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Old 01-22-2007, 12:35 PM   #1
Cycletroll OP
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Question ATK 605 the perfect mid-size adventure bike?

So, I have been researching for some time, trying to find a smaller compliment to my R1200GSA. A more dirt oriented trail bike that is, or could be made to be, street legal here in NM. I like the simplicity of air cooled motors(no coolant leaks in the boondocks ) and I want something with enough oil capacity to do longer rides without super frequent maintenance.

This brings me to the ATK's. I have seen a couple used recently for less than a used DR/DRZ and it seems ideal. Electric and kickstart. Reliable air-cooled Rotax motor that makes good power. Brembo brakes, Paioli forks, Ohlins rear shock. What am I missing? yeah I know there are not tons of aftermarket bits (larger tanks, etc.) but it seems pretty ideal out of the box.

I have read the limited posts on ATK's here and just wonder if any of you can relate your experience with longer trips, trail riding, maintenance, repairs etc.

I DO NOT want to hear that I should buy a KTM I am happy if you like yours, but I want something that is a little more like a stone hammer.

If any of you have owned an ATK and gotten rid of it for something you like better what is it? XR650?, DR650? DRZ-400? Comparisons appreciated. BTW I am an athletic 6'3" 180 lbs; 25 years on mtn. bikes so my learning curve offroad is pretty adaptable. I am bold, but have no interest in launching tripples or racing MX. Mostly gnarly, remote exploratiion here in the Southwest and some short distance commuting. Thanks in advance for your time/thoughts.-Cycletroll
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:49 PM   #2
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You should buy a KTM.
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:51 PM   #3
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go for it...

despite yer mtn biking experience, i'd suggest you go easy on the 'gnarly exploration' till you get a coupla rides under ya. 300lbs of bike looping out just ain't the same as yer ellsworth falling on yer leg.

605 might not be the best bike to learn on either...

good luck,

me
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoid
despite yer mtn biking experience, i'd suggest you go easy on the 'gnarly exploration' till you get a coupla rides under ya. 300lbs of bike looping out just ain't the same as yer ellsworth falling on yer leg.

605 might not be the best bike to learn on either...

good luck,

me
Just to clarify: I have more than a coupla rides under my belt and have wrestled several GS's through fairly rough off-road stuff. I've owned a KLR an F650Dakar and ridden several smaller thumpers. I'm just trying to figure out the bike I can ride in very rough terrain without breaking it (or me ) and that I can still ride on the pavement if need be.

Really I just want something with some hit, lighter than the KLR or F650, but that is reliable. I don't want to have to mess with the top-end every other time I ride it. Also being able to ride it 1500miles on one oil change would be great too!
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:10 PM   #5
snoid
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sure...

i say go for it... though for back country northern new mexico(ridden there a few times) i'd want a lighter bike.

in fact, the best time i ever had in new mex was on a xr250,

me

p.s. truth is, for log jumping, 300lbs and 50+ horsepower is not much fun.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:15 PM   #6
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I'd definatly say go for it. If you're indeed looking for very rough exploration, and reliability the ATK is right up your alley. In the aircooled department there are only a few big bore choices. Xr650L, Dr650, and ATK605. They are all good, but i think the ATK is best equiped stock. And, if all other arguments fail... it's made in the USA
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:31 PM   #7
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There is no comparisons in the current world of air cooled bikes as far as standard equipment to the ATK. You don't need to farkle them as they come prefarkled stock. They are also real dirt bikes unlike a stock DR or XR so no need for springs or revalving. Find a pre '96 if you are concerned with getting tanks and such. The money you save will buy a lot of new forks if you don't like the WP stuff. Plus, you will leave any stock DR or XR in your mirrors if you feel the need. No dealer support though so if you need hand holding buy one of the other bikes.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:45 PM   #8
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...so, Roverjohn...

What he said. The ATK is also waiting for mods since it comes in rather modest tune stock...BTW, did yours get here yet, John? Going skiing tonight so don't bring it by and rub my nose in it!
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roverjohn
There is no comparisons in the current world of air cooled bikes as far as standard equipment to the ATK. You don't need to farkle them as they come prefarkled stock. They are also real dirt bikes unlike a stock DR or XR so no need for springs or revalving. Find a pre '96 if you are concerned with getting tanks and such. The money you save will buy a lot of new forks if you don't like the WP stuff. Plus, you will leave any stock DR or XR in your mirrors if you feel the need. No dealer support though so if you need hand holding buy one of the other bikes.

