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New 690 owner

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Walked into the KTM dealer, and bought this........

Let the fun begin!

 

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In its new home! Man, this bike it a ton O fun. Ill be taking it up in the mountains tomorrow.

 

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I paid the 10299.00 plus tax and license. Just a bit over 11 grand.

 

But, this is priceless :) Im loving this bike!

 

 

 

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That, sir, is a beautiful thing! I bet you r lovin it.

Question (bearing in mind that you just got it, but seem to have known what you were getting): Have you strayed onto any more tech singtrack yet, and if so, how did she fare? How was the work load?

I get that there is no magic 'do-it-all' bike, but I can't decide between the 690 and the 500! My heart says 690, my eyes scream for the 500, my workshop doesn't want the 500 in pieces all the time. I will mostly ride FSR and short street commutea. Ultimately I suppose I just don't wanna be left wishing the bike I do get wasn't so heavy and so much work on the bits of rutted out, half overgrown, steep and unwieldy semi-singletrack that I am sure to find myself riding. I'm 6'1", 200#. I think the 690 is the one, looking for as many opinions as I can get! Cheers.

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Ive done a bit of single trak, but im not a dirt bike expert. I do know that the guys around me were on 350/500 and they seemed to walk away from me, but I was taking my time. Im sure someone with skills would have no issues. For now, im lovin the fire roads, and will work my way to the singles.

 

Practice, practice, practice.

 

If all your buddies are tearing up the single traks, then go with the 350/500. If you need to do a 30 mile commute to the trails then I would go with the 690.

 

Good luck with your decision! They are all killer bikes, and you wont regret a thing!

 

B

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Thanks man! Appreciate that. Your bike IS damn nice looking. Ultimately a fellow has both, right? Enjoy the progression into more challenging stuff, uber rewarding this dirt riding business...

Edited by C4cycle

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Thanks man! Appreciate that. Your bike IS damn nice looking. Ultimately a fellow has both, right? Enjoy the progression into more challenging stuff, uber rewarding this dirt riding business...

 

Yes, both is best and a 250cc 2-stroke for trails too hard for a 450/500 dual sport.

 

My take on the 690 on hard single track - can be done but not as fun or fast as you would be on a smaller bike. If all the other riders are on smaller bikes you will not enjoy trying to hang on a 690 unless you are a lot better rider than they are. 

 

I love the 690 for true 50/50 rides where having fun on the pavement is part of the game. Not surviving the pavement sections on a dirt bike just to have fun on the hard singe track.. that is an option too on a 500.

 

I would not buy a 690 to take it to a day of single track at an OHV area.

I would not buy a 690 to ride 500 mile days with big adventure bikes.

I would not buy a 690 if you are a mellow slow rider.

 

I would buy a 690 for ripping down back roads and dirt roads... where you might find a killer single track or 4x4 trail and can't resist exploring it. A single track you would never haul a smaller bike to (too remote) or try on a large adventure bike.

 

Best to learn hard single track on a small bike then take those skills to the 690 for the ultmate ride to the trails from home day. :thumbsup:

 

Lots of threads on the subect.

Edited by DrKayak

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Yes, both is best and a 250cc 2-stroke for trails too hard for a 450/500 dual sport.

 

 

My take on the 690 on hard single track - can be done but not as fun or fast as you would be on a smaller bike. If all the other riders are on smaller bikes you will not enjoy trying to hang on a 690 unless you are a lot better rider than they are. 

 

 

Says the man with Three awesome dirt bikes!   :)

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Well said. I of course know there are lots of threads on the subject, I've read them all! Your personal experience is Gold. Thnx for it. Enjoy!

Edited by C4cycle

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Spent two days in the back country with my 690. Im really starting to love this bike more and more.. One thing that surprised me is the way I am relying on the ABS. Especially down hill on rocky terrain.

 

A lot of reviews with this bike bring up the fact that you can turn off the ABS. Its a PITA, because everytime you turn the key off, you need to remember to do it again, so most of the time I just leave it on. Maybe its the fact that Im a newbie, but especially the front, I seem to be engaging it more and more. The more comfortable I get, the faster I go, the more I get that ABS vibration on the front brake.

