8. KTM 690 Duke
It may just be a glorified thumper, but KTM’s 690 Duke is certainly the overachiever in this list. At $8,999 the new 2016 model retains the same MSRP of the old 690 Duke it’s replacing. “The 690 Duke has truly broken new ground in the area of smoothness in single-cylinder engines, making it a bike that is desireable for more than just its impressive cornering ability,” editor Brasfield wrote in his 2016 KTM 690 Duke & 690 Duke R First Ride Review. The 2014 690 Duke was defeated by the new FZ-07 by a scant 0.2% in a six-bike shootout. With a new Duke, a new SV650 and an XSR900 emerging in 2016 we may have to recreate that shootout. Stay tuned.