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Old 01-22-2007, 05:23 PM   #16
Waco
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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   #17
Will LC8
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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   #18
BikePilot
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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   #19
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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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Old 01-22-2007, 08:03 PM   #20
Teeds
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One of the guys on our recent Mexico trip had one. It was a great bike. I will rattle his cage.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:35 PM   #21
Jeff@TheQuadShop
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I made the mistake of riding a 605 a few months ago.....now I can't find a clean one to buy. I'd trade my tricked out XR600 for one in a second!
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:03 PM   #22
Donkey Hotey
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Damn, I think most of the other guys in here have traded their ATKs in on 525s. I guess it's up to me to chime in.

My current garage includes two 1997 ATK 605s and three KTM LC4s. So I can give you an honest appraisal of both types.

Is the ATK an adventure bike? Not a chance. The subframe is meant to keep your butt off the tire in between rough sections. It's a spindly aluminum thing that won't support any kind of real hard luggage. You'd get away with lightly packed soft bags but that's it.

The previously mentioned fuel tank will limit you somewhat. It's not a deal-breaker for me but it does limit your range to about 100 miles in slow-going or sand.

The early model steel swingarm has been mentioned but then the very late aluminum swingarms were rumored to be worse. One of my bikes has cracked its swingarm, the other (that was ridden harder) hasn't. Ironically, the bike with the good swingarm has a crack right on the weld at the back of the steering head (infant mortality me thinks). I don't think their welders were the best in the world and that may have contributed to the inconsistent quality we see.

The exhausts came in two flavors: 1996-1997 and 1998-2003. The early exhaust uses a single bolt to hold the muffler up. That style will fail eventually. The good news is that you can buy the whole later exhaust and a weld-on bracket to update the older subframe. Some bikes already have it. Depending on how hard you ride, you may or may not need it.

The problem stems from the heavy muffler being unsupported and placing all the vertical loads onto the inlet flange. It doesn't last long. If you buy an early model and catch it before the muffler fails, you could fabricate a second hanger on the muffler and prevent it from happening in the first place.

I too chose the Rotax engine because it was aircooled and meant never being stranded with a leaking cooling system. Ironically, I got the ATK super hot while plodding up a 10K foot 4x4 trail in the Sierras last summer. The loctite let go on the belt tensioner nut. The belt came loose, skipped a few teeth on the cam and bounced an intake valve. Luckily it happend on a public road and I was able to get a AAA tow back to camp. Five miles earlier and I would have been really screwed.

As for road riding, the ATK sucks. It's a dirt bike. The lack of a cush drive hub makes life harder on the transmission. The flex of knobbies will cushion the trans but if you go for a dual-sport tire like a Metzeler Sahara, it will hammer that poor transmission.

The KTM 640 Adventure has a steel subframe (can handle luggage), equal suspension and more than double the fuel. They are both great bikes but the ATK is a brute of a dual sport and the 640 Adventure is an adventure bike. Even with my oversize headlight and Acerbis aux tank, the ATK is 75 pounds lighter than my KTM Adventure. There's a reason I have both. If I could only have one and I wanted an adventure bike, there's no question: I'd keep the KTM.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:16 PM   #23
Ignore Amos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey
Damn, I think most of the other guys in here have traded their ATKs in on 525s. I guess it's up to me to chime in.

My current garage includes two 1997 ATK 605s and three KTM LC4s. So I can give you an honest appraisal of both types.

Is the ATK an adventure bike? Not a chance. The subframe is meant to keep your butt off the tire in between rough sections. It's a spindly aluminum thing that won't support any kind of real hard luggage. You'd get away with lightly packed soft bags but that's it.

The previously mentioned fuel tank will limit you somewhat. It's not a deal-breaker for me but it does limit your range to about 100 miles in slow-going or sand.

The early model steel swingarm has been mentioned but then the very late aluminum swingarms were rumored to be worse. One of my bikes has cracked its swingarm, the other (that was ridden harder) hasn't. Ironically, the bike with the good swingarm has a crack right on the weld at the back of the steering head (infant mortality me thinks). I don't think their welders were the best in the world and that may have contributed to the inconsistent quality we see.

The exhausts came in two flavors: 1996-1997 and 1998-2003. The early exhaust uses a single bolt to hold the muffler up. That style will fail eventually. The good news is that you can buy the whole later exhaust and a weld-on bracket to update the older subframe. Some bikes already have it. Depending on how hard you ride, you may or may not need it.

The problem stems from the heavy muffler being unsupported and placing all the vertical loads onto the inlet flange. It doesn't last long. If you buy an early model and catch it before the muffler fails, you could fabricate a second hanger on the muffler and prevent it from happening in the first place.

I too chose the Rotax engine because it was aircooled and meant never being stranded with a leaking cooling system. Ironically, I got the ATK super hot while plodding up a 10K foot 4x4 trail in the Sierras last summer. The loctite let go on the belt tensioner nut. The belt came loose, skipped a few teeth on the cam and bounced an intake valve. Luckily it happend on a public road and I was able to get a AAA tow back to camp. Five miles earlier and I would have been really screwed.

As for road riding, the ATK sucks. It's a dirt bike. The lack of a cush drive hub makes life harder on the transmission. The flex of knobbies will cushion the trans but if you go for a dual-sport tire like a Metzeler Sahara, it will hammer that poor transmission.

