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Old 01-24-2013, 04:15 AM   #16
Pantah
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I think my 690 is finally comfortable. The motor smoothed out at 3500 miles. I added a stabilizer for high speed cruising on the interstates. The flyscreen seems pretty functional and takes the wind pressure off my torso. I tried a sheepskin on the stock seat, but after 2k miles I finally bought a Seat Concepts seat kit, and that solved my butt burn. Added heat liners and think the bike is as comfortable as any I've owned.

I had a MZ Baggie which had the XT660 motor. That was a really nice lump and excellent for long travel. But I wouldn't swap it for my 690.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:20 PM   #17
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I have an XTZ660Z....certainly NOT as good off road as a 690.....but if you're doing more road work then it'll be more comfortable,easier to service and more reliable?

I get about 4-5 liters per 100kms and it comes with a 23 litre tank....It is what it is.

When I was looking for a new moto I looked at the 690 and even the KTM Super Enduro and finally went for the XT. I still have my 300 Gas Gas and I'm 49....and I have best of both worlds now... I scoot around the forests here on the GGas and can still scoot all over France/Spain on the XT as I wish,to ride any tracks I find there.

Here you'll see a variation of motos to include a 690 riding in all sorts of going......

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=841901

Might give you an idea....Here you can pick up an XT for about €3500 these days....

:)
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WIBO screwed with this post 01-24-2013 at 03:28 PM
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by WIBO View Post
I have an XTZ660Z....certainly NOT as good off road as a 690.....but if you're doing more road work then it'll be more comfortable,easier to service and more reliable?

I get about 4-5 liters per 100kms and it comes with a 23 litre tank....It is what it is.

When I was looking for a new moto I looked at the 690 and even the KTM Super Enduro and finally went for the XT. I still have my 300 Gas Gas and I'm 49....and I have best of both worlds now... I scoot around the forests here on the GGas and can still scoot all over France/Spain on the XT as I wish,to ride any tracks I find there.

Here you'll see a variation of motos to include a 690 riding in all sorts of going......

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=841901

Might give you an idea....Here you can pick up an XT for about €3500 these days....

:)
Good replies and discussion. Each will have their own requirements and opinions for sure. The KTM 690 E to me is the "Hot Rod" of Adventure bikes leaning clearly towards dirt rather than tar.

It will blow the rest away on the dirt for sure. My issue is the true nature of Adventure riding is tar and dirt combined. Quite oftern more tar than dirt as most of us would agree by the time you transport to dirt unless you trailer your bike to the dirt!

So my issue is I do not see the point in having a hot rod dirt orientated adventure bike that is less comfortable on the road than say a Tenere and still cannot keep up to a true enduro bike in the single stuff like my old KTM 300 EXC.

Unless you are luck enough to live close to awesome adventure riding dirt I have to ride 1.5 hours to get to any such place and 1.5 hours home again so over 3 hours tar at HWY speeds for a day out.

SO this is very hard for me to do after rding the 690, however I am now thinking to sell the 690 and get a Tenere. I then have change left over to buy another true enduro like Husky 511 or WR 450. I have WR 450 type dirt single trail 5 mins from my home!

So then I get the best of both world again???

I love the dirt which is why I went for the 690, but am worried I will regret it once I sell it!!!!!

Arrrr only if I had enough money and time (plus wife issues) to own 3 bikes LOL

Chris
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:59 AM   #19
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I had a 690, 950SE and 530XC-W. I sold my 690. Not because I didn't like it, I loved it. But IMO it was more of a niche machine. On the right roads it was a very fun bike, fast dirt roads, two track, etc. If you wanna play Rally racer it is the best bike. But I could not afford to keep three bikes maintained, so I sold the 690. I use the 950SE as my touring bike and my 530 is my dirt bike.

The 690 would make a good ADV tourer with just two additions, a bigger tank and a better gear box. Of course the stock seat is worthless.

Why not consider a 950/990 ADV or SE for your touring bike?

I cant say much about the Yamaha as those are not available in the US.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:48 AM   #20
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Choices...

