Originally Posted by Gryphon12
Bluesman - thanks. It really is about finding a bike that you love, and then just riding it.
Bugz - Some discussion from Australia suggested that the Duke 690 made a reasonable, relatively fast & light, short-to-middle distance day-touring bike. Not a supersport, not a beginner bike, not a sport-tourer, but occupying a section of the middle ground. In Europe, the SM690 would probably be a better choice. Neither bike is available currently in the US - we get the 690 Enduro, and we hear alot about the problems of the 690 series. On the other hand, the internet always discusses the troubles more than the successes.
I like to understand the spectrum of bikes offered, especially those with a higher quality components, so that I understand the compromises I'm making. Unlike many riders in the US who have been riding 40+ years, I've owned very few bikes - I keep them a long time, so I try to research thoroughly. Bottom line - I'm trying to learn from those who actually ride a wide variety of bikes.
Ah, I see.
I never rode with the KTM 690ies. Though when I'm thinking about a bike which would fit your specifications the duke 690 wouln't be close to it. Obv you can make it work, but there are a lot bikes more practical, economical and more relieable. I think these new 500's would fit your bill really well.
The KTM 690 is a relative hardcore streetbike (not as hardcore as true supermoto's) but really it's meant for spirited backroad riding. KTM released the Duke 690 to offer a bike a 'littke ' less hardcore compared to the SMC's. Duke 690 would be best for the street and city riding. Doesn't mean there arn't better alternatives IMO.
Another bike which I think you would really like is the tiger 800 or a street triple? A lot more expensive compared to these new 500's but more high-end. Could upgrade suspension as well for it.
Just my .02 GL with the search!