The KTM 640 Adventure has a steel subframe (can handle luggage), equal suspension and more than double the fuel. They are both great bikes but the ATK is a brute of a dual sport and the 640 Adventure is an adventure bike. Even with my oversize headlight and Acerbis aux tank, the ATK is 75 pounds lighter than my KTM Adventure. There's a reason I have both. If I could only have one and I wanted an adventure bike, there's no question: I'd keep the KTM.
In my book, the expert has spoken....
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:25 PM   #24
Donkey Hotey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignore Amos
In my book, the expert has spoken....
You mean the parrot has spoken. I'm just repeating all that we've discussed in here before.

And one only needs to look at the Ignore Amos stable to see a 640 and 950 Adventure but a 525 where there once was an ATK.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:50 PM   #25
Speaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey
And one only needs to look at the Ignore Amos stable to see a 640 and 950 Adventure but a 525 where there once was an ATK.
But alas, the ATK still bekons his heart. One day they will be together again, but not yet.. not yet.
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Old 01-23-2007, 05:18 AM   #26
Jeff@TheQuadShop
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Location: Crestwood, Kentucky
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Not everyone can afford a KTM.
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:00 AM   #27
billyji
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Basically it is personal preference. This is an exotic desert bike thats street legal. If you dont mind thinking outside the box this could be a bike for you. If you want to be able to open a catalog and order panniers that could be overnighter you might want to re think it. I bought my 2001 es/ds wanting a more dirt orientated do it all dual sport. While I can run this thing through the woods in 3rd gear, I better be on top of my game. I have since bought a yz 250. So as you requested I will try to get away from personal opinion and list things i have discovered... the bike comes stock with many dollars worth of after market pieces as mentined above. one very important thing for me was the heavy duty spokes and rims. i have yet to bend a rim and I have taken some good hits ie rocks.
This bike eats batteries unless it is a Yuasa gel cell. I went through 3 Batteries Plus gel cells in 4 months.9they claim they are just as good but after the 3rd one they said they couldnt help me anymore,of course I was done also) Finally I just went and bought the Yuasa per ATK.
Also do not start a car and jump start the bike it will fry the electrics. you can jump the car off a battery if the vehicle isnt started per ATK.
the seat foam for long hauls is a little on the shy side.
parts take a week to a week and a half to get.
air box is tight for cleaning the K&N filter
Clutch tear down is pretty intensive
fuel milage is about 30 mpg
how loud the supertrapp is. I have since put a stock KTM silencer on

Things I like
the handle bars mounts are rubber mounted for vibration.
the cockpit is spacous and the bars are perfect for standing up
I mounted a spare 1 gallon tank on the rear fender along with a wolfman soft bag and with the huge aluminum flat support it worked great. I went as far as the xr 650 l with the 4 something gallontanks.
with the wheel base no steering stabalizer is needed. straight line hold one
I adjusted the sag and my suspension was perfect.
Lee at atk has diagnosed things over the phone he knows these bikes inside and out
http://www.atkusa.com forum
also search google/yahoo and the old forum will pop up with good info example (605 fuel range)
the electric start.
the huge oil capacity
the long narrow feel
i have a bolt on kick stand
the pull and strength of the engine
the possiblities of building the engine
i just went to cooper canyon and back on it.
price and simplicity


billyji screwed with this post 01-23-2007 at 09:19 AM
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:51 AM   #28
Donkey Hotey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyji
the cockpit is spacous and the bars are perfect for standing up
I agree on most of your points but...

I've found that the pegs are too far forward and the stock bars are too low to comfortably stand for long periods. It's okay for an attack crouch but you're holding yourself up with your arms--it's not a natural 'standing' position.

On a properly setup peg/bar relationship I understand that you should be able to go from seated to standing without your hands on the bars. I can't. I need to pull myself up with the bars or lean forward to balance before I try to stand. Of course that peg relationship makes it a great sitting bike--it's all about trade-offs. Do you have the stock bars or taller ones?

The other is handling in the sand. It's still a bit heavy on the front end and I think the forward placement of the pegs exacerbates the problem. I find myself fighting the ATK in places where my friend's 525 just gets up and planes. That peg placement also makes it hard to loft the front wheel in places where the 525 will respond with just a flick of the throttle.

And that was a good catch on the wheels. The wheels are one of the best things on the bike--they're insanely built. I've whacked things out in the desert that should have bent the heck out of them but they took it in stride.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:20 AM   #29
billyji
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[quote=Donkey Hotey]I agree on most of your points but...

Do you have the stock bars or taller ones?


[quote]

As far as i know they are the stock Pro-Taper. That brings up a good point though. i am 5-11 but have the arm length of a 6-3 man.
I have not done it yet but i want to measure contact point to contact point of the tires or axle centers. I think like you have said peg placement and the length does not make for easy wheelies. With a little compression, then pull and throttle I can wheelie through most whoops and holes in 1,2 for 3rd gear i need to be at 1/2 throttle or more. I think I adjusted the front sproket 1 tooth. My top speed is around 98mph.
I have noticed an xr 650 r is a wheelie and power corner sliding machine compared to the ATK.
How much does a 525 weigh ?? They look light

Mike
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:12 AM   #30
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Great info guys! This is exactly the kind of stuff I wanted to know. That Cervantes guy really knows his stuff!
I have been trying to convince myself that I could have only one more motorcycle to cover everything I want to do but we all know how compromises are. I guess maybe I should consider getting a 640A and a light dirt bike.
While I'm on the subject of dirtbikes, my medical training officer has a 2003 WR450F he said he'd sell me for $3400-Renthall bars, WR and YZ exhausts, meticulously maintained and only on it's second tire. Whatdaya think? that and a 640 would complete the stable (and would neccessitate shitloads of overtime on my part )

The ATK sounds like a great bike but I guess not really ideal for multiday trips and/or frequent pavement hops. Seems as though I may suffer an Orange Infection in spite of my resistance
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