Chris,

I had the same dilemma when I sold my '12 KTM 300 XC-W after my last hare scramble and MX this past summer. I'm 73 and the ole bod told me to start taking it easy.

I first decided what I really liked to do the most with my bikes and that was ride off road & vacation in Utah and Colorado. That made the choice a whole lot easier. I would compromise on the road sections and not try to do over 350 miles a day.

The 690R was an obvious candidate. I rode a well set up 500 EXC and that ended all desire for anything else. I got a new '13 500 and have been extraordinarily happy with my decision. It is a bit heavy in tight woods but it sticks right with my racing buddies on their lighter bikes. It has a very similar set up to the '12 300 for suspension and frame so it handles like the 300 with an obvious increase in weight. I now have 950 miles and 51 hours on it, some of that in Grand Staircase Escalante and Moab and most of the rest riding off road elsewhere. I had it out three days ago where there was 1/2" of melted goo on top of frozen ground. Slithered around but it still kept its line like the 300 did but it found traction far more easily than the 300. On the highway, geared either 15/52 for off road or 15/50 for Utah it does quite well and is comfy. I ride street at 60~65 so it is fine. I have the Sicass soft seat and that is superb for my use.

This bike is very easy to maintain. Oil change intervals and time to do it have been improved over the older motors. Oil capacity is now 1.5 liters so you could, doing dual sport riding, probably make close to 2,000 miles before you changed. Ripping around the woods as I do I change it every 4 to 5 hours. Valve checks and shim replacements are far easier and could be done on the road without difficulty. I have only had one valve move at all in all this time and have only replaced that one shim. Maintenance issues? Not with this bike!

I made the bike feel much lighter by installing the Shorai battery (4 lbs less weight up high), installing the Sicass flush mount rear turn signals and sub fender (about 2.5 lbs less), Sicass front turn signals in the plastic hand guards with the Cycra brush busters (an even break on dropping stuff off) and an Akrapovic muffler (slightly over 2 lbs dropped). It is extremely crash worthy and I have tested that thoroughly. The Akrapovic did require the EU ignition/fuel map ending in 0701 which is for competition use and, well, of course that is all I will do with this bike. Ahem.

If you wanted to take this bike to Alaska and back it would easily do it. I have the 3.4 KTM tank on it and there is a Safari 5.0 gal. tank. Woody's Wheel Works makes a cushioned rear hub for it and I did get that as well. The Seat Concepts replacement (wider) seat would round it out. Then get the Giant Loop bag or get Harcus's (ADV name) rear rack (globetrottin.com). I have the latter and crash tested it in Utah. Then put gas in it and go ride!

There is no question that KTM has developed a real off road classic here. No wonder they are sold out.

Stu
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:15 PM   #21
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris 690R View Post
Good replies and discussion. Each will have their own requirements and opinions for sure. The KTM 690 E to me is the "Hot Rod" of Adventure bikes leaning clearly towards dirt rather than tar.

It will blow the rest away on the dirt for sure. My issue is the true nature of Adventure riding is tar and dirt combined. Quite oftern more tar than dirt as most of us would agree by the time you transport to dirt unless you trailer your bike to the dirt!

So my issue is I do not see the point in having a hot rod dirt orientated adventure bike that is less comfortable on the road than say a Tenere and still cannot keep up to a true enduro bike in the single stuff like my old KTM 300 EXC.

Unless you are luck enough to live close to awesome adventure riding dirt I have to ride 1.5 hours to get to any such place and 1.5 hours home again so over 3 hours tar at HWY speeds for a day out.

SO this is very hard for me to do after rding the 690, however I am now thinking to sell the 690 and get a Tenere. I then have change left over to buy another true enduro like Husky 511 or WR 450. I have WR 450 type dirt single trail 5 mins from my home!

So then I get the best of both world again???

I love the dirt which is why I went for the 690, but am worried I will regret it once I sell it!!!!!

Arrrr only if I had enough money and time (plus wife issues) to own 3 bikes LOL

Chris
If you get the chance to do an adventure ride you'll find you'll be on one bike for the duration. No multi bike option once on the road. Outside of Oz what you discovered about "mostly Tar" will hold true in most places you get to. So a compromise must be reached. What is most important to you?

