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Help me decide which would make a better motard

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After seeing all the KTMs at the NYC motorcycle expo, I want one pretty bad. I really can't decide between the 2016 500 exc and the 2016 husky 701 (or ktm 690, same thing pretty much). I currently have a 2015 drz400sm and I want more power for wheelies and stuff like that. I know the 701 makes more power but the 500 is a lot lighter and more nimble. I did do a lot of reading on these 500s and it seem that they require a lot of maintenance and I'm not sure if that would hold true on the road as well. I'm not getting rid of the drz so which bike would be the least like it? As for the millage, I only put 1500 miles on the drz in 1 year so I would probably ride the ktm a little less since I do have other bikes to enjoy. I really don't know which rout to go. I like the appearance of the ktm 500 a lot more than the husky 701 but I like the engine better on the 701 because of the reliability. Anther plus for the husky is that it comes factory stock a motard so I wouldn't have to spend a lot of cash on wheels for it.        

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After seeing all the KTMs at the NYC motorcycle expo, I want one pretty bad. I really can't decide between the 2016 500 exc and the 2016 husky 701 (or ktm 690, same thing pretty much). I currently have a 2015 drz400sm and I want more power for wheelies and stuff like that. I know the 701 makes more power but the 500 is a lot lighter and more nimble. I did do a lot of reading on these 500s and it seem that they require a lot of maintenance and I'm not sure if that would hold true on the road as well. I'm not getting rid of the drz so which bike would be the least like it? As for the millage, I only put 1500 miles on the drz in 1 year so I would probably ride the ktm a little less since I do have other bikes to enjoy. I really don't know which rout to go. I like the appearance of the ktm 500 a lot more than the husky 701 but I like the engine better on the 701 because of the reliability. Anther plus for the husky is that it comes factory stock a motard so I wouldn't have to spend a lot of cash on wheels for it.        

Both bikes are tall, but the 690 , is big heavy and tall, also motor shudders in lower gears, probably a fueling issue. If you need a street bike that's dirt capable the 690 may be the ticket.

 

I didn't want any dirt bike that feels street bikish, already have a street bike. I was afraid the KTM 500 would be lousy for street use though though, The transmission , handling , suspension are excellent on the street, once a little set up time has been given . balancing the tires, fix throttle play issues, the fueling ect.

 

The only 2 things the DRZ has over the ktm is fuel mileage and a larger tank, and from what Ive seen the Valve train is stronger on the KTM , more than the DRZ, RMZ"s , KXF"S. and CRF"s.

 

I put 12,000 miles on my KTM in 2015, my sport bike  saw a couple thousand, cause I like action in my riding with being able to go anywhere terrain bike, the ktm is the only one that can deliver, so its my main ride.

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Based on what you've listed the 701 would be my first choice no question.

what made you come to that conclusion? 

 

Both bikes are tall, but the 690 , is big heavy and tall, also motor shudders in lower gears, probably a fueling issue. If you need a street bike that's dirt capable the 690 may be the ticket.

 

I didn't want any dirt bike that feels street bikish, already have a street bike. I was afraid the KTM 500 would be lousy for street use though though, The transmission , handling , suspension are excellent on the street, once a little set up time has been given . balancing the tires, fix throttle play issues, the fueling ect.

 

The only 2 things the DRZ has over the ktm is fuel mileage and a larger tank, and from what Ive seen the Valve train is stronger on the KTM , more than the DRZ, RMZ"s , KXF"S. and CRF"s.

 

I put 12,000 miles on my KTM in 2015, my sport bike  saw a couple thousand, cause I like action in my riding with being able to go anywhere terrain bike, the ktm is the only one that can deliver, so its my main ride.

Yea the crazy thing is that the 690/701 is the same weight as my drz lol. I don't care about it being dirt capable. I'm going to pick up purpose dirt build bike down the line but not right now. There aren't that many good trails by me anyway so it won't be worth it. I am probably going to get a cheap dr650 just for the trails so I don't have to worry about crashing up the 500 or 690/701. I know that's what they are made for but it kills me to do it.

