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Old 12-01-2010, 09:32 AM   #1
FechFech OP
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Base for rally bike - KTM 690E or KTM 450EXC ?

Hi,

I plan to build up a bike for amateur rallies such as the Tuareg Rally (www.tuareg-rallye.com) or the Sahara Masters Rally (www.sahara-masters.de). I like KTMs, so the base bike got to be a KTM. I'm interested in experiences with the KTM690E and KTM 450/530EXC as rally bikes. For both models there are multiple options for rally kits.

I own a KTM690E which I like a lot. The only concern I have is that it might be too heavy to ride in dunes for a long time, especially with extra fuel tanks. Some stages are 50+ miles across dunes made of soft sand.

So, has anyone raced the 690 and/or the 450 in a rally ? What are the advantages / disadvantages of each ? Any hints are appreciated.

Regards,

FechFech
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:17 AM   #2
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Maybe a bit obvious, but check to see what classes are still running. I believe some rallies have banned >450cc bikes.

Nearest thing I've done is Vegas to Reno which is a 534 mile desert race. I did it on an XR650R and found the bike perfectly suitable, though not quite as competitive as the 450s. I've had my 650R in deep sand and it gets along ok, but is certainly more work than a lighter bike.

I think my inclination would be a 530 or whatever the largest displacement light-weight ktm is if the rules allow.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:54 AM   #3
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KTM 450/530 EXC vs 690 E for amatuer rally.

To begin with, only the DAKAR rally (at least at present) has imposed the 450cc limit... and that is ONLY for the ASO list of "Elite" riders (a list of the 20 - 30 top rally pro's and expert level riders as determined from the ASO/FIM rankings over the last few seasons). All other riders are still permitted to use open capacity machines up to 700cc (super prod) or 900cc for marathon (standard) machines.

As to the question of a 450/530 EXC or the 690 E for an amateur rally like the TUAREG.

450/530: Advantages: a lighter more nimble machine, considerably lighter to ride in heavy dunes... or on the more technical enduro like terrain; like exist on the first and last days of Tuareg rallye or the more enduro/terrain like navigation enduro events like the Albania rally and Italian moto rally championship events.

There is a number of rally kits available for the 450/530 KTM machines... and for an event like Tuareg (160 km max refuel distance), a suitable bike can be easily built with a 14 liter accessory tank, a simple roadbook holder/tripmeter with standard enduro light mask, a sturdy sump guard/water tank and perhaps an auxiliary 5 liter fuel reserve tank on the rear (for safety fuel margin).

Disadvantage: The comparatively short service interval typical of the 450/530cc enduro based machines (smaller engine oil capacity and higher state of performance/tolerances; valves shims, piston rings etc.) means that in standard trim, the EXC will be a more maintenance intensive option for a privateer both timewise and economics. (Assume that if you plan on doing own mechanics = less time in bivouac for eat/rest/sleep OR you have the extra cost of taking a service personal). Of course it is possible to fit extra oil cooler/capacity to the EXC engine... but this involves more complexity and cost... maybe not ideal for amatuer levet participant?

690E: Advantage: There is plenty of rally kit accessories for this model. Similar to the EXC; by using an accessory front tank (in addition to the stadard rear subframe tank) the 690 can easily be made to comply with minimum fuel capacity for amatuer rally event. Same simple solution is possible for the roadbook/tripmeter mounted to the handlebar with original light mask, and a rally sump guard/watertank. Simple, cost effective.

Another big advantage of the 690 E is the longer service intervall of the new generation LC4 engine. Lower state of tune (compared to the EXC machines), larger oil capacity, means that (realistically) you could do an event like Tuareg with minimal engine maintenace (daily airfilter changes and maybe one oil/filter change mid rally) which could equate to between 10 to 15 hours spared in service time during the course of an event for a privateeer rider doing own service = valuable rest/recovery time perhaps, if is your first rally.

Disadvantage: The biggest drawbacks for the 690 E is (as you say) the extra weight (compared to the EXC) AND the limitations of the 690 E suspension components... in which case the 690 R would be a better choice, as it has more competition inspired suspension AND all rally kit components (tanks, navigation equipment etc.) is same as on 690 E.

Summary: If you have access to a mechanic; go with 450/530 EXC solution... If you plan to do your own service and looking for a bike with longer autonomy/less obligatory service/maintenence, perhaps the 690 E/R solution is better.


