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Old 01-28-2013, 01:40 PM   #31
dashmoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris 690R View Post
- will do mild dirt ok in right hands
I'm just going to leave a few things here...













And a couple of videos for fun...

http://vimeo.com/51813348

http://vimeo.com/46708987


With apologies for the randomly varying picture sizes.

The point is, I don't know what you consider 'mild dirt', but the bike's probably a lot better than you expect unless you're actually taking it round an enduro track. I ran mine in the UK rally series all last year, and while I'd almost certainly have gone faster on a 690, there was nothing the bike couldn't do. I'm a pretty mediocre dirt rider. People who are the "right hands" like inmates JMo (the bike in the sand) and Stoic (in the last pic) have done some seriously impressive stuff on theirs.

For me, I could have bought a 690 for the rallies, but it would have been like all the enduro bikes I had before - it would have come out of the garage once a month to go racing. I ride the Tenere to work. I ride it from the UK to Spain with luggage, then go trailriding down there. I've put 35,000 miles on it in three years. No way I'd have done that on a 690.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:53 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by dashmoto View Post
I've put 35,000 miles on it in three years. No way I'd have done that on a 690.
Funny, there's an inmate here that's put 80K miles on his 690 in 4 years. I've only put 27K on mine in 5 years, but Ive owned as many as 11 bikes at the same time so I tend to spread the wealth and I don't commute.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:03 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Albie View Post
Funny, there's an inmate here that's put 80K miles on his 690 in 4 years. I've only put 27K on mine in 5 years, but Ive owned as many as 11 bikes at the same time so I tend to spread the wealth and I don't commute.
Fair enough. I didn't really mean to bash the 690, although it does read back like that now. I was only trying to point out that the Ten is more capable in the dirt than it was being given credit for.

Maybe a year of racing against 690s has made me instinctively look for the flaws - there must be something in return for them being that much easier to pick up out of a bog
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:11 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by dashmoto View Post
Fair enough. I didn't really mean to bash the 690, although it does read back like that now. I was only trying to point out that the Ten is more capable in the dirt than it was being given credit for.

Maybe a year of racing against 690s has made me instinctively look for the flaws - there must be something in return for them being that much easier to pick up out of a bog
At least you have the choice in the UK. We can't get the 660 here.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:08 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Albie View Post
Funny, there's an inmate here that's put 80K miles on his 690 in 4 years. I've only put 27K on mine in 5 years, but Ive owned as many as 11 bikes at the same time so I tend to spread the wealth and I don't commute.
As an side....I've only 16,000kms on my moto to date with no problems..normal oil changes every 5000kms,if that.

Might be a relevant slant to ask what parts and servicing were thrown at the 690 in comparison to the kms ridden against any other moto?... 80k and 27k is a good indication for sure that the engine can indeed be reliable....depending on what service history is furnished.

Eg there's an XTZ with about 190,000kms(astounding for a single cylinder) ...still on the original clutch and brake discs,(on the xt660 forum along with others with high kms and with no major mechanical work having been done)Search for the list of high kms and you'll have an indication of how many folk have high kms on theirs.

Anyway...IMO ..yes it's accepted that if you're eg. 'adventure' riding in eg...Russia via 'Road of Bones' etc (how may riders do that compared to riding normal off road trails compared to severe enduro trails?)to Japan.......then race suspension/rebuilding/servicing comes to mind and into the long distance traveling equation??

For me,I'm looking for a reliable engine/gearbox that will cover 1000's kms without problems and I will compromise suspension for that,because in the rough,I just simply ...erm...ride slower...after that the going will more often that not revert to normal gravel,fire roads and forest roads....of which the XT will do...


....as can be seen in my last ride report I went everywhere the 690 went .....and that is my point....we were in Morocco riding ,...'standard over landing' pistes...

(eg. In a drag race on a dried up lake bed even an old Africa Twin beat (1980's engineering) the 690 so even 'ready to race' marketing doesn't apply IMO to me....laughable )

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=841901


There is for sure rougher pistes than that available...but having been there (on Honda CRF 450 )I would actually take my XT anywhere the CRF had been when it comes to long days on off-road trails(albeit slower)full stop...

