Once I started riding dirt roads, fire roads and easy trails I found that I enjoyed getting off the beaten path. While the Kawasaki Versys and KTM 1190 Adventure are good for anything resembling a road they’re really street bikes and too heavy for real off-road adventures that take you deep into the woods.
For true dual-sport adventures, a smaller and lighter bike is was my next focus. Initially I was leaning towards a small 250-400 cc dual-sport bike as I wanted something small and lightweight. When I saw the KTM 690 Enduro R at the KTM dealer I started comparing it to the various Japanese dual-sport bikes and found that the 690 was about the same weight and had 2-3 times the horsepower as the bikes with smaller motors. I was sold.
A true dirt bike was never really a consideration for me as I don’t want to have to load a bike onto a trailer in order to go for a ride. I’d rather have dual-sport bike that I can ride around the countryside, find a trail, and then go exploring.
In mid-April 2016 I took delivery of a nice new 2016 KTM 690 Enduro R and before the end of the day, I had ridden some rather rough single track trails amazed at how well it handled loose dirt, hills, big rocks, and even a little bit of mud. By the time I arrived home that afternoon, I was exhausted and little sore but happy with my new toy nonetheless.
Since I’ve never really ridden dirt bikes, I have a lot to learn about off-road riding but I’m confident that the 690 will be a great bike that will allow me to rid 50 miles to a trail and then spend the day riding in the woods before turning around and going home. This bike should open a whole new world of riding adventures for me to enjoy.