If you're just messing round Oz locally, then I'd Mod up your 690 to be more comfortable and go with it. For more serious off road, nothing is going to match your former 300EXC. I know this bike ... and raced against them in AMA Enduro. (I rode Yam 250 two strokes) Sounds like you need AT LEAST two bikes. One for local dirt riding, another for longer ADV trips?

The 660 Tenere is a great travel bike but way heavy off road, IMO. Have you ever weighed one full of gas and gear? YIKES! And I thought my DR650 was heavy! But the Ten is a solid travel bike despite weight. I sat on one in France when there a few years ago. A beauty but clearly not a light weight.

Even modified for comfort I doubt your 690 will match the Ten on the highway at 120 kms. for a 10 hour day. And how many thousands of Kms. will the 690 do before maintenance is required?

The Tenere is tough and reliable bike ... the 690's have a spotty record among those doing RTW type rides. But once sorted and with the right spares ... you should be OK using it as an ADV travel bike ... if you're a certified KTM mechanic!

Here in the US most of us have to travel to get to real dirt riding. For that I have a WR250F and a Van. (I'm 65, so light is more important than power) For adventure rides I'll stick with my DR650. It's been all over the Western USA, Mexico and a bit of Cent. America. Mostly on Tar. 80K kms ... not ONE issue. You decide.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:15 PM   #22
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I laughed when I read the OP's post because my first reaction was that he shouldn't have sold his XC and just bought the 690 for mellower and/or longer rides where more comfort and load capacity is key. I've been around this subject carousel so many times it's dizzying and the results are also dizzying:

Started with a 690E, found it awesome for mellow dirt rides, fun for paved canyons (especially with motard wheels), pretty bad for slabbing out to distant dirt. There was no way I was taking this on hard dirt rides even if I had the skills and certainly not on long tours with significant slab sections. On dirt, I'd ride this anywhere, and distance. So the bike is now the "dirt tourer" and "long, mellow dirt ride" machine

So I got a 12GS because I like weekend road trips with lots of slab and a fair slathering of dirt roads. I find the notion of a 12GS on anything more challenging than fire roads dumbfounding, but that's more likely due to my low skill level offroad. I'm hoping to take it anywhere but the "hard ways" once I get my skills on it up to snuff. The merits of this bike are well known and I've found them to be true so I'll move on.

So I decided to fill in the missing link with a 450EXC with all the cool farkles from suspension to cooling to lighting to seat, etc. This, of course, is the mean little DS for day rides and supported weekend rides. Like you, I'm not wasting my rubber on much if any pavement and you'll never see me through my giant loop over it. It's BY FAR the easiest of my bikes to handle so if i was older (and I'm already almost 50) I'd consider it my safest bike.

BUT - if I had to ONE bike and I was willing to endure the downsides of it's hwy manners, it would be the 690E. To be frank, even the 12GS aint much fun on the slab at high speeds. It still buffets, it's boring, etc. If I were running at 60MPH, the 690 would feel OK enough to do 100miles or so to get to a dirt ride. I'm not so sure the 990SE riders are enjoying the benefits of aero comfort from what my friends are saying - they don't seem to like those bikes on hwysmuch, but they seem to like em on the dirt. I can go anywhere on my 690 that they go on the 990s but the 690 is way more fun on the dirt.

I think since you're coming off the single purpose dirt bike you're expecting something like the 690 will perform on the dirt and not disappoint on the slab. That's just not possible, unfortunately. Even a fully rally kitted 690 wont do better than the 990ADV on the slab, which isn't that good. Anything that really works on dirt will disappoint on slab and it comes down to how much you're willing to tough out. The Tenere is, IMO, a mediocre bike all around - it's a bigger pig than the GS from what I've heard - that's riding experience, not specs. If there's one bike that could make you happy on 70% slab, 30% dirt, I think it's the F800GS with some mods (bigger screen, better suspension) as long as you've got solid offroad skills. For a dirt noob like me, anything over 300 lbs just feels like an inevitable trip to the emergency room, unfortunately. BTW, I ride every now and then with an older gentleman (maybe 70) on an 525EXC that's been lowered a bit for easier access and stopping and he seems to love it. He's a happy man and that's all that counts. I like riding with him. It reminds me how many years I need to stay whole to enjoy my life. Good luck!
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:53 AM   #23
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"The Tenere is tough and reliable bike ... the 690's have a spotty record among those doing RTW type rides. But once sorted and with the right spares ... you should be OK using it as an ADV travel bike ... if you're a certified KTM mechanic! "