I have a Swedish friend who is building just this type of bike for his first rally - the 2011 TUAREG Rallye... A 2010 KTM 690 R with Rally Raid UK front accessory tanks (2x 5 liter capacity twin front tanks on either side radiator shroud) and KTM hardparts roadbook bracket, MD roadbook roller and ICO tripmeter. Simple, practical and reliable.

If you already have a 690E you could make this bike suitable very simply.

good luck.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:48 PM   #4
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Troy,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As far as I know, there are three different rally kits available for the KTM 690E/R:

- Rally-Raid Products in UK (http://www.rally-raidproducts.co.uk/)
- Alberto Dottori in Italy (http://www.albertodottori.net/ktm%20...ica%20race.htm)
- Mecasystem in France (http://www.mecasystem.fr/ca/72/kits-...nduro-r-09-10/)

The Rally-Raid tanks are the smallest (2 x 5 liters), which I consider an advantage because 22 liters (including the stock tank) is more than enough for the kind of rallies I want to do. I was also thinking along the lines of your friend, i.e. two small front tanks and a bracket for the roadbook roller and tripmeter, no fairing (to save weight and make the bike less bulky).

I wasn't aware the EXCs are so maintenance intensive. I rode a 450 EXC for 3 days at a KTM adventure tours event in Tuscany for about 5 to 6 hours a day. The bike was rented from KTM, and it seemed they didn't do any maintenance on the bikes during the event. In any case, I'd be interested to get in touch with your friend who builds the 690E/R rally bike.

Thanks,

FechFech
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:55 PM   #5
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Re: Fech Fech

The RR.UK tank kit for the 690 E/R and a simple nav/roadbook bracket is a good solution for TUAREG.

I would not say the EXC is any more maintenence intensive (than any of the other manufacturer 450cc competition enduro machines on market)... BUT compared to the LC4 engined 690, it is. The three day ride you did in Tuscany (15 to 18 hours riding total) is approximately the number of engine hours you could expect to put on the bike in one day (possibly two for an amatuer event) of a desert rally. Often at much higher speeds, greater temperature AND often in deep sand = stress and heating of the engine, oil and cooling system.

I am sure that after the ride you did in Tuscany, that KTM took those EXC bikes to the workshop and serviced them. So, using the TUAREG rally as a model, I would expect that the EXC 450 would require two to three times the service (in regards to number of engine oil/filter changes) compared to the 690E when ridden by same rider in same conditions.

The trade off for the 690 E is that it is possibly 20 - 25 kgs heavier than the EXC in rally trim.

An alternative for a 400cc low maintenence intensive/longer service intervall rally bike would be SUZUKI DR 400E... In rally trim I would suggest it's weight/performance ratio would land somewhere between the EXC (lighter/powerful) and the 690 (more power than DR 400 but with more weight as well).

If your heart does not bleed orange, maybe the yellow bike is a consideration as good reliable amatuer rally bike?
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:20 AM   #6
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Other than the increased weight the 690 is a fantastic choice. There is a lot of power in this machine and it does very well on fuel consumption with the EFI. In theory you could do some events without ever changing the oil...if you go by the recommended service intervals of oil every 3000 miles. Most of the 690 owners in the mega thread have not had to adjust there valves in 5000+ miles of riding. In a rally your nightly service might become: air filter, chain lube + adjust, oil every 1500 to 2000 miles depending on conditions. If the valves are set at the beginning of the event you will likely be fine for the whole event. At dakar maybe you do a big service on the rest day

the 450/525/530 bikes are lighter and more nimble in the technical stuff. They can certainely keep pace with the bigger 690 and have proven to be reliable just more maintenance intensive. Valve adjustments are easy and oil changes quick. Most people run an oil cooler to help supplement the stock resevoir capacity. The new 450/530 bikes have seperate oil chambers for engine and transmission.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:20 AM   #7
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There really is no reason at all to go for the 450 if you are not running the Dakar. More power at the same weight like the 530 is a good thing in deep sand loaded with nav gear and fuel.

The 530/690 choice will come down to personal preference. For me it would be the EXC (in my case it's actually an SX-F with a modified EXC engine, 600cc ) for a few reasons:

- Weight: 25 or so kgs difference is A LOT.

