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Old 12-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
everetto OP
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990->690->500exc?

I recently posted asking for input comparing the 990 to the 690, for some highway and lightly aggressive dirt riding, specifically riding several hundred miles of slab to Colorado and then doing the mountain passes in the Ouray area. I have been heavily leaning towards the 690R and I suppose the next logical question is - why not the 500 EXC? Will it do highway tolerably? Would I be holding back my buds on the highway on their "big bikes" (they tend to haul the mail)? I assume in the dirt the 500 is the $hit? Thanks in advance for input.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
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I have made the same journey...

2007, 2008 and 2011 990 ADV-R; great for slab and dirt roads...450-550 pounds.

2010 690R; very good for slab and dirt trails...330-430 pounds.

2013 500 EXC; good on slab, nothing better in the dirt...250-350 pounds. 19L fuel tank is a must for back country exploring.

With stock gearing the 500 EXC will easily attain 100 MPH and cruise at 70 MPH. The DOT knobby tires are nervous at freeway plus speeds. The bike is smooth except for the lumpy tires; power is not an issue. The 690R might be your best choice because it is very good off road. You will need to upgrade the seats on the 690R and the 500 EXC ( or stock up on pain meds ).

http://s1222.beta.photobucket.com/us...TM%20990%20SMT
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:52 AM   #3
everetto OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tooltech View Post
2007, 2008 and 2011 990 ADV-R; great for slab and dirt roads...450-550 pounds.

2010 690R; very good for slab and dirt trails...330-430 pounds.

2013 500 EXC; good on slab, nothing better in the dirt...250-350 pounds. 19L fuel tank is a must for back country exploring.

With stock gearing the 500 EXC will easily attain 100 MPH and cruise at 70 MPH. The DOT knobby tires are nervous at freeway plus speeds. The bike is smooth except for the lumpy tires; power is not an issue. The 690R might be your best choice because it is very good off road. You will need to upgrade the seats on the 690R and the 500 EXC ( or stock up on pain meds ).

http://s1222.beta.photobucket.com/us...TM%20990%20SMT
Thanks for your reply - those are some good looking bikes in your pics.

In addition to the trips to the mountains referenced above, I suppose if a guy were going to ride out to the west coast and up highway 1, the 500 probably would not be the bike eh?
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everetto View Post
I recently posted asking for input comparing the 990 to the 690, for some highway and lightly aggressive dirt riding, specifically riding several hundred miles of slab to Colorado and then doing the mountain passes in the Ouray area. I have been heavily leaning towards the 690R and I suppose the next logical question is - why not the 500 EXC? Will it do highway tolerably? Would I be holding back my buds on the highway on their "big bikes" (they tend to haul the mail)? I assume in the dirt the 500 is the $hit? Thanks in advance for input.
Why would you ever consider the 500 if all you want it for is lightly aggressive dirt riding? I'm sure it will overexcel at the task but is there a reason why you think the 690 will not also be able to handle it? You're trading away highway capabilities (that would be useful for "riding several hundred miles of slab to Colorado") for additional dirt capability that it doesn't seem you'd need, and yes I've ridden these passes.

What are the big bikes your buddies are riding? 990s? If so, I wouldn't want to try to keep up with them for several hundred miles of pavement on a 500EXC. Even if the bike can do it, you'll be exhausted.

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Old 12-11-2012, 10:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazybrit View Post
Why would you ever consider the 500 if all you want it for is lightly aggressive dirt riding? I'm sure it will overexcel at the task but is there a reason why you think the 690 will not also be able to handle it? You're trading away highway capabilities (that would be useful for "riding several hundred miles of slab to Colorado") for additional dirt capability that it doesn't seem you'd need, and yes I've ridden these passes.

What are the big bikes your buddies are riding? 990s? If so, I wouldn't want to try to keep up with them for several hundred miles of pavement on a 500EXC. Even if the bike can do it, you'll be exhausted.
The reason for my question was to get an idea of how much I might be giving up on the highway side of things with the 500. I have no doubt the 690 will easily do all the passes in the San Juans and I am leaning towards it currently. With that said, New Mexico has lots of sand and I am sure the 500 is much better in the sand, so my decision has to be based on how much of each type of riding I might do in the future. Long ago I did some desert racing with Arizona Desert Racing Association on a YZ490 (that is an open class 2 stroke) so part of me might tend to error more towards the dirt side rather than the street side of the equation, but I am not as young as I used to be so I will probably make the “smarter” decision for my situation and go with the 690.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everetto View Post
Thanks for your reply - those are some good looking bikes in your pics.

In addition to the trips to the mountains referenced above, I suppose if a guy were going to ride out to the west coast and up highway 1, the 500 probably would not be the bike eh?
I sold my 950 A and replaced it with a new 690R. It will do what you want and in comfort if you replace the seat with a Seat Concepts foam and cover kit. The newest 690 is a very good street bike. In my hands it's still a little heavy for technical terrain, but probably better than any other 650-700cc single. Certainly better than my 950.

I also have a Yam WR250R I keep in the desert. I have been able to ride that thing pretty well in the sand washes once I get it going. I would guess the 690 would be much better because of its power. They are both about 300 lbs.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
I sold my 950 A and replaced it with a new 690R. It will do what you want and in comfort if you replace the seat with a Seat Concepts foam and cover kit. The newest 690 is a very good street bike. In my hands it's still a little heavy for technical terrain, but probably better than any other 650-700cc single. Certainly better than my 950.

I also have a Yam WR250R I keep in the desert. I have been able to ride that thing pretty well in the sand washes once I get it going. I would guess the 690 would be much better because of its power. They are both about 300 lbs.
+1

I am selling my 950, but already picked up a '12 690 and love it!

