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Old 11-12-2014, 06:44 PM   #1
Expat42451 OP
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Used KTM 640 good consideration for Patagonia trip?

KTM 640 used- good or bad idea for trip to Patagonia
I am in Trujillo Peru. Considering buying a bike to go farther South to Patagonia. I have been offered a used 2003 KTM 640 with around 45,000 KM on it for $5000 US.

I also have read various stories here about possible problems with various things the bike can experience- valves, water pumps, and I think I read that one year had a problem with main bearings. I also think I read something about spoke problems somewhere in the history of this model as well.

Question is - given the year and mileage does this one bear consideration- and what might be a reasonable price for said model. Bike has the boxes with it although I possibly would take those off and use bags instead.

Any suggestions or comments much appreciated.

Regards from Trujillo

Expat
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:27 PM   #2
bmwktmbill
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For us to help, you need to know the service history and please tell us about the condition of the tires, chain, oil leaks, etc.

the machine is a good choice for Bolivia because it has a CV style carb and will run at 16-17K feet on mid grade gas.
You want a machine that can cross the Andes w/o carb mods. The 640 will do that, the '03 and on has a separate ignition curve for low octane gas.

The suspension is reliable and stellar, you will need it on sections of Ruta 40 and in Tierra del fuego.

Keep the metal panniers IMHO for security..

Come back with more info, the price seems fair to me, Chile has some good KTM shops.

You need to know the condition of the inlet cam follower and make sure the machine runs cool per the temp guage...no more than 3-4 bars and that the fan is working.

Make sure you get the tools and the books, parts manuals, owners manual etc.

the handling of the machine will save your ass if you can keep it running.

Are you a mechanic?

bill
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:35 PM   #3
Expat42451 OP
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bmwktmbill

Thanks very much for the route info. Will look at the bike on Friday. Met the owner today and he was shifty when asked about service history and thats putting it kindly. After a brief conversation with him felt like I wanted to thrash him in the face, that kind of attitude however we will see how loudly cash might speak. If there is no service history then I probably am going to walk away from this one. Current owner is second owner says he has put 10K km on the bike since he bought it.

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Old 11-13-2014, 08:14 AM   #4
izom
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Wink

..a 640 adventure (!) would give you about 500kms of ridin with the stand. 25l tank - nice-
BUT as some said the lc4s are very sensitive to bad (or no) service - means if you DONT know the service history i would recom. an oilchange , valve clearence check etc. at least-

maybe the xrls, klrs and drs are not as light and strong but handle abuse better....!

take care !

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Old 11-13-2014, 11:00 AM   #5
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Understand a bit more about the LC4 since I have done more research here and elsewhere since my first post. I ve never wrenched on one of those (have on my other bikes and cars as well) but see from what I have read since my first post here- that an older one might be a challenge....and something that might get expensive (way more than the initial cost) in a hurry particularly here in Peru.

Given the owners' BS attitude about wanting to discuss the service history- I don't have much hope of this one being the one. Am going to go look at it tomorrow but - doesn't look very promising. I can see where a KLR or something similar might suffer through a period of benevolent neglect where the LC4 would not.

Given the KTM shops in Chile and what I perceive as a different attitude there vs here or Ecuador- I may say to hell with it and go on to Chile, buy a bike there and ride from there as well. As an aside to all of this I was talking with an expat here the other day, he is from the US and married to a Peruvian woman- he made an interesting comment, words to the effect that the Peruvians really don't want outsiders here and at least here- in Trujillo- they are interested in Soles changing from your hands to theirs and nothing else. . I see that with more people here than I don't see it. Interesting. I ve never been to Chile but the responses via e mail I have received from Chileans are more prompt, more open and they at least sound like they welcome outsiders. Another example- there is the only Enfield dealership in Peru here in Trujillo, found them through a search of "motorcycle dealers by city in Peru". Never have seen an Enfield. Called them twice, e mailed them once and have not heard anything in a week. I post this rambling drivel only as info for others maybe contemplating a trip down here to be aware of as a possibility.

Regards and thanks for the comments. Will post the results of the visit tomorrow.

Expat
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:59 PM   #6
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At 45k with no service history I'd definitely do the cam follower rollers & a water pump rebuild. Starter sprag clutches often need replacing around then too. They're a fairly easy bike to work on & there's lots of info on here to help with those jobs.

