Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I've heard a lot of good and bad about both of these bikes. Mostly the weight problem though. What are your opinions? I have never owned a KTM before or even ridden one but I have ridden a few Suzuki's and aside from their weight they are very fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This doesn't answer your question, but I'm wondering the same thing. I just purchased a 2017 400S. I'm truly enjoying the bike. I've put new tires and new springs in the front and rear. It handles and rides exactly how I wanted, like a comfortable dirtbike.

I knew about the KTM dual sports while buying my bike a few months ago. But, I figured they were above and beyond what I wanted. However, after learning this Suzuki's handling, I realize just how much 690cc would improve the bike. It seems both bikes are built about the same. They are both a little bulky and a little heavy compared to a motocross bike. So I assume with the KTM having better components and more power, it would be equivalent to an upgraded drz 400. From what I read the maintenance for the KTM is not much more frequent than the Suzuki. A valve clearance check at 6,500 miles was the only noted difference I could see.

I'm already planning my next move if I enjoy this Suzuki for the next summer or two. I'll probably trade in this bike for a KTM. The only thing I'm wondering is if I should wait on the airbox modification if I plan to trade in the bike.

I know some of you might be thinking I should just calm down and enjoy my bike. Trust me I am having a blast. But I'm also excited for the future.

Edited by NewEngland400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I owned a DRZ400S that I outfitted for adventure riding day after day.  My first outing, repleat with camping gear for 10 or more days, was through the Utah and Colorado BCDRs.  On the non-pavement parts the DRZ was perfectly acceptable.  On the pavement parts where traffic is moving at a much faster clip as in my 65 to their 80+ I felt like a sitting duck.  I made up my mind during the outing that I required a more robust machine.  But what?

My riding companion was riding a 1999 KTM 640 Enduro.  It had no trouble in any portion of the adventure.  When I return home I did some research.  Cost wasn't part of the equation but my comfort and safety was foremost.  I live on the western slope of the Sierra in California, specifically next to the Sierra National Forest.  There are plenty of forest roads and single track to ride and about 20 miles of pavement to get there.  For that the DRZ was fine.  Eventually I bought a lightly used 2013 690 ER and sold the DRZ.  Between the two bikes the weight is nearly the same with the 690 carrying about gal more fuel.  Performance between the two is night and day.  Believe me the 690 hauls the mail and then some.  Maintenance between the two was the same because I changed the DRZ oil at +/- 1200 miles.  About the same amount for each.  Factory specs out changes around 2K miles for each I think.  The 2013 690 is much easier to perform valve clearance checks/adjustments than my 2005 DRZ.  Both require shims but the procedure on the DRZ requires more attention.  I wore through tires at about the same mile mark.  The 690 does well in any situation the DRZ would on single track.  If you are doing really hard stuff you need a 250 lbs bike.  Parts for the two bikes cost about the same and I got OEM online for both.  As for cost the DRZ is hands down less expensive to buy so overall it's less expensive to own.  But there will come a time when you want more bike and a KLR or V-strom will not be the correct the choice.  Get the KTM690 now if you can afford it and be done with it if adventure and single track is your thing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having owned a WR400F for 15 years, I wanted something built for on-off road. So, I put a spreadsheet together for quick reference. Also, I had been on the fence about a 690 since 2013. When the dealer called and told me he had two '17 model 690's arrive, I was in at the point. I couldn't wait for a WR450R any more.

No regrets. It is as mentioned above. I too was concerned the 690 would feel heavy on the trail coming from my WR400F, but this is not the situation. I like it. After I hit the 600 mile mark and able to use the rpm's above 6k, it is amazing. Roll-ons are something to experience. I have gone up 3t on the rear sprocket for the riding last month in Death Valley.

Next month, the White Rim Trail in Utah.

Send a pm if you are interested in the spreadsheet. The board won't allow me to post it here. You'll need MS Excel to view it, or Google Sheets.

 

Marc

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, coarsegoldkid said:

I owned a DRZ400S that I outfitted for adventure riding day after day.  My first outing, repleat with camping gear for 10 or more days, was through the Utah and Colorado BCDRs.  On the non-pavement parts the DRZ was perfectly acceptable.  On the pavement parts where traffic is moving at a much faster clip as in my 65 to their 80+ I felt like a sitting duck.  I made up my mind during the outing that I required a more robust machine.  But what?

