On November 2, 2022, KTM pulled the covers off the 2023 690 SMC R and 690 Enduro R. While the two LC4 machines don’t sport major updates for the new model year, both benefit from some key added features that should improve riders’ lives, whether they’re standing above or sitting on the saddle.
When you’re riding your 690s, chances are good that you don’t want to spend a lot of time looking at a vast array of dashboard information. This kind of riding demands all your attention, so you want useful information—displayed simply, so you can easily take it in at a glance.
For that reason, KTM outfitted both 2023 690 Rs with a simple LCD screen that shows you your current speed, RPM, and “an array of essential warning lights” to instantly alert you if something is amiss. The design is also slim, and designed to avoid bulk that could interrupt your sightlines.
Gallery: 2023 KTM 690 Enduro R and SMC R
Where KTM really took a scalpel to the 2023 690 Rs was in rethinking their ABS functionalities. Both machines now get Cornering ABS. Additionally, the 2023 KTM 690 Enduro R gets Offroad ABS, which tones down ABS up front while totally eliminating it in the rear for all your very important power slides.
Over on the 2023 KTM 690 SMC R, there’s a new Supermoto ABS feature. In describing how it works, KTM says that it also reduces ABS up front and eliminates it completely in the rear. It’s not clear if the settings are quantifiably different, or if KTM has merely opted to give the same thing two different names for the two different models (and their two different intended riding purposes). In any case, riders will soon find out, we suppose!
Updated styling, seat treatment, and of course Euro 5-compliant exhaust systems are now also part of the 2023 packages on both the 690 Enduro R and 690 SMC R. Dakar racer Xavier de Soultrait recently took a surprise victory at the Transantolia Rally on a production 690 Enduro R, and had this to say about the experience:
“I wanted to challenge myself on the seven-day Transanatolia Rally by racing it with a production machine. The KTM 690 ENDURO R was up to the challenge, and to my surprise, I won the overall bike category. In some sections, I found the KTM 690 ENDURO R was faster than some of my older Rally bikes, with it performing perfectly. The KTM 690 ENDURO R is the ideal weapon for fast-paced and flowing trails, easily capable of holding its own in the Rally world,” de Soultrait said in a statement.
The liquid-cooled, 690cc, single-cylinder LC4 engine, with a bore and stroke of 105mm x 80mm, powers both the 2023 690 SMC R and 690 Enduro R machines. It makes a claimed 55 kilowatts (or 73.7 horsepower), alongside 73.5 newton-meters (or 54 pound-feet) of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed gearbox with a hydraulically-actuated PASC slipper clutch, and comes with an electric start.
The 2023 KTM 690 SMC R features a WP Apex 48 upside-down front fork, which features a split design with separate damping functions assigned to the left and right tubes. The left side handles compression adjustability, while the right side handles rebound. Each features 30 clicks of adjustment, and operate completely independently of one another. Rear suspension is a WP Apex with Pro-Lever linkage setup. Braking is provided by Brembo all around, with a four-piston fixed radial caliper up front and a single-piston floating caliper in the rear.
Meanwhile, the 2023 KTM 690 Enduro R gets a WP XPLOR 48mm USD fork up front, which also features a split damping setup. Once again, compression adjustability is on the left side, while rebound is on the right. You get 30 clicks of independent adjustment for each function here, too. Rear suspension is a WP XPLOR setup with Pro-Lever linkage. Braking is all Brembo here, too—but you get a two-piston floating caliper setup in front, and a single-piston floating caliper in the rear on this bike.
Both 2023 KTM 690s feature ergonomic, practical comforts, including lightweight, 808mm wide and tapered handlebars with rubber mounts to help reduce vibrations while maximizing rider control. The SMC R gets slim footpegs with removable rubber inserts, while the Enduro R gets “No Dirt” footpegs, to both improve your grip when standing up and also keep dirt from jamming up the pegs when you’re getting serious off-road. Rubber inserts can also be added to these if you want to ride on the street.
The seat covers for both were also designed for looks and practicality, ensuring they grip when you want it. The seat cover on the SMC R was also designed with leather race suits in mind, so riders can move around at will when they’re so outfitted.
Pricing and availability will vary by region. If you’re interested in getting your hands on a 2023 KTM 690 SMC R or Enduro R, your best bet for the most current information is to reach out to your local KTM dealer to find answers to your most pressing questions.