It’s equipped with electronics you’d expect to find on an adventure bike

The KTM 690 Enduro R joins its streetwise sibling, the 690 SMC R, to finish covering all the bases for street and dirt. As its diabolically clever name suggests, the “Enduro” is set up to be street legal so you can drive it down to your favorite off-road locale and skip the trailer and tow vehicle. Far from being just another dual-sport, the Enduro rocks the same top-shelf electronic rider aids as the SMC R to give it a safety and stability far beyond the norm for an off-road machine. The factory also chucked a new frame and top-shelf, WP XPLOR suspension at it to sweeten the deal.

  • 2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
  • Year:
    2019- 2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    693 cc
  • Top Speed:
    105 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    11899
  • Price:

KTM 690 Enduro R Design

  • DNA from the MX competition line
  • LED lighting
  • Adjustable, rubber-mounted handlebar
  • No passenger amenities
2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
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2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R Wallpaper quality
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KTM borrowed from its proper racing MX line for the overall look of the 690 Enduro R, and it’s apparent right from the get-go in the dirtbike-style and high mount front fender that looks like it might actually be the same one used on the 450 SX-F, but I could be wrong. Since the fender mounts directly to the bottom of the tripletree, the factory added a pair of upright splashguards to protect the swept area of the inner fork tubes.

Up top, a triangular headlight rides in a low-profile, flyscreen-like housing with a pair of LED blinkers on short standoffs to finish the forward lighting and meet street-legal requirements. Stock handguards protect your meathooks from brush and terrain and act as a windbreak for same. A short-rise tapered handlebar puts your hands right in line with the steering head axis, plus it comes adjustable with four positions from which to choose.

If you think the flyline looks a little odd, you’d be correct. A boomerang-shaped saddle rests in the swale and gives you room to slide fore and aft during technical work with no fuel tank in evidence. To accomplish that, the factory built the tank as a stressed unit that replaces the traditional pipe-subframe assembly. Not going to lie; I have concerns about having the exhaust and fuel reservoir in such close proximity on a machine that is between my legs, but I don’t have to ride the thing day in and day out.

Oh yeah, but if you like to share with a friend, you’re barking up the wrong tree ’cause the Enduro comes with nothing in the way of passenger’s gear. A mudguard and compact lights finish off the rear end with the license plate as the final bit of fling control for the rear wheel.

KTM 690 Enduro R Chassis

  • Fuel tank as a stressed member
  • WP XPLOR suspension
  • Ample ride-quality adjustments
  • Corner-sensitive ABS
2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
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2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
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2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
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The updated, Cro-Moly, Trellis frame is plainly visible on the 690 Enduro R where it peeks out from under the sparse cheek panels. The KTM Orange finish really makes it pop against the innards and visually reinforces its utilitarian nature.

Variable-thickness tubing eliminates unnecessary weight and to build in both flexibility and rigidity where it’s needed. The subframe is of particular interest since it’s actually the load-bearing fuel tank that eliminates a large chunk of frame along with its associated dead weight.

A 27.7-degree angle at the steering head lends the handling a bit of stability with a die-cast, yoke-style aluminum swingarm that’s engineered for strength with a low unsprung weight. Since tackling terrain is the main purpose of this platform, it was a no-brainer to go with the WP XPLOR 48 usd stems. They bring a wide range of ride-quality tweaks to the table with a choice of 30 levels of compression- and rebound-damping so you can dial in to suit the situation.

The coil-over WP XPLOR monoshock out back delivers the full spectrum of adjustments, and even splits the compression damping into a high- and low-speed setting for even more tweakability. Brembo anchors bite a 300 mm front disc and 240 mm rear disc, and the discs themselves come with a petal-cut shape that increases heat dissipation and provide a certain amount of self-cleaning ability that sheds brake-sapping grit. On top of that, a Bosch 9.1 MP ABS provides a corner-sensitive safety net that can be set up for road work, off-road fun, or turned off entirely for a full-raw ride.

