u,i have a dream to have big bike b4 40 years of my age n luckily i just bought duke 690 year 2011,my aim from beginning is hypermotard 821 but 2nd will cost 48k to 55k at least,i love ducati but it cost quite high.....this 690 bike really bad looking bike n its look awesome n tak lapuk dek zaman.....it just cost around 25k half the price of hypermotard,its a bike i like which is tall bike look big n look bad ass ...hehe

I use it for quite a while n found out that most ktm model i think n heard that temp can easily go high expecially when in traffic,my bike no exeption so luckily last owner has change samco hose n high quality coolent for cooling down engine better....its help but not so much....

The last owner also mention most that use motorex engine will counter arm rocker problem....he did to b4 n now change to ipone full katana which is better n smooth....i do feel soft on gear shifting.....he have the bike for 6 years already n have experience but please dont fully trust me or him.....mayb he was luck not so damage happen to bike....by the way motorex oil is the recommended by ktm right....for me its might true maybe not what he say.now im using ipone oil n so far so good....ill see 1-3 years of use n how it cope.u guys can go to youtube n see how well ipone engine oil protect the engine...do your research k as im also new n doing my own research....
Kam Kasturie said…
Wsalam tuan anonymous, i didn't know motorex would cause rocker arm problem. Which type of ipone oil you use? How much it cost? And where do you get it in KL?
Anonymous said…
Assalam...as i mention dont trust me or others.i think its just luck or maybe the motorex not the cause of problem since its the recommended oil for krm right...i dont think the motorex is the cause as long u use recommended oil....its how ppl care for the bike and know how to maintain it.i did ask otai of duke n also mechanic for ktm regarding rocker arm...they told me the same....when bike is in low rpm n jerking dont continue drive at the same gear coz it will damage the rocker arm,maintain at rpm 4 and above at all cost.when rpm go less then 4 just go for lower gear so the rpm will go high....the owner told me this is the trick to maintain the bike from damage,otai told him n also the mechanic for ktm.its good for my old duke n i think the newer one also as yours....hope this help
Kam Kasturie said…
Wsalam Anonymous, thank you for sharing the tips regarding rocker arm.
Unknown said…
Assalam bang. Masih lagi guna duke690 ni ke ? Btw moto ni sesuai ke utk org yg x berapa tinggi ? Tinggi sy dalam 163cm je. Minat dgn duke690 ni lama dah. Kalau ade rezeki nak amik yg 2nd hand je. Nak guna utk weekend dgn long distance ride. Mohon bg tips cket. Terima kasih.
Kam Kasturie said…
Wsalam bro, yes... saya masih guna Duke690R ni. Ada 2 bijik kat rumah. Saya mmg bercadang nak jual sebijik sbb nak upgrade ke touring bike. Moto ni agak tinggi, tinggi saya 168cm tapi bergantung kepada rider. Saya rasa ok jer, tak kekok pun handling this bike. Kalau 163cm mungkin agak challenging. Tapi brader boleh cuba dulu duduk rasa selesa ke tidak. Mmg best kalau nak ride hujung minggu especially bila layan korner.
Unknown said…
Assalamualaikum bro.. I m a freaking ktm 690 fan! Tapi blom beli2 lagi.. Biasa la.. Bujets too tight

Nak bagi pandangan ckit ni.. Pnh x try kluarkan termostat? Fungsi dia.. To keep the enjin warm or at optimum temperature.. In this case, the enjinnis too hot.. Tapi cuba la tny pomen, dorg lebih pakar

2. Enjin oil.. Sy pnh baca artikel dari co. pengeluar myk enjin. Just nak paham pasal benda ni. Yg sy paham myk fully sintetik dia lebih tinggi heat tolerance berbanding semi n mineral. N fully sintetik racing lagi la tinggi heat tolerance. Maksudnye yg tinggi heat tolerance ni klu temperature tinggi dia still blh bagi pelinciran. Yg sy paham la.. Klu salah mntk maaf

N the reason why i like KTM DUKE 690..
1. Ringan (handling senang)
2. Sy suka layan kona (bukan baring sgt pon... ;P)
3. The power is enuf for me.. Laju sgt sy x brani!

Tapi.. If i do buy this KTM (not sure when) i will surely take the termostat out. Coz too much heat can coz a lot of prob! Especially to my thigh.. Pnh try bwk panigale 1x, baru 200m sy dah kelam kabut nak pulangkan moto tu.. Heat from the radiator is flowing to my thigh as i rode it.

Aa.. Duke 690 ada rasa panas masa on the move ke?

Kam Kasturie said…
Waalaikumussalam bro,
Tak pernah keluarkan thermostat. Apa yg saya tahu, thermostat adalah satu komponen yg penting dlm liquid cooling system. Fungsi dia memastikan engine mencapai suhu ideal utk operate dan maintain suhu optimum dlm semua operating condition. Ada thermostat atau tidak... enjin Duke690 ni akan tetap panas. Bila berhenti lama semua big bike mmg panas kat celah kelangkang sbb radiator fan blow, kecuali R1200GS sbb radiator fan dia blow ke tepi. Kalau bergerak, takde masalah.

Semua minyak enjin saya guna fully sintetik. Motorex mahal sgt, skrg saya pakai ipone, murah dan sesuai dgn KTM.

Duke 690R ni best layan jalan bukan highway. Masuk highway... mmg tak best.

All the best, I hope your dream comes true to buy this bike.

idz said…
teruja dengan cerita ceriti Kam Kasturi berkenaan Ketam 690. Dah jual ke yg sebiji lagi tu.
tgh survey survey antara Ketam dgn Hypermotar 796.
Kam Kasturie said…
Hi idz, sebijik tu dah lama jual dah. Test ride la dua2, tgk yg mana berkenan di hati.

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