 

"I do love the ABS offroad" 

there I said it :)

 

B

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strat10,

 

The very first time out to dirt on my '14 690 I did a 100 mile road to dirt loop ride with Dr. Kayak.  At the half way point, a crossover section included a Black Diamond steep rocky downhill stair-step section.  My ABS was on.  I had full front and rear brake on, and the brakes were not doing much, bike rolling at high speed.  Had no choice but to downshift, hang on, and ride it out to the bottom.  I yelled out "this is crap" as I rode around Dr. Kayak (not intentionally) at speed and hoped for the best to the bottom.  All turned out okay but it was my first lesson on the 690 on advanced rocky downhill single track stuff with the ABS on.  Hang on! 

 

My mistake big mistake was trying to ride the bike on single track downhill at speed and uphill in the same manner I rode my prior Beta 450RS.  The next time I do a downhill Black Diamond like that, the ABS is going to get turned off for sure.  I love the ABS on the road, it's great.  Still figuring it out on dirt at times or turning it off when not sure.  

 

After that first 100 mile dirt loop, I realized how different it is than the smaller enduro 350/450/500 bikes, and how you need to adjust your riding skills to take advantage of the bike.  I was shocked how easily it crawled back up hairy single track rocky stuff thinking I would spin or slip out.  It just crawled right up stuff my rear wheel use to spin on the prior 250s/450s.  Strange in fact, I was not expecting this at all. The bike is just AMAZING on the road, absolutely punishes what my prior 450s could not do, easily keeping up with and going around larger 800 and 1000cc adventure bikes on fast twisty roads, able to keep up at higher speeds on longer sections too, which sort of surprised me there as well.   As you know, in NorCal we live in a great place for the 690 with twisty roads and tons of dirt backroads and offshoot trails I would have never had a chance to see just trailering my prior 250s/450s too.  A real niche' bike!  

 

Every time I ride mine it just amazes me just how good it really is and the new doors it opens for new and different types of riding a little further out than I ever did with my prior 450/250s.  Congrats on the new 690.

Edited by decooney

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Had no choice but to downshift, hang on, and ride it out to the bottom.  I yelled out "this is crap" as I rode around Dr. Kayak (not intentionally) at speed and hoped for the best to the bottom.

 

Yeah, that is not good. Do you think a skidding rear tire would slow you down any more? I guess that is my question.... Also, I know if you lock up the front, its going to wash out and your going down. Down shifting might not be as effective because of the slipper clutch I believe these have.

 

I did hear that there is a mod that allows you to have ABS on the front, but not on the back. Maybe that would be ideal?

 

Im no expert, maybe others know?

 

Brian

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Yeah, that is not good. Do you think a skidding rear tire would slow you down any more? I guess that is my question.... Also, I know if you lock up the front, its going to wash out and your going down. Down shifting might not be as effective because of the slipper clutch I believe these have.

 

I did hear that there is a mod that allows you to have ABS on the front, but not on the back. Maybe that would be ideal?

 

Im no expert, maybe others know?

 

Brian

 

 

No, I'm probably not explaining myself that well.  The ABS was getting overwhelmed when the wheel/tire comes off the ground coming off bumps/rocks and reconnects and just slips with no brake action as if the brakes were completely washed out, like 10% effective braking as compared to ABS slipping on asphalt.  A totally different scenario on bumpy downhill rocks/gravel, stair-stepping your way down.   As far as I know, ABS was not designed to handle these type rocky downhill situations well. At least with  ABS off, you can modulate the front/rear brakes a little better, pulsating gently vs. a freewheeling condition when ABS is failing all together, as in NO BRAKES at all, front or rear.  I've ridden this exact same kind of trails with no issues with 250/450 bikes without ABS is what I'm saying and it worked great.  You'll see what I mean if you ever take a steep downhill rocky section with ABS on.  Just wanted to give you a heads up when you say you like ABS in dirt, it's a different story on steep down hill rocky dirt stuff.  

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Just wanted to give you a heads up when you say you like ABS in dirt, it's a different story on steep down hill rocky dirt stuff.  

Noted, and great point! On the front tire, If you hear the ABS kick in, doesn't that keep the wheel from locking up? Even on dirt? I understand the argument for the back tire.

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A few upgrades today:

 

Seat Concepts:

Warning, this seat does add a bit over an inch in height, so if the bike is a little tall with the stock seat, this will make it worse. Also, make sure you get the new front bolt that comes with the new seat. The stock bolt will not work.

