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Old 06-11-2012, 07:08 AM   #1
Thanas OP
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BMW G 650 X Challenge vs KTM 690 ENduro (R) , facts & figures

Hi all,

I currently have a Suzuki DR 650 and really like it, but I was already looking for something more better. I started of with a long list of thumpers i was considering.

BMW G 650 X Challenge
BMW G 650 X Moto
Husqvarna TE 630
Husqvarna SM 630
KTM 690 SMC
KTM 690 Enduro (R)
Suzuki DR-Z 400 SM

I try to ride as much off-road as possible, but at most that will be 50% on-road / 50% off-road. I also use the bike to commute and for weekend trips, vacations etc. Therefore I need a good all-rounder. Hence the choice for the Suzuki DR 650 SE with the 19/17 wheels with TKC80.

A week ago i went for a ride with two locals I met through the internet. They were on some serious machinery, Husaberg FE 450 and KTM 520 EXC. And i showed up with my Suzuki DR 650 SE with 19/17 rims with TKC80's. I was ably to follow them anywhere, but that was the sign i really shouldn't go for a Supermoto, It would have been impossible to follow them with the same speed on the off-road sections. Deep sand, mud etc.

So that narrowed it down to:
BMW G 650 X Challenge
Husqvarna TE 630
KTM 690 Enduro (R)

After some research, it was soon clear the Husqvarna is an awesome machine, but almost unavailable in the Netherlands. And a 4000 km (2500 mile) service interval is NOT cool. I ride a lot and that could mean a service every 3 months, sometimes even earlier.

So it got narrowed down to 2 bikes:
BMW G 650 X Challenge
KTM 690 Enduro (R)
Well actually 3, because there is a bit of difference between the 690 Enduro and the Enduro R.

Being an automotive engineer, i like technical specs. Therefore i did some further research on the bikes.
The decisive criteria for me are:
Front suspension travel (more = better)
BMW: 270 mm (10.6)
KTM R: 275 mm (10.8)
KTM: 250 mm (9.8)
Rear suspension travel (more = better)
BMW: 270 mm (10.6)
KTM R: 275 mm (10.8)
KTM: 250 mm (9.8)
Maximum torque (more = better, Id rather have high torque than high hp)
BMW: 60 Nm (44.3 lbs/ft)
KTM: 65 Nm (47.9 lbs/ft)
Revs at maximum torque (lower = better, no use in having high torque at high revs)
BMW: 5250 rpm
KTM: 6550 rpm
Wet weight (less = better, fully fueled and ready to rock)
BMW: 157 kg (346 lbs)
KTM: 148 kg (326 lbs)
Fuel consumption
BMW: approx. 25 km/L (59 mpg)
KTM: approx. 20 km/L (47 mpg)
Fuel range
BMW: approx. 238 km (148 miles)
KTM: approx 240 km (149 miles)
Service interval
BMW: 10.000 km (6214 miles)
KTM 7.500 km (4660 miles)

Based on these, there is a slight advantage for the BMW X Challenge for me. Despite the fact the KTM would be expected to win. It has 10 extra hp, and weighs some 8.8 kg (19.4 lbs) less. And its orange!

One thing that I keep seeing when I search for threads comparing the two is, the KTM has a 6 speed transmission. So I looked at the specs and what I found is there is no real advantage for the 6 speed. Important for off-road is a short 1st gear for tight trails, and a long top gear for improved riding at highway speeds with lower rpms.

With stock gearing and tires, maximum speed in first gear.
BMW 7500 rpm - 57 km/h (36 mph)
Vs
KTM 7750 rpm - 60 km/h (38 mph)

120 km/h (75 mph) in top gear
BMW @ 4986 rpm (fifth)
KTM @ 5350 rpm (sixth)

And all other gears are pretty comparable, the BMWs gear are all slightly taller than the KTMs gears. Second is almost the same, third is between third and fourth of the KTM, same with fourth gear and as you can see, fifth of the BMW is taller than sixth of the KTM. At race pace on the track, the 6 speed of the KTM would win, but in the real world, with a slower rider (ME), the BMWs gearing is better.

