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ADV BikesKTM Adds a Little ‘Adventure’ to the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R

KTM Adds a Little ‘Adventure’ to the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R

Key changes slide the 690 a little more toward the adventure side of the scale.

Published on 11.07.2018
News of the production Yamaha Tenere 700 and KTM 790 Adventure have grabbed most of the attention at this year’s EICMA show, but the launch of a new generation KTM 690 Enduro R might just get adventure riders heads turning. The 690 Enduro R gets major revisions for 2019 that help improve its dirt/street versatility as KTM targets riders looking for a longer-range Enduro machine.

Back in the early 2000s, there used to be two LC4 models – the KTM 640 Enduro and the 640 Adventure. When the 690 Enduro R arrived in 2009, it was assumed a 690 Adventure would follow soon after that would include a luggage rack, larger fuel capacity and windscreen tacked onto the Enduro’s chassis. After years of waiting the 690 Adventure never came, and eventually fans of the old 640 Adventure gave up hope. But the interesting thing is, KTM has slowly been moving their 690 Enduro more towards the ‘Adventure’ spectrum.

It started with dropping the original 690’s suspension travel from nearly 11 inches down to a more seat height friendly 9.8 inches, putting it closer in range to an Adventure Bike than a full-on Enduro. Now after key updates were announced for the 2019 690 Enduro R, we can see KTM has slid the scale a little more toward ‘Adventure’ yet again.

2019 KTM 690 Enduro-R-dual-sport=motorcycle


2019 KTM 690 Enduro-R-dual-sport=motorcycle

Updates like a more balanced motor will make the 690 Enduro less vibey and more enjoyable to ride on the highway. Fuel capacity was bumped from 3.2 to 3.6 gallons, which should give the 690 Enduro just enough range to travel around 160 miles between fill ups (not far off the range of a thirsty carbureted KTM 950 Adventure). Additionally, KTM claims to have performed a chassis modification that dropped the seat height, making it even more approachable for adventure-style riding.

The 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R also gets new electronic gizmos that are typically found on adventure bikes like lean-angle sensing ABS and a Quickshifter. But KTM hasn’t just enhanced rideability on the street. They’ve also made improvements for the dirt. The 2019 KTM 690 Enduro got its suspension upgraded with WP XPLOR forks and shock, originally developed for the EXC “Enduro” models.

The KTM 690 Enduro R still has a long way to go before it’s a full-bore Adventure Touring Bike out of the box. A little help from the aftermarket is still required to get it ready for longer journeys. But with the new updates, this gets Adventure Riders a little closer to that KTM 690 Adventure they’ve been waiting for. Read on for more details about what’s changed on the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R below.

2019 KTM 690 Enduro-R-dual-sport=motorcycle

2019 Update Details

With the announcement of serious revisions for 2019, the popular dual-sport unites tarmac and trails like never before and is positioned for riders looking for a long-distance Enduro machine with addictive performance that also benefits from advanced electronic systems.

At its heart beats the new LC4 engine with more power and torque – 74 hp and 73.5 Nm – but this comes complete with refined delivery; improved smoothness, response and efficiency. In addition, the bike receives better suspension, a new chassis, a bigger tank and an array of technology-leading electronics.

2019 KTM 690 Enduro R Highlights

  • NEW Dynamic LC4 single-cylinder engine with less vibration and more power featuring electronic fuel injection, Ride-by-Wire technology, dual balancer shafts, PASC slipper clutch and 6-speed gearbox.
  • NEW styling based on the EXC family for a more aggressive look and enhanced ergonomics.
  • NEW chassis for optimized rider feel and control with a lower seat (910 mm / 35.8 in) while keeping the same suspension travel.
  • Fully-adjustable WP XPLOR suspension with separate damping circuits and 250 mm (9.8 in) of travel for the best offroad suspension on the market.
  • Cylinder head with dual ignition featuring individual timing control for optimal combustion.
  • Stainless steel exhaust with catalytic converter.
  • Ultra-light chrome-molybdenum trellis frame.
  • Self-supporting polymer rear fuel tank.
  • High quality Brembo braking system combined with lightweight waved discs.
  • Technology-leading Cornering ABS with Offroad mode (to disengage rear ABS) for hard braking under all circumstances and the Quickshifter+ for smooth clutchless shifting.
  • Motorcycle traction control (MTC), motor slip regulation (MSR) and Street and Offroad ride modes that can be switched directly from the handlebars for controlled power delivery.