Then of course there's all the other stuff you'd worry about on any similar bike: suspension servicing? chassis bearings? subframe integrity? carb condition?

Without knowing anything about bike prices in Peru it sounds kinda pricey.

Cheers
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:19 PM   #7
bmwktmbill
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Expat,
This is a good shop , or was in the Milflores district in Lima.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deser...78970635448210

They could help you and do the work Clint suggests, not sure about suspension, that's a crapshoot outside the 1st world. for sure the WP will outlast any of the Asian stuff.

Have you looked at the Chinese cop bikes, whatever they are on would be a good bet, new and less expensive.

All this said I'd buy the KTM, work it up and enjoy it.

No way I could ride a KLR.

b
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"On the road there are no special cases."
Cormack McCarthy-The Crossing

The faster it goes the faster it breaks.
And high performance=high maintenance.
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:45 PM   #8
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KLRs have been making that trip, and any, and all other trips all around the world for 30 years. there is a reason. just sayin'

lots of parts, lots of help, and a few mods make a big difference
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
KLRs have been making that trip, and any, and all other trips all around the world for 30 years. there is a reason. just sayin'

lots of parts, lots of help, and a few mods make a big difference
Yep,chances are you can find parts quite easily for them along the way from the ones that were blown up and abandoned..
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:03 AM   #10
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Well, I for one, having owned a KTM640E, KLR, XRL, and DR650SE would not choose the KTM for that kind of distance.

The KTM is a brilliant dirt bike, but it's not comfortable enough (For ME) for that kind of distance. I found the KLR to be the most comfortable. That whole paint shaker affect would kill me for more than just a day ride. I'm not overly sensitive to vibration, but the KTM is beyond obnoxious. Very fatiguing.

I also found the motor and electrical systems to be grossly under engineered. But, I guess in defense of KTM, when the LC4 came out KTM was a small company operating on a relatively shoe string budget.

Of those bikes, for long distances, I would choose the KLR first, the DR second, the XRL third, and the KTM last.

None of those bikes are flawless by any means, you just have to choose which flaw or flaws are ones you are comfortable dealing with and which ones you are not.
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kawidad View Post
Well, I for one, having owned a KTM640E, KLR, XRL, and DR650SE would not choose the KTM for that kind of distance.

The KTM is a brilliant dirt bike, but it's not comfortable enough (For ME) for that kind of distance. I found the KLR to be the most comfortable. That whole paint shaker affect would kill me for more than just a day ride. I'm not overly sensitive to vibration, but the KTM is beyond obnoxious. Very fatiguing.

I also found the motor and electrical systems to be grossly under engineered. But, I guess in defense of KTM, when the LC4 came out KTM was a small company operating on a relatively shoe string budget.

Of those bikes, for long distances, I would choose the KLR first, the DR second, the XRL third, and the KTM last.

None of those bikes are flawless by any means, you just have to choose which flaw or flaws are ones you are comfortable dealing with and which ones you are not.

The KLR is not immune to wiring issues as it is quite common for gremlins to creep up on them over the coarse of a long trip, some of them have actually burned up do to an electrical fire caused by a short... But really any bike used can be prone, especially if ridden on a lot of rough tracks and inspecting the wiring should be part of the routine maintenance ... The KLR is a great choice for a travel bike and probably the best bang for the buck ... In the event there is a serious failure travelers have just walked away and bought another ride which is harder to do on something you spent a whack of money on.. The DR is also a bike with a decent track record but the XRL would be one I would stay away from due to the valve /rocker design which tend to show wear at much lower milage intervals..
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:48 AM   #12
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Brief note here- Headed out in a few minutes to look at the KTM. Comments here are very appreciated because 1) my knowledge of bikes is at least 20 years old- my last bike was a Virago I sold in 1994. and 2) although I traveled in the US on my bikes when I was younger, this is the first time to attempt this type of trip.......

I am going to get there "early" and hopefully be able to start it cold and listen to wheat the sounds are. Also going to press for maintenance history and if its not forthcoming I probably walk away. I don't mind wrenching on something at all but the idea of buying something that hasn't been cared for for this type of trip isn't appealing.

Thanks to all. I will have a report later today on what I find.

