690 Enduro comparisons

Sorry if this kind of topic has been beaten to death - I did some searching for "comparison", "new vs old" and such but haven't found any threads that contain what I'm looking for.

 

In summary, I'm tired of my DRZ400 and am looking for something with some more power, and specifically some better highway manners.  I'm not anything like an MXer, and am more interested in something i can take on longer stretches of road to get to the off road areas so i can forget the trailer.  

 

I'm looking at the 690R of course, and possibly the new Husky 701, but what i was looking for was some feedback on the various model years for the 690R and what the pros and cons are of the changes they've made.  I'm not really looking to buy brand new - the Husky is brand new so its actually pretty low on my list.  But what are the thoughts about buying some of the older models compared with the more recent years?

 

- Bigger motor in 2012 - is that a big deal?  seems like the 654 engine would have enough pop for me.

- ABS in 2014 - is it worth it?  Would you consider the '14 as the oldest model you'd consider if you were buying?

- Any difference in handling in the years?  I've seen lots of complaints of how bad the front forks are especially compared to the EXCs.  Is it really unmanageable and require a lot of $$?  And how would you guys compare it with a DRZ?  Are any of the models better/worse than the others or are they all similar?

- I heard about a lot of fuel pump issues in the '08 - was that fixed by '09?  I would probably be biased against buying an '08 for that reason.

 

One last thing - are the '14+ bikes 50 state models, or is there a California-specific version?  Most of the bikes out there are below the 7500 mile minimum for out of state bike registration here.

 

 

Again, sorry if this is an old subject.  If someone knows of a link to an older thread that has a lot of this discussion I'd be grateful for the pointer.

 

thanks

Edited by russperry

ABS worth it on the 14+? Can't fight progress. I wouldn't have bought my 2014 690 R if it didn't have it. I had to use it in anger and what could have been an "eventful" incident now barely registers in my memory. I won't buy any bike (dual purpose or road) that doesn't have it. Definitely worth the money and I'm over 50 years old so I've lived through the non ABS era. I'm not going back.

The 12-13 model is the best. FI map is more refined, more reasonable height, maps can still be loaded with Tune ECU... 

 

Avoid the 08 because of the least refined FI maps.. not a replaceable fuel pump. The pump can be an issue on any FI dirt bike. Don't let the tank run dry and over heat the pump is a worthwhile precaution. 

 

I love mine. Best 50/50 bike there is but it's no light trail bike. I ride single track but not with 500 and smaller bikes. Just asking to get hurt trying to keep up.. I will take the 250 and they can try to keep up...

08 is the only non-R with a black frame.

09-10 are the same bike

11 is the last year of the 250cc. updated map over the 09-10, better turning radius than 09-10

12-13 are the same bike, FI map is more better than 11

14-15 are the same bike, FI is locked down so users can not modify. 

Edited by DrKayak

I would agree the 12-13 is the best option if you plan to tune yourself.  They have the more refined motor with the bump is cc's.  The unlocked ECU is a big plus.

 

The 2014+ would be fine as well but the locked ECU limits tuning.  You do however pick up ABS which after researching seems to be a great feature.

 

The other thing to consider is price.  These bike hold their value very well and are limited production, so sometimes buying new is not much more than the late model used bikes.

I ended up picking up a very nicely equipped 2011 from a guy in Marin County.  Wings exhaust, touratech pannier rack, Seat Concepts seat, wide pegs, steering stabilizer, LED tail light, Tubliss system on the rear tire, Oxford heated grips, at just over 4200 miles. 

 

Very little left for me to do with it before hitting the road - need some new bags for packing (don't like hard panniers), and maybe an electrical outlet or two, but that's about it.  The DRZ will have to go - wife is tired of the growing collection.....

The ABS is awesome on the street and you can turn it off for dirt.

I bought a new 2016 Ktm 690 enduro R and have about 1,000 miles on it. Here are my thoughts.

