950 SE-R vs 690 Enduro

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Ramv, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Ramv

    Ramv Been here awhile

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    I have looked at a few 990 Adv, love the dual tank/slim design however myy wife doesn't want to part with the Multi for touring, (hard cases, roomy back seat, heated grips, 45mpg), but I want something in between my old KLX and the MTS. The KLX is slow (55 mph up some of the hills around the house), rough, (bent rims) and retardly easy to ride at slow speeds, even in ice and snow. Nothing scares me on it, other then traffic. Much like a mtn bike. It also has no value so nothing to worry about there. (probably about the same as my beat down, thousands of miles mountain bike)

    I am considering a more Enduro based bike, something I can ride the medium trails and connect the highways. Kokopelli trail, all the passes around Denver, just stuff I don't want my Ducati sliding down. I own a truck but would rather be able to ride to and from and connect trails, and just go places I wouldn't otherwise go..

    One of the things in Colorado, the highways are always busy, so being able to get to 85+ quick is critical, and being able to pass at triple digits on 2 lanes doesn't hurt but can be worked around.

    I am considering a used 950 SE-R or 2012 690 Enduro. (or perhaps a 630 TE, but it seems like there are more KTM dealers). Obviously I am posting this in OC, so I would expect some leanings one way, but I would like to hear the pro/cons on the 950 SE-R vs. a large thumper with EFI.
    #1
  2. crash n bern

    crash n bern Long timer

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    I would go the 950 SE, it will do everything and more. It will scare you and you will fall in love with it. It's fast becoming an iconic and collectable motorcycle. The biggest problem is you will spend all your money farkling it and never want to stop riding it. I love mine and will never sell it. I have seen a gun rider on a SE chase down 450's on single trail and then blast home on the highway. Amazing motorcycle in capable hands.

    Is that biased enough?
    #2
  3. Schannulleke

    Schannulleke Been here awhile

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    The main differences are:

    SE = a lot more heavy / 690 = a lot more lightweight
    SE has a lot more power / 690 has a lot less power
    SE has carburetors / 690 has EFI

    Both are capable doing highway, the SE will do it much more easily.
    Both are capable doing offroad, the 690 will do it much more easily.

    So your chose mainly depends on your intended use: offroad vs. highway.

    As an SE owner (no experience with the 690) I can also say this:
    - The bike is capable to do a lot, the limiting factor is the rider.
    - Fuel range is very limited. If you want more fuel range, take the cost of a safari tank into account.
    - Take the typical LC8 modifications into account (if not already done by previuous owner); fuel pump, water pump, side stand relocator, stronger skid plate, clutch slave.
    - Be careful with heay loads on the subframe.
    #3
  4. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

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    For what you are talking about doing, I think the 690 is the way to go. The longer I have had my 950, the less I want to prove what it can do. Early on, I was all about "yeah, so what if you can do that on a 400, watch me do it on this 950". And although the 950 can and will do amazing things, every once in a while, it reminds you that it is a 400+ pounds and almost 100hp; and those little reminders are often painful and expensive. She now fits the niche of my very-capable long-distance dual sport, rather than my do-anything bike.

    I have ridden my biddy's well set-up 690 off road, and have taken long trips with him. Whether I was on my 650R, or my 950SE, I am always wishing I was on his 690...except on long boring stretches of highway. He regularly got 50+ mpg when riding like a law-abiding citizen, when the bike was stock with Akros. He has since added an aftermarket EFI switchy thingamajig, and his mpg has dropped, but still much better than my 650R.

    The only problem I have with the 690 is its price. For a single cylinder, it is VERY expensive. Even the used ones make me blush at the price, then you still have to reconcile issues of fuel range, lighting, luggage, glichy EFI, etc, before I would feel comfortable taking the bike on a long ride.
    #4
  5. ktm950se

    ktm950se Banned

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    +1

    ktm950se
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  6. v8toilet

    v8toilet Nothing to see here.

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    I've had both though my seat time on the 950SE is lacking since I got it right before the snow hit, then suspension went of to SPS and now its in pieces being reborn.

