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They have essentially the same engine, but different frames.

The M695 has the same frame as the M620 it replaced, based on the ST frame.
The M696 has the next generation frame, shared in design with the M796 and the M1100.

The newer frame is sportier. It handles better, and isn't quite as comfortable for longer trips.
The older frame is more relaxed.

I think the 695 has the older style nylon gas tank, which can have problems with expansion.
If that is the case, look for the newer bike; the 696 has an HDPE tank that does not have that problem.

PhilB
 
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