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690 as an adventure bike?....realistically

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So I currently ride a dual-sported XC-W 530 and love KTM's. But I really want to get into shorter distance adventure riding. I have heard 2 sides to this argument. That if you dont want to destroy the bike get something bigger like the 950 or larger with 2 cylinders. And I have also heard a 690 will work just fine. My trips would include 2-300 miles/day at most with less than 40% on pavement. I would cruise on pavement at around 75 mph no faster and regear an extra tooth in the front sprocket to help with RPM's. I only use soft luggage and saddle bags so no heavy gear to weigh down the back. And lastly the trips I'm looking at making are from like Phoenix to Moab, or to Vegas or down the Baja to Cabo. So I don't plan on riding this from Phoenix to Alaska or anything like that. I would change the oil during the trip as required. I really like the 690 since its a lot lighter. Realistically could the 690 handle these requirments or am I asking for major problems. Any input is good input thanks.

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I rode the 640 for 100 miles on occasion. I think the 690 could do it but the seat on the 640 was terrible for long distances. I say yeah, it would work. :banana:

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After reading page after page on ADVRider, and seeing what those guys put their 690's through, it'll handle what you want out of it with no problem. That's why I bought mine, I intend to use it on trips just like you mentioned. So far the bike seems to be solid- no issues (except the melted turn signal). Now I got to save for Baja :banana:

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Great to hear it. Yeah I would get rid of the seat and put alot of upgrades into it. Turn signals would be gone, don't need them in AZ. I didn't think of ADV rider, thanks for pointing me in another direction, I'll go check them out as well.

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Rode 1300 miles last week with about 65% on dirt. Sounds like a very good solution for your needs. Oil changes only every 3k miles.

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Realistically? I think the 690 would be an excellent dirt oriented adventure bike. I have an older 400 lc4 and have taken it on several 100+ mile rides. A few weeks ago I slabbed it from San Diego to LA and back. That wasn't very fun, but it only has a 5 speed and 400 cc's. The 690 has a 6 speed and an extra 150cc's.

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Realistically? I think the 690 would be an excellent dirt oriented adventure bike. I have an older 400 lc4 and have taken it on several 100+ mile rides. A few weeks ago I slabbed it from San Diego to LA and back. That wasn't very fun, but it only has a 5 speed and 400 cc's. The 690 has a 6 speed and an extra 150cc's.

Thanks everyone for your input. Looks like I'm getting another bike.

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I just got back from 1800 miles mostly paved, but about 75 miles of 2-track. It worked fine, but needs a stiffer rear spring, IMHO.

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I think you'd be better off Adventurizing a 530EXC! 6.6g tank if ya need it, wide ratio gearbox is not something you can even add to the 690, light bags are fine and its already about 50 lbs lighter.

Whats there to even think about? Order a Renazco seat TODAY!!! Deal with it till it arrives.

Having 2 bikes with interchangable wheels/carbs/seats/tanks,,etc is a treat. With street biased tires or even sumoto wheels (!!!) the 530 will be just as, if not smoother, than the 690.:banana:

I have 2 950s, great if you need +75 cruise speeds or 2 up, otherwise my 530 would get the nod as a solo adv bike. My 520EXC did it for years after retiring from racing. The EXCs are possibly the most versatile bikes ever built.

Yea, I know, 600cc of oil. So what? Change it every 1k if it needs it! Premium synthetics are great and the trans is on its own. The oil stays cleaner, less need for more in the engine.

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I am right there with you on picking up a 690 to adventure with ... nice post and feedback to confirm this is the right bike for me. I was considering a 950SE, but decided against the extra size/weight/cost.

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I have an older 400 lc4 and have taken it on several 100+ mile rides. A few weeks ago I slabbed it from San Diego to LA and back. That wasn't very fun, but it only has a 5 speed and 400 cc's. The 690 has a 6 speed and an extra 150cc's.

Most know this but not everybody. The 6-speed in the 690 has a narrower range than your 5-speed 400 LC4. It's almost like not using 5th gear on your 400. That's probably the worst design feature with the bike.

The Husky TE 630, on the other hand, has a great gearbox and costs $1,000 less.

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Most know this but not everybody. The 6-speed in the 690 has a narrower range than your 5-speed 400 LC4. It's almost like not using 5th gear on your 400. That's probably the worst design feature with the bike.

The Husky TE 630, on the other hand, has a great gearbox and costs $1,000 less.

Long trips on the slab are not a 690 strength. Fine for me at 65-70 for a couple of hours. A windscreen would help. I bought it for the specific purpose of avoiding slab though and it's fantastic for that.

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Does anyone know if the 690 Enduro (plain or R) can be fitted with a larger fuel tank? Twelve liters isn't much when out in the sticks, miles from the nearest station.

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Happy to say I took the plunge and picked up a very nice '08 from a friend. 1400 miles, Trail Tricks suspension, Scotts sub mount ready, Renazco seat, Wolfman Racks, foam filter, FMF and remap, windscreen ... I am stoked!

IMG_3702.jpg

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Does anyone know if the 690 Enduro (plain or R) can be fitted with a larger fuel tank? Twelve liters isn't much when out in the sticks, miles from the nearest station.