    As Hick said and I can't stress this enough, the 950SE in the hands of an elite rider can/will do anything and everything. Sadly most of us aren't that rider. I know I'm not. Its fun to ride but I think if I make a mistake in the wrong situation it's just going to chew me up and spit me out. I liked the 950 ADV but the fairing beat me up so I ended up on the SE.

    I bought my SE because I want one bike (too many other things going on for me to have more than one).

    There is something magical about a bike like the 690 weighing in at just over 300lbs stock and making 60hp. I felt indestructible on mine. Twisties or trail its alot of fun. If the road is long and straight or just uninteresting the magic disappears fast.

    Sure the SE feels light under the right conditions, so does a Goldwing.

    If you've got a big mile bike like a Multi then get the 690.

    Think of it this way the 690 is the largest of the small bikes, the 950 is currently the smallest of the big bikes (in terms of weight). Both are pretty raw for touring. 690 has the edge in terms of fuel economy, cheaper parts in general, if you want a SM wheelset for example is much more affordable on the 690. Its still being made so there is a greater selection of parts and fairings as well.
    #6
  7. DOD

    DOD idiot dirt rider

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    I'd skip the 690 alltogether and go for a 530. Plenty of punch for connecting roads and way more capable than the SE off-road. You already have a multi for road trips.

    or

    Buy a well setup SE for about $9k, ride it awhile and if you don't like it, sell it for about $9k. It's the most capable dual-sport ever made.

    I may be a little biased.


    -dod
    #7
  8. 68deluxe

    68deluxe Long timer

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    +1

    I had a 625 and it was too big for the tight stuff and undergeared for the freeway.
    #8
  9. Ramv

    Ramv Been here awhile

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    Sounds like I need one of each, and a 530 !

    (space and money unlimited, I would and a 300 too).


    I have my 250 for tight technical nasty trail stuff. What I really am looking for is a bike that makes up for the Multi's complete lack of offroad capability. Something i can drive 200 miles on road, 30 miles on a jeep trail in a day.

    What are the advantages to the SE-R over an Adventure R? Obviously better visibility, and a little ligher, what else?
    #9
  10. offworlder

    offworlder Been here awhile

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    If you want to minimize the penalty when having fun off road, go with the 690. I've spend numerous 300km+ days on the 690, including everything from 150km/hr tarmac sections, to muddy single track, FSRs, etc... This is where the 690 shines, as (it may not be "light", but) its VERY versatile. I've had zero issues with it, its easy to work on, and IMHO, its the best EFI on any KTM (smoother than my 2011 990).
    #10
  11. Kendrick

    Kendrick Been here awhile

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    do you drop your bike? SE seems easier to pick up and fairs a bit better when crashed. maybe not an issue if you're mostly riding road then jeep trails (although i seem to drop mine there too regardless, freaking thing is HEAVY). i know if i had an Adventure the body work would be thrashed by now.
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  12. WARRIORPRINCEJJ

    WARRIORPRINCEJJ Not in the clique...

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    ^^^This^^^...


    ...is, really, all that needs to be said. :nod



    If that's not what you're lookin' for, than the 690 would be the better option.


    .
    #12
  13. Ramv

    Ramv Been here awhile

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    The Ducati hasn't been down... yet! Every other one is on the ground. (including the VTR), it's just the nature of the sport.

    I think long distance dual sport is what I am thinking... Unfortunately living in the burbs with 4 million of my closest friends within 60 miles, being able to escape at speed is critical. If every ride was backcountry Moab, I would never consider either the 690 or 950 or 990, straight for the 500 EXC, However, in order to stay gainfully employed, I suspect the big city wil be home for awhile.

    Speaking of which some pictures from today in Moab:

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=752699
    #13
  14. idahojoe

    idahojoe shut up and ride

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    This is a key statement. The Adventure, SE and 690 are all great bikes, but have slightly different specialities.

    Either an Adventure or a SE would be my suggestion. The big twin motor at elevation should be considered. The wind protection of the Adventure would be nice for those "commutes" between the jeep trails. The SE will handle the single track trails inbetween the jeep trails inbetween the kick ass sections of pavement inbetween the single track and your house.

    The SE can go just over 110-120 miles on a tank and the Adventure can go more.

    Put one of dem der Rekluse clutches in in an SE and go places you take your 250. Put one in an Adventure and almost go there too.

