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new to 690s, have a couple prepurchase questions

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hey all, so ive just gotten the bug to get a something to ride on the street. originally i was looking at 450 supermotos and then i came upon the 690, this just seems like its the answer to all my problems. now there are a couple for sale in my area and basically the one i am interested in and can afford has 17000 miles where as another one is out of my price range but has only 6000 miles. so i guess my question is: is 17000 miles too much and should i expect a rebuild soon? ive heard of people getting almost twice the mileage with proper maintenance, but since this is craigslist who knows what the previous owners actually did to it. picture attached of the bike in question below

00202_4kEMSK1i1pi_1200x900.jpg

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2 hours ago, 916CRRider said:

hey all, so ive just gotten the bug to get a something to ride on the street. originally i was looking at 450 supermotos and then i came upon the 690, this just seems like its the answer to all my problems. now there are a couple for sale in my area and basically the one i am interested in and can afford has 17000 miles where as another one is out of my price range but has only 6000 miles. so i guess my question is: is 17000 miles too much and should i expect a rebuild soon? ive heard of people getting almost twice the mileage with proper maintenance, but since this is craigslist who knows what the previous owners actually did to it. picture attached of the bike in question below

00202_4kEMSK1i1pi_1200x900.jpg

Seems like I keep hearing 50-60,000 miles,  of course depending on use and maintenance. 

Good luck. :thumbsup:

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wow sounds great to me, after talking with the owner some more he mentioned him and his dad who is a licensed mechanic replaced the piston rings and a clutch bearing. anything alarming there?

 

 

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1 hour ago, 916CRRider said:

wow sounds great to me, after talking with the owner some more he mentioned him and his dad who is a licensed mechanic replaced the piston rings and a clutch bearing. anything alarming there?

 

 

Huh. Don't know. Haven't heard of the clutch bearing thing. Some bikes had oil burning issues from new so perhaps the ring replacement was related to that. If so he did you a favor. 

I bought my '14 a year ago with 1200 miles and only have~ 4500 now so not an expert.

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Can you work on bikes yourself?  If not, then $500 repairs become $1500 repairs.  $1200 repairs become $2500-$2800 repairs.    And let's say you got this bike, and within one year it needed a $1500 repair, would you be super pissed bothered by that?  

Not sure if those guys were the original owners, but if dad/son mechanic guys need to do some decent amount of engine work in 17,000 miles, what do you think the 690s owned by goof balls will need?

It is safe to assume the entire top end of a 690 will need work by 20K miles, and at 40K miles you need to do bottom & top end.  And I doubt 690s from 10K miles to 20K miles will be trouble free.  

And yes you can find guys on the Internet that are claiming 50-60K miles with stock piston/rings/valves, but for each of those you can find even more failures/issues stories.  

If money is tight, find a near stock Suzuki DRZ400sm.  Not as thrilling as the KTM, but way less likely to have engine issues.  If you do go Suzuki, I'd say stay away from ones where the guys have but in big bore kits, and/or different cam, or a high compression piston.  Carb and exhaust mods (if done mostly correct) are ok/desired.

Again, this is guessing you aren't well funded and you aren't a top notch mechanic guy.  

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16 hours ago, Flagstaff said:

Seems like I keep hearing 50-60,000 miles,  of course depending on use and maintenance. 

Good luck. :thumbsup:

Agreed, The 690 is a much bigger and more durable engine than a 450. 17,000 is a lot of miles for a 450 not a 690.  

16 hours ago, 916CRRider said:

wow sounds great to me, after talking with the owner some more he mentioned him and his dad who is a licensed mechanic replaced the piston rings and a clutch bearing. anything alarming there?

 

 

I would say if it needed rings at 17,000 miles it got harder than average use. What year is it and how much $$? 

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13 hours ago, usedtobefast said:

 

It is safe to assume the entire top end of a 690 will need work by 20K miles, and at 40K miles you need to do bottom & top end.  And I doubt 690s from 10K miles to 20K miles will be trouble free.  

 

Hmmm, how did you get to be an expert on this? I would love to here your experiences with your 690.  There's a ton of posts on ADV rider that would dispute this. I know one bike that was not rebuilt at all till 100,000 miles of hard use. 

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At 16K miles my 690 was run with little to no oil when it all came out miles from home in the woods when one of the oil filter screws came off when the helicoil let loose.  At home I replenished the ouil and another 2K+ miles.  Yes it made noises that worried me way out in the Idaho woods.  But it had plenty of oil.  Back in the garage I found that the rocker bearing was toast when I tore it down.  It will contribute to lots of top end noise.  But I must say it ran strong none-the-less.  So rocker arms might need to be replaced on your bike.


I've never rebuilt an engine but figured I could do it anyway.  So I did just that.  Followed the repair manual to the letter.  Upon removing the barrel and piston the connecting rod had too much side to side play.  I proceeded to replace the crank  While in there I replaced assorted bearings and seals and the piston rings.  I hand honed the barrel with a scratch pad.  It's a simple engine but some tools you may never need again will need to be utilized.  I can say I know that engine very well now.  Anyway aside from the rocker bearing the top end was perfect upon tear down.  So I wouldn't expect one to be needing a rebuild at 20K unless it was really abused.  On a recent 1K mile WABDR adventure the bike consumed 0.05 liters of oil.  Not bad at all.  