Laced, CNC-milled rims mount Mitas E07 hoops that technically qualify as stealth knobbies, just without much in the way of “stealth” about it. Sure, they are dual-surface tires with street flats on the nubs, but soft-terrain performance is clearly the main thrust here.

Frame: Chrome-moly tubular space frame, powder-coated
Front Suspension/ Travel: WP USD Ø 48 mm/ 9.8 in (250 mm)
Rake: 27.7°
Rear Suspension/ Travel: WP shock absorber with Pro-Lever linkage/ 9.8 in (250 mm)
Front Brake: 300 mm disc, Brembo twin-piston floating caliper, brake disc
Rear Brake: 240 mm disc, Single-piston floating caliper
ABS: Bosch 9.1 MP (incl. Cornering-ABS and offroad mode, disengageable)

KTM 690 Enduro R Drivetrain

  • KTM’s latest LC4 engine
  • 690 cc single-cylinder engine
  • 73.7 horsepower
  • Motor slip regulator and ride modes
  • Quickshifter
2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
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2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
- image 830057
2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
- image 830056

The beating heart of the 690 Enduro R is KTM’s latest LC4 engine, and as its name suggests, it displaces a total of 690 cc due to its 105 mm bore and 80 mm stroke. This water-cooled thumper sports a pair of balance shafts – one in the bottom end and one in the head – to tune out the worst of the vibrations and keep your hands and butt from going to sleep on you while under way.

A SOHC times the four-valve, dual-spark head with finger-followers for the intake side and good old-fashioned rocker arms to actuate the exhaust poppets. Plain bearings in the connecting rod mate the forged piston to the crankshaft. They add some durability to the system since Babbitt-style bearings tend to be embeddable and so they absorb hard particulates such as carbon and metal salt that would damage/destroy a roller- or needle-bearing.

Induction control falls to a ride-by-wire twist grip and electronic fuel injection, but that’s just the start, for the fandanglery is strong with this one. There’s a Motor Slip Regulator that works to limit the effects of backtorque on the engine, and it’s backed up with a slipper clutch that limits the backtorque generated on downshifts in the first place. Next, a Ride Mode feature lets you dial in the level of traction control intervention and anti-wheelie control with the push of a button.

Finally, the six-speed transmission rocks a Quickshift function that kills the spark on upshifts and automatically matches engine speed to the rear wheel on downshifts so you can blast up and down the range and never touch the clutch lever. Needless to say, this is the kind of gear we’d expect on a top-shelf adventure bike, so it’s a pleasant surprise to find it on what is, essentially, a glorified dirtbike. Pencil me in as impressed. As for power, you can expect to get 73.7 horsepower out of this one-lung plant.

Engine: 1-cylinder, 4-stroke engine
Displacement: 693 cc
Bore x Stroke: 105 mm x 80 mm
Power: 74 hp (55 kW)
Torque: 54.2 lb-ft (73.5 Nm)
Starter: Electric starter
Lubrication: Forced oil lubrication with 2 oil pumps
Transmission: 6-speed
Cooling: Liquid cooled
Clutch: PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated
EMS: Keihin EMS with RBW, twin ignition
Chain: X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4"

KTM 690 Enduro R Pricing

2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
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2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
- image 804368
2019 - 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R
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The 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R rolls for a base MSRP of $11,899. If that isn’t high enough for you, the factory offers a whole pile of what it calls “Powerparts” that let you mix and match to customize the bike and make it your own.

Color: It’s a KTM. What color do you think it is?
Price:
└ 2019: $11,699
└ 2020: $11,899

KTM 690 Enduro R Competitors

2019 - 2020 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled
- image 814046
2015 - 2019 Suzuki DR650S
- image 788894

Honestly, enduro-style bikes with features like this are few and far between, so for my comparison I picked a couple of bikes that are typical of the genre. First, I went to Suzuki for its DR650S that carries the classic dual-sport style that looks more or less like a street-legal dirtbike with little in the way of the flash that the KTM product brings to the table.

