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KTM EXC 500 or 690 Enduro R in Costa Rica

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A few weeks ago I posted a thread asking if a Yamaha WR450f or KTM 450 EXC was a better choice for me in Costa Rica.  After looking around at the dealers here I noticed the Yamahas go for about $10,500 and the KTM 450 & 500's go for $11,000.  I know I want to buy new, and I decided if I am going to be overcharged for a bike, it may as well be the KTM.  

 

But now that I have looked at the 2014s online, I noticed the Enduro 690R and I'm back to square one.  But I won't ask the typical "Which is best - This apple or this orange" type question.  I have accepted that I will be the limiting factor off road, especially in a jungle environment instead of my home town of San Diego, California.  And since my experience is with 250 dual sports in the past, both engines have characteristics that will be foreign to me.  What it ultimately comes down to for me is comfortability over a whole day of 50/50 riding.  I may also join in on a 3 day weekend trip to Panama with a few friends on KTM 990 Adventures.  

 

So the question is: Is the 690 Enduro worth the (estimated) $2000 in terms of comfortability?  Or can I use that money to buy a seat that is just as comfortable on the 500 and have some left over for a GPS? I realize not a lot of people will have 2014's but older models should be largely the same, right?

 

FYI I'm not worried about seat height.  I'm 6'3" with long legs.

 

Any thoughts? Thanks.

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Well just to be clear I'm not bush-wacking through the Amazon Jungle.  I will still only be riding street, fire roads and trail riding.   I was just pointing out that I am looking for a KTM that can do pretty much everything in an unknown terrain (but within my intermediate riding skill) reasonably well without killing me on a trail or breaking my back after a full Saturday of adventure riding. I agree the 690 will be more of a handful when things get very tricky which makes your point absolutely valid.  Just don't think I plan to muscle around a 690 while wielding a machete to clear a path and killing viscous gangs of killer monkeys.  Just normal riding in a different place.

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Well just to be clear I'm not bush-wacking through the Amazon Jungle.  I will still only be riding street, fire roads and trail riding.   I was just pointing out that I am looking for a KTM that can do pretty much everything in an unknown terrain (but within my intermediate riding skill) reasonably well without killing me on a trail or breaking my back after a full Saturday of adventure riding. I agree the 690 will be more of a handful when things get very tricky which makes your point absolutely valid.  Just don't think I plan to muscle around a 690 while wielding a machete to clear a path and killing viscous gangs of killer monkeys.  Just normal riding in a different place.

LOL .. what a great business idea , offering your services to rid the jungle of vermin . Mounted on board a 690 :thumbsup: . It would make a good TV series too .

Anyway , from what you describe , the 500 would be my choice

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I'll be watching this thread, the 690 has been on my radar. Went from a WR450 to my second KLR650, but would like something in between handling and weight wise. The KLR has a full RaceTech suspension, which is great, but hard to overcome the weight in difficult sections, particularly downhill.

 

Mike

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I went to the KTM shop today to see what they had in stock and what they expected to get in the next few weeks.  They had a 2009 KTM 690 Enduro that was pretty beat up.   It was fairly comfortable, but the seat height was pretty low.  The new 2014 690's arrive in November, but they were a little above my price range for a little too much bike - the 2009 felt a little top heavy and I would imagine the 2014 would be a little worse in that department.  For tight maneuvers and dodging taxi's this didn't seem ideal for me.  I was also told the EXC 500 would not be brought to Costa Rica.  As the ONLY KTM dealer in Costa Rica that anyone I have talked to knows of, I took his word.  He then showed me a few used EXC 450's that I liked immediately.  The seat was nice and high and felt considerably lighter than the '09 690.

 

Then as luck would have it (and since I was really looking for something new because of loan purposes), a brand new EXC 450 6-Days was being delivered for another client.  Since I had gone in with a friend who has bought a few bikes from them over the years, and since the client wasn't there yet, he let me sit on it right off the Ford Transit.  It was even better than the used 2010 450.  Nothing I can identify without riding it for a while, but it felt GREAT.  I decided at exactly the same price as a new Yamaha WR450, it was worth claiming the next EXC 450 6-days.  Needless to say, I'm excited!  Its at customs right now and should arrive in about a week or two.

 

Now all I have to do is get some insurance and a motorcycle license.  I used to think the DMV's in California were bad...But I'm told that if I want to ensure I get to the front of the line by the time they close here in Costa Rica, I need to get there no later than 6 a.m.  This should be fun...

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