 

My main attraction to the 500 is the graphics of it in the 6 days edition. I literally never saw a better looking dirt bike. 

 

So you got the 500exc right, and put all that millage on it? if so, how was the maintenance?  

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what made you come to that conclusion? 

 

So you got the 500exc right, and put all that millage on it? if so, how was the maintenance?  

I run a slightly leaded fuel diet , which for me is a requirement on the KTM exc or the DRZ (and any bike I own), also put 40,000 mile on a DRZ.  Motorwise there is no longevity issue on the ktm with the release  of the new lower rod bearing, that seemed to be a main potential failure point of the past years.

 

The only reliability issue that Ive seen is the Front chain slider (a 3,000 mile wear item), I had to go to the $80 TM designs chain slider with side guard, and I run a slightly modified (matched oem chain guard). Totally solved the issue with chain slider longevity (and keeps the chain in line) . Also  The ktm uses the narrower 520 chains , of which haven't shown to be big life items (sub 10,000 mile items).  If running large rear sprockets, the issue might be reduced on the slider.

 

I have a lot of good no traffic super moto rough roads , and some offroad areas to make good use of the exc(my favorite bike). Im mainly interested in action and exercise in my riding, that's where the street bikes, are lacking.

 

If really only interested in a super moto, then the 701 is the choice, Steet bike wheels on my exc is not a desire.

Edited by Spud786
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I run a slightly leaded fuel diet , which for me is a requirement on the KTM exc or the DRZ (and any bike I own), also put 40,000 mile on a DRZ.  Motorwise there is no longevity issue on the ktm with the release  of the new lower rod bearing, that seemed to be a main potential failure point of the past years.

 

The only reliability issue that Ive seen is the Front chain slider (a 3,000 mile wear item), I had to go to the $80 TM designs chain slider with side guard, and I run a slightly modified (matched oem chain guard). Totally solved the issue with chain slider longevity (and keeps the chain in line) . Also  The ktm uses the narrower 520 chains , of which haven't shown to be big life items (sub 10,000 mile items).  If running large rear sprockets, the issue might be reduced on the slider.

 

I have a lot of good no traffic super moto rough roads , and some offroad areas to make good use of the exc(my favorite bike). Im mainly interested in action and exercise in my riding, that's where the street bikes, are lacking.

 

If really only interested in a super moto, then the 701 is the choice, Steet bike wheels on my exc is not a desire.

I just wish that KTM would have a 6 days edition of the 690. KTM's recommend service intervals seems insane. I read that after 1 hour of use, they want you to do a valve inspection.

 

It's good to hear that they are reliable. The main reason why I went with the drz is because of the reliability. There shouldn't be no hidden costs. Hopefully I could pick one up for cheap in the years to come on the used market. I can't wait to check out the 701. It looks insane.    

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I just wish that KTM would have a 6 days edition of the 690. KTM's recommend service intervals seems insane. I read that after 1 hour of use, they want you to do a valve inspection.

 

It's good to hear that they are reliable. The main reason why I went with the drz is because of the reliability. There shouldn't be no hidden costs. Hopefully I could pick one up for cheap in the years to come on the used market. I can't wait to check out the 701. It looks insane.    

As long as the bike is running well, I don't believe 10 or 15 hours for first valve check is out of the realm of the first hour, after all you should be able to get the bike through a full breakin before the valves close up.

 

I did probably about 4 or 5 checks up to about 150 hours(7300 miles) not knowing what to expect from this motor, they never moved(all mid spec). I then moved to 100 hours intervals, will check the first week of January at the 250 hour mark. DRZ valves definitely moved by 7 to 8,000 miles. The ktm valve train componentry and design is solid, only the mistake of sucking dirt with poor filtering is going to effect that.

 

On the DRZ part it might have been the lack of that 6th gear, that was hard on the exhaust valves( and high rpm), as both bikes have seen the same environment and set up.