I do have what may be a somewhat stupid question and this from browsing ads and so forth- and the nature of it may display the depth of my ignorance but- why would say for example, a Ducati Multistrada 640 not be a bad bike for this trip? Looks to have reasonable ground clearance. Understand about the more complicated valving but from what I read they seem dependable. Given its not an off road bike but realistically with my limitations due to rider ability on dirt- and my age (63) I am going to be pretty conservative. Just a thought-

Aside from all of this I think what I am looking for is finding a bike that I have some "chemistry" with if you know what I mean. Its a lot better relationship if you love what you ride. Romantic? yep probably but the idea of this type of trip is adventure and that include some romance.

More in a bit and again many thanks to all here for the kind comments and observations based on experience, something I am short on lately...

Expat
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expat42451 View Post
Brief note here- Headed out in a few minutes to look at the KTM. Comments here are very appreciated because 1) my knowledge of bikes is at least 20 years old- my last bike was a Virago I sold in 1994. and 2) although I traveled in the US on my bikes when I was younger, this is the first time to attempt this type of trip.......

I am going to get there "early" and hopefully be able to start it cold and listen to wheat the sounds are. Also going to press for maintenance history and if its not forthcoming I probably walk away. I don't mind wrenching on something at all but the idea of buying something that hasn't been cared for for this type of trip isn't appealing.

Thanks to all. I will have a report later today on what I find.

I do have what may be a somewhat stupid question and this from browsing ads and so forth- and the nature of it may display the depth of my ignorance but- why would say for example, a Ducati Multistrada 640 not be a bad bike for this trip? Looks to have reasonable ground clearance. Understand about the more complicated valving but from what I read they seem dependable. Given its not an off road bike but realistically with my limitations due to rider ability on dirt- and my age (63) I am going to be pretty conservative. Just a thought-

Aside from all of this I think what I am looking for is finding a bike that I have some "chemistry" with if you know what I mean. Its a lot better relationship if you love what you ride. Romantic? yep probably but the idea of this type of trip is adventure and that include some romance.

More in a bit and again many thanks to all here for the kind comments and observations based on experience, something I am short on lately...

Expat
In 03 KTM did the biggest revamp to these bikes so model yrs 03-07 there is very little difference other than color and a 2 disk front end... This ride report is a good one on the trials and tribulations of a 640 over a long journey:http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=896878
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:54 AM   #14
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I had an '02 640Adv and an '02 640E. Loved them both. The Adv. was built for trips like yours. Vibes can be an issue, some of them shake worse than others. You have to ride it to see. As soon as the pavement stops, so does any concern w/ the vibes. Choice of tires count - real knobbies vibrate, make a racket and wear quickly. I had the seat of the Adv redone w/ a new custom cover, some more foam and a reshaped/wider sitting area - it was much better after that. 640 KTM's like to be ridden standing which helps get some relief from the seat, but requires strong legs.

I also now own a Ducati 620 Multistrada. While it is OK to take down a mild gravel road, it's not really fun to do so. The M/S tolerates gravel, the KTM is totally in it's element, begging you to go faster. I do not recommend the Ducati for a trip like yours at all. Bad idea. Find a good 640Adv if you can.
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:54 PM   #15
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Back to square one

Owner called around 2:45 PM said if I wasn't willing to pay $5000 not to bother to come over. Fine. So beginning again from scratch. Did not go look partly because of his tone of voice and attitude.

Thanks very much for the Multistrada information. I love the look of that bike- of course not having ridden Ducati its impossible to know.

I have actually looked at one Chinese bike- although I have not seen it in person- the Zongshen RX3- To my eye its not very pleasing but is a 250 cc fuel injected bike and supposed to be a huge improvement over their other models. I have seen the other models and well.....they're pretty horrible given what passes for frame welding. I don't know that I will realistically consider a Chinese bike for this trip though.

I think I am headed down into Lima next week to continue the search. There are a lot more bikes to be had in Lima from what I am told. Thanks to everyone on the forum here for kindly sharing invaluable information and experience.

Expat

added comment- Considering what may or may not be here and given prices-- I am tempted to say to hell with it, fly back to the US, buy a bike there and ride down here. Looking at a classifieds here on the forum there are a lot of great bikes for sale a few years old for pretty enticing prices compared to what one pays here. I think I could for almost the same price as what is available here, fly and ride, come down through Mexico, across the Darien and by the time I got back here have the same money invested in the same or similar ride......of course..... that wouldn't be charging anything for the wear and tear on my a*& but what a trip eh?

Expat42451 screwed with this post 11-14-2014 at 03:39 PM Reason: screwed with the post again......
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