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500 EXC vs, 690

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Guys - this is my first post, so apologies if this question is out there already.

 

I live about an hour and 15 minutes from the mountains and good FS roads.  I am considering both bikes.  I had a great opportunity to ride an older 400 at a Jimmy Lewis off road school and riding a smaller bike was so much fun, but there is the distance I have to get there and I do not have a truck.  Just wondering what the maintenance is like on a 500 exc versus the 690.  Any insight appreciated.  For reference, my other bikes are beemers (R1200GSA and F800GS, nice to have options!).

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Really different machines. The 500 is a hardcore enduro bike with flashers and lights. The maintenance is the same as any other motocross/Enduro bike, in other words a lot. You could say it is a dirt bike with limited road manners. IMO riding more than an hour on the highway is going to get old quickly

The 690 is a true dual sport machine, good manners on dirt and street, but don't expect to go on an mx track or very technical single track, you'll quickly notice the added weight. But if you're comparing it to the Beemers, it is a super lightweight and agile machine. The maintenance is more like a street bike. Long intervals between oil changes and the engine will last forever.

IMO seeing your other bikes, if you are ready to buy a small trailer to get it closer to where you'll ride, I'd go for the 500 EXC as you already have it covered for the streets. If you plan to get there riding it, I'd go with the 690 and never look back.

Have you ever taken your BMW off-road? If so did you like it?

Edited by ti-ben

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Thanks for the reply.  I have taken the F800 on forest service roads a little here in Georgia and it did fine.  I'm actually on the fence on spending the $$ to upgrade the suspension.  The R12GSA-LC is brand new and I have not taken it off road yet as I need to decide on a decent skid plate, etc.  

 

As far as the 690 vs. 500exc is concerned, I don't have a truck and a trailer so I would have to ride it up there.  I would really like the idea of the smaller bike, but I think you are right in that it will get old quick.

 

I'm sure the 690 will be as different from my 800 as my GSA is to my 800.... but it's probably overkill having all three :)

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Or get a small trailer for almost any car to pull it and have a boat load of money left over for upgrades;)

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I agree an hour on the road will get old quick on the 500. This weekend I took my first lengthy (relatively) highway ride, about 20 minutes at highway speeds, and the whole time my fingers were buzzing like I was holding a weed whacker and I kept thinking about how much I was killing my knobbies. The bike worked great, but I suspect your BMW will feel like a flying couch on the highway in comparison.

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I agree an hour on the road will get old quick on the 500. This weekend I took my first lengthy (relatively) highway ride, about 20 minutes at highway speeds, and the whole time my fingers were buzzing like I was holding a weed whacker and I kept thinking about how much I was killing my knobbies. The bike worked great, but I suspect your BMW will feel like a flying couch on the highway in comparison.

Thanks!  The F800 is like a bouncy couch at quick stops lol

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I disagree with some  of the comments. Not that the 500 (or my 450) is a road bike but riding half an hour to an hour on the highway is not that bad at all. Just drive slow (I do 80 to 90 km/h max) and take my time for it. And riding slow like that keeps the engine and oil cool and hardly adds to the otherwise more intensive maintenance than e.g. a 690.

 

The 690 is a great compromise bike, I had one for over 2 years. But it is a heavy pig when you ride narrow or technical trails, deep sand, steep hills and what have you. Green laning and gravel, perfect!

 

Try to ride both and than decide!

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