1996 KTM LC4 Duke Version 1 from United Kingdom


Strong, bonkers, addictive, pain in the backside


Mine was a Duke Mk1 Series 3 (yellow/black).

Several PITA electrical issues due to poor connections and broken solder joints.

Starter sprag clutch failure at 12,000 miles. Horrible screechy noises.

Generator magnets detached at 13,000 miles, trashing the CDI. £300 in parts, but an easy DIY job. They all did this at any time between 0-15,000 miles, until finally KTM changed the design of the rotor.

Dellorto carb was very on/off, but the whole bike is like that. It loves to be thrashed. Needs the KTM jet kit, airbox lid and an aftermarket can.

Stolen and written off at 18,000 miles, whereupon I bought a Duke 2 - similar, but a better bike in all respects.

General Comments:

Lots of vibration from the single cylinder engine = double vision at under 4,000rpm.

Excruciating seat. 50 miles feels like 500.

Some rough edges/incomplete development, but huge fun in town and on country roads. Just stay away from dual carriageways and (specially) motorways.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st May, 2012

1996 KTM LC4 Duke Version 1 from United Kingdom


Hard to live with, but I love it


Thermostat hasn`t worked since owning the bike.

Side stand has bent over time, resulting in the bike falling over.

Blows rear bulb on a regular basis.

General Comments:

If you want to have fun on the back lanes, then this is for you, you will grin like a Cheshire Cat as you leave everything in your wake, including the new CCM`s.

The exhaust note is brillant - it cracks and pops like thunder.

Long distance, and I mean over 100 miles, is hard going due to the wind and narrow seat.

The early versions only have kick start, and boy have you ever tried to kick over a single 600 on a cold January morning? Getting up perhaps an extra half hour earlier is a lesson learnt as it sometimes required kicking 50/60 times before starting, it will either make you or break you, but I wouldn`t be without her.

If you can live with sore ass, bruised shins, and are still mad enough to exploit the bike to its full madness, go for one.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th February, 2006

7th Jul 2006, 10:45

I also own a KTM 620 Duke 2nd edition 1996, and have had the same problems as yourself starting it, until I took a closer look at the carb and found there wasn`t a tight seal onto the engine inlet. After tightening it with the clip supplied, it started fine.

29th Nov 2007, 05:01

I have a KTM 620 95 model, which I love, and I look after it like a baby. I would never trade it in for anything else. It still scares the pants off me.

This bike in the true sense is so well rounded. It's the real deal, a big thumper. If you don't treat her with respect, you will get hurt.

11th May 2011, 23:59

Great bike for a hilly city. I've never had any troubles with mine, but I live in a mild climate and know how to start it properly.