My riding companion was riding a 1999 KTM 640 Enduro.  It had no trouble in any portion of the adventure.  When I return home I did some research.  Cost wasn't part of the equation but my comfort and safety was foremost.  I live on the western slope of the Sierra in California, specifically next to the Sierra National Forest.  There are plenty of forest roads and single track to ride and about 20 miles of pavement to get there.  For that the DRZ was fine.  Eventually I bought a lightly used 2013 690 ER and sold the DRZ.  Between the two bikes the weight is nearly the same with the 690 carrying about gal more fuel.  Performance between the two is night and day.  Believe me the 690 hauls the mail and then some.  Maintenance between the two was the same because I changed the DRZ oil at +/- 1200 miles.  About the same amount for each.  Factory specs out changes around 2K miles for each I think.  The 2013 690 is much easier to perform valve clearance checks/adjustments than my 2005 DRZ.  Both require shims but the procedure on the DRZ requires more attention.  I wore through tires at about the same mile mark.  The 690 does well in any situation the DRZ would on single track.  If you are doing really hard stuff you need a 250 lbs bike.  Parts for the two bikes cost about the same and I got OEM online for both.  As for cost the DRZ is hands down less expensive to buy so overall it's less expensive to own.  But there will come a time when you want more bike and a KLR or V-strom will not be the correct the choice.  Get the KTM690 now if you can afford it and be done with it if adventure and single track is your thing.

I think that is an accurate appraisal. :thumbsup:

Except...

No way the same rear tire lasts as long on a 690. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Flagstaff said:

I think that is an accurate appraisal. :thumbsup:

Except...

No way the same rear tire lasts as long on a 690. 

It's all in the wrist control.... that said.. if you are not spinning up the rear on the 690 then you just as well have got a DRZ and had a lot of $$ left in the bank. 

You have to be into performance riding it spend the extra $$ on the 690. I know guys that are mellow sightseeing riders that are perfectly happy on a DR650. 

Like coarsegoldkid said -- a 250 is more fun on tight single track.. Less is often more. I know top riders that have moved to 150cc for trail. 

For me the 690 is the only dirt bike I have found to be a blast on pavement. No need for Supermoto wheels and you can still explore single track and tear it up on dirt roads.. it's the ultimate 50/50 performance bike. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, DrKayak said:

It's all in the wrist control.... that said.. if you are not spinning up the rear on the 690 then you just as well have got a DRZ and had a lot of $$ left in the bank. 

You have to be into performance riding it spend the extra $$ on the 690. I know guys that are mellow sightseeing riders that are perfectly happy on a DR650. 

Like coarsegoldkid said -- a 250 is more fun on tight single track.. Less is often more. I know top riders that have moved to 150cc for trail. 

For me the 690 is the only dirt bike I have found to be a blast on pavement. No need for Supermoto wheels and you can still explore single track and tear it up on dirt roads.. it's the ultimate 50/50 performance bike. 

Required maintenance, performance and WEIGHT were important for me for the type of riding I do, all day off road followed by a hour or 2 of slab so it's not all night back home. After a KLR650, DRZ400, WR450, and another KLR650. Buddies with the DR650 and XR650R. The KTM seemed right for me and I have not been disappointed. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm amazed at how well the drz will go through super tight single track at crawling speeds. I was on a trail this morning, which hadn't even fully been built yet. I had to wiggle and twist between trees, at points I needed to maneuver the right mirror around a tree, then the left. All this while going over huge protruding rocks and logs. The drz felt secure and stable throughout it all.

Does the ktm 690 crawl as well?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 690 crawls as well.  I went 3 teeth up on rear on both the DRZ and 690.  With the hp and torque of the 690 I suppose one could add a few more teeth to the rear.  It has a bit larger turning radius however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes! For sure. I did even try stock gearing off-road and pre-emptively went up three teeth on the rear sprocket size. Glad I did. Some loose-rock steep grades in Death Valley proved that this bike is tractor-like. Also, my pre-run at LBL prior to heading west, at on moment after bouncing over rocks and stuff, it seemed the engine was about one revolution from a stall; but, just a touch a throttle and it motored up the rest of climb. At the top were two fellas with their Razors. If I could read their minds as they watched me pass and keep going, I'd suspect they may have had a bit of disbelief.