I am not certain that sitting on a Tenere in France would qualify me, let alone anyone else, to evaluate it for reliability, It may be. However, your choice is the DR650 and not the Tenere. I agree that lighter is better and would add that weight is the enemy for off road antics.

I do have plenty of friends who have chosen to ride KTM 640s and 690s over the years. None are "qualified KTM mechanics" and none have had any problems with their bikes. They all do their own maintenance. They are all high mileage bikes used to ride long distances on super slabs in order to get to places they enjoy (Colorado, Utah). Many reports on this site record RTW trips on these bikes. I read a few that are making these trips on DR650s. Personally I don't think the OP could go wrong with either of these bikes. One friend, 4 years my senior, has a DR650. I tried riding it in the woods. It was, well, OK, but a heavy and slow ride. The most exciting bike in my opinion to enjoy rough roads, trails and connecting highways is the KTM 500 EXC.

Stu
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:30 AM   #24
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Just saw this thread and thought I'd share some insights since I own a 2010 690 R for the past year and had a Ten for 2 years before that.


The Ten is a great solid bike. In the 2 years that I had it I covered 40,000 Km of roads and trails. For me it was OK+ on road and OK on the trails.
For highway use it's just fine. It'll cruise at 130-120 KPH with no problem and will be comfy. The soft suspension will let you know when you're pushing it in the twisty parts.
On the trails, it's a very capable bike. IMHO, in the right hands it will be better than its most bikes in the same class(pegaso, Sertao\dakar). But don't think about single track.


The 690 in comparison is awesome in the dirt and OK on road. In the year that I own it I covered 20,000 Km (Just Yesterday I went on a ride that was 150km highway-80km dirt-150km highway). Cruising speed ranges between 110 and 130 KPH. It's not that the engine can't handle more, it's the wind that will tear your head off (especially if you're wearing an off road lid).
On the trails it's much more capable than the Ten. Less weight, better suspension and much more agile.
In the right hands (definitely not mine though) it will take on single tracks and will do it nicely, but it will be a struggle compared to proper dirt bike (especially 300-250cc bikes).


In the end it comes down to what you want. 2 different bikes with 2 very different takes on the same idea.
think of it as XR650 Vs. the old XTZ660.

If you expect to take the 690 where you took the 300 and have the same experience, you're going to be disappointed.
But if you want to get on the road and then hit the trails, tackle the odd single track and go on the road again, then the 690 is the way to go.


Most people say that the 690 is a 50% road - 50% dirt bike. A wise man once told me that it's more like 80-80.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu View Post
"The Tenere is tough and reliable bike ... the 690's have a spotty record among those doing RTW type rides. But once sorted and with the right spares ... you should be OK using it as an ADV travel bike ... if you're a certified KTM mechanic! "

I am not certain that sitting on a Tenere in France would qualify me, let alone anyone else, to evaluate it for reliability, It may be. However, your choice is the DR650 and not the Tenere. I agree that lighter is better and would add that weight is the enemy for off road antics.
I sat on the bike and felt the weight of it ... never rode it. I leaned it over ... way over .. to gauge the effort to straighten it back up. No lightweight but a beauty compared to my funky DR650. We can't the buy the Tenere in the USA.

