Can KTM build a significantly lighter 700-800cc twin? Is there a market for it?

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by LukasM, Oct 28, 2012.

?

Would you buy a 370 lbs wet, 80-90 HP, 700-800cc twin, priced between 690 and 990?

  1. Tomorrow, bring it on!

  2. Too small, prefer the exisiting 990 and upcoming 1190.

  3. Too big, prefer a single.

  4. Not interested in a KTM.

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  1. rununtilempty

    rununtilempty 690 rider

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    Agreed ! No one who spends any amount of time in the mojave wants a short-suspended bike with soft springs; plenty of those on the street, but any time beating up your spine and you will soon realize the value of suspension travel. . . . imho
    #81
  2. rununtilempty

    rununtilempty 690 rider

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    . . . and WHY are we trying to build an even heavier 690? Mine has an FMF system and with that alone makes nearly 70 hp . . . KTM makes hop-up kits which, when used in conjunction with each other, produce 80 or more. This can be seen most commonly with 690 Duke mods I have seen advertised . . . same LC4 engine . . . and I am NOT unhappy with the power from my bike.

    I believe a twin would be fun in the 690's frame; however, the same output can be achieved with much less weight penalty. . . . imho

    Great discussion though . . .
    #82
  3. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

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    :nod
    #83
  4. xcflyn

    xcflyn Long timer

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    I think its the reliability stand point ? Not too many quality built thumpers will out live a quality built twin is a point that is being made. At he same time- the XR650R motor was no slouch and despite some short comings many could be pounded day after day and still see 30+K untouched and that was 90's technology. The BMW Rotax is a bit of a slouch but it will do some big miles. If the 690 had its power and the longevity of a g650 motor (generally speaking) it would be more desirable, but then it is still a single and the words buzz and tingle would still be in the description. :*sip*
    #84
  5. jerdog53

    jerdog53 Crop Dusting Everywhere

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    #85
  6. Chadx

    Chadx my toot toot

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    Because we are not only talking about a hp increase. That is probably the smallest piece of the puzzle. We are talking about a more road worthy bike able to carry two people and supplies for adventure riding. Also a reliable bike. Wind protection. Smoother engine at hwy speed, etc.

    Perhaps they could start with the 690 platform, throw in a twin, as you mention, beef up the frame and subframe as needed, change the gas tank layout to get the capacity up, update the plastics to get wind protection, update the suspension and brakes for the extra weight, etc. ....but by then, why not just start with a clean sheet so you are not constrained by trying to adapt a platform that was designed for a different use?

    Then again, I might be able to live with a 690 if they came out with an Adventure version with really widended transmission ratios (to give us a granny 1st and still a low rpm hwy gearing all at once), strong subframe for passenger/gear, expanded gas tank, made it reliable, etc.
    #86
  7. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Hmmm, I've been wishing they would build one for years. In the mean time I've been rolling my own out of my little garage.

    Lots of guys have done a reasonable conversion out of the Kawasaki parallel twin which is the perfect candidate for what many of you want. Good power, lightweight, bulletproof, fuel injected with good range. All you need to do is rebuild the subframe to accommodate a KTM rear suspension and start trimming the fat.

    Plus it would be a crapload cheaper than a new bike:wink:
    #87
  8. Chadx

    Chadx my toot toot

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    This has been posted before in other threads, but to throw some gas on this thread, this article is the one that mentions the 1190 platform will potentially be used for multiple adventure bikes in various classes. Not sure how they'd take the 1190 frame, make it an 800 that is what is quoted in the article...but it will be interesting to see if that happens.

