If you haven’t been hiding in a cave for the past five years, you couldn’t have missed the fact that ADV bikes are grabbing headlines. And as this segment sorts itself out, it seems that most manufacturers are biasing the machines’ capabilities more toward asphalt than dirt.
Of course, KTM's own line of Adventure motorcycles have set the bar for well-balanced machines with the 950, 990, and 1190 models. But for those who want to explore more demanding terrain without riding a 450cc enduro, the 690 Enduro makes a lot of sense.
The 690 Enduro has the potential to be an ideal lightweight off-highway touring machine with just a few additions, such as saddlebags and a windscreen.
As is, the 690 makes a good urban commuter, easily fast enough to hold pace on the highway. Yet, at the same time, it can handle far rougher off-road terrain than any of the big 1000-plus-cc adventurers.
At a claimed 306 pounds dry, and with a seat height almost 2.5 in. lower than the KTM 500 EXC's, the 690 is easy to manage on tight single-track. Suspension is by WP, with almost 10 in. of travel front and rear.
Ride-by-wire with three power maps allows the rider to tailor output to the conditions, while switchable ABS (off-road ABS is an optional accessory) enables good off-road braking.
So, the KTM 690 Enduro is an excellent platform for multi-day trips closer to home.