ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Thumpers
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-16-2004, 08:19 AM   #1
quadzillabill OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Mid-Michigan
Oddometer: 261
Question Newbie: KTM 640LC Adventure R

Hi, I'm glad to have found such a great site - you guys (and gals) all seem energetic and knowledgeable - and that's a good combination.

I'm new to the adventure bike arena, but have ridden bikes (more street than dirt) since I was 10 - almost 30 years. I'm currently riding a Suzuki Bandit. My 16 and 9 year-old daughters have gotten interested in riding, so I've started looking for some appropriate machines for them to do some trail work - probably some XR's or a PW and TTR.

In the process of this search, I've run across a newly traded-in '99 KTM 640LC Adventure R at a local showroom. It just came in, is totally stock and in mint condition w/ only 1800 miles on it. I know that the bike is plenty capable of keeping up with the kids doing trail work. I'm pretty sure I can strike a deal to get out the door for around $3k with it since I'm also talking about buying a couple of other bikes. Its got me excited.

My questions are as follows:

1) What are the pros and cons of getting the KTM vs. a trail only TTR yamaha or XR Honda?

2) In reading about it online, it probably is a bit too tall for my 30" inseam to ride comfortably offroad. Is there a good/reasonably priced lowering solution out there?

3) Any known trouble w/ this particular model or model year?

4) Anything else I should consider about the bike, parts availability, repairs, service, reliability or the like that sets this one apart in a negative or positive way?

I look forward to learning from such a great looking community.

Thanks in advance,

Bill
quadzillabill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 08:49 AM   #2
dirtrider
Dusty Adventurer
 
dirtrider's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Kalispell, Montana
Oddometer: 3,314
Quote:
Originally Posted by quadzillabill
Hi, I'm glad to have found such a great site - you guys (and gals) all seem energetic and knowledgeable - and that's a good combination.

I'm new to the adventure bike arena, but have ridden bikes (more street than dirt) since I was 10 - almost 30 years. I'm currently riding a Suzuki Bandit. My 16 and 9 year-old daughters have gotten interested in riding, so I've started looking for some appropriate machines for them to do some trail work - probably some XR's or a PW and TTR.

In the process of this search, I've run across a newly traded-in '99 KTM 640LC Adventure R at a local showroom. It just came in, is totally stock and in mint condition w/ only 1800 miles on it. I know that the bike is plenty capable of keeping up with the kids doing trail work. I'm pretty sure I can strike a deal to get out the door for around $3k with it since I'm also talking about buying a couple of other bikes. Its got me excited.

My questions are as follows:

1) What are the pros and cons of getting the KTM vs. a trail only TTR yamaha or XR Honda?

2) In reading about it online, it probably is a bit too tall for my 30" inseam to ride comfortably offroad. Is there a good/reasonably priced lowering solution out there?

3) Any known trouble w/ this particular model or model year?

4) Anything else I should consider about the bike, parts availability, repairs, service, reliability or the like that sets this one apart in a negative or positive way?

I look forward to learning from such a great looking community.

Thanks in advance,

Bill
Where is this bike located? :uhhuh Don't wait very long or the bike will disappear.

The advantages of having a dual sport compared to a trail only bike are many. You can explore mining, forest service, county, and other dirt roads that may require a plated bike plus if you have to ride some pavement to connect trails, you can.

I have a 30" inseam and the Adventure is no problem. If you have to, you can easily lower it with lowering pullrods from HERE .

One know problem that COULD crop up is the main shaft bearing can fail, but luckily can be replaced fairly easily with an updated bearing available from KTM and can be done in about 2 hours or less.

Do some forum searching in Thumpers to get the low down on silencer changes, jetting, and other mods to gain WAY more power and decrease the vibration.

Welcome to the Asylum!
__________________
2013 Husky TE511
2014 KTM 350 XC-F
2006 KTM Adv 950
2001 KTM 640 LC4 Sold
I only like two kinds of women, foreign and domestic
dirtrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 11:26 AM   #3
markjenn
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Swellvue, WA
Oddometer: 10,322
If you're just looking for a docile trail bike to ride with your kids, there are tons of cheaper, easier-to-ride, less maintenance-intensive, less quirky, more reliable options.

If you're looking for a top-notch, race-bred, very dirt-capable, long-range, go-anywere adventure bike, the AdvR is tough to beat. That's its mission, and certainly you can also use it to troll with the kids, but I wouldn't recommend getting it unless you were going to use it for what it was intended.

Seat height is a tough one. There are few bikes as tall as a AdvR - they're even taller than the 950. If you're a good rider and don't mind the height, I'm sure you can do it, but I'm 6-2 and often find the height to be a royal PITA in off-camber situations and when trying to pick the bike through tough spots. That seat height pays dividends in ground clearance and suspension travel, but again, if you're just trolling around with the kids, it is capability that you don't want or need.