But...(apart from the Cathedral Dune in Merzouga lol)

..There lies the key ....fully laden with camping stuff etc....just ride slower to allow the suspension to work .....it really is that simple for me...and at the same time enjoy the travel views ...

If you want go rocket speed with full camping kit etc buy that enduro moto.....if you think you can ride at that speed all day to the next place to stay then go for it....lol

All this to say IMO it's not 'essential' to buy 'that' particular model Katay to do the same travels
when a moto for half the price will do the same but with more comfort.........and reliability.

Again IMO it's that old adage "Tool for the job you truthfully want to do rather that pose"

Just say'in like....


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Old 01-28-2013, 03:59 PM   #36
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1st off, I don't adventure ride, I dual sport ride. So I rarely have a bike loaded down with much and I rarely stop and smell the flowers. I much prefer spirited type riding. Now my 690 has spent most of those 27K miles in motard trim. And to add to that it has spent with most of those mile riding with guys on liter bikes so it was banging off the rev limiter for hours on end. I just did a top end on the bike. a month ago because it was pretty much worn out. I really don't have any thumpers to compare it to because I usually don't hang on to those that long or I just don't put all that many miles on them. My Vstrom has 46K miles on it and I just toasted the bottom end on it though and I did have to rebuild my Busa at 36K miles. My DR 650 has 17K miles on it and I think it will go longer then the 690 without any major work just because I don't ride the DR anywhere near as hard.

Now the inmate with the 80K mile bike says he's never done anything but routine maintenance and he puts like a 1K miles a week on it.

And while I can pretty much take my DR anywhere I can take my 690, that really doesn't mean anything. Because with the 690 I can enjoy it while on the DR I'm just praying I live through it. It kinda goes back to that old adage just because you can do something doesn't mean you should
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:53 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Stu View Post
The 690R was an obvious candidate. I rode a well set up 500 EXC and that ended all desire for anything else. ... If you wanted to take this bike to Alaska and back it would easily do it. I have the 3.4 KTM tank on it and there is a Safari 5.0 gal. tank. Woody's Wheel Works makes a cushioned rear hub for it and I did get that as well. The Seat Concepts replacement (wider) seat would round it out. Then get the Giant Loop bag or get Harcus's (ADV name) rear rack (globetrottin.com). I have the latter and crash tested it in Utah. Then put gas in it and go ride!
Quote:
Originally Posted by r'elise me View Post
Started with a 690E, found it awesome for mellow dirt rides, fun for paved canyons (especially with motard wheels), pretty bad for slabbing out to distant dirt. There was no way I was taking this on hard dirt rides even if I had the skills and certainly not on long tours with significant slab sections. On dirt, I'd ride this anywhere, and distance. So the bike is now the "dirt tourer" and "long, mellow dirt ride" machine

To be frank, even the 12GS aint much fun on the slab at high speeds. It still buffets, it's boring, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris 690R View Post
I view the 690 as 70/30 dirt to tar.

On the 12 km I rode Tenere on Tar I noticed it was way more comfy and being heavier was not buffeted by trucks so much!
These pretty much sum it up. Once you get to 300+ pounds it's no longer a dirt bike, it's a road bike with varying degrees of competence off pavement. I've put 30,000 miles on my 640E and it's been the perfect compromise bike. It's my only bike so it commutes, dirt rides, tours, etc.. 400 mile slab rides, no problem. Gnarly, rocky, steep, narrow single track, no problem so long as the turns are not too tight of radius. Acceptable performance and acceptable comfort with a short windscreen and updated seat.

I've spent some time on a friend's 690 and it feels like an updated version of the 640E. More power, less vibrations, great suspension at anything under race pace (less travel than my 640 but more sophisticated). We did the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route last summer and both bikes were perfect for that kind of duty with 10-hour days on dirt roads, highways, desert, and loose rocks.

It all depends on what is your priority. It's not so much where you spend the most time riding that matters but where you have the most fun, assuming that's why you ride in the first place. Personally, I'm with Stu. None of the so-called adventure bikes are really comfortable and none of the big thumpers are really that much fun to ride in the dirt. Recent advancements in longevity and eased maintenance make KTM's 500 EXC my next bike but that's my priorities. A short windscreen, new seat, light luggage rack for the GiantLoop and I'm ready to have a blast riding in the dirt no matter how far away from home it is because it's what I enjoy most.

