The KTM 690 Enduro R and 690 SMC R are two bikes that are very easy to get carried away on. I know this because when they launched the updated 2019 versions in Portugal, I got carried away on them both. And crashed them both. On the same day. Luckily, I didn’t spanner myself (for once) or smash either bike up too badly, so the matter was brushed under the carpet – but it’s certainly not been forgotten.
Now, two years later, KTM are about to release updated, Euro5 ready versions of both models, and I couldn’t be more excited!
Let’s start with the 690 Enduro R. This is the bike that’s as comfortable off-road as it is on-road thanks to its mx-esque stance and WP XPLOR suspension (adapted specifically for this model), and whatever surface you find yourself riding on, you’ll have a right laugh with the Enduro R’s 74hp and 73.5Nm of torque. For 2021, KTM have tweaked the rider modes; there is still Street Mode and Off-Road mode, but now the Off-Road setting disengages the ABS to the rear wheel without needing the plug-in dongle, as per the previous model, so you can lock the back wheel up and get it stepped out, to help you turn or just because it’s as cool as fuck.
The 690 SMC R is KTM’s Supermoto bike for the road, and you’ll have just as many laughs on this thing as you’ll have on the Enduro. The SMC R comes with WP APEX suspension, Cornering and Supermoto ABS modes and now, Brembo M4.32 Monobloc brake calipers for some serious stopping power.
Both models have been treated to a new ABS modulator unit for better ABS control, which also means the ABS settings can be adjusted on the fly. Both get a new dash with a rev counter and gear position indicator, a new catalytic converter (to get it through Euro5) and some sexy new stickers.
If you haven’t got a full license, both the SMC R and the Enduro R can be set to 35kw (47bhp), so you can ride on an A2 license if you need to, but we’ll be riding them in full power, and I’ll be trying my best not to loop them this time. No promises, though.