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Old 03-06-2013, 05:58 AM   #1
crestedbutte-rtw OP
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Question Opinions needed......640 vs. 690

HI YA!!! Names Fletch and I need some advice/ opinions...
Long story short I am doing a RTW and I am currently 16 months into my trip sitting here in Ushaia.. I am getting rid of my Oil drinking Slow Piggy ('09 KLR 650) After alot of talking and esearch I am heading for the KTM side of life... with that said I am looking at two different bikes..

First is a '06 KTM 640 with 12k miles that will need some upgrades but mostly ready to shred...
The other is '08 690 Enduro with 6k miles that will need a few more mods to get it to be travel ready..
Basically the price difference after getting them both ready will be 3.5grand.. which is alot when ur living on the road...But if it is worth it then it is worth it...

My question is whats the best option for reliability, maintenance, known problems, ect ... I am a little worried about the 690 with the FI; I can figure out Carbs but have no clue when it come to FI....
I know performance wise they both will be like riding a little slice of heaven compared to my bike now...hahha

I will be buying the bike back in the states and riding up to Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay, AK, (why not go to the most Northern tip since I am sitting in the most southern tip...before heading over to Australia to use my work visa)
Well thanks for your time..
Fletch
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:07 AM   #2
mousitsas
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Ι think FI bikes in general suffer only from fuel pumps/filters. I also think that the 690 needs special snake engine oil which you might find difficult to acquire in the wilderness.
Apart from that, go for the 690, life is short.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:38 AM   #3
It'sNotTheBike
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Buy the 640

I've owned a 640 Adventure. I now own a 690 Enduro
which has over $4000 worth of mods installed on it; those
mods give the 690 capabilities similar to the 640 Adventure
( increased fuel range, fairing, etc. ). I didn't sell the 640
because there was anything wrong with it; I suppose I
sold it because I gave in to the urge to buy something new
and the 690 was the new bike. But "new" is not always better.


For the riding you are talking about doing, a 640 is a better
choice. It is likely to be more reliable than the 690, based on
my experience. I think the 640 was a better built bike than the
690 is, with respect to stuff like wiring harnesses. The fuel injection
on the 690 is a much more complex fuel system than the fuel system
on a 640. There are more parts which can fail, and the bike
is more sensitive to things like charging voltage fluctuations because it
is dependent on electronics in order to run well, more so than the 640 is.
I am an expert mechanic and am quite familiar with fuel injection systems
and I understand how to repair and maintain them, and nothing about fuel
injection is a mystery to me. The reality is that fuel injection can have
more problems than a carburetor because there are more parts which can fail.
If a part is not there it cannot fail. KTM still uses carbs on the factory rally bikes
which win the Dakar. They could use fuel injection but they
choose not to; that should tell you something.


The stock headlights on a 640 are MUCH better than the stock
headlight on a 690. The 640 has a kickstarter whereas the 690
does not.


The 2008 690 is the first model year sold in the US, and those
early bikes had a few "issues" which were corrected later on. The 2006
640 is a refined bike which was made close to the end of the production
run for the 640 and those late 640s had pretty much all the early "bugs"
worked out.


The 690 is more fun to ride than a 640 because it has a bit more power
and the weight is distributed better, but it's basically a converted
street bike ( supermoto ) whereas a 640 is more or less a "domesticated"
rally bike.


A 640 comes stock in a form which is much closer to what you
want in a travel bike. It has the fuel capacity you need but to
add that fuel capacity to a 690 is expensive.


A 640 vibrates more but people who complain about that
are a bunch of whiners. It's a single cylinder motorcycle,
and vibration is part of the game.


I miss my 640 and I am considering buying another one
while there are still decent examples available.


You can always buy a 690 later on. Unless you are shorter than 5' 10"
( so you need a lower saddle height ) the R model sold in 2011 is probably
the best one yet made. It has a tighter turning circle than the earlier 690s and it still has
the long-travel suspension, unlike the earlier E models or the 2012 / 2013
models sold in the US.


The 2006 640 is pretty much the best version of the 640, whereas the
2008 690 is the first example and the 690 was significantly improved
later in the production run, so I wouldn't be in a rush to buy a 2008
690 because they are the least desirable of all 690 Enduros.


.

It'sNotTheBike screwed with this post 03-06-2013 at 07:31 AM
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:50 AM   #4
crestedbutte-rtw OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It'sNotTheBike View Post
I've owned a 640 Adventure. I now own a 690 Enduro
The 2006 640 is pretty much the best version of the 640, whereas the
2008 690 is the first example and the 690 was significantly improved
later in the production run, so I wouldn't be in a rush to buy a 2008
690 because they are the least desirable of all 690 Enduros.
.
Holy crap, thank you so much for taking the time to right in detail.. that just answered so many questions.. I was leaning toward the 640 and now you have more or less just sealed the deal.. thank you so much for your time.. really appreciate it..
I owe you a beer... or a few
Fletch
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:00 AM   #5
ram1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It'sNotTheBike View Post
A 640 vibrates more but people who complain about that
are a bunch of whiners. It's a single cylinder motorcycle,
and vibration is part of the game...
.
I had a 2002 640 and never had any problem with it. Valve adjustments were very simple and actually I checked way more often than it needed any adjustment. As far as vibration concerns I never felt that it was a problem though I could feel vibrations more than my current DR650. That said I just bought a 2009 KLR with 688 piston and it definately vibrates every bit as much as the KTM did, though a slightly higher frequency. I don't know if mine is representative but those that say the after market piston removes vibration must have had tremendous amounts of vibration before they upgraded. However like the KTM it simply is a non-issue except for concern for the motor harming itself. I did own a KTM 625 that vibrated so much that I got rid of it thinking it couldn't last, but there again it wasn't enough to effect my riding comfort.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:29 AM   #6
It'sNotTheBike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crestedbutte-rtw View Post
Holy crap, thank you so much for taking the time to right in detail.. that just answered so many questions.. I was leaning toward the 640 and now you have more or less just sealed the deal.. thank you so much for your time.. really appreciate it..
I owe you a beer... or a few
Fletch

Thanks for the kind words, but you don't owe me
anything.

