At this moment, KTM 690 Enduro is best dual sport motorcycle in the world. Period. At one moment in motorcycle history, not so long ago, there was some competition in this niche. KTM 640 Enduro, BMW G 650 X-challenge, Husqvarna TE 610 and later TE 630, Suzuki's DR 650 and DR-Z 450, Kawasaki KLR and so on. But BMW dropped G 650's out of production, Husqvarna is now rebranded KTM without dual sport in its portfolio, DR's and KLR are great and reliable bikes, but more ready for motorcycling museum. So, KTM 690 is alone at the top.
Dual sport bikes are traditional platform for light adventure bikes. Apart from discontinued X-challenge, none of bikes mentioned in this text is even close to 690 as competent adventure bike platform. Superior brakes and suspension, fuel economy, large aftermarket support, light weight, quality components are just some of KTM's advantages. Sure, KLR and DR's are maybe more reliable out of the box, but with lot of other sacrifices. And all KTM's flaws can be easily avoided, without spending too much on it.
It is interesting, knowing that adventure and dual sport riding is more and more popular, is fact that there is no potential competition in foreseeable future. CCM Adventure is interesting machine, but it will take few years to achieve some reputation. That makes things in this area a bit boring. But there is something good about it, and that is what makes KTM 690 greatest dual sport bike of today and best platform for light adventure touring bike. Vast user experience and knowledge base.
Many folks in dual sport and adventure riding are on KTM's. Significant number of 690's is ridden all over the world, in mud, snow, rain, under the sun, in the deserts and in the forest, by riders of all skill levels and riding styles, fuelled by petrol of different quality, lubricated with different oils, on all kinds of tires and so on. You get the idea. There is no better test then real life test.
Sharing is carrying, and motorcycle riders take care of each others, so internet is full of useful info regarding KTM 690. What can be broken and how to fix it, what are your luggage options, how high is the seat and how you can lower it, what is fuel economy, what you need to improve out of the box, what color is fastest. Everything that fails already failed on someone else and he fixed it. And found a way to prevent it. And shared it with us. That huge knowledge base, full of precious info, is added value that small number of motorcycles have.
I have few KTM 690 resources I highly value. Advrider forum is one of them. Probably best adventure riding forum in known universe. Home of world famous KTM 690 Wunderfest. All you need to know and all there is regarding luggage is in KTM 690 Luggage and rack thread. If you don't have time to browse through thousand pages and dozen 690 related threads, you can use KTM 690 Thread index. And one thread is not to be forgotten - adventure we all dream of, with our beloved 690 in supporting role - legendary adventures of Noah. Here I will mention another forum that I like a lot, but more focused on journey itself - Horizons unlimited. Very inspirational. Back on 690. There is very useful KTM 690 Wiki. Then Thumpertalk, with section dedicated to KTM adventure oriented part of family. And my latest find, great webbiker's blog with lot of interesting posts and nice pictures. List could continue for few more pages, but this is more then enough to enter great world of internet KTM 690 wisdom. If we all keep contributing to this knowledge base, I am sure it will become great design tool for future dual sport and adventure bikes - place where all engineers and designers must start from.