Here is one photo from the DV ride last month. You can see sand followed by rocks. The final mile or so up Mengel Pass was alternating between the two. Momentum is key. Coming down, I could stop for a photo.

IMG_20170410_131414006_HDR.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/1/2017 at 4:17 PM, RiDiculous said:

I've heard a lot of good and bad about both of these bikes. Mostly the weight problem though. What are your opinions? I have never owned a KTM before or even ridden one but I have ridden a few Suzuki 's and aside from their weight they are very fun.

I just bought a 2017 KTM 690 Enduro R. Rides very, very light. I've also ridden the DRZ400S. Great bike, but not in the same league w/o bashing on the bike. I'm not... By comparison, a heavy marshmellow. Not that you can't improve the DRZ. You can a ton. But, stock vs. stock, lots of distance between the two.

Buddy bought the 701 Husky and is loving it too. Hooligan bikes for sure.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rode stock sprockets for 2 years. Then went -1 tooth on the front and love the bike even more. With that rear gas tank the bike wheelies so nice.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a highly modified drzs and I'm amazed what it's capable of offroad. I almost never ride it more than an hour on pavement though. Stock they aren't great, but mine was 4k with all the stuff you'd want done to it. That extra 6k in my pocket is buying a lot of gas, tires, more tires....

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bryan Bosch said:
I just bought a 2017 KTM 690 Enduro R. Rides very, very light. I've also ridden the DRZ400S. Great bike, but not in the same league w/o bashing on the bike. I'm not... By comparison, a heavy marshmellow. Not that you can't improve the DRZ. You can a ton. But, stock vs. stock, lots of distance between the two.
Buddy bought the 701 Husky and is loving it too. Hooligan bikes for sure.
 

 


What are the differences, if any, between the 701 and the 690?

 

Edited by NewEngland400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, HeavyRotation said:
I have a highly modified drzs and I'm amazed what it's capable of offroad. I almost never ride it more than an hour on pavement though. Stock they aren't great, but mine was 4k with all the stuff you'd want done to it. That extra 6k in my pocket is buying a lot of gas, tires, more tires....
 
 

 


I keep getting mixed answers on whether or not the 3x3 airbox mod would improve my low end torque in 2nd and 3rd gear. That's the only part of the bikes engine I crave more from. For example, when I'm approaching a steep sand hill in 2nd gear, the bike will struggle if the sand gets to deep and steep. Do you think the airbox mod would help it get up that hill?

I'm over 300lbs and the stock engine pulls me pretty damn well.

 

Edited by NewEngland400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, NewEngland400 said:

What are the differences, if any, between the 701 and the 690?

 

Riding them? Very, very little honestly. I've ridden both back to back and not night/day by any means.

We'll be covering the differences here as we get more time on the bikes:

Seat on the Husky is horrible! Profile is good, but the foam density makes the KTM seat feel like a Lazyboy recliner!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

 

I keep getting mixed answers on whether or not the 3x3 airbox mod would improve my low end torque in 2nd and 3rd gear. That's the only part of the bikes engine I crave more from. For example, when I'm approaching a steep sand hill in 2nd gear, the bike will struggle if the sand gets to deep and steep. Do you think the airbox mod would help it get up that hill?

 

I'm over 300lbs and the stock engine pulls me pretty damn well.

 

Yes, 3x3 and jet kit is a must. And cheap.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've switched from a DRZ 400SM to a 2017 KTM Enduro R and love it. Totally worth it if you have the extra coins in your pocket. IMG_1310.PNG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, 3x3 and jet kit is a must. And cheap.
 


What's the most noticeable area of engine improvement from the 3x3 mod?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


What's the most noticeable area of engine improvement from the 3x3 mod?

Like any bike delivered lean from the factory, throttle response is what you'll notice most, but you should also see power and torque improvements throughout the range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×