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Old 04-14-2014, 10:24 AM   #1
elvisnixon OP
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KTM 690R vs 500exc High Altitude Rocky Mtn

I have just relocated to Santa Fe, NM from New Zealand. I will be getting a 1190 ADV and need to settle on a second bike. I am 59 with a little bit of enduro riding experience (I can go anywhere but it is not always pretty). I will be using the second bike for exploring the Rocky Mtns (Did it once before 20 years ago on a XR600R) and some desert riding.

Any thoughts on the KTM 690r vs 500exc would be welcome.

Last bike in New Zealand was a 2009 690smr (loved it)

Cheers
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:29 AM   #2
kojack06
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The 500 would compliment your 1190 more and give you a broader spectrum.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:34 AM   #3
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Yea, go with the 500. I have a 350exc and it's the ultimate companion to the 1190. The 690 would be a great one bike compromise.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvisnixon View Post
I have just relocated to Santa Fe, NM from New Zealand. I will be getting a 1190 ADV and need to settle on a second bike. I am 59 with a little bit of enduro riding experience (I can go anywhere but it is not always pretty). I will be using the second bike for exploring the Rocky Mtns (Did it once before 20 years ago on a XR600R) and some desert riding.

Any thoughts on the KTM 690r vs 500exc would be welcome.

Last bike in New Zealand was a 2009 690smr (loved it)

Cheers
What a great problem to have! Lots of threads on this if you search. Given you've got the 1190, I would go with a 500, or maybe even a 350 - widely regarded as a more controllable bike in the tight stuff. I've never heard any non-racers get a 350 EXC and complain about a lack of power. "a little bit of enduro riding experience" translates to me as "probably doesn't need a 500cc racebike to go exploring and have a blast". But for some reason guys always like to get the big-bore 100mph racebike for their 20mph trail rides, don't ask me why.

To ride, both the 500 and 350 will be loads better in the single-track and the 690 will only be a little better on the road (nowhere near as good as your 1190). However, if you wanted to, say, regularly head down the highway 40mi and then turn off onto a trail where you couldn't take your 1190, the 690 might work better. More weight = better highway stability. It also has better steering geometry for the road, stuff like that. You should also consider the maintenance schedule and whether you have a good dealer close-by - a 350/500 will likely require < 600mi oil/air filter changes, valves checked every 15 hours and top-ends done every 50-300 hours (depending greatly on how much you thrash it). A 690 is easier to live with in that respect - the maintenance intervals are given in miles rather than hours (or the ever-vague "after every race").
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:04 AM   #5
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+1

I agree with the above post. Coming from a 690 to a 500 I can say the 500 is way more trail rated. But is the trails are far away then the 690 might be better but the 500 can handle the roads also. I love my 500.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:09 AM   #6
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These fellas speak the truth, the 350/500 would provide less crossover/broader range with the big bike. Plus the suspension, at least on the 350 (havent ridden the 500) is so good, just feels so planted in rough terrain.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:09 AM   #7
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I have time on both the 500 and 350. The 350 is a noticeably smoother engine. To me the 350 would be better for long road miles, they both have more than enough power for legal highway speeds, although the 500 would serve the purpose just fine too. Tough decision when KTM makes so many AMAZING bikes.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kojack06 View Post
The 500 would compliment your 1190 more and give you a broader spectrum.
Yup,both are fuel injected,the 500 is light all things considered,the 690 is like a really fast and nice Austrian DR650.

Having said that Id love to have 690 sitting here instead of a DR650.

Or shoot the moon and get a spanking new 14 300 and plate it,easy enough in CO.
Mine works great.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:21 PM   #9
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If you have a trailer and means to transport a 500 then get a 500 if you don't mind carting it all over the place. If you just want to ride from your house and go literally wherever the road takes you with exception of maybe 10% of the ultra-hard stuff out there then get a 690.

