Single-cylinder Dukes have been KTM’s number-one selling naked worldwide for years, but they have been absent from the U.S. lineup since 2010. No more.
For 2013, the 690 Duke returns with a host of upgrades aimed to keep the Single at the top of Mattighofen’s standard-bike throne. A redesigned cylinder head has dual-spark ignition (firing one or both sparkplugs as needed), while a revised ride-by-wire engine-management system improves fuel economy. Additionally, modifications to the intake and exhaust help increase output to a claimed 70 horsepower. A slipper clutch reduces rear-wheel hop during high-rpm downshifts.
A chrome-moly trellis frame, aluminum subframe, WP suspension and Brembo brakes should make the Duke fun for the daily commute, backroad riding or even track days. Another bonus: The seat height has been lowered by more than an inch (34.0 to 32.9 in.) to accommodate a wider range of riders.
The $8999 machine will be available in two colors, black or white.