 

I bought the bike as a dirt bike not planning to use it as a street bike but after riding it a while i wanted to try it as a street bike. The bike stock is a great bike and has lots of power. On the road with stock rims and tires it gets very and i mean very wobbly past 65 mph. The width of the rim is very narrow and not meant for high speeds. Thus its wobbly, even with trail attack 2 tires it can get a little wobbly. so if you serious about putting it on the road you would have to probably invest on some supermoto rims and tires. What i did because i didn’t want to spend the money was i bought the trail attack 2 tires (stock it has knobby tires) and a steering stabilizer. Seems to work pretty well on the road. Honestly if you want it as a road bike your going to have to spend some money because it set up as dirt bike. So if you do a lot of highway you going to need on top of wheels, a windshield, a more comfortable seat.

 

As a dirt bike it’s fantastic. I Love the power. A little heavy but no complaints about the bike as a dirt bike. The stock knobbys on the other hand were terrible. It seems they were rounded so you can lean with them on the road. Which is nice when you take it on the road, but can easily slip out under you when its muddy. So whenever you put a tire that meant for both dirt and street you are making a compromise. I am comparing them to my yz 250 tires, it had a lot more grip than stock KTM tires. Therefore if you wanted it to be a serious dirt bike, the only thing i would change if it was stock KTM tires. I think with a good set dirt bike tires you would have problem keep up with a 250 or 450 dirt bike.

 

My real take home is that a good dirt bike is a bad street bike. A good street bike is a bad dirt bike. That being said it really depends on what compromises you are willing to do. I think the real reason to get a 690 is the engine, it can really do it all, depending on what wheel/tire set up choose. Also the ABS in my opinion is worth it if you going to take it on the road often. On the dirt I tend to turn it off. I have no complaints about the suspension, it was soft compared to my yz250, but after you get used to it, it’s not bad. No problems with the fuel pump, but I do plan on buying an extra one, just in case. I would recommending this bike, I really do think this is going to be one of the best dual sports you can buy.

You just need to have the shop balance your wheels. I ride the freeway at 75mph and its smooth as butter (has balanced wheels) with dirt tires.

You just need to have the shop balance your wheels. I ride the freeway at 75mph and its smooth as butter (has balanced wheels) with dirt tires.

Really? I may try that. I was thinking of adding a rim locks then getting it balanced. So I may do that soon. Personally I think is the width the rims they are not super motorcycle rims, but I doesn't hurt to get them balanced and give it a try. Thanks

I think it does better on the street with the T-63 tire over the stock MT-21. I can run 70+ but it gets real sketchy at 80. I don't get how guys claim 100+ with dirt wheels. 

 

I love the 690 on back roads with dirt tires. Plenty fast. Had a Husky Supermoto and 17" street tires are much less versatile and you really need go-cart track type turns to tap the potential of a SM.

 

I just went to 14T CS (front sprocket) from the stock 15T. Wow, what a mod.. it really pulls hard now and not that reved out at 70.  

I think it does better on the street with the T-63 tire over the stock MT-21. I can run 70+ but it gets real sketchy at 80. I don't get how guys claim 100+ with dirt wheels.

I love the 690 on back roads with dirt tires. Plenty fast. Had a Husky Supermoto and 17" street tires are much less versatile and you really need go-cart track type turns to tap the potential of a SM.

I just went to 14T CS (front sprocket) from the stock 15T. Wow, what a mod.. it really pulls hard now and not that reved out at 70.

I can image i went from a 45 rear to a 42 to get low revs on the freeway, and it still has great power. Going down to a 14/45 would make it a beast in the dirt. You can probably power wheely in third.

I agree i agree i dont see myself going passed 80 on dirt bike rims. The max i have hit is 88mph. But that's with the steering stabilizer and continental attack 2 tires. But then again im still pretty new to bikes.

Edited by bigmendoza2012

Didn't care much for the early years, tall, wouldn't turn tight enough (hit stops), vibrated. Had plenty of power for the highway better if geared out of the vibration range. Hard to pick up if dropped.

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