2019 KTM 690 Enduro-R-dual-sport=motorcycle

2019 KTM 690 Enduro-R-dual-sport=motorcycle

According to the orange marque, the evolution of the KTM 690 Enduro R has meant retaining everything that was good about the previous model and building on that. Under the new seat and fresh bodywork – both sharpened for style as well as better movement on the bike – is an all-new chassis. Designed to be more confidence-inspiring and better suited to tackle everything from easy trails to extreme offroad obstacles as well as being a competent street bike. Complete with an enlarged fuel tank capacity, this revised dual-sport increases the range of trails you can ride to from home without a need to trailer or van it.

The revised machine also comes equipped with lightweight, CNC milled hubs mated to high-end 21″ and 18″ rims fitted with Mitas E07 tires. At either end of the KTM 690 Enduro R are fully adjustable WP XPLOR suspension that offers a level of control usually only seen on competition offroad bikes, while keeping things planted on the street.

2019 KTM 690 Enduro-R-dual-sport=motorcycle

Specially adapted from the KTM EXC range, the WP XPLOR fork provides a split-damping system and is bolted to the main chassis’ lightweight sections of top-quality chrome-molybdenum steel tubes via highly rigid and forged triple clamps. The WP XPLOR shock absorber, connected to the single-piece cast swingarm by linkage, produces a progressive suspension character and high resistance against bottoming out.

The new KTM 690 Enduro R is also more sophisticated than ever. Equipped with an array of top-level electronic systems, including lean angle sensitivity to braking and traction functions, it also boasts two different ride modes – Street and Offroad. These can be switched from the handlebar to provide different behavior from the throttle response and traction control systems.

Offroad ABS allows rear wheel lock-up and reduced ABS on the front wheel while motor slip regulation (MSR) is an engine brake control designed to prevent rear wheel lock-up – even on low grip surfaces – perfect for street riding. The addition of the Quickshifter+ produces effortless, clutchless up and downshifting through the 6 speed transmission – perfect for when charging down a familiar section.

2019 KTM 690 Enduro-R-dual-sport=motorcycle

KTM 690 Enduro R Specifications

Engine Type: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, SOHC
Displacement: 690 cc
Bore/Stroke: 105 / 80 mm
Starter: Electric; 12V 8.6Ah
Transmission: 6 Gears
Fuel System: Keihin EFI, 50 mm Throttle Body
Lubrication: Pressure Lubrication, Two Oil Pumps
Cooling: Liquid Cooling
Clutch: PASC Slipper Clutch, Hydraulically Operated
Ignition: Keihin EMS with Ride-By-Wire, Dual Ignition
Frame: Chrome-moly Steel Trellis
Subframe: Self-supporting Plastic Tank
Handlebar: Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 28/22 mm
Front Suspension: WP USD Ø 48 mm
Rear Suspension: WP Monoshock with Pro-Lever Linkage
Suspension Travel Front/Rear: 250 mm / 9.8 in; 250 mm / 9.8 in
Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 300 mm / 240 mm
Front/Rear Wheels: 1.85 x 21”, 2.50 x 18”
Front/Rear Tires: 90/90-21”; 140/80-18”
Steering Head Angle: 27.7º
Wheelbase: 1,502 mm ± 15 mm / 59 ± 0.6 in
Ground Clearance: 270 mm / 10.6 in
Seat Height: 910 mm / 35.8 in
Tank Capacity: 13.5 l / 3.6 gal
Dry Weight, Approx: 146 kg / 321.9 lbs
US Availability: End of February
MSRP (USD): $11,699

Photos by Mitterbauer H.

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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53 thoughts on “KTM Adds a Little ‘Adventure’ to the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R

    • From what we’ve seen, the Husky did not receive the same updates (e.g. tank, smoother engine, electronics, revised chassis, etc) for 2019. Previously the 701 had a bigger tank than the 690 but with the new change you get .2 extra gallons with the 690. Nevertheless, these bikes are still fairly similar.

        • To put it simply, this new 690 will be better in literally every way minus losing 25mm suspension travel or if you just hate electronic rider aids. But for that travel loss, it gains WP Xplor forks which are miles better than the 4CS per reviews I’ve read.

          • The KTM had the open chamber forks which are good. The enduro guys are saying the new explorer fork isn’t so good, needs more work. Loosing 25mm of travel is a big deal. Adventure guys seem to be obsessed with touching the ground flat with both feet at the cost of suspension and ergonomics. Don’t get it . If you’re not good enough or a midget to ride a full sized bike get a crf250l or a scooter !

            • it is really annoying actually – everyone that never takes these things offroad keeps complaining about seat height. Been riding enduros since I was 8 where the seat height is monstorous in comparison (less weight of course). If you really want an “adventure bike” get the 790/1090 and let KTM put the 690 back more towards the 500 in suspension department instead of a budget 790.