I think happiness in KTM ownership really has a lot to do with your expectations and ability to put up with the quirks. A good example is oil changes: there are two filters, three drain plugs, and you have to rig a way to bleed oil into a tiny hole in the frame. No big deal once you've done it a couple times, but compared to doing an oil change on an XR or TTR, it feels like an engine overhaul. It also has 3K valve adjustments that are, once again, no big deal the 2nd or 3rd time, but will seem damn near impossible the first time, especially if you don't buy/build the special feeler gauges you need. These bikes are thoroughbreds, not pack horses. Another problem area is the seat - if the bike has the stock seat, it is damn-near intolerable for anything more than short stretches. Some people think KTM makes them this way so you are forced to stand up all the time, like a good dirt rider is supposed to do. And finally there is the vibration issue - these things are not smooth bikes. Like the Advrider bike blurbs say, "Some have no issue, but others say the vibration drives them wild."

KTMs favor an owner who is looking for more involvement in their ride and wants top-notch dirt capability. If you just want to twist the key and go, there are better choices.

There's also the dealer angle - there are a lot more Honda and Yamaha dealers than KTM dealers. If you do your own work, it may not matter, but if you have to run to the dealer for all your service or to replace a clutch cable, then having a close-by dealer would be critical. Many complain about KTM parts availability, but I've got two KTMs and have had few issues - you just order the part and it arrives a week or so later, just like most parts for Hondas and Yamahas.

Given your questions and the seat height issue, I'd probably steer you towards an XR250 or XR400 if you don't care about being street-legal, or a DRZ400S if you want a dirt-capable dual-sport. If you want to try the adventure touring thing, then the KLR and KTM AdvR would both be good choices and would be fine with your kids - the KLR would be the simpler, more comfortable, less-expensive, and easier-to-maintain choice with the KTM being the better performer.

It all depends on what you want to do and your tolerance for quirky bikes.

Good luck,

- Mark
markjenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 11:54 AM   #4
dagwood
Banned
 
dagwood's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Vancouver, Not! BC...
Oddometer: 35,427
couple thoughts on what Mark said;
oil changes. they are a pain but once you've done one and have the funnel made, not a big deal both filters together can be had for under $14, the oil cost more than the filters.
vibration, once they get a few miles on them (like 2k) and are jetted right the vibes they are a non issue. they do take what seems like forever to be truly broken in. but once they are...look out.
valve adjustments. I've done mine twice, once after the 1k breakin and once about 6K9didn't really need it) checked them again at 8K and did not change. from others here once it's broken in they're really stable.
the main clutch bearing I've personally only heard of two failing but many change them out of paranoia. mines holding fine at 10K+

if your puttin around trails there are better bikes for cheaper, for putting some miles down in rough terrain and dirt roads there is no other. for blasting in and out of traffic, can't be beat. it does allot well but in some cases smaller is still better. But hell at that price the R is almost a collectible.
If you really want to ride it in the tough stuff tight trails just get good tires and only fill the Exxon tanks a quarter full. that's about all you'd need putting along with the kids. 1/4 of you're tank is still more than they'll hold combined so if they run out just vent some to there's.
dagwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 04:43 AM   #5
quadzillabill OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Mid-Michigan
Oddometer: 261
Great feedback, everyone. Just what I was looking for.

Any additional insights? At $3k is this a screaming deal that I can't pass up or just a moderately good one?
quadzillabill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 04:52 AM   #6
dagwood
Banned
 
dagwood's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Vancouver, Not! BC...
Oddometer: 35,427
good/great deal if it really is an R with only 1800 miles on the clock.
dagwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 08:04 AM   #7
markjenn
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Swellvue, WA
Oddometer: 10,322
That's a VERY good price. Low enough that I'd be slightly concerned about the possibility of a problem. Is there a KTM dealer around that can look it over for you? Or someone you know who is familiar with the breed who could ride it?

Be sure to take a long-enough test ride where you can gauge how you feel about the vibes. As someone else said, they may lessen with miles and/or with careful jetting, exhaust mods, airbox mods, and re-torqueing of engine mounts but them may not too. Like getting into a marriage, I wouldn't assume things will get better - make sure you can live with the vibes "as is."

- Mark
markjenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 12:13 PM   #8
quadzillabill OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Mid-Michigan
Oddometer: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by markjenn
That's a VERY good price. Low enough that I'd be slightly concerned about the possibility of a problem. Is there a KTM dealer around that can look it over for you? Or someone you know who is familiar with the breed who could ride it?