As far as availability goes, the KTM and BMW are both very rare in the Netherlands, but my neighbor, Germany, as plenty to offer. Prices for the BMW better than the KTM, so some more points to the BMW.

I think they both look great and they both appeal to me emotionally, but Im a rational guy and like specifications. At this point the BMW has the edge for me, but who knows..

Greeting,
Thanas
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:30 AM   #2
redbastard
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Tough choises

Both these bikes have strengths and weeknesses and I'd take either one of them. Keep in mind niether bike is that much lighter than a DR650 and although both are more powerfull I'm not sure either of them out of the box is going to be a huge advantage off road over a DR650. If you want to keep up to a 270lbs 450 dual sport you'll need a 450 dual sport. WP suspension is so nice, I'd go for the KTM 690.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:27 AM   #3
Thanas OP
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With the DR 650 i did not have that much chance to keep up with the Husaberg FE 450 and KTM 520 EXC. They were on proper 21/18 knobbie tires and my DR 650 has 2.50 x 19 and 4,25 x 17 wheels with 110/80-19 and 150/70-17 Conti TKC80's. Ad to that the 43 hp, at least 80 punds more than the Husaberg and KTM, and stock suspension. No way. Unless i had some more "cojones" perhaps.

Anyway, keeping up with those (type) of bikes is not that important to me. I just want a bike i can take off-road like the DR, but with a bit more performance. I think both the BMW and KTM should be an improvement in all departments over de DR. And i really like and appreciate the DR, so expect a lot from these bikes.

I do know that next time i will go for 2 sets of wheels, instead of converting my standard hubs to new rims. One set would be the standard 21/18 wheels, with the most knobbie tire i can get, probably Enduro F.I.M. approved so they are still legal on the road. And a second set would probably be the 2.50 x 19 and 4,25 x 17 wheels with the 110/80-19 and 150/70-17 Conti TKC80's. These to me are really perfect for adventure riding. Go for a ride, and go whatever way you want to go, on-road or off-road, all's possible.

Despite all the specs, a test ride will be made on both the KTM and BMW, and perhaps that will make the decision easy.

A friend has a KTM 690 SM and compared to the DR 650, it flies!

Greeting,
Thanas
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:35 AM   #4
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I considered the BMW a couple years ago, but they don't sell them in the US anymore. I assumed they discontinued it.

I have a 2012 KTM 690R that I took delivery of last month. The newest version went back to the 9.8 inch travel suspension and the motor is uprated. Basically, it is the full 690cc motor taken from the 2011 Duke street bike.

I find the first 5 gears are pretty short and closely spaced for the street. I find myself in 6th gear above 48mph. It really revs high, though. She'll get to 100mph in a flash! No doubt the most powerful production thumper on the planet.

I am still breaking mine in with only 1200 miles so far. She was very vibey at first. Now she vibes some between 65-71mph. Remarkably smooth at 80mph. I can now see traffic in my mirrors. Not so just 2 weeks ago.

I've been on two trail rides for big bikes with the 690. Maybe 300 miles total. The rest has been street riding. I'd say it's more trail friendly than most dual sport bikes, and certainly better for that than my old KTM 950A. The best part is I can pick it up by myself after a flop in the mud. The bike and MT21 tires sure likes the mud. Just idles through the slop with nary a clutch.

I have a Yam WR250R dual sport bike too. They are both similar, with the KTM obviously having twice the power. That makes it more fun just about everywhere.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:39 PM   #5
Thanas OP
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One thing i am slightly concerned about with the KTM is the low rpm torque. Because the max torque is at 6550 rpm and max power at 7500, so that seems a bit peaky. I like to have good throttle respons from low rpm without lugging. Did i mention before i'm kind off slow off-road?

And lot's of people call the KTM and BMW heavy. Which to me sounds like none-sense. I find the DR 650 very light, but then again, i myself weigh 97 kg (213 lbs) and i started off-roading with a Suzuki Bandit 600, weighing 220 kg (484 lbs). I know a Bandit is not really an off-road machine, but it was what i had at the time. Therefore, 148 kg (326 lbs) for the KTM and 157 (346 lbs) to me sounds very light for a dual-purpose. They are not competition enduro's. And the BMW should have a very nice centred weight distribution with the position of the fuel tank.

