Despite talk of an 800cc parallel twin naked bike to replace the single-cylinder model, KTM has given its 690 Duke a power boost and some more hi-tech refinement for 2016.
That means the midnight 800 will probably be shelved for at least another year, while the 690 gets a new lease on life.
Meanwhile, the 690 Duke gets a larger bore and shorter stroke for a 3cc increase to 693cc and output of 54kW at 8500rpm, which is 1000 revs higher than before and 4kW more. Peak torque is up about 6%.
It will have three ride modes (Sport, Street and Rain), Bosch 9M+ switchable ABS, upgraded switch gear, improved rider and pillion seats, a new TFT display and optional traction control.
KTM Ausyralia marketing manager Greg Chambers says the official launch will be in early December.
“So I can’t confirm specifications or price just yet,” he says. “You can expect the bike to arrive in Australia around March 2016 though.”
KTM CEO Stefan Pierer confirmed earlier this year that they were working on an 800cc parallel twin.
However, the technical advancements with the 690 engine that make it compliant with Euro IV emissions targets means there is more life in the old mill yet and the 800 is still some way off.
And that must also auger well for other variants including a return to a single-cylinder adventure model which countries such as Australia have been wanting for years.
The 2016 690 Duke and an R model will be unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan in November.
We should expect the Duke to flow to international markets early next year.