Suzuki DR650S

2015 - 2019 Suzuki DR650S
- image 788890

Aesthetics aside, the DR650S is a relatively low-tech option that shuns all sorts of fandanglery to deliver the essentials, and little else. A compression-damping feature pairs with the adjustable preload at the rear shock, but that’s the extent of it. Though the displacement is comparable at 644 cc, power falls off with 46 ponies against 73.7 horsepower from the KTM. Plus, there is no “plus” since the DR650S has nothing in the way of electronic rider aids. The only good thing to say for it is the fact that its price point is $6,599, just a little more than half that of the 690 Enduro R.

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled

2019 - 2020 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled
- image 814042

Next up is Ducati’s Scrambler Desert Sled that is arguably the grand-daddy of the Dual-Sport/Enduro class; well, a tribute to the grand-daddy anyway. It borrows from the homejobs of the ’60s and ’70s that saw standards and UJMs set up for off-road shenanigans, but isn’t a slave to the original design.

The front forks are fully adjustable and the rear shock comes with adjustable preload and rebound damping, and like the KTM, it comes with corner-sensitive ABS but that’s about it as far as the fandanglery goes. Like I said, the 690 Enduro R is rather special with its expansive electronics suite, and the Desert Sled can’t quite touch it.

An 803 cc powerplant puts out 73 horsepower and 49 pound-feet of torque to break even with the KTM, so Ducati fails to convert the displacement advantage it enjoys into greater output. Since the Desert Sled rolls for $11,995, price is a moot point in comparison to the KTM.

Read our full review of the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled.
Read our full review of the Suzuki DR650S.

He Said

It’s the electronics package that really makes the 690 Enduro R such a special ride. Honestly, I can’t help but feel like it’s overkill, or perhaps, I’m just not used to seeing off-road machines with this level electronic wizardry on board. No matter how you slice it, KTM raised the bar with this machine, and I look forward to seeing the other builders scramble to match it.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Even though the SMC R and Enduro R share an engine, the Enduro is tuned for more bottom end and less top end to reflect its intended purpose. It pulls very strong, and I honestly think it giggles gleefully when you get off the pavement and hit the dirt. This could be a commuter and your weekend fun bike.”

KTM 690 Enduro R Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 1-cylinder, 4-stroke engine
Displacement: 693 cc
Bore x Stroke: 105 mm x 80 mm
Power: 74 hp (55 kW)
Torque: 54.2 lb-ft (73.5 Nm)
Starter: Electric starter
Lubrication: Forced oil lubrication with 2 oil pumps
Transmission: 6-speed
Cooling: Liquid cooled
Clutch: PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated
EMS: Keihin EMS with RBW, twin ignition
Chain: X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4"
Chassis:
Frame: Chrome-moly tubular space frame, powder-coated
Front Suspension/ Travel: WP USD Ø 48 mm/ 9.8 in (250 mm)
Rake: 27.7°
Rear Suspension/ Travel: WP shock absorber with Pro-Lever linkage/ 9.8 in (250 mm)
Front Brake: 300 mm disc, Brembo twin-piston floating caliper, brake disc
Rear Brake: 240 mm disc, Single-piston floating caliper
ABS: Bosch 9.1 MP (incl. Cornering-ABS and offroad mode, disengageable)
Dimensions & Capacities:
Ground Clearance: 10.6 in (270 mm)
Seat Height: 35.8 in (910 mm)
Tank Capacity (Approx.): 3.6 gals (13.5 l)
Dry Weight: 321.9 lbs (146 kg)
Fuel Economy: 59.4 mpg (3.96 l/100 km)
Top Speed: 105 mph (est)
Details:
Color: It’s a KTM. What color do you think it is?
Price:
└ 2019: $11,699
└ 2020: $11,899

Further Reading

KTM

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Read more KTM news.

TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: ducati.com, ktm.com (photographer: R. Schedl, H. Mitterbauer, or none given

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