        • Consider the dealer from whom you will purchase. Do they know their product line? Do they have an exceptional service center that specializes in the brand you settle on for your purchase.

      • The Husky already had the smoother engine. The 690 didn’t receive the updated Husky version that the 701 has had the last two years.

        Cmon, do you need another writer to answer this stuff?

        • Adam. The 701 did get the dual balancers a few years ago but KTM has not yet revealed all the things they have changed for 2019 to make the new 690 engine smoother. We’ve reached out to them for clarification but they do not expect to have further details until the press launch coming up in January. We’ll report back when we get the full scoop on the new changes!

          • Sorry, the press launch for the 690 coming up in january? I just ask because in the article it says “US Availability: End of November 2018”. Just wondering when we think the bike will be out (and how much time i have to save money for it!)

          • I’m a KTM and Husky dealer and the 690 is now the same engine as the 701 Husky….which are both basically the 690 Duke engine as far as power and dual balancers.

  1. Some nice refinements there… although you do wonder that once you have to start adding traction control to a big dirt-bike, then perhaps you’ve given it too much power already?!

  2. Thanks KTM! The vibey engine and small fuel tank are the two main concerns that kept me from buying one of these over the years (though I came awful close a few times.) I think the updates put it right in the “Goldilocks zone” for a lightweight dirt oriented adventure bike to replace my tired old DRZ400. Unfortunately, the new 790 Adventure is rumored to be assembled in China and the Yamaha Tenere 700 ain’t coming until 2020 in the US, so it looks like the Enduro 690 is the closest I’m gonna get to my unicorn bike in this decade.

  3. I like that bike a lot but there is one key feature that really hinders me on ever buying one: The fuel cap is located in the rear exactly where I use to put my luggage.

  4. I welcome more power, the modest increase in gas capacity and lower seat height even at the expense of some suspension travel. However, the stated 35.8 seat height and travel seem to be the same as previous years. Perhaps the preliminary figures released are not correct. 35.8 sounds relatively low for a dirt bike, but the wider frame and seat width of the 690/701 actually add an inch or so compared to a more narrow dirt bike.

  5. I have a ’13 model and love it. I don’t see the “Adventure” in the 2019. A smoother engine is a plus and upgraded suspension. But the on board fuel is still lacking, 3.6 gallons isn’t going to get you far “Adventuring”, only .4 gal increase. I’m not a big fan of the lowered suspension either. I am thinking for the price this is going to be, you can find a nice 2-3yr old model cheaper and add a auxilary tank, for me the vibrations aren’t that bad to upgrade to a new bike.

  6. Don’t know where 150 mile range came from. I did the Trans America Trail recently (5500 miles off road) on my 2015 690 and got 186 miles to a tank. Even thrashing at 90mph all day for 800 miles + fully loaded with luggage up the West Coast of the USA to the Canadian border I still got 170 miles to the tank. Must be the standard can with built in CAT that causes the reduced fuel consumption.

    • @James 186 miles? That’s almost 60 mpg from a performance 690cc single. Lucky if you get that on a 250cc. Maybe your speedo is showing Kilometers? When I ride with friends on a 690 they typically get about 130 miles on a good day.

      • I don’t see a low fuel light until 150+ on my ’17 701 Enduro regardless of how/where I am riding it. It shouldn’t be any different for this bike with same motor.

  7. I still don’t see the move towards “Aventurizing” the 690. To me it seems the changes were either needed (fuel tank, suspension, counter balancing) but the rest seem to over complicate an already simple design. I guess you have to keep ahead of the competition, but there really isn’t any.

    My vintage ’03 640 Adventure cranks out 50-55mpg average with an FCR carb, Akrapovic silencer and 7 gallon tank to give me a range of 350+ miles. If you have ever ridden a bike with long range capabilities, you won’t want to go back which is why the 640 Adventure is hard to replace. There’s nothing worse than getting “out there” and then needing to run for fuel.

  8. I bought an 08 when the 690 first arrived in the U.S. I really thought they would have spread out 4th, 5th, and 6th gear. This and a tighter turning radius, and I could consider revisiting this new model.

  9. So, they added a few things I don’t really care about since I’m an off-road guy and my 2004 KTM 625 SXC is a beast in the Colorado high country. Did they change the things I DO care about like the stupidly designed fuel cap and the weak subframe that doesn’t take to luggage well?

  10. 2019 KTM gas cap for the 690 Enduro R and 690 SMC is a new part number that must be configured prior to purchase. This new number doesn’t fit previous 690’s.
    The previous KTM 690 Enduro gas cap part number fit 2011-2018 model years


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