And what's the big deal about wearing rubber? Tires are not keepsakes. They are wear items and knobbies are fairly cheap. It's like counting squares of toilet paper to make the roll last as long as possible. The only reason a knobby wears faster on a 690 than a Tenere is because it has more power. That's a bad thing? You can buy street oriented tires for the 690 and knobbie tires for the Ten. If you don't like what comes with the bike, don't worry you can get something different soon.

Chris, the OP, keeps bringing up the word "comfort". Having done some long distance touring on a Honda Super Hawk and Kawasaki Mach III it's hard for me to "get" why comfort matters so much to so many riders but I've also been around enough to know it does. Follow your gut. If comfort matters buy comfort.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:52 PM   #38
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my 300 lbs KTM 640 and 690 are PURE dirt bikes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That I get to cheat on and jump on the HWY a little.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:52 AM   #39
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my 300 lbs KTM 640 and 690 are PURE dirt bikes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That I get to cheat on and jump on the HWY a little.
I get your point, remember I own one too. My question is under what offroad conditions are they easier to ride or are more fun than a KTM 500 EXC? It's a real question, not trolling, because I expect to be moving from my 640 to a 500 and beyond the increased maintenance schedule and reduced carrying capacity I don't see a down side to the change. If I'll be giving something up I'd like to know what it is.

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Old 01-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #40
dashmoto
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Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk View Post
I get your point, remember I own one too. My question is under what offroad conditions are they easier to ride or are more fun than a KTM 500 EXC? It's a real question, not trolling, because I expect to be moving from my 640 to a 500 and beyond the increased maintenance schedule and reduced carrying capacity I don't see a down side to the change. If I'll be giving something up I'd like to know what it is.

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More fun...In real-world trail-riding situations (ie not on an enduro track), I personally find the big bikes more fun. I took my GasGas EC300 out on the trails a few times and it was just boring - so light and capable that there's no challenge to it, so you're just left with something with a crappy tank range, uncomfortable seat, and lots of vibration to annoy you on the paved sections to and from the trail.

If your local riding includes somewhere you can really do a full-on enduro bike justice, then YMMV (and I'm extremely jealous).

As for easier, I think there's probably only one situation, which is going fast (70+mph) down gravel roads, where the lighter bike will be scarily flighty, and the heavier bike will be nice and stable. More or less everything else the lighter bike is easier.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:58 PM   #41
Chris 690R OP
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Originally Posted by dashmoto View Post
I'm just going to leave a few things here...


For me, I could have bought a 690 for the rallies, but it would have been like all the enduro bikes I had before - it would have come out of the garage once a month to go racing. I ride the Tenere to work. I ride it from the UK to Spain with luggage, then go trailriding down there. I've put 35,000 miles on it in three years. No way I'd have done that on a 690.
Hey Dash,

Nice pics thx for posting. Only new so have not worked that out yet LOL.

Your above quote is my point exactly. 690 to me is THE "hot rod" Enduro bike that is better on the road than any other dirt KTM bar the 990 Adventure (enduro as the side panel sticker indicates, however is listed under adventure bike on the KTM web stie). But it still cannot do snotty singly and is way less comfortable on the road than other adventure bikes in the 650 class.

So lets put it this way. The thought of say riding 500 km in a day adventure ride leaving at 7.00 am and getting home at 7.30 pm, which is 300 km road and 200 km dirt (not dirt my 300 exc used to do)


For arguemnts sake;

Which bike would you prefer to do this on and why???


Chris
(This is the normal mix for me where I live to get there enjoy dirt and ride home again)
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:26 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk View Post
My question is under what offroad conditions are they easier to ride or are more fun than a KTM 500 EXC? It's a real question, not trolling, because I expect to be moving from my 640 to a 500 and beyond the increased maintenance schedule and reduced carrying capacity I don't see a down side to the change. If I'll be giving something up I'd like to know what it is.

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At high speeds and in sand the 690 will be a lot more stable, just like it will handle and turn much worse in tight and slow stuff.
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