Be sure to take a long-enough test ride where you can gauge how you feel about the vibes. As someone else said, they may lessen with miles and/or with careful jetting, exhaust mods, airbox mods, and re-torqueing of engine mounts but them may not too. Like getting into a marriage, I wouldn't assume things will get better - make sure you can live with the vibes "as is."

- Mark
A buddy and I are looking at it a bit more closely later in the week or on Saturday, but the dealer took it in and just parked it on the floor. Its obvious the guy spent as much time washing as he did riding - so I expect that it at least comes from a loving home. It seriously looks like new and far better than other stuff the dealer has prepped himself.

I'll certainly ride it first - but I already did start it and it fired up right away without hesitation. With an inline four street bike, I know the engine is going to seem bouncy. Just how much I can get from a quick ride, I'm note sure on that front.

It has the look of a well taken care of bike, I'll try and get the previous owners name first to talk with him about it in detail.
quadzillabill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 12:15 PM   #9
quadzillabill OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Mid-Michigan
Oddometer: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagwood
good/great deal if it really is an R with only 1800 miles on the clock.
Its definitely an R, and does have 1800 miles - although it took me a few minutes to figure out how to get the 'computer' to tell me that.
quadzillabill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 01:35 PM   #10
dagwood
Banned
 
dagwood's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Vancouver, Not! BC...
Oddometer: 35,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by quadzillabill
Its definitely an R, and does have 1800 miles - although it took me a few minutes to figure out how to get the 'computer' to tell me that.
... jump on it.
dagwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 02:12 PM   #11
quadzillabill OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Mid-Michigan
Oddometer: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagwood
... jump on it.
Ok. Now to break the news to my wife.....
quadzillabill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 06:03 PM   #12
rapiti
IOR Veteran
 
rapiti's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: On the island
Oddometer: 1,898
I have a '99, and I think it is a good year. 3k? Jump on that thing, or tell me where it is!
__________________
...its the best paint scheme that has ever been or ever will be on an Adv...-AussieRob
rapiti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 10:33 PM   #13
markjenn
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Swellvue, WA
Oddometer: 10,322
If the IMO is like a 2000, the odometer is the small number in the upper left hand corner of the top/first screen. It will have "M" or "K" after it, depending on whether it is setup up to read miles or kilometers.

The up/down buttons basically toggle between the two screens - the regular one with odo, speed, etc. and a "Roadbook" which has special resettable tripmeters for enduro/rallye work.

I had to send mine back to Germany for repair and they reset the mileage, so it's not gospel, but it sounds like the condition of the rest of the bike matches the mileage. Which brings up something to check - many IMOs have failed LCD backlights - if the numbers are dim and hard to read, be sure to check to see if the instrument has backlighting at night. Repairs aren't terribly expensive through Touratech (who makes the IMOs), but turnaround may be months.

- Mark
markjenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2004, 01:49 AM   #14
BlitzBike
LC4 Pilot
 
BlitzBike's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2004
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL near Alligator Alley
Oddometer: 800
STEAL this bike

At 3k that bike won't have to wait too long for a buyer. I paid $5,000 for a 2001 LC4 640 Enduro with Luggage and 250 miles on the clock and, $7,100 for a NEW 2003 LC4 640 Adventure (both bikes being at rock bottom pricing for their NEW conditon). Word is that the 2005 Adventures will be priced at $8,500 (if they even import them) so, with taxes, you're looking at nearly a third the price of a New 2005. I believe the lowering link will take you down another 2 inches if you need it. While there are lighter woods bikes available, they will ALL end up boring you in the end-- especially when you get on the road. The KTM is a bit shocking when you first ride it because, it runs so differently from most 4 strokes but, once you get past that, and see how well it performs, all the other bikes come in a distant second. You will notice whenever you trade bikes with someone, they won't want to get off your bike and you can't wait to get back on yours. I believe that if you got the bike and couldn't live with the height, you could certainly get what you paid for it but, best bet is to put a long ride on it to see if you can live with the vibes, height,weight.
Personally, all the other dually bikes don't measure up when I step off mine.
It is a little more involved than some mounts but, as they say, you get what you pay for. If you get it, you will get unlimited support from this site and KTMtalk.com and get to find out what we already know...In the dual sport arena, this bike RULES! And 3k IS a steal!
__________________
BlitzBike
BlitzBike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2004, 05:26 AM   #15
quadzillabill OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Mid-Michigan
Oddometer: 261
Well it all came together yesterday. I'm picking it up this morning along w/ an '01 XR100 for my oldest daughter - he really wanted to sell it before the end of the year and basically gave away the XR to get me to take it.


Now, what are the top 5 mods that I should make to this thing once I get it home, cleaned up and checked out?

Thx, Q
quadzillabill is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 06:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014