Yup, there are a number of options to increase fuel capacity. Safari for one and then a few fulll on Dakar solutions. As for suitability, we just did a trip round Sabah of about 2,900kms (1,800miles). 3x 690R's and a 1x BMW 650GX. Biggest issue we had was distance between fuel stops, had to turn back on one dirt section for fear of not having enough fuel (we were almost at the point of no return), a couple of broken indicators (one from dropping it, other just broke by itself), and a taco'ed rear brake lever (its soft - dropped in soft mud at slow speed). Other than that, bikes ran great. I'd buy it again (just about have on the shipping costs to get it to Europe now)

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Yup, there are a number of options to increase fuel capacity. Safari for one and then a few fulll on Dakar solutions. As for suitability, we just did a trip round Sabah of about 2,900kms (1,800miles). 3x 690R's and a 1x BMW 650GX. Biggest issue we had was distance between fuel stops, had to turn back on one dirt section for fear of not having enough fuel (we were almost at the point of no return), a couple of broken indicators (one from dropping it, other just broke by itself), and a taco'ed rear brake lever (its soft - dropped in soft mud at slow speed). Other than that, bikes ran great. I'd buy it again (just about have on the shipping costs to get it to Europe now)

Safari tank is $$$ though. I have up to four 1L bottles I carry if I need extra range. That will get me 200 miles pretty safely and is enough for me (YMMV). If I don't want to carry those, I'll use plastic water bottles... Doesn't take long before you can add the extra to the tank.

Brake lever is ridiculously soft. Bent the crap out of mine on a soft ground tipover. Bent it back partway, but was annoying. Slavens overnighted a billet replacement one to me to a campground I was heading to. It's REALLY nice.

http://slavensracing.com/products/brakes/billet-brake-pedal-for-ktm-690

Broke a rear turn signal as well. To a certain extent, they can be pushed back into place but it's only a temporary solution in my opinion. Ordered some new ones from Sicass that hopefully will be better.

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I think you'd be better off Adventurizing a 530EXC! 6.6g tank if ya need it, wide ratio gearbox is not something you can even add to the 690, light bags are fine and its already about 50 lbs lighter.

I could not agree more. My friend and I have been going round and round on this issue. He has 525MXC and I have a 530EXC. We just rode 9 straight days (1700 miles) of the western part of the TAT. The 530 only needed topping off on the engine oil and I changed the air filter twice. We kept checking the color of the oil and it was like new with very little color change. We had both been wondering if the 690 would be something we would want to upgrade to considering that this is the type of riding we are leaning towards now. After much discussion and this past ride, I have decided to keep the 530EXC. His decision is a little easier since he is going from basically a track bike to a dual sport purpose bike.

I have set up the suspension, added a steering stabilizer, and a renazco seat. The only two things I would add after this big ride would be better lighting (we got lost once and had to ride at night) and a small fairing that would help while on the slab. On occasion we would be on the slab for 10 - 15 miles and even just a little fairing would have helped. The 530 is an awesome dual sport bike. No need for me to add the 50 lbs. that comes with the 690.

Good luck on your decision.

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Yup, there are a number of options to increase fuel capacity. Safari for one and then a few fulll on Dakar solutions. As for suitability, we just did a trip round Sabah of about 2,900kms (1,800miles). 3x 690R's and a 1x BMW 650GX. Biggest issue we had was distance between fuel stops, had to turn back on one dirt section for fear of not having enough fuel (we were almost at the point of no return), a couple of broken indicators (one from dropping it, other just broke by itself), and a taco'ed rear brake lever (its soft - dropped in soft mud at slow speed). Other than that, bikes ran great. I'd buy it again (just about have on the shipping costs to get it to Europe now)

Clean Speed Engineering billet brake lever is VERY nice. Bent mine badly on a similar tip over on soft ground.

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I could not agree more. My friend and I have been going round and round on this issue. He has 525MXC and I have a 530EXC. We just rode 9 straight days (1700 miles) of the western part of the TAT. The 530 only needed topping off on the engine oil and I changed the air filter twice. We kept checking the color of the oil and it was like new with very little color change. We had both been wondering if the 690 would be something we would want to upgrade to considering that this is the type of riding we are leaning towards now. After much discussion and this past ride, I have decided to keep the 530EXC. His decision is a little easier since he is going from basically a track bike to a dual sport purpose bike.

I have set up the suspension, added a steering stabilizer, and a renazco seat. The only two things I would add after this big ride would be better lighting (we got lost once and had to ride at night) and a small fairing that would help while on the slab. On occasion we would be on the slab for 10 - 15 miles and even just a little fairing would have helped. The 530 is an awesome dual sport bike. No need for me to add the 50 lbs. that comes with the 690.

Good luck on your decision.

A SD "touring" screen is about $50 and it will bolt right onto a EXC headlight giving you just enough to relieve the wind on your chest. I use it on my 950SMR (street SE).

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I rode the 640 for 100 miles on occasion. I think the 690 could do it but the seat on the 640 was terrible for long distances. I say yeah, it would work. :thumbsup:

Are you kidding me? You must be used to sitting in your barcolounger watching tv all day if you say the 640 seat sucks for 100 miles!!:lol:

I have a Husky 610SM with aftermarket Guts Soft seat (the stock foam was like sitting on a brick)and it's still only good for a 40-50 mile rides. haha. Now I go and sit on my brother's Duke II (sameas your 640 seat) and that thing feels like I'm sitting on a soft, pillowy cloud. One of the best, most comfortable dirtbike seats I've sat on.

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