Perhaps the only thing we don’t like about the 2012 KTM 690 Duke is the fact that the big Austrian thumper won’t be coming to the United States. Not quite sure how to exist outside of the off-road market here in North America, KTM’s street bike offerings are giving Hansel & Gretel a run for their money in the “worst sense of direction” category (we take that back, clearly Moto Guzzi is having a tougher time of it).
Despite our domestic suffering, our European brothers-in-petrol not only get to enjoy the hooligan machine that is the Duke 690 on the street, but KTM has managed to get the single-cylinder machine as the bike of choice for the European Junior Cup, a young-rider grooming series for racers 14 to 19 years of age.
Priced around €12,000, the KTM 690 Duke “Track” headlines its feature set with 22 lbs off the street version’s dry weight, while boosting power out of the four-stroke thumper by 9hp. This makes for a 308 lbs machine (dry), that hits 79hp at its peak. Other modifications include a modified airbox, a racier set of cams, and full Akrapovic exhaust. Other fun go-fast parts include Brembo brakes, a slipper clutch, and Marchesini rims…and of course it looks like a hoot ride.