    "the smaller displacement Adventure bike will be very off-road capable, more so than the Triumph Tiger 800XC".
    http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/rumors/new-ktm-superduke-adventure-bikes-2013-rumor/
    #88
  9. Unruled

    Unruled 950S

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    I'm currently 'in the market' for an adventure bike and I've testridden a few. The 800GS was plain boring and the Tiger 800 a big disappointment. When I tried a 950 I was instantly sold. I'm used to the massive grunt of a Bandit 1200 and the 800's don't have it. The Triumph is actually very smooth but it's a road engine, I plan to go offroading a lot more. That thing has non-stop power, but it's just so boring. Also, on-road, where it's supposed to shine, it just didn't, the KTM was so much better. I actually blame the frame and suspension, which are quite frankly of a lower grade. That's what I'm afraid of KTM would do if that need to build a bike that's lighter and cheaper, but also a twin. Don't forget it's just 100cc's, that's not very shocking if you intend to lose weight. The frame can't go much lighter if you want 80hp, as that's not a shocking difference either. Quite frankly they'd need to sacrifice stiffness and thus roadholding. If that's what would happen, I'd definitely buy the 'old' 950/990 in stead.

    That said, it would kind of make sense to introduce a smaller bike if an 1190 with 150hp is otherwise the only option.
    #89
  10. Chadx

    Chadx my toot toot

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    So it is the various Kawasaki Versys/Ninja 650 builds to which you refer? I've followed several of those with interest. I like to tinker, but haven't been willing to bite off that much of a project.
    #90
  11. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Yeah building is not easy or cheap as I have found out. I had never built a bike before and learned a lot of hard lessons about weight, tools and abilities. My first bike I was going to convert was a Ninja 650 but turned out the bike I bought was stolen so that put a damper on my plans, hence the FZ1 build.

    I built another which I am finishing up right now.

    Lukas started me thinking about the 650 engine again in the Inmate Build thread. It really does seem to hit every point we would want. yes, it might be a little wide but the weight is good.

    Keeping the weight down is a tough chore, believe me, I tried every avenue I could think of on the CBR build. Aluminum subframe which doubles as a fuel tank, YZ450 seat, no fairing, no cush drive. I think 350 is achievable but you'd need to really keep an eye on things. I have zero provisions for a passenger on either of my bikes

    I think if anyone could do it it would be KTM, but going to be tough to convince them to build.

    I talked at length with the president of Husqvarna on the phone a week ago and asked him this exact question.

    "any chance you guys would throw top flight components at a lightweight ADV tourer? There's lots of guys wanting one"

    He basically said that's why they came out with the 650 Terra, but agreed it was not going to be the bike I was asking for. He compared bikes to Jeeps, there's the Rubicon and the Grand Cherokee. The 650 is a Jeep Liberty and it's also too heavy, not enough suspension.
    #91
  12. Bubba Bauer

    Bubba Bauer Been here awhile

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    Why 700-800cc? Just because the other manufacturers have this engine displacement? I would be extremely happy with an engine with similar figures to the er6n or the Honda nc700 smaller size less weight less fuel consumption smaller cooling smaller exhaust smaller govco fees/insurances etc.

    They easily punt out 70HP that has to be enough for everything if a 40HP dr650 is adequate for most adventures.
    They can be dead reliable just look at all the cb500-s and Deauvilles all the London couriers are/were using.

    If you got less weight u need smaller brakes less oil less wear and tear etc. so price and ownership costs are down too. It adds up... It would never happen, but it would be nice perfect for commuting, weekends, just going somewhere...

    Like a 650cc 70 degree parallel twin Husaberg unique nimble a final :fyyfffor KTM to kill off that superb engine... :lol3:lol3:lol3

    #92
  13. Idle

    Idle Been here awhile

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  14. Nowwhat

    Nowwhat I'll Go Second...

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    950SE set up as an "adventure" bike...

    [​IMG]

    Weighs 450 lbs wet....

    So all wishing and hoping etc etc aside.....How do you shave 80lbs....and still have an "adventure" bike?

    The SE already has the 2-1 with a short Ti pipe..single 320 rotor.....Shorai battery etc...still 450 lbs....

    80 lbs....ready set go....
    #94
  15. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    The LC8 engine is about 135lbs, and smaller twin could shave off weight there. I wonder what the weight difference is between the 690 trellis frame and the 990 trellis frame?