Happy trails
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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Well dang... and I'm the one that sent him here to ask about it
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=861903

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:44 PM   #8
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I could have bought a new 2013 690, but purchased a used ( 900km's) 2005 640.

Stock, the 640 is better suited to your needs.

Have a good trip.

I'm close to Vancouver BC, so if you are headed up this way and need service work, I have a nice facility!

Cheers
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:38 PM   #9
crestedbutte-rtw OP
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Thanks guys!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ram1000 View Post
I had a 2002 640 and never had any problem with it. Valve adjustments were very simple and actually I checked way more often than it needed any adjustment. As far as vibration concerns I never felt that it was a problem though I could feel vibrations more than my current DR650. That said I just bought a 2009 KLR with 688 piston and it definately vibrates every bit as much as the KTM did, though a slightly higher frequency. I don't know if mine is representative but those that say the after market piston removes vibration must have had tremendous amounts of vibration before they upgraded. However like the KTM it simply is a non-issue except for concern for the motor harming itself. I did own a KTM 625 that vibrated so much that I got rid of it thinking it couldn't last, but there again it wasn't enough to effect my riding comfort.
Thanks for the advice, helps alot.. Yeah I am now very use to and okay with vibration after riding my KLR which had some vibration then had to do a rebuild in Bolivia where all I could get was a 1mm over stock piston with a shitty bore which turned her into vibrating massage chair.. hahahaha

Quote:
Originally Posted by Droptarotter View Post
I could have bought a new 2013 690, but purchased a used ( 900km's) 2005 640.

Stock, the 640 is better suited to your needs.

Have a good trip.

I'm close to Vancouver BC, so if you are headed up this way and need service work, I have a nice facility!

Cheers
Thanks.. Good to know you are happy you bought a used 640 over a new 690....
I will defiantly hit you up on my way up, if all goes to plans (which well never does and thats the best part of traveling..haha) I should be passing through some time in June-ish... maybe for a at least some local knowledge and a beer or ten.....

Thank you all for your time to reply and give me some advice..
Cheers Fletch
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:55 PM   #10
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I'll add another vote for the 640. For most riding the 690 is better in every way but for RTW a 640 makes a better choice. All the mechanical issues are known and simple to diagnose and fix in remote places with simple tools. Parts are readily available from multiple sources quickly. It's designed to carry a load. It's also the highest performing thumper available except for the 690 so riding is more fun.

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Old 03-06-2013, 07:47 PM   #11
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Yo Fletch. You looking do even more of this than already with a more exotic KTM and taking it to parts unknown in the world?

My opinion is keep it simpler for those places way the hell out there. By a newer DR650 & with that $ left over upgrade the suspension and other mods needed (5 or 8 gallon tank) . Yes it won't be a fancy KTM but it will be a bike you fuck with alot less.

http://www.procycle.us/bikepages/dr650.html

Bill
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:33 PM   #12
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How many 640s have you owned Eakins?
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:12 PM   #13
Droptarotter
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The beer fridge in the shop is always well stocked!
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It'sNotTheBike View Post
The 2006 640 is pretty much the best version of the 640,
Some are of the view that the 2003 640 is the pièce de résistance.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:44 AM   #15
crestedbutte-rtw OP
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I understand where ur coming from Eakins.. but..

Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
Yo Fletch. You looking do even more of this than already with a more exotic KTM and taking it to parts unknown in the world?

My opinion is keep it simpler for those places way the hell out there. By a newer DR650 & with that $ left over upgrade the suspension and other mods needed (5 or 8 gallon tank) . Yes it won't be a fancy KTM but it will be a bike you fuck with alot less.

http://www.procycle.us/bikepages/dr650.html

Bill
Well I understand where you coming from and I have thought long and hard about the DR 650... For the money part the price of a used DR 650 in good shape and then adding the suspension and gas tank I will be at more than the deal I am getting on the KTM 640...

Your reasoning on the whole less likely to have problems.. well that is what I thought about the KLR and the whole "Parts can be found everywhere in the world" Well after sitting in Bolivia for 1.5 months waiting on a new piston.. hahaha (now if you have not read my RR don't get me wrong so stoked it broke down in Sucre where I was taken in by a family and got the chance to ride '10 crf 450's every weekendat the MX track) In Bolivia all of the cops ride '09 KLR's just like mine.. but yet no parts in the country I realized something... At the end of the day all bikes break and I will eventually have to wait on parts.. so why not have a bike I love....

And who knows with my luck maybe I will try out the DR650 for my third bike on this trip in a few years.... hahahaha

But back to my KTM question thank you every one taking time to answer my question.. Helps out alot..
Fletch
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