I have the seatconcepts seat, FMF slip-on, and just got the KTM windscreen but haven't put it on yet. Eventually I'll probably go full-fairing but for now the windscreen will make interstate much more enjoyable not that it's bad to begin with.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by everetto View Post
[FONT=Arial]With that said, New Mexico has lots of sand and I am sure the 500 is much better in the sand, so my decision has to be based on how much of each type of riding I might do in the future.
Only you know what mix of riding you'll be doing. There is no bike made that will work well keeping up with your buddies on "big bikes" for several hundred miles of highway and also being great for technical sand. Depending on your spread, you'll may get away with a 690, or you may find you need two bikes, in which case the 990 and 500 might be a better combo than 690 and 500.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:06 AM   #9
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Do you own a car?

Several hundred miles of slab is going to wear you out on both the 500 and the 690, as well as your knobbies. IMO you will be off a lot better using a trailer to do the boring highway part in comfort and then getting on a proper dirt bike when you get to the good stuff.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:30 AM   #10
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I'd also add that a 990 will do 75-80% of trails that a 500 can do (granted it takes a bit more effort and skill then on a 500). A 690 can do 90% of the trails (again with a bit more effort and skill). And the last 10% can only be handled by the 500 or lighter bikes.

I'm thinking of mountainous trails out here in Colorado. The only problems I ever had on the 950 was tight technical terrain or climbing loose 25%+ grades where my rear tire just dug in due to the weight and power of the bike when I lost momentum. Granted I couldn't keep up with the lighter bikes in the technical stuff but I usually made it without issue.

The non-"proper" dirtbikes can still do many many things that people say a "proper" dirtbike is needed for it'll just take more skill and effort. For what it's worth I always had fun when I was on a 950 in technical terrain, it was challenging and when I succeeded it felt awesome. My choice in the 690 was a balance. Sure it won't be as fun for long slab stretches but it'll do it; plus it'll make me want to take the back roads which are always more fun and interesting.

Oh and if you're on a 690 and your friends are on 990's then you'll be tired after the highway but will kick their butts in the off-road section.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:58 AM   #11
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Well, the "slab" part of this specific annual trip is really only 180 miles, and then the tarmac becomes very twisty and fun, and I like the paved twisties as much as the dirt part. Those of you who know the area would probably agree, once you head north out of Durango it is not long and the road becomes very fun.

In the paved mountain twisties how will the 690 do compared to the 990? I would be surprised if it could not hang very well indeed.

I guess what I am saying is that I would suck it up on the 690 for 180 miles of boring slab, in order to smoke the guys in the twisties and the dirt.

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Old 12-12-2012, 09:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by everetto View Post
Well, the "slab" part of this specific annual trip is really only 180 miles, and then the tarmac becomes very twisty and fun, and I like the paved twisties as much as the dirt part. Those of you who know the area would probably agree, once you head north out of Durango it is not long and the road becomes very fun.

In the paved mountain twisties how will the 690 do compared to the 990? I would be surprised if it could not hang very well indeed.

I guess what I am saying is that I would suck it up on the 690 for 180 miles of boring slab, in order to smoke the guys in the twisties and the dirt.

Million Dollar Highway? Yep, it's a great road. The 690 will do it effortlessly, certainly easier than the 990 even if it's down on power.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:00 PM   #13
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sounds like your biggest constraint for the riding you describe is tire selection. (not an owner of any of the three mentioned bikes but....) I gotta think with the right tires for the job the road riding on 2-lane twisties would be comparable. Where the differences would arise would be in technical steep trails where muffinman mentions the bikes mass coming into play.

A dirtbike on knobbies is always going to be less comfortable than a 1000cc adv bike on dualsport tires on the freeway, and vice versa. The 690 would be a great compromise bike, but again i think most of the "comfort" is relative to the tires.

The other consideration for offroad prowess is speed; are you trying to set a new lap time for technical trails or just "get there", because i am sure all 3 would be able "get there" 99% of the time.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:47 AM   #14
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I don't like riding dirt bikes on the Interstate for more than about 20 or 30 minutes. It just gets uncomfortable and no fun IMO. For 60 mph 2 lanes it's not nearly as bad.

If you are just talking about riding with those guys for a one time trip, it isn't as important, but if you all plan to ride together most of the time, I would get a similar bike as they have. The types of trips they are going to take in the future will be based on what their bikes can do. If they all ride 990s they might ride all the way down to Baja and camp for a week, that much highway would be brutal on a 500. At the same time, if you want to ride a lot of the harder, more technical single track on a 500 they might not enjoy coming along. As a bonus, if you ride the same bike you can share parts and if something goes wrong there are more of you with the knowledge to diagnose/fix it.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by everetto View Post
The reason for my question was to get an idea of how much I might be giving up on the highway side of things with the 500. I have no doubt the 690 will easily do all the passes in the San Juans and I am leaning towards it currently. With that said, New Mexico has lots of sand and I am sure the 500 is much better in the sand, so my decision has to be based on how much of each type of riding I might do in the future. Long ago I did some desert racing with Arizona Desert Racing Association on a YZ490 (that is an open class 2 stroke) so part of me might tend to error more towards the dirt side rather than the street side of the equation, but I am not as young as I used to be so I will probably make the “smarter” decision for my situation and go with the 690.
No,Don't do the "smarter" decision because of your age,and don't listen to the CrazyBrit-he's crazy. Go for the 500,ride all the dirt you ever want with ease,and just rough it a little more on the highway.

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