Category: Motorbikes

2012 KTM 690 Duke vs 2013 KTM 690 Duke R

Difference between 2012 KTM 690 and 2013 690 R

What are the differences between both bikes?

Good news for US KTM fans! Cycleworld has reported that the 2013 690 Duke will be arriving on US shores.

The 2013 690 Duke has some minor mods over the 2012 model, but the more exciting stuff is that I’m guessing the hotter KTM 690 Duke R will follow shortly after. (Fingers crossed)

The 690 Duke R is based on the bike that was used in the 2012 European Junior Cup race, so it’s verified HOT. (Though Honda has replaced KTM this year).

So what exactly are the differences between the 2012 690 Duke and the 2013 690 Duke R?

Be unsure no more, I have created a 1-pager that captures everything neatly for you.   Enjoy it, share it and comments always welcome! :)

2013 KTM 690 Duke R

2013 KTM 690 Duke R [Click for high-res version!]


KTM Adventure 1190 Link Summary

KTM 1190 Adventure

KTM 1190 Adventure

With the KTM 1190 Adventure getting good reviews on the motorcycle sites (here and here), it’s safe to say the bike’s launch has been a success.

It has gotten a lot of coverage and this has resulted in many articles floating around, so I’ve tried to gather and categorise them into one place for easier reading and reference.

Enjoy what I’ve put together and please share this KTM Adventure 1190 link summary page with anyone who might be interested in buying the bike! ;)

Ride Reviews

Here is a collection of the ride reviews by the motorcycle sites that I usually frequent.

Key points about written about the Adventure 1190 are an agile chassis, great power–to-weight ratio, effective (read: unobtrusive) electronics and aggressive looks.

All good then.

Visor Down (detailed ride review)

Motorcyclistonline (detailed ride review)

Cycleworld (detailed ride review)

Motorcyclenews (video only)

Hellforleather (video only)

Motorcyclenews (brief write up)

Differences between Adventure and Adventure R

Visordown go one step further and write a great one-pager explaining the differences between the Adventure and the Adventure R.

Basically, the R is more off-road focused compared to the non-R model.   So what do you get for the R model?

Bigger wheels,  longer suspension travel, a higher seat, lighter weight and crash bars as standard.  Oh, and it’s also more expensive by £600.

Differences between the Adventure and the Adventure R by VisorDown

Launch articles

The KTM blog gave a great very detailed look into the launch that took place in Tenerife, Spain from 28 Jan to 8 Feb.  All the first-ride reviews you read above were probably experienced here!

Day 1 : KTM communications manager Thomas Kuttruf arrives ahead of the journalists for prep.

Day 2 : Thomas scouts Tenerife and rides the routes ahead of time.

Day 3 : Day before launch. KTM staff set up the press area.

Day 4 : Start of launch and journalists and other KTM staff arrive.

Day 5 : 1st day of riding. SportmotorradmagazinMotorcyclist and Cycle World give first impressions of the bike.
(All good feedback expectedly! haha)

Day 6 : 3 time Dakar winner Marc Coma joins the party!

Day 7 : Thomas leads a fast group including Marc out on the roads. More first impression quotes.

Day 8 :  Detailed interview of Simon Weir (RiDE magazine) posted.

Day 9 : Third group of journalists ride the bike.  Questions regarding bike development answered. FYI, it took 130,000 man-hours to build.

Day 10 : Final riding day.  5 time Dakar winner Cyril Despres on site!

Day 11 : An hour-by-hour (6:30 am to 1:19 am!!) peek into a typical day at the launch. Hectic is the word.

Day 12 :  Final day on Tenerife. All KTM personnel involved are listed (18 in total)

Pre-launch articles and videos (late 2012)

These are a collection of the videos and pre-launch articles when the bike was first introduced to public in late 2012.

If you’re going to buy the bike, watch and re-read to convince yourself that you have made the right decision to buy. Ha ha.