    The Adventure would be fun out east, on pavement, or on gravel. The SE likes the rocky unimproved two tracks and 65 MPH tarmac,I would think the 690 likes 65 MPH too, the Adventure tolerates 90 for well. They'll all go triple digits w/ease.

    You can't loose, get one of 'em for that big distance "off road" exploration that's just up over the hill. (I would like to use cheerleader smilie)
    #14
  15. dabracing

    dabracing Been here awhile

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    From what you are describing, the 950SE will not disappoint. I've had 2 990s and I was not happy off-road with them. Get a Safari tank, a few mods someone listed above and never look back. Most of the used 950SEs for sale have been modded with the needed stuff by now. Hard to find a completely stock one.
    #15
  16. Schannulleke

    Schannulleke Been here awhile

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    Advantages SE:
    - less weigth
    - accessibility battery
    - easier to work on (e.g. oil change is much easier)
    - stock high fender (I consider this an advantage, but is personal)

    Advantages Adv:
    - stock fuel tank capacity
    - tachometer

    The SE can be modified into an Adv (or Rally) much easier than the Adv can be modified into an SE.
    #16
  17. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I have just about used up my 950A. She's taken me far and wide for six years. I was going to get a new one, but my son suggested I get the 2012 690R. That got me thinking harder about what I want and don't want in my next bike.

    last January I bought a little Yam wr250r and set it up for travel. Big tank, flyscreen, power outlets for my heated gear, sheepskin, and Wolfman luggage system etc. Then I took it on a 2500 mile loop through the Rockies and left it in the desert for the winter. That little thing was more comfortable then my Adventure! Plus I can pick it up easy enough.

    I decided what I liked most was the small bike's utility and the fact that it is 150lbs lighter than my twin. What I like most about the twin is the power.

    I have decided to buy the 2012 690R. The bike is reported to be more civil and refined over earlier models. It has as much power as a typical small twin and the thing is 140lbs lighter than my KTM 950. My plan is to equip it exactly like my Yam. That means extended fuel capacity, a flyscreen, accessory power, Wolfman luggage system and probably a lowering link. It won't be cheap, though. I figure I'll have over $12k in it! :eek1

    That's a lot of money for a dual sport motorcycle with one cylinder, but it's the only highway bike out there that has that much power at so little weight.
    #17
  18. Bigbugberg

    Bigbugberg Meatbucket Supreme

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    I don't want to slab 100 miles to dirt only to find out the bike I'm on can't handle the trail I chose.
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  19. bigborefan

    bigborefan Making new friends

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    Joe, have you ridden a 950SE? At 65MPH in top gear with stock gearing, the thing is almost stalling. Mine cruises 70 all day long like it is idling. 80 is no problem either.
    #19
  20. bigborefan

    bigborefan Making new friends

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    First off Ramv, your right. You need an ADV, SE, 690R, 530 and 300. I need those also. I got three out of five covered. Problem is I am out of farkle money and my tire fund is getting low as well. Damn KTMs.

    I say the ADV is out all together, you already got that covered. Which leaves the 950SE and 690R.

    You said you like to cruise at 85MPH and pass at 100MPH? How important is that? The 690 will do it, but it's wound up at those speeds. The SE will do that all day long.

    How long is your "commute" before you hit two lane roads or even dirt roads? IMO the 690 is great everywhere except the highway.

    I did the TAT on my 690, Colorado anyway. I thought it was the perfect perfect bike for that. I had no issues at all on Hancock Pass or on the stage coach trail. IMO those were the most technical sections of the CO TAT. Jeep roads and gravel roads it was just fine.

    A 690 does not need much. Throw on an FMF muffler, Renazco seat and skid plate and your pretty much good to go.

    If it were me, I would be leaning towards the 690. That 100lbs of weight difference between a SE and 690 is a lot IMO, off road anyway.

    Like someone mentioned, you would have no problems flipping a 950SE if you didn't like it. So you probably can't go wrong wither way. But if it was me, I would go 690.

    Either way I would being visiting Jeff Slavens and getting the suspenders dialed in. Not cheap but I hear the guy is a magician. And there are lots of rocks in CO. Do they even have dirt, or just rocks?
    #20