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Discussion Starter #1
Went to drop my little 390 off for service today and I've borrowed a 690 duke for the day. This write up may interest icarus the most but possibly a few others too.

It's bigger than the 390 obviously, but also the footpegs are lower and set further forward.
Clutch is exceptionally light for a hydraulic one and the bike feels lovely.

Out on the road I have a very minor gripe that the hear lever is too high meaning I've missed a couple of gears, but that's a setup issue more than a bike problem.

It's fast, not 150horse power fast of course but it gets a move on really well. Way better than the older 690s I've ridden. It just blows them out of the water. You can see and feel the front lifting as you crack through the box.

It finds its way effortlessly up to 3 figure speeds.

Handling. It turns slower than the 390 but it's better sprung so there's more stability, there's also less movement when you change body position etc.

It is a bit vibratey though, all gears, most revs etc, quite a lot of vibration.

All in all, it's arguably a game changer for me. Lol. Whilst I'm keeping the 390 until the end of the finance, the day it ends , it will be changed for a 690.

Don't get me wrong, I love the 390. But you can see that the 690is just a better bike.
 

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I too have ridden a 690 whilst my bike was in for a service, TBH I can't see the value in it.

It's a good bike, and would be a natural step up from the 390 if it was worth 4-5K less, here in Australia you can ride away on a brand new 390 for a smidge over $7k and the 690 is close to $15K, too expensive for a single cylinder bike and there is just too many capable bikes out there for that sort of money.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I too have ridden a 690 whilst my bike was in for a service, TBH I can't see the value in it.

It's a good bike, and would be a natural step up from the 390 if it was worth 4-5K less, here in Australia you can ride away on a brand new 390 for a smidge over $7k and the 690 is close to $15K, too expensive for a single cylinder bike and there is just too many capable bikes out there for that sort of money.
Agree with that yes, in a bang for your buck context the 390 wins by miles, but that doesn't mean the 690 isn't a great bike in its own right.

I wouldn't pay double the price of a 390 though which if buying new, that's pretty much the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Weeksy - seriously - have a go on a Superduke 1290.

Paradigm shift in your head.

And then for some REAL fun, test a MV Agusta Brutale 800rr.
Had the option to ride the 1290 all day today, but it's a pointless machine for my riding and roads. So took the 690 out instead.
 

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A couple of years ago I had an opportunity in Germany to demo both the 690 and 390 Dukes. The 690 was fast and exciting, as you say, but throughout the entire rev range it just vibrated too **** much to be enjoyable. Also it is almost double the price of the 390 ($9K vs $5K in the US). The 390, for me, was "just right" on both of those points.
 

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But, undeniably, the 690 Duke is a fabulous motorcycle, no doubt about it. I can well understand why you are attracted.
 

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I'll take my $7,999 115HP/420 lb FZ09 over that $8,999 690 Duke any day of the week. With less than $500 worth of suspension upgrades it'll smear the Duke in the twisty's and destroy it's top speed in 4th gear, with 2 left to spare. I suspect the FZ07 can probably smoke it with more effort as well.

Pete
 

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Those Husky's are beautiful. Had a long good look at one the other day.

Was lucky enough to get given a brand new Superduke for an hour to enjoy. This bike will very happily pull your arms out of your sockets if you let it! Extremely docile and drivable in slow traffic. Pretty 'roomy' from a seating position.

Was left strangely disappointed after the ride. Brilliantly built, oodles of torque and high quality finishes all over but my first thoughts were on how much more I enjoyed the Brutale.

And both were better than the S1000r. Sowing machine smooth but lacks a bit of soul if you're used to the 'in your face' Duke.
 

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I'll take my $7,999 115HP/420 lb FZ09 over that $8,999 690 Duke any day of the week. With less than $500 worth of suspension upgrades it'll smear the Duke in the twisty's and destroy it's top speed in 4th gear, with 2 left to spare. I suspect the FZ07 can probably smoke it with more effort as well.

Pete

That was my thinking on the Duke 690 as well. I think the Duke 390 is absolutely perfect for what it is, but I couldn't get as excited about the 690, too many other REALLY GOOD bikes to compare it with. Also, for $9000 or $10000 USD, I'd really like to get a used 1290 Super Duke in a few years. Or go with the older 990, which was a pretty decent bike too.
 