Thanks! Just the kind of info I am looking for.
As for year models, seems like the later bikes had traditional Paioli's and the older, USD WP's. Am I correct in interpreting that the older models have more tank availability because they don't have the single-sided backbone frame of the later models? Pros/cons of early vs. late? Any difference in which carbs they came with (Dellorto's?) I've heard some of the earlier cro-mo swingarms were prone to cracking? (not a super big deal-I have welding skills )
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cycletroll
So, I have been researching for some time, trying to find a smaller compliment to my R1200GSA. A more dirt oriented trail bike that is, or could be made to be, street legal here in NM. I like the simplicity of air cooled motors(no coolant leaks in the boondocks ) and I want something with enough oil capacity to do longer rides without super frequent maintenance.

This brings me to the ATK's. I have seen a couple used recently for less than a used DR/DRZ and it seems ideal. Electric and kickstart. Reliable air-cooled Rotax motor that makes good power. Brembo brakes, Paioli forks, Ohlins rear shock. What am I missing? yeah I know there are not tons of aftermarket bits (larger tanks, etc.) but it seems pretty ideal out of the box.

I have read the limited posts on ATK's here and just wonder if any of you can relate your experience with longer trips, trail riding, maintenance, repairs etc.

I DO NOT want to hear that I should buy a KTM I am happy if you like yours, but I want something that is a little more like a stone hammer.

If any of you have owned an ATK and gotten rid of it for something you like better what is it? XR650?, DR650? DRZ-400? Comparisons appreciated. BTW I am an athletic 6'3" 180 lbs; 25 years on mtn. bikes so my learning curve offroad is pretty adaptable. I am bold, but have no interest in launching tripples or racing MX. Mostly gnarly, remote exploratiion here in the Southwest and some short distance commuting. Thanks in advance for your time/thoughts.-Cycletroll
Yo cycletrole take my 640 for a day and then decide. Rember what happen
after the 1200GSA test drive.
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:14 PM   #11
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Atk 605

Since the 3.2 gas tank is your only option for tanks.
You just need to live with the 120 range if you are not racing.
I own a ATK 605 and just bought the closest thing to it in KTM.
2002 640 LC4E Dual Sport.
Which is also the last year for that KTM here is the states.
I love my ATK and still not sure I will part with it.
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:23 PM   #12
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Where is the nearest ATK dealer for you? I was thinking about buying one a few years ago, but the dealer locator on the ATK website didn't list a single dealer for Texas. I lost interest at that point.
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waco Kid
Where is the nearest ATK dealer for you? I was thinking about buying one a few years ago, but the dealer locator on the ATK website didn't list a single dealer for Texas. I lost interest at that point.
Not having a dealer near you is no big deal. Ron Woods is a great source of parts for the motor. As a matter of fact they were the single most knowledgable parts dept I have ever dealt with for any thing. And ATK will sell parts directly to you over the phone or web if there is no dealer near you. I bought an ragged ATK that is on it way back up and the only down falls I see as far as parts are the tank, frame and swing arm. If you toast one of those you may have issues getting a replacement. As far as the rest of the bike there are no issues for parts. Many things have a generic replacement or a KTM part crossover. Fuel range is a problem and the tank design is not the greatest as it leaves a good amount in the opposite side of the tank from the petcock so you have to tip the bike.

Once I get my bike back together I hold hopes that it will be a good offroad adventure machine. At this point I will have a Renazco Racing seat and custom valved suspension for less than the price of a used LC4.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:06 PM   #14
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Not a bad bike, but a bit fiddly - things tend to break (kick stand rips out of the swingarm, exhaust mounts, exhaust, output shaft etc) and no big tank option. I like it, but honestly, if I'm going to ride a big, heavy thumper I want a big tank, otherwise I'm taking something drastically lighter/quicker. Botom line, I'd have loved to see the 605 really take off and get a bit more refinement and a big tank option. As it is, its a cool bike and I almost bought one earlier this year but have to admit its attraction is more its cool factor than its practicality imho.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retroone
Yo cycletrole take my 640 for a day and then decide. Rember what happen
after the 1200GSA test drive.
Well D- if you twist my arm I may just take you up on it

I'm sure the 640 is awesome, that's why i have been reluctant to ride one. My wallet is still somewhat charred from the 1200ADV purchase
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