Reliability predictions come from reading several ride reports here ... and elsewhere. Here is one example:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=809883


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu View Post
I do have plenty of friends who have chosen to ride KTM 640s and 690s over the years. None are "qualified KTM mechanics" and none have had any problems with their bikes. They all do their own maintenance. They are all high mileage bikes used to ride long distances on super slabs in order to get to places they enjoy (Colorado, Utah). Many reports on this site record RTW trips on these bikes. I read a few that are making these trips on DR650s. Personally I don't think the OP could go wrong with either of these bikes. One friend, 4 years my senior, has a DR650. I tried riding it in the woods. It was, well, OK, but a heavy and slow ride. The most exciting bike in my opinion to enjoy rough roads, trails and connecting highways is the KTM 500 EXC.

Stu
No question the KTM 500 is the bomb! But you let me know when you've ridden it to Guatemala ... and back! Horses for courses, eh? Would it be good for the OP to circumnavigate Oz on? Dunno. Never ridden there.

Many of the RTW reports I've read involving 690's and 640's involve mechanical issues. The Sibirisky ride is a perfect example. I could post other threads where the KTM's were not perfect if you'd like to read them.

And the DR650 is no woods bike. But riding on long RTW type rides I'm not riding any woods .... and it's not a race. The idea is to finish in one piece ... carrying 60 or 70lbs. of gear, including spare tires.

There are at least a half dozen reports of guys riding DR650's to Tierra del Fuego. I can post up the links for you if you'd like to read them.

I grew up riding, racing (and mostly fixing ... and pushing) Vespas', Bultacos and old Triumphs. I started at age 12. By my 20's I was done with that. My Honda 50 renewed my love for carefree riding. I like reliable bikes I don't have to stress about ... ever.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:48 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan View Post
Just saw this thread and thought I'd share some insights since I own a 2010 690 R for the past year and had a Ten for 2 years before that.


The Ten is a great solid bike. In the 2 years that I had it I covered 40,000 Km of roads and trails. For me it was OK+ on road and OK on the trails.
For highway use it's just fine. It'll cruise at 130-120 KPH with no problem and will be comfy. The soft suspension will let you know when you're pushing it in the twisty parts.
On the trails, it's a very capable bike. IMHO, in the right hands it will be better than its most bikes in the same class(pegaso, Sertao\dakar). But don't think about single track.


The 690 in comparison is awesome in the dirt and OK on road. In the year that I own it I covered 20,000 Km (Just Yesterday I went on a ride that was 150km highway-80km dirt-150km highway). Cruising speed ranges between 110 and 130 KPH. It's not that the engine can't handle more, it's the wind that will tear your head off (especially if you're wearing an off road lid).
On the trails it's much more capable than the Ten. Less weight, better suspension and much more agile.
In the right hands (definitely not mine though) it will take on single tracks and will do it nicely, but it will be a struggle compared to proper dirt bike (especially 300-250cc bikes).


In the end it comes down to what you want. 2 different bikes with 2 very different takes on the same idea.
think of it as XR650 Vs. the old XTZ660.

If you expect to take the 690 where you took the 300 and have the same experience, you're going to be disappointed.
But if you want to get on the road and then hit the trails, tackle the odd single track and go on the road again, then the 690 is the way to go.


Most people say that the 690 is a 50% road - 50% dirt bike. A wise man once told me that it's more like 80-80.
Good summation Levi!

Again my problem is I come from dirt background and have ridden snotty single stuff that you would not even attempt to walk up! No 690 could do this and I would never expect it to. What I am saying is it seems criminal to do 300 km of tar for 80 km of dirt!

I view the 690 as 70/30 dirt to tar. I view but have only ridden Tenere on tar dealer test ride 50/50!

I can and do ride dirt confident and believe I could handle the heavier Tenere slug ok on dirt. So as you point out and is my original argument, most adventure rides usually require many km of tar to get to dirt (which is true in my case approx 3 hours tar) to get to the decent dirt! So most adventure day trips are more tar than dirt would you agree???

So that being said, I would rather rak up huge tar km on a Tenere than a 690, buzzing away on hwy and ripping my helmet off and being blown out my lane by overtaking truck LOL.

On the 12 km I rode Tenere on Tar I noticed it was way more comfy and being heavier was not buffeted by trucks so much!