 

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Also, I already tore up my stock tire (Pirelli MT 21) Ended up taking a peace of advise from a Baja rider:

 

Here is my new Rally Raid 908. BEEFY!

 

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Strat10.  Thanks for sharing the photos.  Nice.  Good to know about the SC seat.  I wondered about that, if it kept you elevated.  I wonder if it will soften up some, drop you down.   Keep us posted on the Rally Raid 908s on the 690.   IF I have to ride MT21 nobbies on the street I'm fine with them, but never liked them on dirt or in slick mud on my prior 450s, and it's probably just me but it seems like front washes out a tad on the 690 with MT21s.  Just a little, not horrible.  I experienced this before with them and went to a Pirelli XCMH which was much better in dirt/mud but not nearly as good or as smooth as the MT21 on road.  Tradeoffs I guess.   I'm going to start eyeing other tires again for my next set once i wear the MT21s out.  Are you going to eventually try the same tire on the front?  What size is the rear  908 tire, are you sure it's not taller than the former MT21, thus raising you up higher?

Edited by decooney

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Well, I did about 140 miles of street, fire roads, and a bit of single track this weekend. Lots of time to test the new seat and rear tire, and how well it handles a few crashes.

 

I dont think the seat will ever drop you down if it softens up. The reason the seat is higher is that the rubber standoffs that are on the bottom of the seat are much taller. I can say that after 8 hours in the saddle, my rear did not hurt at all. A HUGE difference. It did cause a slightly embarrassing situation. Pulling up to my buddies house, I dropped the bike in the gravel driveway. When I came to a stop, the toe of my boot dug into the gravel driveway and over I went. OOOOPS.

 

The rear tire handled everything I threw at it. I didnt feel much difference on the road, I still get the speed wobbles, but Im guessing that is because of the stock front tire. On the fire roads it gripped like crazy, and on the single track, it also handled everything I threw t it. To be honest, I did not feel a huge difference between the 908 and the MT21. I just hope it will last longer. So far so good, not very chewed up, and it was ROCKY!

 

I dropped the bike three times. Once in a driveway, :( and twice on single track stuff. A really tight right turn, hit the steering stop, going to slow, not leaning up hill enough, and down I went. Second time was a steep climb, the rear was jumping around, and it got away from me. That one hurt, as I ended up in a thorn bush, and in the middle of the climb. Getting it up was not fun, and most likely the reason my back hurts a bit today....

 

This brings me to durability. Most falls were not at high speed, but this bike Is tough! the only thing that happened is scratches on the Stickers, and bar end. Nothing else.

 

The last thing I thought I would mention is about the decision a lot of people struggle with. 690, or 350/500. I spent the weekend riding with a EXC 530, and a Husky 510. We did a lot of bike swapping, and I have to say that the 690 does feel its weight. The smaller bikes are much more flickable and way easier to maneuver. Im guessing thats obvious, but there is something to say about the suspension on the 690. It just eats everything up. In the single track, you really have to work hard on the 690. especially in the ruts. Once you get in a rut with the 690, its much more of an effort to get out, and that can cause some pucker moments. I also struggle with slowing the big girl down going down hill. The smaller bikes were much easier to slow in a steep rocky decent. Keep in mind I am not an advanced rider, the smaller bikes just made things easier. There were more times that I would have preferred being on a smaller bike.

 

I came away feeling that you really have to look at who you will be riding with. If all your buddies ride the smaller bikes, stay in that direction. If you ride with more "Adventure, easy going guys", the 690 is perfect. Also, if you are more of a Solo rider, I would prefer the 690. Its just a very comfortable bike. 

 

Overall, an awesome weekend riding up in Santa Barbara! What a beautiful place, and awesome riding. I really do love my 690!

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I think this picture sums up the whole weekend. Awesome Friends, awesome bikes, and beautiful mountains.

 

Thanks KTM!

 

 

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Strat10,

 

re: "hit the steering stop".  

 

The first time I took my '14 out I immediately noticed how the steering stops were adjusted much too far out (for whatever reason) and it did create a predicament for me once when making some tight turns off road.  Honestly, I don't know how people ride it the way it comes adjusted stock.  Or, maybe my dealer forgot to reset it, I don't know. It felt a little dangerous to me to so I adjusted the stops on my bike inward like a 1/4" after two tries and would only recommend trying it in small increments.  Cool photo, looks like fun! 

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