    I think the main reason I would like a twin over a single, even with the added complexity, is for the SMOOTHness. If you put in serious miles and not just "ride1hr/stop-n-strut for 30min/ride 1hr/repeat" Harley weekend warrior type riding, a smoother engine makes a HUGE difference.
    #95
  16. Fishfund

    Fishfund Been here awhile

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    My little 2 cents.

    I would have loved my 690 if only it ONE Didn't break down so much and TWO got better fuel mileage. I was content with everything else about the bike. If a 700-800 twin could fix those two issues for me, I would be quite happy, but I don't want anything heavier than the current 690. Being light and nimble was the best part of that bike.

    I realize that MPG isn't any ones concerns but for me it is really frustrating when your riding partner on a F800GS uses 1/3 less gas. That really adds up on RTW type trips and in Norway when fuel touches $20 a gallon.

    I really don't want to settle for a F800GS, but for RTW guys, fuel economy should be a consideration.
    #96
  17. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    You took a basically unknown used bike slapped a bunch of mods on it and took it to Africa which is totally awesome. From what I remember from the report you only really had 2 problems right? Fuel pump twice and the voltage regulator? You did allot of beating around the bush to find the issue though because the computer wasn't exceedingly helpful in telling you what the problem was.

    What type of mileage did you get, how did it change once you took the akrapovic map off?

    What type of mileage was Nick getting? From what I've read the F800's get about 50ish did you see that real world?
    #97
  18. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Interesting results in the poll so far, seems like the vast majority of people feel that this would be the ideal size, and then you've got an equal amount of "outliers" that want either bigger or smaller.


    Nowwhat,

    Very nice setup you got there on your SE, it probably comes closest to what I am envisioning from the currently available choices on the market.

    I am getting 404 lbs wet no fuel for an SE with a 2-into-1 ti pipe conversion, how much weight does your fairing add? Or did you measure it full of fuel and with bash plate, hand guards, shark fin, stabilizer, frame guards, axle slider etc that you would have to add to any other bike weight as well?

    The additional weight savings should come from 10 years advance in manufacturing and design, as well as the smaller displacement and lower stress on the components. If they manage to save 5.5 lbs from the 2011 530 (510cc) engine to the 2012 500 (510cc) engine, the savings going from the 2003 DOHC 950cc to a 2013 700cc-800cc (SOHC?) should hopefully be around 20 lbs. Then downsize the frame and swingarm, get rid of the front tank and subframe and replace them with a plastic underseat tank subframe and you should hopefully save another 20-30 lbs. You will also have to carry a lot less fuel, if you compare a F800GS and your SE with a modern FI system and engine design a 30% reduction is easily possible.

    50 lbs is not quite as dramatic in savings but surely noticeable (fuel tank and how the weight is carried is another improvement), and your SE is already completely optimized compared to a standard Adventure, where the difference would be much greater.

    I'd be willing to make the trade of a bit less power for a bit less weight and better economy, taming down the beast so to say, and making it more manageable for mere mortal riders like myself. :wink:
    #98
  19. Bubba Bauer

    Bubba Bauer Been here awhile

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    :eek1:eek1

    are they 2 fe400 engines bolted together? Looks absulutely savage probably not the smoothest of engines.

    But this thing can`t possibly weigh more than 300-350lbs :evil and if you have 2 instead of 4 engine cases 2 instead of 4 exhausts, FI, ditch the jackshaft etc. you will save even more, but still whoever did it was an awesome work...:clap
    #99
  20. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Like Lukas said, swapping the tank for a lighter plastic tank under the seat, slimming down the trellis frame, replacing the swingarm (I have both a 950 and RFS swingarm on my project bikes and the RFS is WAY lighter) running a standard PDS shock instead of the 950 with preload, smaller rims, spokes and hubs, lighter braking components, minimal fairing and bodywork (make the tank the rear fairing, carbon fiber skidplate, exhaust would have to be done by consumer to a single carbon can due to EPA, lighter motor.

    I still don't see how you could get that to 350 though. with all the stuff guys want on their ADV bikes. Possible but I think it would be a real stretch.

    Is it that much different from the 950SE to warrant a new bike and engine? Probably not with the 690 in there.