So Tenere Pros to me;

- has a 23 litre tank compared to 690 10 litres

- has Dakar style screen standard

- bullet proof engine

- better gear ratios for its dual purpose compared to 690 close ratio and accidental neutrals

- is cheaper to acquire than a 690 new and second hand

- will do tar all day long

- will do mild dirt ok in right hands

Cons;

- does not give you a rush like the 690 (smile factor)

- never keep up to a 690 in dirt (I cannot think of an adventure bike that could keep up to a 690 for that matter!)

Please add any others.

So message to me is clear!

I will then have change left over for a nice Husky/KTM/WR 450 or similar!!!!!!!!!


Chris
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:04 PM   #27
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I love the Tenere but have heard the knocks are being very heavy with a high center of gravity, terrible suspension, brakes and anemic engine. They are not easy fixes, either.

Shame, because the Tenere has a very unique and super cool look to it.



Have you thought about a Husky T610/630?

There are not a lot of bikes that will do hours of slab and rail dirt well. The 950 comes to mind.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:06 PM   #28
Leviathan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris 690R View Post

So Tenere Pros to me;

- has a 23 litre tank compared to 690 10 litres

- has Dakar style screen standard

- bullet proof engine

- better gear ratios for its dual purpose compared to 690 close ratio and accidental neutrals

- is cheaper to acquire than a 690 new and second hand

- will do tar all day long

- will do mild dirt ok in right hands

Cons;

- does not give you a rush like the 690 (smile factor)

- never keep up to a 690 in dirt (I cannot think of an adventure bike that could keep up to a 690 for that matter!)

Please add any others.

So message to me is clear!

I will then have change left over for a nice Husky/KTM/WR 450 or similar!!!!!!!!!


Chris
Like Off the grid said: Heavy with high center of gravity, anemic engine and lacking suspension are obvious cons. Ad to that the fact that it only has 5 gears.
Also, there are only a few major mods that can be done to improve things. you swap the forks, shock and exhaust and pretty much that's it (although there is a big bore kit available).

A major pro for the Ten is the 10,000 KM maintenace interval. For me that meant 2 maintenace rounds a year opposed to 4 on the 690.

I know a lot of people with teneres (as I ride with the Israeli Tenere club since I had mine) and most are very happy with it. Just as I was. If I never wanted to have a more dirt capable bike, I would have kept it.
And keep in mind that the Tenere was my first dirt(ish) bike, I road a VN800 before that

Sounds to me that the Tenere is the bike for you along with a proper Enduro bike for the gnarly stuff. Head over to the Tenere owner thread and XT660.com for lots on info on the Ten
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:38 AM   #29
Chris 690R OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan View Post
Like Off the grid said: Heavy with high center of gravity, anemic engine and lacking suspension are obvious cons. Ad to that the fact that it only has 5 gears.
Also, there are only a few major mods that can be done to improve things. you swap the forks, shock and exhaust and pretty much that's it (although there is a big bore kit available).

A major pro for the Ten is the 10,000 KM maintenace interval. For me that meant 2 maintenace rounds a year opposed to 4 on the 690.

I know a lot of people with teneres (as I ride with the Israeli Tenere club since I had mine) and most are very happy with it. Just as I was. If I never wanted to have a more dirt capable bike, I would have kept it.
And keep in mind that the Tenere was my first dirt(ish) bike, I road a VN800 before that

Sounds to me that the Tenere is the bike for you along with a proper Enduro bike for the gnarly stuff. Head over to the Tenere owner thread and XT660.com for lots on info on the Ten
Good info Levi,

Compared to a 690 and any KTM variant for that matter, any Adventure bike out there would have less power to weight, inferior suspension and be top heavy or higher COG! So I see this as normal and not a Con!

So is there anything better than a 660 XTZ apart from a KTM that is better 50/50 adv bike in its class?

Chris
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:13 AM   #30
Leviathan
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If you're thinking about mid-weight thumpers, than I don't think that there's a better bike than the Tenere.
The Serato is basically a new GS Dakar, and the Pegaso is less dirt capable than the Tenere, with a small fuel tank, although more friendly on road.

I think that the 800GS and KTM 990 will be better than the Tenere both on and off road. But I've only spent a few minutes on each, so I can't really tell.
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