- Simplicity: The KTM 690 EFI is far from 100% reliable, and fixing it by yourself out on the track is difficult when one of the many sensors, the injector or the fuel pump goes bust. The 39/41mm Keihin FCR-MX carb has been around forever and tuning is easy and well known. 95% of the bikes in the field will have it so you can always find spare parts (not that you are likely to need them).

- Lack of a back-up kick-starter on the 690: When you have an electrical problem that runs the battery down, you are screwed. Carrying a spare LiPo might be an option but if you don't know the cause of your problem you might just run out of juice on the second one as well. It sure is simpler to just kick it when needed.

It's true that the 690 engine will probably last longer overall, but it's not as easy to maintain for sure. Valve adjustments are not an issue on the EXCs, rarely needed on the XC4 or even the RFS engines once stainless valves are installed. Oil changes are also quick and can be done in less than 20 minutes.

If I were you I would also think about a low mileage late model RFS bike, like a 06 or 07 525. Very reliable engine (arguably even more so than the XC4) and you could put the money saved into some nice upgrades.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:01 PM   #8
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I'll give the 690E a try

Hi all,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm preparing my KTM 690 Enduro for the "Raid Passion Deserc Maroc" (http://www.sudexpe.com/raid-passion-desert-maroc.html) in April this year. This is a fairly easy rally-raid and therefore a good way to test the 690E before doing a more serious rally. I'll post a report on how the bike held up and how it was to ride when I'm back.... ;-)

Cheers,

FechFech
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukasM View Post
There really is no reason at all to go for the 450 if you are not running the Dakar. More power at the same weight like the 530 is a good thing in deep sand loaded with nav gear and fuel.

The 530/690 choice will come down to personal preference. For me it would be the EXC (in my case it's actually an SX-F with a modified EXC engine, 600cc ) for a few reasons:

- Weight: 25 or so kgs difference is A LOT. sure is

- Simplicity: The KTM 690 EFI is far from 100% reliable, and fixing it by yourself out on the track is difficult when one of the many sensors, the injector or the fuel pump goes bust. The 39/41mm Keihin FCR-MX carb has been around forever and tuning is easy and well known. 95% of the bikes in the field will have it so you can always find spare parts (not that you are likely to need them). not an issue with proper preventative preparation

- Lack of a back-up kick-starter on the 690: When you have an electrical problem that runs the battery down, you are screwed. Carrying a spare LiPo might be an option but if you don't know the cause of your problem you might just run out of juice on the second one as well. It sure is simpler to just kick it when needed. non-issue, all the 690RR bikes are the same, just carry little jumper leads, kickstarts are going the way of the dodo fast

It's true that the 690 engine will probably last longer overall, but it's not as easy to maintain for sure. Valve adjustments are not an issue on the EXCs, rarely needed on the XC4 or even the RFS engines once stainless valves are installed. Oil changes are also quick and can be done in less than 20 minutes.

If I were you I would also think about a low mileage late model RFS bike, like a 06 or 07 525. Very reliable engine (arguably even more so than the XC4) and you could put the money saved into some nice upgrades.
Yup all the above arguments make the Husaberg FE570 the stand out choice

light weight, lighter handling and plenty of mumbo (more than a 690E in fact !), lots of off the shelf rallye stuff now as well and is more realiable than 530EXC in rallye mode usually
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:37 AM   #10
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Hi all,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm preparing my KTM 690 Enduro for the "Raid Passion Deserc Maroc" (http://www.sudexpe.com/raid-passion-desert-maroc.html) in April this year. This is a fairly easy rally-raid and therefore a good way to test the 690E before doing a more serious rally. I'll post a report on how the bike held up and how it was to ride when I'm back.... ;-)

Cheers,

FechFech
Very cool

We'd love to see a few pics (or many) from your bike preparation, if you are taking any. In any case, good luck for the rally!
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:23 PM   #11
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non-issue, all the 690RR bikes are the same, just carry little jumper leads, kickstarts are going the way of the dodo fast


lots of off the shelf rallye stuff now as well and is more realiable than 530EXC in rallye mode usually
Yup all the above arguments make the Husaberg FE570 the stand out choice
Safariberg - I have enjoyed your threads and comments on the board, cheers.

