ADV Pulse

NEWSLETTER
Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Newsletter

Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Connect With Us

Follow On Facebook:

ADV NewsSpied: Next-Gen KTM 690 Enduro R Spotted Out Testing

Spied: Next-Gen KTM 690 Enduro R Spotted Out Testing

Engine and bodywork updates coming for KTM LC4 models.

Published on 08.31.2023

No one can accuse KTM and its parent company Pierer Mobility Group of resting on its laurels. When not acquiring new brands it’s near-constantly refreshing its fleet. The most recent example? KTM 690 Enduro R and 690 SMC R prototypes spotted out testing near home base. 

It was spy shot legend Bernhard Höhne who caught the bikes in the wild for Cycle World, pics showing computer modules mounted on each of their tails.

The bikes are a future Enduro R adventure bike and SMC R supermoto, models that share identical mechanicals and bodywork, with the SMC R deviating mainly with its twin 17-inch rims and more taut, street-tuned WP Apex suspension. Therefore, we’ll concentrate on the Enduro R since it’s so popular with the adventure bike crowd. 


ADVERTISEMENT

The most notable upgrade we’re likely to see is a goosed LC4 single. One giveaway there will be a displacement bump is what appears to be a larger radiator hiding under new panel shapes, but you can also see new covers for the generator and clutch. 

Mounting hardware as well as support structures for the cylinder walls and undercarriage appear to have been repositioned, telling us the main engine castings are likely new. At the same time we see the cylinder heads are relatively unchanged, which indicates the increase in capacity will come mostly via a larger bore, longer stroke or combination of the two, something similar to what we expect as KTM’s 1290 LC8 transitions to a 1390 in 2024. 

Updated KTM 690 Enduro R Spotted Out Testing
Bernhard M. Höhne/bmh-images/Cycle World

Now before you get steamed up about adventure bikes getting bigger rather than shrinking to be more friendly off-road, that bump in displacement doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a weight gain in the future model. In an effort to stay one step ahead of ever-tightening European emissions standards that dumb down output, manufacturers have been bumping capacity rather than submit to a decrease in horsepower. As a bonus, we often see an extra punch, and lately that punch hasn’t always meant extra weight. 

Most other parts on these bikes look to be carried over, at least for now, including wheels, brakes and that plush WP XPLOR suspension on the Enduro. The chrome-moly steel trellis frame looks unchanged, although you can make out tweaks to points where the revised engine is attached. The stainless steel exhaust is also the same in shape, but appears roughly welded as if it hides internal updates that allow it to mate more readily with a revised LC4 single.  

The test mules are wearing some experimental bodywork too. The side panels have been completely reshaped, with the rear sections looking more trim with less of a flare toward the back. The forward portion appears more angular, dropping lower into a more squared off bottom edge in order to hide that enlarged radiator, while a the leading edge is higher and sharpened to a tip that flows straight forward, across each fork leg to blend with what looks like a front fender borrowed from Gas Gas’s ES 700 and SM 700.

Above the fender is a reworked nose, featuring a headlamp that appears further recessed within flattened cowling, and toward the back we see altered passenger footpeg brackets that look longer and slightly more swept up and back toward the bike’s rear fender. 

Of course, this is only the first sighting of models that could be two years in the pipeline, so much could change along the way. The 690 Enduro R and SMC R models haven’t seen an overhaul since 2021 though, so by the time they’re finally unveiled, we’ll be more than ready. 

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
ADVERTISEMENT

Related Stories

Related Stories

Notify me of new posts via email

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kai
Kai
September 1, 2023 12:38 pm

Well,admittedly not the most important upgrade, but a more shiny LED headlight would be nice to have! 🙂 I would also like to see warning/hazard blinkers, just like the 890 got recently, since we are anyway talking about lights. Otherwise don`tt see much that would really NEED an update.

TaylorC4
TaylorC4
September 4, 2023 9:37 am

More than just an improved headlight, KTM should look at adding a small rally fairing with dash space and a power block for GPS, phone, etc. This bike truly wants to walk in both worlds, yet it takes $1000-2500 to make it adventure worthy. Even retro fitting cheaper stuff off the 390 would show some effort.

Davide Norris
Davide Norris
September 9, 2023 2:16 pm
Reply to  TaylorC4

3rd gear power wheelies. it is a very fun bike

KLRJUNE
KLRJUNE
September 7, 2023 5:41 am

KTM claims 54 mpg but YouTube reviewers claim 40 mpg for the 2022/23 models.

Joe John
Joe John
September 15, 2023 8:40 am
Reply to  KLRJUNE

I have a 701 and I can get over 100 mi on 1.5 gallons.

Popek Monster
Popek Monster
September 11, 2023 10:24 am

Ye why those assholes will never allow 690 adventure to become reality, it would be too good to be true I guess?? Lol

Cosmic Miller
Cosmic Miller
September 15, 2023 8:02 am

A wider gearbox spread, lower stand-over & cruise control would be a WELCOME upgrade to the current offering before more displacement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Watch: 2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro Tested

For 2024, Triumph's dirt-focused Tiger 900 — the Rally Pro — has received...

My First Time Riding Enduro, How Hard Could It Be?

Nestled between the Sierra Nevada and Inyo Mountains of California lies a l...

DoubleTake’s Popular Off-Road Mirrors Get Major Upgrade For 2024

Life always looks clearer in the rear view, that is, until you’re looking int...