8. Brakes


The 690 may only have a single disc, but it sure makes the most of what it has. That disc is a beefy 320mm unit, clamped by a radially mounted Brembo four-piston caliper being fed fluid through steel-braided lines. Braking power, accordingly, is strong and firm with good feel at the lever that doesn’t leave me wishing for a second disc. The middle Duke has defeatable ABS, too (and the R version gets cornering ABS and the awesome M50 caliper, but don’t get too excited because we’re not getting that version of the 690 in the U.S.). It didn’t get much of a test considering the perfect riding conditions we’ve had in SoCal lately, but it’s something I’m glad it has once the roads, or the weather, get crappy.