Not sure I would agree that lack of a kickstart is a non issue however. I myself have had issues with multiple bikes killing the battery trying to pump out water from a drowned bike then attempting to restart it. i've sadly had to use my KTM's kickstarter more than a few times because the battery fan was running non stop during difficult riding relegating the button to useless status. I can imagine battery's dying in the sand dunes of ralleys once an average (as in not top level pro) Joe gets tired, begins making mistakes resulting in a large number of stalling engines that require re-starts. Having your mini jumper cables ready and willing is not going to be much good if you're off route due to navigation errors and no other competitors are nearby to help get life back into your bike. A major design flaw for my needs is the Husabergs lack of kickstarter.

Quote:
lots of off the shelf rallye stuff now as well and is more realiable than 530EXC in rallye mode usually
Can you be so kind as to regale me with your insight on to why you feel this is so?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:41 PM   #12
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Can you be so kind as to regale me with your insight on to why you feel this is so?
.
Here in Aust. at least the 530's have had more issues with cracking pistons than the 570's. The 570 piston is different and seems to hold up much better, I'm not aware of any 570 pistons breaking over the last 2 years, where as I know of several instances where 530 pistons have broken and now the KTM team routinely changes pistons to avoid breakage.

We have had 2 early production 2009 570 big ends go but none of later or more recent production runs. These 2 failures we had are the only ones reported to date in Aust. Again I know that the 530's seem to have this issue more frequently.

Of course all this depends on the rider and how the bike is ridden..........other 530's such as Jaybo's enjoy a long life with no issues

Amongst the EU Dakar rallye crowd there is a distinct preference for the older 525 RFS motor over the 530 motor due to reliability issues
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:16 AM   #13
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:25 AM   #14
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Here in Aust. at least the 530's have had more issues with cracking pistons than the 570's. The 570 piston is different and seems to hold up much better, I'm not aware of any 570 pistons breaking over the last 2 years, where as I know of several instances where 530 pistons have broken and now the KTM team routinely changes pistons to avoid breakage.

We have had 2 early production 2009 570 big ends go but none of later or more recent production runs. These 2 failures we had are the only ones reported to date in Aust. Again I know that the 530's seem to have this issue more frequently.

Of course all this depends on the rider and how the bike is ridden..........other 530's such as Jaybo's enjoy a long life with no issues

Amongst the EU Dakar rallye crowd there is a distinct preference for the older 525 RFS motor over the 530 motor due to reliability issues
The 570 piston is a beautiful piece of work. If you get the chance to look at one side by side with a 530 one you'll really appreciate the design. It simply looks strong! Changing pistons routinely isn't just limited to the KTM team. If I had a dollar for every Honda piston and handful of valves I've seen changed out in the few Safari's I've been at I wouldn't need any sponsors. The 450EXCs also suffer from broken pistons in the same conditions with similar piston design to the 530. Once again it's actually pretty rare.

I'd guess the "sample size" of comparisons between 530 and 570 are a little biased. I really don't believe the 530s have big end failures "more frequently" than 570s if the sample size of comparisons were the same. There's a heck of a lot of 530s out there but relatively few 570s. I've also only heard of terminal problems in Rallying - not in enduro and trail riding where the 530 and 570 are designed to be used.

I kinda hope the 450RR piston is like the Berg one. Just exudes strength and confidence.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:50 AM   #15
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The 570 piston is a beautiful piece of work. If you get the chance to look at one side by side with a 530 one you'll really appreciate the design. It simply looks strong! Changing pistons routinely isn't just limited to the KTM team. yes agreed, the comments though were confined to comparing 530 vs 570 only . The 450EXCs also suffer from broken pistons in the same conditions with similar piston design to the 530. Once again it's actually pretty rare.

I'd guess the "sample size" of comparisons between 530 and 570 are a little biased. I really don't believe the 530s have big end failures "more frequently" than 570s if the sample size of comparisons were the same. There's a heck of a lot of 530s out there but relatively few 570s. I've also only heard of terminal problems in Rallying - ditto only commented with respect to a rallye racing application not in enduro and trail riding where the 530 and 570 are designed to be used.

I kinda hope the 450RR piston is like the Berg one. Just exudes strength and confidence.
the 450RR piston presumably will be similar to if not same as the 450SX quad piston which I havent seen to comment on
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