Video : Worth watching because the MCN guys actually rode a P3 late prototype bike BEFORE the official launch.

Video : Official KTM video (cheesy soundtrack though)

Video : KTM launch the bike at Intermot 2012

Video : Lots of close-up video shots taken of the Adventure R at a bike expo. (Guy doesn’t sound very convincing though, he says ‘big bore adventure bike’)

Pre-launch articles



mcnews (Australia)

Hope you enjoyed the summary. If you did, leave a comment and feedback!

The 4 most used motorcycle frames

All this while, I’ve been pretty intrigued by the unique triangular pattern on the frame of my KTM Duke 125.  I always wondered why it was shaped that particular way and the engineering rationale behind it.

So after some research on motorcycle frame and chassis design, I learnt that there are actually only 4 frame types used on most production motorcycles.    Here’s a little bit about each frame type and the bikes that use them.


The cradle frame consists of a single top tube and a down tube (two down tubes for a double cradle) that runs from the steering head to underneath the engine.  The tube loops round the engine, then goes back up to the swingarm pivot.

Single cradle frame

Single cradle frame

A single cradle frame has one down tube from the steering head while a double cradle has two,   supporting the engine on either side.  A variation of the single cradle, known as the split single, has two small tubes at the bottom to support the engine and exhaust pipes.

Double cradle frame

Double cradle frame

Cradle frames are the simplest of all the frames and are strong and cheap to make and are usually found in off-road motorcycles.

Double cradle on KTM 250 SXF

Double cradle on KTM 250 SXF


The trellis frame consists of several short straight steel or aluminium tubes welded together into a series of ‘triangles’. These series of triangles give the frame its strength and stiffness.


Close up of the triangles on a trellis frame

The engine that bolts below the frame acts as a stressed member (meaning the engine bears stress like the other tubes and is considered part of the frame)  further increases the frame rigidity.

The advantage of the trellis frame is that it is lighter than the cradle due to the use of the engine performing structural duties. However, it is more expensive to manufacture than a cradle frame. The engine also needs to be reinforced as a result.

trellis frame 1

A trellis frame – light yet rigid

Bikes that use the trellis frames in their chassis design are the Ducati 848 Street Fighter and KTM  690 SMR. 

trellis frame 4


trellis frame 5

Ducati 848 Street Fighter


Like the name suggests, the spine frame comprises a large diameter tube which acts as the ‘spine’ of the bike, upon which the engine and other components are hung.


Spine frame

The advantage of this frame type is that it is easily concealable, thus allowing for flexibility in the design of the bike.  Notice the frame is not visible underneath the engine on the Triumph Thunderbird.


Triumph 900 Thunderbird

Beam (aka Perimeter)

The beam or perimeter frame was made possible with advances in material technology. As aluminium alloy use became more widespread in frame materials, manufacturers exploited the stiffness of the material and created the beam frame.

The beam frame consists of two ‘box section beams’ joining the steering head with the swing arm in the shortest possible length for maximum rigidity and stiffness. The engine then fits into the frame as a stressed member.


Beam (Perimeter) frame

Beam frames have the advantage of being very light and strong at the same time.  They are now the most popular frame design for sport bikes, being used on the Aprilia Tuono V4R and the Buell Lightning XB12.


Aprilia Tuono V4R


Buell Lightning XB12

The Future – Frameless?

While learning about the frames above, I found this patent filed by Ducati with the United States Patent Office which describes a bike without a traditional frame.

The steering head transitions into a box section that connects directly to the engine. At the rear, the configuration is similar, with the swingarm and seat also connecting directly to the engine. This frameless configuration was used on the MotoGP bike raced by Casey Stoner to 4th place in the 2009 World Championships.


Ducati ‘frameless’ patent – US2009/0308677 A1


Casey Stoner’s Ducati GP9

Do you have any comments or feedback for my article? Most welcome below!