Riding Impression: 2009 KTM 690 Enduro R: Compromising little, the 690…

27 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Riding Impression: 2009 KTM 690 Enduro R: Compromising little, the 690…

Riding Impression: 2009 KTM 690 Enduro R Compromising little, the 690 is a hard-edged off-roader that likes the asphalt, as well.

Photography By Jeff Allen

KTM has the dual-purpose category covered, with the 690 Enduro R slotting nicely between the off-road-oriented EXCs and the globetrotting 990 Adventure. Introduced last year, the Enduro R was a hot commodity, with dealers quickly selling out of the machine.

Although the 690 is marketed as a “hard enduro,” I was on the fence, wondering if the bike would make a good mount for an actual enduro event. So I entered the 54th Annual Prospector M/C Gold Rush Enduro in Red Mountain, California. In an effort to experience all the 690 has to offer and take full advantage of its dual-purpose capabilities, I also rode the 160 miles of freeway from my doorstep to the starting line and back again.

Oddly enough, the street is where the Enduro R carves out its own niche. The tall seat (36.6 inches) and upright riding position give the rider a commanding view of traffic. Suspension is valved softly enough not to be punishing on the street yet it maintains good composure off-road.

Power from the fuel-injected, 654cc Single is stout, allowing the bike to pull hard through its six transmission speeds and also comfortably cruise at 75 to 80 mph all day. Three power maps—soft, standard and aggressive—can be selected to suit terrain and riding conditions. The bike easily tops 100 mph, but sustained speeds above 80 allow vibration through the handlebar that numbs the rider’s hands.

Once the green flag waved for the race, I realized that I was on a much bigger bike than a lightweight enduro. The Enduro R weighs 336 pounds fueled up, and the heft is really apparent off-road. Therefore, the front end tends to plow through corners instead of bite into them.


Additionally, the bike has a tendency to drop into turns unpredictably when leaned over.

Off-road, I preferred the standard power setting, which provides lots of muscle to tackle sheer, technical climbs without the bike becoming too much of a handful like it can in the aggressive map setting. Even so, the Enduro’s 47 hp (aggressive) shredded the rear Pirelli tire over the course of my 400-mile-round-trip adventure.

Despite the Enduro R’s size, I was surprised at the ease with which I could bounce and jump over rocks and obstacles. Graceful doesn’t exactly describe its nature, especially when pushed hard over desert whoops, but it did surpass my expectations. Descending steep, loose surfaces also required attention, as the 690 felt cumbersome and reminded me that gravity is not always our friend.

Clearly, the 690 Enduro is an excellent dual-purpose machine that will go anywhere, 120 miles at a time (observed range provided by the 3.2-gallon fuel tank). That’s about right, as the hard seat further limits ride time. An aftermarket seat, a rubber-mounted handlebar and soft luggage would make the Enduro R a capable adventure-tourer.

That might help buyers deal with the shock from the $10,498 sticker price, too.


Interesting articles

Tagged as:

Other articles of the category "KTM":

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts


Born in the USSR


About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.

Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Motorcycles.