KTM Unveils Updated 2021 690 Models

2 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: KTM Images

Sex sells! Yeah, it’s an age-old margeage adage, and KTM’s latest PR about its new and updated 2021 690 Enduro R and supermoto models reinforces the fact the brand’s Austrian marketing team aren’t afraid to use it.

“Do singles have all the fun? We believe so,” the KTM PR says, before going on to position their LC4 engine as the reference for performance and light weight in the mid-size motorcycle market, and remind us these new models are now fully prepped for Euro5 emission standards.

Here’s the full (and somewhat floridly worded) PR from KTM that itemises the updates found on their 2021-model 690 models: the 690 Enduro R and 690 SMC R…

KTM scratched away the idea of boundaries and limits with the KTM 690 Enduro R. A machine with superlative off-road pedigree to blast the toughest and longest trails was given the advanced tech and engineering to make it a viable option for any terrain or any trip. The last incarnation of the bike two years ago hit new peaks of ergonomics, electronics (with adjustable ABS options) and handling to become a reference in the Travel segment. The 2021 KTM 690 Enduro R is a deception: a bike that seems powerful and daunting for offroad is actually a slim and manoeuvrable machine. The cornering ABS (which means it is lean angle sensitive), offroad ABS, motorcycle traction control and sensitive motor slip regulation ensures a customizable setting for any condition or landscape. WP Xplor Suspension (adapted from KTM’s Enduro models especially for the KTM 690 Enduro R) dispenses grip, supplies confidence and expertly channels the motor’s output to the surface. The 74hp and 73.5Nm of torque and output means it is appropriate for long treks on smooth tarmac.

For 2021, KTM has retained many of the refined strengths of the motorcycle, but applied key updates that make the KTM 690 Enduro R even more of an essential choice for riders that crave impressive versatility. Towards this aim of enhanced practicality, KTM have added improved ride mode functionality through the handlebar switch: Street mode enables two channels of ABS both on the front and rear of the bike. The Offroad setting disengages rear wheel ABS for that important rear braking feel for low-traction terrain. The ABS itself benefits from a new modulator unit to better regulate the force and application of the braking power required, which also means it can be activated ‘on the fly’ and there is no longer a need for a ‘dongle’.

The new dashboard has an ABS ‘button’ to provide a rapid way to switch off the rider aid for the full flow offroad setting. The same display now shows indicators for RPM and gear selection. When it comes to the aesthetic of the motorcycle then a fetching 2021 graphics and color revision is an eye-catching addition.

The 2021 KTM 690 SMC R takes the torque and pace of the LC4 into a pulse-quickening supermoto form. Riders that seek the buzz of swooping along twisty roads, beating traffic or breaking loose with rear-end traction around a track will find all the technical resources they need both to generate speed and scrub it away.

The bike is very single-minded and has always been a wholesome expression of KTM motorcycling: sporty, aggressive, extreme but eminently usable. This has been cultured through the years thanks to evolution of the top-quality chrome-molybdenum steel tubing chassis, WP Apex suspension, purposeful supermoto ergonomics, and wide-ranging electronic ABS modes such as Cornering and Supermoto mode (rear wheel deactivation of lean angle input).

The 2021 KTM 690 SMC R has the same new ABS modulator as the KTM 690 Enduro R, permitting adjustment ‘on the go’ as well as the handy new dash.

The KTM 690 SMC R boasts large and high-quality Brembo brakes and for the 2021 model the braking system has been augmented. A latest generation Brembo M 4.32 monoblock caliper lifts the grade of stopping performance even further on the 320mm front disc (240mm rear) thanks to optimized stiffness. The result gives even more control and feel at the rider’s fingertips.

As with its LC4 cousin, the KTM 690 SMC R gets a cosmetic makeover that lifts its styling and appeal to further heights. The bike has a sharp and modern look to fulfill its status as KTM’s latest symbol of supermoto excellence for the road as well as any circuit setting.

Additionally, a new specification of the catalytic converter has been fitted to the muffler, which sees Euro5 status of emissions for both LC4-equipped machines.

Joachim Sauer, KTM Product Manager: “The LC4 has been a powerful component of the KTM 690 Enduro R and KTM 690 SMC R, but we’ve still been able to harness that asset and continue to develop both motorcycles to be a special part of our KTM portfolio. We’ve found ways to give riders a more exciting and upgraded package for 2021 that keep the bikes as references in their segment. They are unique in their own special ways and we want to keep making them as essential as they are exhilarating.”

The 2021 KTM 690 Enduro R and the KTM 690 SMC R both have an RRP of $16,995 (which is $500 and $100 more than their 2020-model predecessors, respectively) or $18,595 Ride Away, once the $1600 ORC Allowance is added. Both models will be available at authorised KTM dealers in Australia and New Zealand from March 2021.

For more info, visit www.ktm.com

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