I’ve been swooning over the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R since its introduction at EICMA a couple months back. With a revamped engine, higher-end suspension, and sophisticated electronics that have trickled down from its street bikes, it’s one of the most advanced enduros on the market. While some dual-purpose motorcycles are tailored more toward the street, KTM’s capabilities generally don’t stop just because the road does. That said, here’s five reasons why I’d love to ride the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R.
1. Wheelie power! KTM updated its 690 LC4 engine and it’s got good power-to-weight ratio so this thing should rip. With a claimed 74 hp and 73.5 Nm torque, keeping the front wheel down might be a challenge. Not only does KTM claim it’s the “most powerful production single-cylinder,” it reportedly is smoother than ever, too, thanks to twin balancer shafts, one in front of the crankshaft and the other in the cylinder head. More power in a smoother package? Yes, please.
2. A quickshifter isn’t something you normally think about on an enduro. But sure enough, the rider aid that’s generally reserved for street bikes has found its way to the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R. The quickshifter allows for clutchless shifts (both up and down) while its hydraulically-actuated slipper clutch helps smooth out engine braking. Rowing through the six-speed gearbox should be fuss-free and I’m eager to see how useful the quickshifter is in the dirt.
3. Cornering ABS – A new lean angle sensor works with in conjunction with the motorcycle’s ABS and traction control systems and can intervene on your behalf “the instant the rear wheel rotation speed becomes disproportionate to the riding situation” to help keep you upright. The system works only on street rides. When the 690 Enduro R is in its Offroad setting, ABS engages only on the front wheel and the cornering system is deactivated. Traction control can be turned-off altogether, too. I’m curious to find out at what point the cornering ABS engages and whether its engagement is noticeable.
4. Upgraded Suspension – The 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R sees the addition of WP Xplor suspension. The WP XPLOR 48mm upside-down fork features adjustable compression on the left fork tube and rebound on the right. The WP Xplor shock anchoring the rear is fully adjustable, including high and low-speed compression. I’m a good-sized rider at 225 pounds so having stout suspension, particularly off-road, is always appreciated.
5. Bigger tank – Sure, the gas tank is only 0.4 gallons bigger than last year (3.6 to 3.2 gallons), but anytime I can go a little farther and play just a little longer, I’m all for it.
2019 KTM 690 Enduro R Specs & Price: $11,699 MSRP
Bore x stroke: 105 x 80mm
Ignition: Keihin EMS w/ ride-by-wire and dual ignition
Transmission: 6-speed w/ Quickshifter
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated slipper clutch
Frame: Chromoly steel trellis
Subframe: Self-supporting polymer fuel tank
Handlebar: Tapered aluminum
Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable WP Xplor 48mm inverted fork; 9.8 inches
Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-assisted fully adjustable WP Xplor shock; 9.8 inches
Front tire: 90/90 x 21
Rear tire: 140/80 x 18
Front brake: 300mm disc w/ Brembo caliper
Rear brake: 240mm disc w/ Brembo caliper
ABS: Standard w/ Cornering and Offroad modes
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
Wheelbase: 59 in.
Rake: 27.7 degrees
Seat height: 35.8 in.
Ground clearance: 10.6 in.
Fuel capacity: 3.6 gal.