This thought stems from the fact there seems to be endless debate on the reliability of some bikes. I read everything about the KTM 690 Enduro R before I bought it. Then I bought it, brand new. Still the chatter continues, and this doens't only apply to the KTM here... And I'm left to wonder... if you just left your bike stock, would your reliability be better? Sure, a fuel pump can die, a TPS can die, etc. But if the factory set up a bike to run for X number of miles before needing maintenance, and you start swapping ECU programs, altering fueling rates, changing exhaust cans, altering back pressure and removing the cat in the process, I have to wonder...is it reasonable to think any of this *could* affect the overall reliability of the bike in question. (I say yes...) I mean, a lot of dosh was spent on developing the thing in the first place, and ostensibly by smart-ish folks at the factory, based on years of experience and tens of thousands of preproduction test miles. My bike runs leans to meet federal emission standards...so? Its still got gobs of power (IMO). The one thing I haven't done to my 2009 FJR is fiddle with the emissions system, the ecu programming or the engine in any way. Changed the seat, improved the suspesion for my weight, added triple clamp risers, a new windscreen, fuse block, extra lights, and on and on...but haven't futzed with the engine or exhaust. Stock, it's easily enough for my needs. Now, this isn't intended as a rant against folks modding their bikes (I've modded Jeeps for offroading, cars for autocross, etc. myself), but... I am curious to hear from folks who've opted to simply ride what the factory built and their experiences around reliability, regardless of brand. I know most bikes have inbuilt flaws, and it makes sense to correct those (KLR doohickey anyone?). But I see seemingly everyone swaping the fatcory exhaust on their 690 enduros "because they're so hot"... Well, there IS a cat in there. Locally I've seen a few riders (some I've met and respect) still running the stock exhaust, yet they happily put mods into other areas of the bike (as shall I - pannier racks, bar risers, tank bag, windscreen, etc.). I asked them about the exhaust heat and they universally said basically the same thing - its an exhaust, it'll get hot. This got me wondering if you swapped the exhaust, thus eliminating the cat, and "possibly" requiring a remap, have you set yourself on a course of having to frig with too much, vs the factory settings, cascading into other issues. Time will tell if the 690 is reliable for me. I was pleasantly surprised by the great fuel economy. But there seems to be a real divide on this point of relibaility on this particular model. Taking into consdieration that the Internet plays host to more negative opinions than positive opinions, I figure the truest test is to arm myself with a couple spares and ride the bejesus out of the thing.