 

But the chain slider and cheap mirrors is the only cheesy stuff on the ktm. I still run stock mirrors, and do run 100 mph sweepers a lot(they are gorilla glued in place). The nice thing about the Gorrilla glue , it will break loose for adjustment, if needed.

 

so the ktm eats tires and chains over the DRZ, at the expense of quite abit more power, and the front wheel is off the ground much more than the DRZ via that. The stock seat is not quite as good as the DRZ, nor the lighting.  Really suspension wise I didn't find the Ktm better at all over the DRZ, now flying, the ktm is much more a natural flyer, the DRZ I always found flew front end heavy, but don't recall the bottoming issues like the stock ktm.

 

After respringing the ktm, it was nice to feel some larger air cushiness when landing.. The fueling, both the ktm and drz require fueling changes, Im sure the 701 will too.

 

 

I test rode the 2015 ktm 690, the 500 is a light weight stallion in comparison, the 690 was a large bull. power to weight ratio, to me seems very close. I would not have bought the 690 for what I was looking for, as I definitely was looking for the light weight set up.   Really even if the weight is the same as the DRZ, the 690 is a physically larger ride and more bulky to me.

 

NOT TO SWAY YOU IN ANY WAY, JUST MY THOUGHTS   , would I go 690 or DRZ?  probably the 690 but it feels a lot heavier

Edited by Spud786
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what made you come to that conclusion?

Everything in my garage is orange, so I'm aligned to KTM. I have a 6-days 500 I could put 17's on and a 950 SMR and a 950 SE with a motard set up. I love dirt, but i love motard too. Of your choices listed, the 500 would be my first choice to convert if I was going to ride it mostly on short tracks and urban areas only. I have two ultimate hooligan motards with the 950s and they are too big sometimes in the area between highway and urban and no good on the short tracks. The 701 IMO is the perfect compromise and is already set up and I think it looks killer! I don't dare ride one for fear of buying one, but I'll be checking it out when it hits my dealers floor. You can run short tracks, larger tracks, urban, rural, highway, and longer maint intervals and it's already to go basically off the floor. Easy decision for me if I was in the market. Edited by oldfuddy
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I would go Ktm over husky if you're near north county Yamaha. Not many husky dealers around here compared to Ktm. Plus the availability of parts around here. Last, it may be a bit farther drive but I would go to Wilson Ktm cycle sports in Temecula / Murrieta. They are a new dealer and a million times better in every category than ncy. I've been to both and bought my 16 500 exc from them and couldn't be happier. The parts and service guys really know what they're doing.

As for the 500 exc, it's a super fun bike to ride on the road. My brother in law can pull wheelies at 70mph with just a tiny bit of help and it's a awesome machine. Spud has over 12,000 miles on his. I'm more laid back, but your Drz will seem boring after the 500 exc.

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501! You get the awesome color scheme of the 701 but the light weight awesomeness of the smaller bike. I would love to motard my 501. Would be so much fun

Edited by 2016FIVEOHONE

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I have had my 500 exc set up as a supermoto and it was an absolute blast, but if I was buying a bike to ride all the time as a supermoto, I would definitely get the 690.

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I think it really depends on where and how you ride.   I have a 500 which I have a super moto set up for.  I like the 500 because I ride up and down a local twisty mtn and ride go kart tracks.  So a 690 doesn't offer the quick handling that the 500 offers.  If I rode longer rides through the canyons I would get the 690.  Btw, My 500 is no match for the sport bikes going up the mtn, I'm so much quicker through the twisty's.  Super moto is a total blast!

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 I have ridden a 690 and a 500exc converted and my choice is the 500. I race Supermoto so I am kinda biased on the lighter more nimble bike. The 690 for more road use is a blast but if you are dealing with more highway use vs tight twisty use then the 690 or the 701. 

 

 I hope to ride a 701 here soon then I can answer to all of the bikes you asked about.

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