This has been a long time coming. Actually about as long as an Elephants gestation, 22 months. Finally the bike has arrived. Bought from Laguna KTM in Maidstone Kent, and delivered to the Alps by Andy Hillman's van service, it dropped onto the gravel with 12km on the clock. I actually had not seen the 2014 model before I bought it but it does not disappoint. Buying a new bike is a big commitment to say the least, buying a new model which has seen some signifiant changes adds to the risk and excitement.
The changes to the 2014 model include
- Bosch ABS as standard. Which can be switched off using a mode button on the dash.
- A ride-by-wire throttle which gives you the choice of four different riding modes - Standard, Sport and Comfort, with a 'Bad Fuel' mode that KTM claim will allow the bike to run on fuel as low as 80 octane.
- Apparently the different riding modes only adjust fuelling below 4,000rpm, meaning the 690 will deliver its full 67hp in whichever mode is selected.
- The engine has the new twin-spark ignition shared with the Duke, with individual maps for each plug. According to KTM it makes the bike 8-10% more efficient than the 2013 model.
- KTM or journalists writing about the bike are suggesting 80mpg, and the twin-spark is supposed to reduce vibration and give you 10,000km service intervals.
Cosmetically there are a couple of things I don,t like, the antenna like wing mirrors, the plastic bash plate and the huge number plate.
I bought the bike with the Ergo seat and as soon as I sat on the bike I doubted the claim it is softer for longer trips. But as the dealer had omitted to send the standard seat which I also bought its hard to compare.
For the next 1000km, before is first service I have to keep the revs below 6000rpm.
I can't wait to get it dirty...