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Old 10-19-2012, 09:42 PM   #23
abhibeckert
Beastly Adventurer
 
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Cairns, Australia
Oddometer: 1,432
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnbikeboy View Post
I did look at KTMs but they seemed to be all more than I wanted to spend. I forget which model it was, but there were a lot more of the SM version but not many of the EXC version. They're not as common around here as they are other places. I'll have to get on SearchTempest later and look at Husa's and Husky's.
Take a closer look at them.

You want a 690 Enduro or a 640 Adventure. The adventures are getting a bit old now, but maybe you're better off with a late model adventure than an early model 690. The 690 is a better bike, but it had a few teething issues the first year or two.

Stay clear of the EXC's, as they are racing engines and have the reliability expected of a bike that needs to be serviced almost as often as you throw a leg over it. And stay clear of the big v-twin's, because they're big and heavy.

My dad and brother both ride transalps, they're a great bike. And I rode almost 60,000km on my XR and have now done just as many km's on my KTM 690. It is, in my opinion, the perfect bike if you only want to own a single bike (both my dad and brother have a transalp *and* a second smaller bike. I only have one bike, and it's done everything from single track to iron butt to commuting).
  • It's as reliable as any of the bikes you listed (in my experience, YMMV)
  • it's way more powerful than any of them
  • it's also lighter than most of them. Not as light as the kickstart only XR, but it feels lighter when riding because of better weight distribution
  • it handles better off road
  • and it handles better on road*
  • it's generally more fun to ride
  • luggage options aren't as good as the transalp/klr, but with a bit of research you can find a good set of paniers
  • it's better in the city too, great fuel economy, well mannered if you can resist 3rd gear wheelstands past unmarked cop cars. Instant power in any gear for evading crazy cage drivers.
* long distance trips will require a different seat and windscreen, both are available as OEM parts and third party parts
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