Winters in Maine are long -so is my winter mods list (in no particular order):
Slip-on exhaust, Wings
First, sound. I don’t like loud pipes and I never want to be the guy who pisses somebody off and causes trails to shut down. With that said, the stock unit makes this bike almost quiet as a sewing machine. The noise of the big single’s innards made more noise than the muffler. Wings touts their sound (“Because sound matters”) as a feature of their slip-on. Sound isn’t something the aftermarket usually brags about. Secondly was the heat produced by the cat-encumbered stock muffler. By all accounts, it gets as hot as a furnace with reports of melting plastic panels. Yikes! I didn’t like the sound of that either. Lastly, weight savings. I know, a few pounds is hardly noticeable. Still, if I can offset some of the weight from the rack/tool bag I added, then why not?
Rear stand bobbin / sliders, KTM
This simple mod allows me to use the $30 HF aluminum rear stand. I’m meticulous about chain maintenance so this was a no-brainer.
Washable, reusable foam air filter system, Twin Air
This was an easy decision. I ride dirt -as much as I can. The places I ride can be very dusty and wet on the same ride and I didn’t feel like paper was right for the job. I wanted a foam system which could maintained and reused.
Skid plate, AXP
Bike manufacturers always go the cheap route on these. It wouldn’t take much to be an improvement over the stock plate. I wanted something beefy that also offered more coverage. My only experience had been with aluminum and they worked well enough but aluminum tends to be buzzy and reverberates engine noise back to the rider. It can also deform after impacts making removal/reassembly for maintenance a pain. AXP drew my attention with their plastic unit. 8mm thick and providing better protection all around, including the shock linkage and rear brake reservoir. It remains to be seen how it holds up over the long run.
Rear rack, Southwest Motech, Alu-Rack with optional soft luggage carrier plate
I always bring a tail pack for preparedness and convenience. Even on short ride, I like to have a basic set of tools. It is nice to have a place to store extra water, snacks, phone, camera and so on. With the Alu-Rack system I have tons of options. My Wolfman peak tail pack fits perfectly on the base plate. The rack mounts on bars which sit in place of the factory grab handles so you don’t lose this grab-point. There is room over the gas cap to add a second pack, strapped to the grab bars. With the addition of the soft luggage carrier plate I will can carry a large rollie bag for longer missions. Until the trails open and all I’m doing is commuting, I have a cheap pelican box bolted to it.
14T Front Sprocket, Supersprox
My dualsport riding leans toward the dirt, say 55/45 dirt/street in miles (probably 70/30 in time, I’m slow offroad). Lower gearing is your friend in tight woods, 2-track ATV trails, mud, rocky hills, soft sand, you name it.
Lowering Link, Kouba
30 inch inseam, 36 inch seat height -you do the math. The specs are similar to my past bikes but they were not as wide. The girth of the 690 made me struggle to reach. Tip-toeing to reach the ground is not a good feeling. I’ve never lowered a bike before so we’ll see how it goes...
Wider, longer ‘rally’ pegs
I have larger aftermarket pegs on all my bikes. My XR4 came to me equipped with IMS aftermarket pegs and my TW’s had to be changed unless your shoe size is 2. The stock 690 pegs seem wide enough at first but once you are off road, the girth of the bike is present again. I simply didn’t feel connected to the bike as well as I’d like. I did my own custom fabricated units here. LED Tail Light bulb
This was something I had in spares so why not? Always better to be seen.
It seems a bit much for a dirt bike, right? USB Power Port, various Ram mounts for GPS, phone, action camera… What can I say? The Wife likes me to stay in touch when I ride alone. Anyway, I like to know where I am and where I’m headed.
Grip Heaters, Symtec Heat Demon
I ride in Maine, enough said. The cold makes it impossible to ride half the year. During the short season, the cold can be uncomfortable during early and late months (especially if you are an early-morning rider like me). If this mod extends my riding time at all, it will be worth more than its weight in gold.
It only took a few miles on my shiny new bike to know I didn’t like the stock mirrors. The OEM mirrors were buzzy and kept loosening up. It is unlikely they would hold up to a regular smacking by tree branches. I went with the double-take adventure mirror. I had them on my other bike so I know what I’m getting.
Aluminum Handguards/Barkbusters, KTM
It was nice of KTM to equip this bike with brush guards. However, I doubt those plastic guards would hold up to any rough treatment or drops. I chose the KTM parts aluminum handguard kit. It was reasonably priced and I knew the fit would be frustration-free.
Seat Concepts seat?
This remains on my winter farkle wish list. My credit card needs to recover a little first. Besides, the unboxing of this will take longer than the installation.