Other thing is i have read a few problems with the KTM, not that the BMW is flawless, or any bike for that matter.

KTM:
Speedo
coolant leaking/ overheating
Not properly mapped from new (emissions = lean running)

BMW:
Air shock should be replaced for a normal shock (?)
Shiftlever is too strong, and snaps the shift axle in a spill
Stock mapping? (again, emissions)

Congrats on the KTM 690 Enduro R, the 2012 should be even better. And 690cc thumper is the beez...

Regards,
Thanas
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:39 PM   #6
Pantah
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Torque - I had a MZ 660 Baghira once for comparison. It had the Yamaha 660 motor. That motor made lots of torque right from the very bottom, but ran out of breath pretty quick too. I'd say the new KTM 690 is stronger everywhere in the rev range. I short shift mine and it doesn't seem to lug. The motor pulls very hard all the way through, but I agree the thing revs way up there. Sort of amazing that way. My 950 twin had no torque down low. In fact you had to keep it above 4k rpm to make any power. The 690 seems to pull from the mid 2's. I rode a nasty mud trail on Saturday with it. It plugged along in the mud at an idle.

I think they fixed the speedo issues. Mine fuels well but I am keeping the exhaust system stock for that reason. I turned my map to the lowest power delivery above the bad fuel map. That helped a great deal to take the throttle snatch out of it. Once it's broken in well, I'll probably go to map #3.

Regarding operating temps, mine gets the fan running most of the time on slow trails. In the highways the temp guage runs with about 4 bars left. Trail riding leaves only 2 bars.

One other thing. The KTM has great brakes. Powerful but progressive. The biggest annoyance is the bar vibe in the high 60's. I sure hope that goes away. I'll probably learn how to set the valves myself after the warranty is done. Seems like it shouldn't be a big job if I have the right tools.

I wonder why BMW went back to the old school 650? That bike doesn't seem very capable to me compared to the X Challenge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thanas View Post
One thing i am slightly concerned about with the KTM is the low rpm torque. Because the max torque is at 6550 rpm and max power at 7500, so that seems a bit peaky. KTM:
Speedo
coolant leaking/ overheating
Not properly mapped from new (emissions = lean running)

BMW:
Air shock should be replaced for a normal shock (?)
Shiftlever is too strong, and snaps the shift axle in a spill
Stock mapping? (again, emissions)

Congrats on the KTM 690 Enduro R, the 2012 should be even better. And 690cc thumper is the beez...

Regards,
Thanas
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:12 PM   #7
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Well Thanas, you are very lucky to live in Holland

You have 2 guys that can make the XChallenge into perfection........Erik @ Hotrod Welding and a chap at Hyperpro, should you need them

I have had a XChallenge for the last 5 years and 7000 miles (10000 km's) and I really like it

It is just as you describe, in the technical specs and is really strong on the road, whizzs up to 100mph and will return 70mpg

Really good offroad, handles well with stock suspension and on MT21's - I have managed 80mph on gravel fireroads

There are plenty of luggage & screen options, it is necessary to make the seat more comfortable

Although it was only made for 1 year, there is plenty of resources around and BMW will make spares for 20 years

I have ridden the 690E, much modded and found it peaky and no faster than my XChallenge

Don't be frightened to go for the XChallenge - it will reward you
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:30 PM   #8
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I'll just second what JonnyBoxer said ... being in Holland would be perfect if you wanted to modify a XChallenge ... it's like a minor industry there!

Have a glance though this thread to see what I mean ... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=524638
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:48 AM   #9
Jeffthedccguy
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I have an '06 X, and a buddy who rides with me has a 2012 690 Enduro R (pic below). I've ridden both on and off the road extensively, and while on paper they may look similar, in real life they are really quite different.

Summed up the X is a softer, easier to ride machine with tons of old school thumper torque. Think Honda XR650R torque, but with a better top end. The suspension works facntastic for trail riding and single track, while being plush enough long distance street use. The R on the other hand is serious 300 pound dirt bike, and it makes no claims otherwise. It's twitchy on the street without a steering damper and it feels under geared at highway speeds. The motor feels like it has no flywheel and spins up quickly making traction in loose dirt harder to find. The suspension is top notch albiet a tad harsh for my tastes, and the ergonomics are big dirt bike all the way.