A 500 only compliments an 1190 if you have means to get the 500 to the trails. I'd ride my 690 across Colorado in a heartbeat and then hit gnarly passes. A 500 for more then 45-60 minutes on the street isn't much fun at all.

A 690 has 6,000 mile maintenance intervals. The 500 is 10-20 hours if memory serves.


FWIW I sold my 950 Adventure for the 690 and couldn't be happier.



Edit: I'd personally get a 690, get a Rally Raid Evo-2 fairing and tank kit ($$$) to transform it into a 690 Adventure and then get a 450 for the trails. The only thing the 690 doesn't do well is carry a passenger for long periods.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:30 PM   #10
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At that altitude I wouldn't consider the 350, and as you already have an 1190, then you need a 500.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:44 PM   #11
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I rode a 690 for 4 years and loved it then added a 2014 500 EXC. Ended up selling the 690. Yes the 500 has much shorter maintenance intervals, but it can do highway passably well and is easier to work on than the 690. I really enjoy the lighter weight too. I ride paved roads 40 miles one way to the dirt and still prefer the 500. If I had only one bike then it would be the 690 or 1190, but having two is much more fun! The 690 has that underseat gas tank which is nice to lower the center of gravity but makes the bike a little more complicated. If you want to had more fuel capacity with tanks then you have to mount tanks to the front and run hoses to the back. Works OK, but I was much happier just getting a bigger tank for the 500. Just simpler all around.
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Velociraptor View Post
I rode a 690 for 4 years and loved it then added a 2014 500 EXC. Ended up selling the 690. Yes the 500 has much shorter maintenance intervals, but it can do highway passably well and is easier to work on than the 690. I really enjoy the lighter weight too. I ride paved roads 40 miles one way to the dirt and still prefer the 500. If I had only one bike then it would be the 690 or 1190, but having two is much more fun! The 690 has that underseat gas tank which is nice to lower the center of gravity but makes the bike a little more complicated. If you want to had more fuel capacity with tanks then you have to mount tanks to the front and run hoses to the back. Works OK, but I was much happier just getting a bigger tank for the 500. Just simpler all around.
+1. For real trails a 690 has no business being out there. Too heavy,too big.

For fireroads and easy trails a 690 is fine. A 500 isnt all that bad on the road and is spectacular on trails.
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:41 PM   #13
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690 is redundant if you have a 1190. Get the 350 or the 500, both good choices and they compliment the 1190. As close as the 690 is to the 1190 you be wishing you had a trail bike if you get the 690. In NM you typically have a choice, trails or forest roads. Many of the trails you're not going to want to ride the 690 on so that's going to eliminate allot of the riding available to you. Yeah it can be done, is it fun on a 690, not for most people.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
+1. For real trails a 690 has no business being out there. Too heavy,too big.

For fireroads and easy trails a 690 is fine. A 500 isnt all that bad on the road and is spectacular on trails.
Oh God, come off it dude. No one is going to argue that at a pro level a new exc will dust a 690ER, but "no business being out there", "fine for FIRE ROADS?!". You act like its a friggen Vstrom.

Anyways, I'd love to have the new EXC, but I know I'd just end up trailering it everywhere because who wants to do two hours of superslab on a full on dirtbike after a full day on the trail. And if I'm trailering something I'm getting a 300 xc-w. Perhaps Colorado suits an EXC better than Texas.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:09 PM   #15
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Oh God, come off it dude. You're talking 40lbs and 2 inches. No one is going to argue that at a pro level a new exc will dust a 690ER, but "no business being out there", "fine for FIRE ROADS?!". You act like its a fucking BMW. You do know there are riders out there that look down their nose at you and your 275lb extreme-trail-weapon-rocketship-fuckall-dirtmonster don't you?
690 is too heavy,its not a trailbike. Its not made as a trailbike.

If you had ever ridden really tight steep singetrack with switchbacks you would have a better idea why a 690 is way too big.
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