Wednesday, October 21, 2015

KTM 690 Enduro R 10000 km review



Two summers and 10000 kms ( or 9930 kms to be exact) later it's time to do a small review update. I have ridden the bike enough now to form a proper opinion. Me and the 690 are no longer newly weds and the rose tinted glasses have been off for a while.

Two years later the 690 E is still occupying a space in the motorcycle market that no one else has taken a proper stab at. The Husky will most likely make an attempt, but so far the Huskys competing models appear to be rebadged 690s.


Likes

I still like the things that originally made me buy the bike. It's light, made out of quality components and as I said offers a combination of qualities no other dual sport does. With some tinkerking this bike can be turned into Rally bike, extreme adventure bike or a supermoto AND it's pretty darn capable and versatile bone stock too.


Niggles

The gas cap location is not ideal but other than that there is not much to complain about. I personally still don't like the agricultural noisy engine, but thats my personal problem. As a functional machine the engine works very well. I really can't complain about touring comfort or tall seat height etc. as they arent things that would not be blatantly obvius before ever doing a single mile on the bike.

The head shake is that often gets mentioned when one reads about the 690 E was absent until late summer of this year. A simple adjustment of tire pressure fixed it, but I suspect that the TKC 80s also played a part as the issue never came up with the OEM tires.

Reliability


The bike has done "only" 10000 kms so maybe there are some major mechanical issues that appear later on, but quite frankly the bike has been very reliable and relative trouble free. The fuel breather hose issue is the only thing that has caused any grief and all things considered that's a rather minor issue. People riding the bike harder and/or in harsher conditions can of course encounter issues that candy **sses like me will never see.


Comfort

Other than the narrow hardish seat comfort can't really be criticized too much. It's about as comfy as a 150kg dual sport can be. Vibrations never were nor have they become an issue for me.

Caveats

The 690 E is a bike that shines when you have to ride the more challenging places. In other words if your adventures limits to pot holed gravel roads you MAY be better of getting something a bit more touring/asphalt oriented. The light weight and nimble character does not work in your favor on those long asphalt stretches. While the middle weight "adventure class" is somewhat crowded and varied,people with somewhat limited access to good adventure territory will likely get more bang for buck with a less hardcore bike.



For more in depth opinions, read my one year review.

3 comments:

  1. I have to say I love my 2014 690. I have "fixed" the seat and added a britannia composites fairing. With 7500 kms on the clock it has been faultless. A word of warning though, don't mount your nexus 5 to the fairing and go bush. The vibrations kill the camera.
    Great blog, always enjoy reading your updates.
    Cheers.

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  2. 6 months with mine, and I am loving every minute of it. The mirrors are crap, the bike vibrates a little more than it should, but the power-to-weight ratio means that I have a permanent smile on my face, especially on the trails with ruts and rocks. This bike is the Swiss Army knife of dual sporting and adventure riding. Buy Sweet Cheeks for the seat + an AirHawk seat pad, and your ass can handle six hours on the stock seat.
    Thanks for the great blog; I've learned a lot from it.

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