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I've had 5 superduke over the years, ridden them at some of the best tracks on the planet including Spa and toured Europe on them. Great bikes.

Useless on the roads I ride on now though.
I relocated from Netherlands to Midwest U.S.A. I am amazed at how open and large this country is with beautiful straight roads. Duke 390 is perfect around town and commuting, but for those very long stretches of U.S. Highway, I'd really like something larger. It is hard to pass big Tractor Trailers (U.S. term?) on the highway when traffic is 75mph already on Duke 390. Something like a 990 or 1290 would be more than adequate but also with big smiles on my face while doing it. :)
 

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I relocated from Netherlands to Midwest U.S.A. I am amazed at how open and large this country is with beautiful straight roads. Duke 390 is perfect around town and commuting, but for those very long stretches of U.S. Highway, I'd really like something larger. It is hard to pass big Tractor Trailers (U.S. term?) on the highway when traffic is 75mph already on Duke 390. Something like a 990 or 1290 would be more than adequate but also with big smiles on my face while doing it. :)
Sounds like you need a Gold Wing...or a Harley!:laugh:
 

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I do not understand the Harley culture at all. I also do not understand why American Harley riders do not wave to me.
Must be your local area. I ride my Road Glide sometimes, and I wave. Most local HD riders also wave back, no matter what I'm riding. But not the ones with the ape hanger handlebars. I'm thinking it's only 50% attitude, the other 50% is that they are afraid of losing control.

I've had 50 bikes in my life. On our interstates there is no better choice. ABS, FI, perfect cruise control. Backrest w/arms for the wife. Footboards F&R so we can change foot position any time. This is important when you have elderly knees. Competent service everywhere.

My wife and I took a ride to FL once, and at almost every gas stop some other HD owner came up and said the following:
"Didja ride that thing all the way from Californy?" followed by:
"My (insert name of HD model) made (insert fictitious number) on the dyno."
Then I would ask where the best local cuisine was, and we found some great meals. Crawfish four ways in Franklin, LA comes immediately to mind!

BTW that trip was on our '01 E-glide, bought used. My first HD. We rode 6000 miles; it used a half quart of oil, plus I had to wash it once. That's it. I quit thinking they were junk after that! And cops tend to look right through us, regardless of our speed.

Americans do tend to prefer American made things. Folks in most other countries are no different. I've lived abroad, visited other countries and continents, so I am a bit more open minded.
 

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I'll take my $7,999 115HP/420 lb FZ09 over that $8,999 690 Duke any day of the week. With less than $500 worth of suspension upgrades it'll smear the Duke in the twisty's and destroy it's top speed in 4th gear, with 2 left to spare. I suspect the FZ07 can probably smoke it with more effort as well.

Pete
Agreed. I was in the dealer for my 600 mile service and they had a new white 690. Super sexy bike... I almost bought an fz-09, then an fz-07 when they came out respectively. If they had an option for abs, I probably woulda pulled the trigger on one of them. Not that its necessary, but with a brand new bike, just felt like it should at least be an option. With all the upgrades I'd want to do (suspension, exhaust, etc) I was thinking I should just go with a street triple r. I believe you mentioned that you owned one of them as well? I know the fz09 motor is really exciting, but overall, which bike do you think is a better package, Fz09 or street triple r?
 

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I had a 2010 Non-R Street Triple. Brakes at speed were marginal, rotor shudder mostly coming off triple digits hard. Back shock totally inadequate if not downright dangerous, mid corner bumps scary, terrible seat. Nice engine but not as nice as the FZ-09, not as much bottom to mid-range grunt. Nothing wrong with the FZ that a 10wt fork oil change, calibrated springs and the FJ 09 shock (for under $300 new retail) can't fix for 90% of street use, IMO. The price difference between the R-Triple and the FZ doesn't make sense, I feel, and the 30% difference in torque curves between the 2 motors would take some serious $$ to overcome. IF you want a hard core track bike a beefed up FZ still less $$ even after major suspension upgrades and still has greater power on tap, especially coming hard out of corners.

Personally for me, when Triumph ditched the twin can exhaust they killed the looks of the bike. The media comparisons between the Triumph and the FZ were always based on the R-spec Triumph, never the base model that I'm aware of, and obviously not a fair comparison.

Pete
 
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