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Just doing some poking around for KTM info on how it is to live with.

Anyhoo after 5000kms on the trusty TW and 1000kms on a $500 fj1100 Im itching for a bike thats quicker then the tw but not a street bike like the fj. Looking at bigger displacement, light weight, FI enduro bikes that I could do maybe one big 2500km trip on in the summer. The KTM 690 seems to be my best bet and its a decently light bike.

Is its just a million times different then the tw? Do you lose that wonderful I can ride anywhere feeling that you get on a tw?

Or any general insights into the 690 would be cool. Ive done a lot of youtoobin' on the ktms and some article reading but would like a tw owners comparison if possible.

Thanks!
 

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Welcome Cipher those KTMs are sweet bikes there just to damn tall for my short legged ass. Can you update your profile so we know where your from.
 

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They are lighter and faster than the competition for a reason. Treat the maintenance regime like a race bike an you will be fine. What I'm saying is; treat one like a TW and you will eventually get stranded in the boonies. Plenty of examples of it on ADV forums if you care to look.
 

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It is like comparing apples with... uh... steak maybe?

Or a nice Piper J3 cub with P51 Mustang?

Similarities between a TW and a KTM... Hmmmm....
They both have two wheels!

From what I read (often) is that if you are enticed to try a KTM, you won't be satisfied until you get one.
Enjoy it for a year or so and then decide if you want to keep it.
Although a few knew after their first ride if it was the bike for them or not.

I would buy one except that I KNOW I would ride it too fast and get myself hurt.
Hospital stays are crazy expensive...
Perhaps you have better self control than I do :eek:
 

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They are lighter and faster than the competition for a reason. Treat the maintenance regime like a race bike an you will be fine. What I'm saying is; treat one like a TW and you will eventually get stranded in the boonies. Plenty of examples of it on ADV forums if you care to look.
^^^this...ktm makes great bikes but they need to be treated right...take a look at the ktm 500exc and husqvarna fe501s (both are pretty much the same)...little less power and a little lighter to toss around...just realize that these bikes are going to be a lot taller and will also cause the center of gravity to be a lot higher so you won't have the low center of gravity which makes the tw so much fun to ride...also take a look around and see if you can find a used wr426 or wr450 that has been registered for the road...better reliability with the 5 valve design of the yamaha engine
 

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A friend bought a new KTM 690 Enduro last year. He loves it, but says it has too much power for dirt. All it does is spin the rear wheel (and that's with good dirt tires on it). The 500EXC is also great (and lighter) but not much better due to all the power. Plus both are $10k+ bikes and have 37" seats so I'll never be able to ride one with my 29" inseam.

Also consider the maintenance on these motors. I dunno about the 690, but the 500 has two oil filters and two screens and needs maintenance every 20-30 hours.

I'll stick with my super-simple 40 hp DR650 and 2000-3000 mile oil changes. :)
 

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^^^i agree...i had a husky sm510r and there is no way i would want all that in the woods...there is always the 350excf/fe350s but personally i would be looking for a wr450 or a wr250 and there is always the drz400 which is on the heavy side
 

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DR650 stock seat is 35", but it can be lowered easily. KTMs cannot. They don't use the same rear linkage that most bikes use (the TW doesn't either btw). The DR also has a factory low option... you change which hole in the bottom of the rear shock you put the bolt through, and in the forks, you either (easy way) slide 'em up up in the triple tree, or (proper way) disassemble them and reverse a spacer in the lower portion of the fork, and you drop the height by 1-1/8". I did that and also added 1" lowering links.

I think to lower a KTM you have to buy custom-length springs and do other fancy stuff to the forks.
 

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Rob, what is the lowest you can lower one with the available hardware?
 

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Available hardware? If you mean just what comes on the bike, then 1-1/8". Like I said, I dropped it another inch with a custom length lowering link... you can probably go another half inch safety, especially if you beef up your rear shock and spring. You could also cut down the seat at least an inch or more. I had a Sargent Low Seat on it briefly and it was a huge improvement, but wasn't nearly as comfy as my Bill Mayer seat, so it got sold and I decided to just live with the taller (stock height) seat.

In fact, the back end of my bike is a bit taller than it used to be because of the new spring and shock. My new Cogent Dynamics shock didn't have the other bolt hole that the stock one did. When I send the shock in next year for a rebuild ($75), I'll see if they can add it. Meanwhile, I'm on my super tippy toes, but that's okay, I've learned to deal with it.

If you're going to Moab, you can see the bike there... odds are it'll get ridden on the easier trails instead of the TW. :)
 

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Thanks Rob. Is your V-Strom as high as the DR? Reason I ask is if the Harley ever sells, I am looking at DL's, DR's or KLR's.
 

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No, the V-Strom isn't as high. It has a 3/4" lowering link on it and a Corbin seat which is 3/4" lower than stock, so it's just about perfect for me. I mean, it's still tall... you won't be flat-footing these bikes without at least a 34" inseam, but it's totally doable.

I should have that bike in Moab too so if you're there, you're welcome to sit on 'em and maybe ride them too. :)
 

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Thanks bro, although I'm still worried if you are going to punch me in the eye for my earlier comments...ha ha :D
 
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Cipher, Drink the orange Kool-Aid, you won't get hooked I promise....just drink a little. Seriously, I have the KTM 450EXC. It is the most fun bike to ride in the over 2 dozen that I have owned, except maybe my CR 125 Elsinore. There is a ton of power but it is very manageable and it is as light as a 250. As far as frequent oil changes, that is only for the RFS (Racing Four Stroke) engines on the EXC's not the 690. The 690 requires oil change every 3000 miles. I am also interested in the 690 but right now between my 1150 GSA, the KTM and the TW I feel like I have all the bases covered. I put plenty of miles on my DR650 but there is no comparing these 2 motorcycles. The KTM can ride in the woods as slow and controllable as my TW but it can also wheelie in the first 3 gears with no effort. Like any other 4 stroke, the power is there if you want it, but unlike 2 strokes it does not have a power band that comes on strong toward the top of the rpm's. It is very linear and predictable and is a very easy bike to ride. There is power to get you out of predicaments and down shifting is purely optional. If you do not like to do frequent oil changes and valve checks, which takes about 45 minutes total, then go with the 690 and not one of the EXC's. I am very glad that I drank the Kool-Aid, that damn bike makes me feel like I'm 13 again every time I ride it.
 

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I have the KTM 450EXC.
Yesterday we planned on this. 450EXC & TW


But ended up riding this for the day. (Notice no 450EXC)!!!


KTM had a little leaky carb issue. (pouring gas out multiple overflow tubes). Son did say the TW felt lighter than his 450EXC, but the TW had other flaws.

On a side note, while at the dealer with son getting carb stuff before trip, I sauntered over to view the KTM DS models and noticed a 350EXC. Does this have the change oil every few minutes racing engine you speak or does it have a engine more like the 690 where you can go a few blocks more before oil change required?

Also at a 500EXC Dual Sport. Nice looking but very tall. I'd say about the only model missing from the Ktm lineup was the 690. No 690 for me to drool over!
 

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I had just the opposite problem, it was the TW with the stuck float. I hate that it stained the engine case. On the KTM that is an easy fix, you don't even need to remove the carb. Just loosen the clamp and turn the carb in the boot, remove the float bowl. As far as oil changes on the 690, 3000 miles is quite a few blocks and consistent with most other manufacturers. On the RFS engine I change it between 500 and 1000.
 

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If I were to contemplate dropping 10 large on a new scoot it would be a KTM 350EXC. However maintenance and reliability concerns have me cautious. Plus I would probably park the TW and never look back and that wouldn't seem right.
 
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