I really like both bikes a lot, but of course I own an X so I'm biased. If you have any specific questions let me know and I'll see if I can answer them.

Code:

IMG_0644 by Jeffthedccguy, on Flickr

Jeffthedccguy screwed with this post 06-19-2012 at 01:55 AM
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:43 AM   #10
tattewell
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If you find yourself down near Sittard/Maastricht, drop me a PM, I'll let you try my 690 out.

Jeffthedcguy nailed it on the head, though having recently done exhaust and reprogram on the FI, it livens the bottom end up quite a bit.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:45 PM   #11
Thanas OP
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Dudes,

Last posts are really helpful and confirm my suspicions. I like my DR 650 and it sounds the BMW is more or less the same thing, only better in every way. So far i'm definately planning on taking a testride on all the bikes. Wonder howmuch of a difference you would feel between the Enduro and the Enduro R. Coming from the DR 650, the normal Enduro would probably aleady be plenty enough.

I might just have to take you up on that offer tattewel. On motor-forum.nl, in the off-road section, there are a couple of guys that ride in the area of Venlo, http://www.motor-forum.nl/forum/list...iningen-1.html perhaps someday we could go with them for an off-road ride and i might try your bike,

Thanks guys.
Thanas
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:35 AM   #12
Thanas OP
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One thing I find strange regarding the X Challenge and the Enduro, Rear tire sizes do not correspond with the rim width.

For instance, the BMW has a 2,50 x 18 rear rim, but a 140/80-18 tire is moutned. If i check out the specs on the TKC80, it is meant to be mounted on a 2.75"-3.00"-3.50"-3.75" rim. But the 140 is approved on the BMW. I remember from my DR650 with a 2.50 x 17 rim, mounting the 130/80-17 Heidenau K60 was quite difficult, because that tire also is a bit wide for the rim, combined with stiff sidewalls. I can imagine mounting a 140 on the 2,50" rim would be even harder.

A 120/90-18 TKC80 is ok for a 2.50-2.75-3.00 rim.

Same type of thing with the KTM Enduro.

So in other words.

Has anybody mounted a 120 rear tire on the BMW?

Greets,
Thanas
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:00 AM   #13
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The most important thing is that the bike suites you. KTM is very aggressive ready to race. BMW is an everybody's friend. Try them out. Maintenance on the KTM is very simple, I can check the valves in 20min. Oil change takes maybe 15 min, so shorter interval is not so important. Replacement parts of KTM are less expensive then BMW's. BMW's dealers are road oriented (except BDM/Simako). KTM easy to remap (tuneecu) do not know about BMW.

Tire size depends strongly on brand and on/off road. I can fit 110-140 rear without problem.
More info on allroadmaniacs.nl

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thanas View Post
...

One thing that I keep seeing when I search for threads comparing the two is, the KTM has a 6 speed transmission. So I looked at the specs and what I found is there is no real advantage for the 6 speed. Important for off-road is a short 1st gear for tight trails, and a long top gear for improved riding at highway speeds with lower rpms.
...
And all other gears are pretty comparable, the BMW’s gear are all slightly taller than the KTM’s gears. Second is almost the same, third is between third and fourth of the KTM, same with fourth gear and as you can see, fifth of the BMW is taller than sixth of the KTM. At race pace on the track, the 6 speed of the KTM would win, but in the real world, with a slower rider (ME), the BMW’s gearing is better.
Hi there Thanas, would you be so kind and post the gear ratios with 1ry/2ry reduction ratios for both engines?
I'm currently thinking along similar lines after my recent Africa Twin would have to, sadly, go...
Couldn't find the data myself in any website!

And how's progress on your decision?

__________

Some numbers for Husaberg 570, bike of similar class:

http://husaberg.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12113
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:07 PM   #15
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If you hit the dirt and like to go like a bat out of hell then the 690 is the bike for you! Otherwise the Xchallenge would be as good or better as an all arounder.
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