Category Archives: KTM

KTM 690 Accessories

After a couple of hundred miles on the 690, there are a few things that need to be addressed in order to fully enjoy this awesome dual-sport bike.  

First on the list of things to do was to add a RAM mount to the handlebars to hold my phone.  I also went ahead and added battery tender lead that, along with the proper adapter, will allow me to plug in my heated jacket liner or 12V power socket.  

The next area for improvement was to address comfort.  The stock seat is hard and narrow.  I don’t expect the seat on a dual-sport bike to be all day comfortable, but I found that the stock seat is only good for about 20 minutes of street riding so there’s certainly room for improvement.  I decided to order a seat from Seat Concepts hoping that it would be better than the seat that came on the bike.

The 690 doesn’t come with any kind of windscreen which results in quite a lot of wind pressure on my torso at highway speeds.  To address this, I ordered the KTM Powerparts windscreen.  The KTM screen is short but I’m hoping it deflects enough air to ease the constant wind blast when riding on the street.

For storage, I ordered a Wolfman Enduro tank bag.  The tank bag along with the Wolfman Wolf tail bag should be enough daily use and short day trips.  I like to carry a few necessary items such as a small toolkit, a clear windscreen, a sweatshirt, some electronic gadgets and related cords as well as a bottle of water.  These two bags should give me enough storage without taking up too much space or adding too much weight.  

I’ll post the results of these upgrades once everything arrives and gets installed.  

KTM 690 Enduro R

20160415_123642In mid-April, I went down to my local KTM dealer and picked up a 2016 KTM 690 Enduro R to satisfy my dirt riding desires.  While the 1190 is good on dirt roads, I want to to able to get off the beaten path and 500lbs is a little too heavy for more difficult trails.  The 690 is quite good at the rougher, more challenging trails that go through the woods.

At just over 300 lbs with knobbies and long travel suspension, the 690 seems to be quite 20160415_123549good when the trail turns into a collection of ruts and rocks.  As a beginner to dirt riding, I took the 690 places that were way above my skill level and the bike seemed to just plow through no matter how tough things got.

On my first day out in the woods, I only tipped it over once while trying to go through a 6″ deep mud pit.  On uphill and downhill trails with loose dirt and gravel as well as some big rocks thrown in just for fun the bike was surprisingly stable.  I was amazed that I didn’t fall more often.

The seat height is challenging and I can only touch the ground with my toes but I haven’t found it to be much of a problem.  Because the bike is relatively light, even when it tips over to the side a bit it’s easy enough to hold it up and keep it from falling over.

On the street, the knobby tires take some getting used to as they squirm around a bit when cornering.  Power is quite good and vibrations are tolerable for shorter rides.  Wind protection is non-existent which limits how fast you can comfortably ride on the highway.  The narrow dirt-oriented seat is certainly not intended for all-day comfort becoming uncomfortable within 30 minutes.

As the summer progresses, I expect that the 690 will be capable of taking me wherever I want to go.  It could use a small windscreen and a better seat for longer rides but it sure looks like this is going to be a great bike for exploring remote areas.


A Week with the KTM

We’ve had some rather mild weather for early March here in Upstate NY so I was able to ride the KTM to work a few times during the week and also spent a few hours just riding around.

I added a Wolfman “Wolf” tail bag this week so that I can carry some basic stuff such as tools and my clear faceshield.  If I find that I need more room to carry stuff, I think I’ll just use the Nelson Rigg soft panniers that I already have.  I’m not sure if I really want hard luggage on this bike.  I also ordered crash bars and a skid plate from KTM yesterday and hope to be able to install them next weekend.

I now have 500 miles on the bike and did the first oil change this morning.  Changing the oil on the KTM is relatively  simple – remove two drain plugs on the side of the engine case and remove the oil filter.  Refilling the oil is a two step process where you put about 3 liters in, start it up and then add another half a liter to get it up to the full mark.

For the most part, I’ve limited my riding to the street.   Once I get some crash protection installed, I’ll start looking for some less-than-perfect dirt roads and easy trails to start gaining some experience off-road.


KTM 1190 Adventure

Since crashing my BMW K1600 last summer, I’ve been looking for a suitable replacement bike.  I think I’m done with big, heavy bikes for now and have been looking at mid-sized bikes that would be comfortable on day-long rides while still being agile and fun to ride.

I’ve also become a fan of off-road riding thanks to the Kawasaki Versys.  While the Versys isn’t really an off-road bike, I have taken it on some dirt roads and easy trails. It’s been a great change from street riding opening up a whole new world of riding opportunities.  

So, during my last trip to California I visited a huge motorcycle dealership called Bert’s Mega Mall.  I was able to look at offerings from virtually every manufacturer all under a single roof making comparison shopping very convenient.  After spending about an hour looking around, I had narrowed it down to just a couple of bikes.

After returning home to NY and visiting a couple of local dealers to get some price quotes, I decided to go ahead and buy a KTM 1190 Adventure.  So, on a cold Saturday morning I picked up my new bike and rode it home.  

I’ve only put a couple of hundred miles on it so far, and it’s still a new toy, so it’s hard to give a full and un-biased review at this time.  However, I will say that it seems to be just the kind of bike I was looking for.  The size of the bike fits me well, it has good power, good suspension, good brakes, and is a real pleasure to ride on the less-than-perfect back roads we have around here.

1190 AdventureI’ve taken it on some un-maintained dirt roads in a local state park and there’s no doubt that the KTM is better on dirt roads than the Versys.  I’m not an experienced off-road rider so I really can’t pinpoint what makes it better.  I suspect that the combination of better suspension, traction control, and wheel sizes just add up to a better off road experience.  I guess that’s to be expected, after all, the KTM cost more than twice as much as the Versys. 

I’m really looking forward to getting some seat time on this bike. I think I’m going to like it a lot.