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I saw a post that the 2016, and up, 690 Dukes, had built in traction control that made the front wheel stay close to the ground. Yesterday, since it was only mid November in So Cal, and winter is not allowed, I fired up my 2015 Duke, and, took it for a short ride about, as perfect 74* F weather is hard to resist. I had not ridden much lately for various reasons, so, it felt nice and strong, and, although I do not do wheelies, and, in fact, I try to avoid them, I can attest that the 2015 has no built in limitations when it comes to the front wheel getting light and pawing for the sky. So, I guess that having the last of the old style, less powerful and 1000 RPM lower rev limiter, engines, is not all bad, as later models also got more nannies, and, even if you do not pull wheelies, you might need to for safety purposes, as, in my long 50+ riding career, I have more than once had to loft the front wheel to clear an unexpected obstacle, such as road debris or a sudden large pot hole that can not be missed. Good old reflexes learned years ago dirt riding in the open desert always lurk around, and, in some circumstances, one automatically lightens the front wheel, which the 690 Duke does nicely.

Yes, that's my story that I am sticking with. The ability to wheelie is actually a safety feature and that means that the older 690 Dukes must be safer than the 2016 and up models, as they can pull the front wheel up fairly effortlessly, or, so I have been told, as only mugs and hooligans would pop wheelies for fun.


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The 15 is the last great roller rocker model. Slight lower compression. Only a few peak hp behind if I recall correctly. It's a good model to cam and autotune,. Must be a few bargain 15s around. I've got the 07 690. Most parts are the same. For the keen mind, the 16-19 690 has a similar cam and lever system like the 1190,1290 motors on the intake valves, and exhaust is still roller rocker type.
 

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The 15 is the last great roller rocker model. Slight lower compression. Only a few peak hp behind if I recall correctly. It's a good model to cam and autotune,. Must be a few bargain 15s around. I've got the 07 690. Most parts are the same. For the keen mind, the 16-19 690 has a similar cam and lever system like the 1190,1290 motors on the intake valves, and exhaust is still roller rocker type.
Is that a good thing?

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Thanks for rubbing it in eh' :mad:

I had the chance to buy a '15 off the floor that was a demo model but they ended up giving me my '16 new in the box for the same price.

Talked to the KTM mechanic last week about swapping electronics over from a written off 701 Vitspilen because those you can turn TC off but end of the day would be a lot of costs and probably not worth the headaches.

Everyone runs the stock or 15/42 gearing... i've got an extra 48 tooth sprocket I pulled off my 350. Does anyone know what the most aggressive (low) gearing you can run on the stock chain? I don't care about top speeds just want easier wheelies ;)
 

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Everyone runs the stock or 15/42 gearing... i've got an extra 48 tooth sprocket I pulled off my 350.
your north american experience seems stupid , i think someone didnt pay the right bribe , because fark me if the culture over there doesnt bleed 850cfm on a 4 ltr motor.

Someone hates ktm in that continent to the point that its just completely mind boggling.


owww , i have a 15\48 combo among others for my rc8 ;) .
imo you can really change a bike by running the rear axle closer . buy a new chain for your high speed combo and use the old chain for low speed stunts, might have to join 2 chains together if 120 links from a new one isnt enough.
 

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My 17 still makes as much top end noises as a 15 does so changing only half of the valve train didn't help. Maybe they only changed the bits that failed a lot?

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My 17 still makes as much top end noises as a 15 does so changing only half of the valve train didn't help. Maybe they only changed the bits that failed a lot?

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my bad for not explaining better
They did get rid of the roller rocker and replaced it with a lever rocker on the exhaust and a cam levers on the intake.
 

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I have a 2018 690 Duke and I was thinking it had the same TC nanny. All the reviews made it sound like Dukes do power wheelies and that’s what I was expecting. Well, there are no power wheelies but I can loft the front wheel with some light (clutch) provocation. Maybe TC will intervene after a while but there was nothing keeping the wheel from coming up pretty far in first and somewhat in second. I even got a tiny lift in third when I forgot to let off the throttle when upshifting. I tried out traction control on the one day we got rain this winter; I grabbed a brief handful coming off a slow turn and the rear slid out. The dash did some sort of blinking but I wasn’t looking at the dash. There was no cut in power or application of brakes, just a warning. Maybe that’s all the “traction control” that the non “R” is delivered with.
Does your ‘15 power wheelie?
 

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Does your ‘15 power wheelie?
Someone chime in on that one ya.

And if this doesn't let me power wheelie I'm selling the bike lol. Well prob not but c'mon right.

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Does your ‘15 power wheelie?
I have 15/42 gearing so my 2015 will hit the 8000 RPM rev limiter at 112 MPH in top gear, and, it certainly will pop the wheel right up in first gear using power only, as it is fairly jumpy geared as it is. I also weigh a good 100 kilos, so I can lean out over the tank to hold the front end down, but, it is not easy to make a really quick start from rest due to the front end getting light. I am not into wheelies in my old age, so, I am only aware of the light front wheel because I thrashed my Duke trying to beat a friend's old 1000cc Buell, over and over again. It was so close that who ever got the jump won to 100 MPH (yes, naturally, it was on a closed off course), but, then, that old chunk of iron Harley twin in the wee little Buell actually pulled the Duke on the top end. So, it is only as a drag racer that I know about wheelies, although there was a time many years ago when I rode the dirt..........

Here I am on my Bultaco El Bandito in the So Cal desert, all dressed for safety with no gloves or helmet, over 50 years ago. Seems that we were not as anal about helmets and gloves, but, generally we wore them, so this pic must have been taken at the end of a day, after we were chilling and having some beers. And, yes, the El Bandito motorcrosser, which was a big, for the time, 360cc two stroke single, did pull wheelies, .lots of wheelies. My dirt riding experiences also are why, when asked, I always recommend that beginning riders get some dirt riding experience, as it is something that sticks with you, and, one may not ever learn about high siding or flat tracking when street riding, although given the way the hooligans back Dukes in, and such, I might be off base. But, I do know, based upon my experience in later years, that the old dirt riding skills still automatically kick in, and, that they have saved my bacon more than once.
..

93370
 

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it certainly will pop the wheel right up in first gear using power only, as it is fairly jumpy geared as it is.

View attachment 93370
Yeah I'm more curious about 2nd gear if the front will lift under full throttle power wheelie? My '16 with ALL safety **** on will wheelie so nice in 1st gear if I'm rolling ~20km/h and give it 1/2 throttle. Pops up nice and will go right to the rev limiter.

And that's such a badass pic dude, nice work lol.
 

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I am not into wheelies in my old age, so, I am only aware of the light front wheel because I thrashed my Duke trying to beat a friend's old 1000cc Buell, over and over again. It was so close that who ever got the jump won to 100 MPH (yes, naturally, it was on a closed off course), but, then, that old chunk of iron Harley twin in the wee little Buell actually pulled the Duke on the top end.
Tetge, which Buell?
 

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Yeah I'm more curious about 2nd gear if the front will lift under full throttle power wheelie? My '16 with ALL safety **** on will wheelie so nice in 1st gear if I'm rolling ~20km/h and give it 1/2 throttle. Pops up nice and will go right to the rev limiter.

And that's such a badass pic dude, nice work lol.
Hmm, I need to try that again but I’ve been full throttle many times in first gear. It pulls really hard and builds speed fast but doesn’t lift the front wheel at full throttle, certainly not half. I don’t feel any sort of power limiter acting on the bike unless it’s really smooth. Again, to wheelie, and rolling along, I need to clutch in, rev and drop clutch to pull the front end up. I weigh about 200# with all my gear on.
 
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