Tuesday, 2 September 2014

KTM 690R Enduro - just a dream at the moment!!

Well this is the bike I'm looking at for my next big adventure...


I'm looking to make it more like the classic Paris Dakar 450 style race bikes, with a higher screen/wind protection & side mounted fuel tanks etc, plus some sort of luggage system...

Dottori setup
There is a very balanced review of this bike at the All Road Enduro blog, one of these has just sold on eBay for £6000, with all the trick bits on it, however to be honest in the UK they are very rare so far. But I reckon that will change as word gets out about these, they are all a pretty good setup for the overland tourer, provided you can afford one...

10/04/2015 Update - More of these are becoming available as time goes by now, with 2009 bikes, 10,000 miles ish fetching £4500, 2011/12 bikes fetching £5500 ish. A lot of them have been used as commuter bikes, with a few of the bikes I've now come across in the TRF, getting used for all things including a Swedish winter road trip!! (I'll see if I can find the photo album at some point).

The biggest downside to this bike seems to be the small alternator, which would definitely require an upgrade to cope with the extra electrics like GPS, heated grips, 12v charger etc, the after market parts are extensive, but expensive, so with buying price new of around £8k, then the extra toys, it won't be a cheap option!!

The Rolling Hobo blog seems to offer some upgrading advice so here is a link: Rollinghobo.com/Adventurising the KTM690. He's obviously spent a few quid on upgrades so be interesting to have a chat & see how they have gone at some point:

Whilst looking for parts for the 690 on the web, I came across this: Enduro Tech EU.
These guys produce a front light setup for the 690 that fits into the existing headlight cover. It retails direct form them at around £350...

Trailtech also produce their enduro one, the X2, which is pretty cool & their website has a fab page showing the differences between different types of lightning which I found pretty useful.


Now for me I don't really like the big rallye style nose cone, I see it's benefits but it is just plain ugly, so I want to retain some of the original bikes character but maybe add either an screen or a small extension to the KTM version. I'm also aware of the power generation issue on this bike, so maybe this is a solution??

Chris Birch does a nice set of films at MAD TV on YouTube about these bikes, with a couple of overland trips he filmed. They set up two 690's & although they had several time scale issues & blew two fuel pumps, they loved the bikes!! Their setup is more along the lines of what I have in mind...

Maybe I could just add all the toys to the DR350??? It would certainly be the cheaper option!!

A late update to the old 690 lighting search came up with this, not sure who makes it as yet, it's from the States & looks a lot like the Lynx setup below. One of the lads from the Northumbria Trail Riders Fellowship has one fitted to his bike, I got the pics whilst we were all out on a ride the other day...




It looks very similar is the Britannia Composites setup, these are a US based company specialising in overlanding kit,  anybody used one?


Britannia Composites Lynx Setup $540.00

Lynx setup from the front.
Powerparts Screen $50 in the US or




Another screen option I've just come across is Perfect Fairings.
These are a company based in Greece and make a range of fibre glass options for many different bikes. The fairings seem to sell from 300€ upto 1200€ with all the shiny bits... they area fibreglass fairing, so maybe both a little heavy and/or fragile if & when you drop the bike on some rocky ground etc...

08/04/2015
Just found an interesting US site that gives quotes on fuel consumption across bike ranges... the 690 Enro R comes out well for miles per gallon, have a look here: http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/ktm/690_enduro_r

11/04/2015 - Just been reading up on comfy saddles for the 690, found this website: Seat Concepts in the US... might get one for the 250 EXCF we have in the stable at the moment to try it out... if it works, sorted for the bigger trip!

Here are a couple of UK ones too; (although not tried or talked to them yet).
Saddle Craft - Tyne & Wear
Custom Seat Works - Bradford - with KTM saddles in their inventory

Power options on the bike: Just found this on a blog about the 690...

The 690 Enduro R has a cable for powering various devices ready and hidden behind the headlight. It us just a matter of unscrewing the two bolts on the sides of the headlight and digging the ends out. The one I used was marked ACC2 which means it's only hot when the key is turned so there is no chance of a GPS to drain the battery if left on unintentionally. (there is also a an always hot ACC1 plug behind there)


Power for GPS etc is behind headlamp, ACC1 is live permanently,
ACC2 when ignition on.
06/08/2015 - Just found the Lyndon Poskitt films where he is travelling the world doing races on a 690, cool films and lots of details about the bike setup with some great imagery of the landscapes... check them out...

28/01/2016 - Another update
I've just found out a load of stuff about the common faults on the 690 from both reading forums and posting on Horizons a bit of a debate.

The common threads are that the rocker arm is a weak point, the main bearing on early bikes was weak, the electrics need the earth's beefing up and the fuel pump dies when there is a high Ethanol value in the fuel put into the tank. There also seems to be a water pump issue, with the seals failing.

There is apparently a German manufacturer making an upgraded rocker arm, so will look this up and post it here if I find it. For the rest its a matter of carrying spares it seems and the tools to change out whatever has gone wrong.

Here is a blog about the reliability and repairs. 690 Reliability

All models Manuals can be found HERE.

Races to Places - These are Lyndon Poskitt films about riding around the world and entering into multi day races whilst en route, they are a good insight into the skills needed but also there is some superb footage of the landscape and the story of Lyndon's travels...



Season 1 -  Set up of the KTM 690 for the trip and the intro stuff

Season 2 -  Mongolia

Season 3 -  Mongolia & Siberia

mmm happy days playing with bikes!!

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