Each version of the Duke since 1994 shed more and more of its vestigial ’dirt bike’ features, and this latest version is a straight-up streetbike. This ride highlights the no-frills pragmatism of the designers with minimal body paneling, exposed frame and afterthought-class rear mudguard. The result is an unimpeded view of the wheels, frame and engine that leaves little to the imagination, and plenty of easy access for maintenance and repairs. Made since 2012, the Duke IV represents the current branch of the family tree, with the 690 Duke serving as the midrange-displacement sibling. Quick and light, the 690 Duke is intended for the entry-level streetbike market.
Our Austrian buddies at KTM have been producing the Duke- model family for over two decades now. The original Duke, or Duke I (first of its name) was built as an off-road machine, and it evolved into the bare bike streetfighter that we know today.
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