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Old 12-28-2005, 11:51 PM   #1
Donkey Hotey OP
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Joined: Aug 2005
Location: 20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
Oddometer: 10,292
KTM 620/640 E/GS Adventure History

We have been collecting information informally in the flea market but knowing those posts will soon expire, it's time to collect it here for the archives.

At the 2005 KTM Rally in Ouray Colorado, I attended on my 1997 KTM 620 Adventure. At the rally, I spoke with Silver Bullet who told me that these were in fact, very rare in the United States. It seems the original low-pipe version of the Adventure was not very popular here in the US. He too had one but had ridden his 950 to the rally.

The rumored numbers knocking around were: 5 imported to the USA in 1997 and 22 in 1998.

There was another bike at the rally exactly like my own. We parked them side-by-side and joked about the numbers (not believing them). Out of curiousity, we finally looked at the VINs. They turned out to be 4 chassis apart.

Since then we have collected a number of other chassis to see if the quantities are true. If all of the US bikes were produced sequentially, then there are more than 100. However, there have been differences seen in early production bikes.


This brochure photo shows a pre-production bike. Notable on this bike are the non-production muffler hangers and the clear anodized WP Extreme forks.

Here is a breakdown of some of the yearly changes:

1996: First year of the 620 E/GS Adventure. World market bikes have a low-pipe exhaust with outlet stubs. No US market bikes except for some grey market imports. Clear windscreen. Clear anodizing on the fork legs.

1997: First year of US importation. Dark tinted windscreen, black anodizing on the White Power WP Extreme 50mm fork legs. World market bikes continued with dual exhaust with outlet stubs. To meet spark arrestor requirements, US Market got USFS stamped, twin Supertrapp mufflers. To meet emissions regulations, the US bikes also got the dreaded Edelbrock Quicksilver carburetor and a charcoal canister. The good news was that the rest of the world got the Dellorto PHM40 and correcting the poor starting and erratic low-speed running was as easy as ordering the carb and cables right out of the factory parts manual.

1998: Same as 1997 but rumored to have a different shade of orange paint. Has not been confirmed. The Edelbrock Quicksilver carburetor showed up again and most were turned into desk ornaments or sold to unsuspecting quad owners.

The motorcycles located and identified so far:

Year VIN Owner
1997 7847 Ignore Amos
1997 7850 BLU HWY
1997 7852 AntiMarket
1997 7862 Unknown owner in New Mexico (eBay sale)
1997 7863 Spudly
1998 8543 ChicagoMike (likely a Euro import)
1998 8575 Pokey66C23
1998 8681 Tom Warr
1998 8739 Dillon@ZenMoto
1997 8742 hondahawkrider
1998 8744 Geekventure
1997 8791 G-Funk
1998 8792 K9OFSTRIKEX
1998 8793 Strega
1997 8797 Unknown in Ouray
1997 8789 DesignerRider
1998 8798 Silver Bullet
1997 8801 Donkey Hotey
1998 8805 Sold in Los Angeles 2005 (unknown owner)
1998 8850 Unknown sold on eBay June 2008
1998 8855 DessertRat
1998 8857 mtbdemon
1998 8869 Chaos616
1998 8949 peasandcorn
1998 8953 DaddyBigDaddy
1998 8960 Alfredman22

The interesting thing is that they are NOT sequential. My personal bike could not be identified by the dealer and KTM North America had to be called to identify the year. Others have experienced the same thing. Many titles have incorrect years on them and it has been theorized that KTM built the bikes in one batch and titled them in the year they were sold.

The import quantities could still be correct since not all the US bikes were necessarily produced in sequence.

Another interesting gem stumbled on tonight that kicked off the authoring of this thread is this photo:



Yes, an orange Adventure with orange saddlebags, so what? Items not seen on any production models (at least not in the US):
  • Saddlebags (believed to be the rare factory bags)
  • High pipe exhaust (not used on the Adventure until 1999)
  • Oversized, rally style skid plate
  • Black engine (Adventure models had silver engines)
European model? Prototype? The stickers on the fork leg and the studio setting suggest a Euro model or at least a studio prototype.

Anything anybody can share? This is for the archive guys so chime in if you've got anything.
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Donkey Hotey screwed with this post 10-23-2012 at 02:58 PM Reason: Updates to registry
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