So for your 17K mileage bike I'd say the cam chain tensioner and the rocker arms are likely suspects for replacement.  I've installed a manual tensioner recently at 19K miles as the OEM part stopped tensioning the chain.  I found that the ratchet mechanism was worn too much to be reliable.  
Engine rebuild total cost to me in parts and tools was a bit over 1200 dollars.  I borrowed some dial indicators and case splitter which cut the costs by a bunch.

If the price is right for you, it sounds good, and runs like champion then buy it.

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thanks for the advice and information guys, the bike in question is a 2008, he is asking 6400 but he said he is willing to go below 6. while i have done some work on engines before i have never actually replaced with the internals, although with a manual i am pretty confident. i may still go check it out but im leaning towards just selling off some other toys i have laying around and buying a lesser mileage bike. im torn on what to do

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The Fuel Injection program(s) for the 2008 were not the best on the 690 or 990. Make sure you ride it and are happy with the throttle response. 

The Fuel Injection program got better over the years. 

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9 hours ago, DrKayak said:

Hmmm, how did you get to be an expert on this? I would love to here your experiences with your 690.  There's a ton of posts on ADV rider that would dispute this. I know one bike that was not rebuilt at all till 100,000 miles of hard use. 

Without solid repair/failure data none of us are experts.  My guesses are based on friends with 690s, friends of friends, riding buddies, etc.  If you want to believe you can make it 40K-50K miles on a 690 with never seeing the piston, then go ahead and believe that. :)  

3 guys had the rocker arm bearings bad with less than 10K miles.  These are guys that pay attention to their motors, listen to them, work on them, read about them.  So maybe they could have lasted to 20K with someone that just ignores the noise, not sure.  

2 had excessive oil consumption, don't remember the mileage, in the 6k-8K miles range, I believe they just did rings (used original piston).  I would guess they could just keep adding oil and made it much further along, but both these guys are comfortable with pulling the bike apart for rings.  It bothers them less than I get bothered when I have to put on a new tire. :) 

Another guy pulled his apart around 18K-19K miles, did rings, piston, I think the valves were ok, not sure all the parts he put in.  Basically he wanted to do a refresh during an off season time for him.  It was running ok when he did this, not like it was a blown engine with metal chunks all over the place, but once opened up he replaced stuff that was worn.  Could this have waited until 30K miles?  Don't know.  

And again, all these guys thought it was no big deal to dig into their motors and check stuff out.  Tires wear out, sprockets & chains wear out, so do internal engine parts, just pull it apart and fix it was their attitude.  

That why I was saying, if you buy a 690 and think it is going to go 40K-50K-100K! before you need to do motor work, then I think you may be setting yourself up for a disappointment.  But if you can do you own work, and aren't all pissed off at your motorcycle for having an issue, then buy one, have fun, take care of, work on it when it needs it.  

Another way to look at it, how much will you spend on tires in 20K miles?  Doing a motor refresh at 20K miles will be way less than tires (assuming you do it yourself).

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9 hours ago, coarsegoldkid said:

At 16K miles my 690 was run with little to no oil when it all came out miles from home in the woods when one of the oil filter screws came off when the helicoil let loose.  At home I replenished the ouil and another 2K+ miles.  Yes it made noises that worried me way out in the Idaho woods.  But it had plenty of oil.  Back in the garage I found that the rocker bearing was toast when I tore it down.  It will contribute to lots of top end noise.  But I must say it ran strong none-the-less.  So rocker arms might need to be replaced on your bike.


I've never rebuilt an engine but figured I could do it anyway.  So I did just that.  Followed the repair manual to the letter.  Upon removing the barrel and piston the connecting rod had too much side to side play.  I proceeded to replace the crank  While in there I replaced assorted bearings and seals and the piston rings.  I hand honed the barrel with a scratch pad.  It's a simple engine but some tools you may never need again will need to be utilized.  I can say I know that engine very well now.  Anyway aside from the rocker bearing the top end was perfect upon tear down.  So I wouldn't expect one to be needing a rebuild at 20K unless it was really abused.  On a recent 1K mile WABDR adventure the bike consumed 0.05 liters of oil.  Not bad at all.  

So for your 17K mileage bike I'd say the cam chain tensioner and the rocker arms are likely suspects for replacement.  I've installed a manual tensioner recently at 19K miles as the OEM part stopped tensioning the chain.  I found that the ratchet mechanism was worn too much to be reliable.  
Engine rebuild total cost to me in parts and tools was a bit over 1200 dollars.  I borrowed some dial indicators and case splitter which cut the costs by a bunch.

If the price is right for you, it sounds good, and runs like champion then buy it.

I forgot about that rocker arm thing. Some consider it part of maintenance every 15k on pre '15 bikes. First too hard, then too soft, or something like that. I think I understand that in '15 they got it right and if you use those for replacements you're better off.

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