KTM; 690R or 990R?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by everetto, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. everetto

    everetto Been here awhile

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    Central New Mexico
    Hi Guys,

    Please help! I currently ride a Super Tenere and I have been considering moving from it to a 2012 990R, in fact I may do a test ride today. Living in the middle of New Mexico, we ride several hundred of miles of slab to SW Colorado to the San Juans, and of course the Tenere or the 990 will handle that just fine, and I assume the 990 will be better on the high mountain passes in the rough stuff than the Tenere. My question is whether I should consider the 690R - how will it do on say a 400 mile day on the slab going to and coming home from Colorado. Will it do 80mph comfortably all day long?

    Thanks in advance for any and all inputs!
    #1
  2. avocadofarmer

    avocadofarmer Fruit Coot

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    The 690 will do it (not comfortable at 80) but the 990 will be a hell of a lot easier. The opposite rings true for rough off road stuff.
    #2
  3. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    My 12 690R is OK for all day regarding every aspect but the seat. I bought a new Seat Concepts seat and will try my first ride on it today. Also mine is just as good at 80 as my KTM 950 was. It is smooth and getting smoother all the time. I have about 3k miles so far. I figure another thousand miles will deliver me the motor I'm going to have. Right now it is vibey between 66-73mph. Not hand sleep vibey, but it vibes. Slower or faster and it is remarkably smooth. I have no idea why.

    Mine is set up for travel. The reason I went from a twin to the 690 is weight and agility when exploring solo. If you don't expect to be solo trying to navigate occasional rock gardens, mud and sand washes, it's pretty hard to beat the 990.

    On the other hand, you really shouldn't try that stuff solo on the twin if you struggle to pick it up by yourself. :cry

    Lastly the new larger bore 690R is remarkably fast. It accelerates as hard as my 950 did up to near 100mph. I mean it gets there in a flash. :eek1 I think my 950 made about 85hp and weighed about 500lbs. The 690 makes 66hp and is 150lbs lighter. Of course the 990 is a more powerful motorcycle than my 950 was.
    #3
  4. everetto

    everetto Been here awhile

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    Ha, you should try picking up a Tenere! The 990 is significantly lighter than the Tenere (I think), but of course the 690 is in a whole different league weight-wise and that is what appeals to me.

    I guess I am interested to know if the 690 is "tolerable" on the highway, and based on your inputs it definitely sounds like it is. I assume I could get used to it, and suck it up and deal with it on the asphalt, but then have the performance advantage when we start doing more and more of the difficult passes in Colorado, not to mention the desert stuff here in New Mexico.

    Appreciate the inputs, please keep them coming!
    #4
  5. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum

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    For all that slab I would prefer the 990. I ride my 690r on the highway 30-60 miles to get to the dirt and usually do not top 70mph. It is OK for that but riding 300-400 miles slab in a day would not be fun on the 690r. I have a small screen which helps and a Renazco seat so the bike is OK comfort wise. I guess I just don't like riding a single cylinder bike that far just droning along. Probably it is OK, and more of a personal preference. I have a 990r Supermoto for road riding and that one is great on the highway. On the other hand the 690r is great in the dirt. I did a week in Baja with a few 990 Adventures and 950 Super Enduros. All did OK offroad although I had an easier time of it on my 690r. One guy had a minor get-off on his 950 SE and got stuck under the bike. We had to lift the beast off of him! Something to consider. As others had said the 690r is fast! I am keeping my 690r as I am not interested in riding a heavier bike in the dirt. In fact I have considered getting the 500exc, but for now the 690r is a nice compromise.
    #5
  6. shipwrek12001

    shipwrek12001 Shipwrek

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    not totally clear what you want to do but I certainly do what I want to..... on the 690


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    the 690 is the one with a black safari and white graphics
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. CordR

    CordR Been here awhile

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    I was in the same boat as you. Had considered the 950, 990, and the Tiger 800XC.

    I ended up with the 690 and have been happy overall. Is it ideal for a 400 mile day on the slab all the time? Of course not, that's why they make road bikes.

    I went with the compromise as I felt the benefits of the dirt riding would outweigh the marginal benefits of the road riding.

    The only thing I would consider is if you regularly do all that highway riding to just have a couple of dirt days here and there, then it may not be worth it. But if you do that slab riding to spend a significant amount of time offroad, and do some dirt riding at home, then I think the 690 is worth consideration.

    There's a few road reports of extended 690 use if you want to check it out to get a better idea.


    Do you plan to do any 2 up riding? That would change my vote instantly.

    C
    #7
  8. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Maybe I'm wrong about riding singles 14 hour days, but after riding my 950 all over the continent for seven years, I decided to ride the Continental Divide Road and thought I would be solo. I did my research and knew I could hit some serious mud plus two water crossings. Maybe 1500 miles of dirt farm and forest roads from Canada to Mexico. There would be a few side jaunts to ride sections of the Oregon Trail too. The big twin was out for that if I was solo. I bought a Yamaha WR250R on the recco from this site. That was after reading every RR posted on that route. At first I thought it was a big mistake. More like a scooter than a motorcycle, but it turned out to be a revelation. I was shocked at the stuff I could roll with that little thing! Rock gardens, miles of deep sand washes, creek crossings. Dang, it made me feel 40 years younger!

    I added comfort and luggage parts like a windscreen, power outlets for heated things and a Wolfman system. I even bought a sheepskin butt pad. Then I shipped it to Salt Lake City and flew to meet it. Last minute a buddy joined me from California and he was aboard a new KLR. It was 9 days worth. Maybe 250-300 miles per day on the dirt paths and another 400 or so on the two pavement days we had. Let me say, that Yamaha was every bit as comfortable as my KTM 950, I was shocked! Its only weakness was it was most happy slabbing all day in the mid 60's. KTM twin liked mid 70's.

    Like I said earlier, I left the Yam in Phoenix after that trip and now fly out to ride it a few times per year. The last was the Pony Express trail from SLC to Hwy 93 in Nevada, and then on to Reno. Awesome!

    After the CDR I replaced my 950 with a much more powerful version of the Yamaha. That is my new 690R. I set it up exactly the same way as the Yamaha too. The sheepskin didn't work, though, so I bought a Seat Concepts seat and after today, think it will solve the butt burn for at least 6-8 hours. The stocker was only good for 3. After that it's just butt burn until you get where you are going.

    On the negative side, the 690 is a little unstable above 80 so I added a steering stabilizer. I think it has to do with round cross section DOT knobbies, though, because my 950 was unstable too when I used TKC 80's.

    That little bit of thumper vibration is a negative. If mine continues to vibe between 65-73, I'll be riding above or below that when riding long slab days. The Yamaha is electric smooth, so it is more friendly I'd say.

    The FI is snatchy around the city. I end up short shifting mine into a gear too tall and it doesn't seem to mind. The fuel range is a problem too. Out west I'd say 210 miles range is what you need. The 690 has about 170 miles (140 to the light) if you are gentle. It really needs another gallon and there are no efficient ways to increase your tank capacity. $600 buys you the Rally Raid rear tank that gets you that gallon. Ugly and expensive. Over $1k for the front tank options and they are an overkill. I don't need 350 miles range!

    Lastly, it's a real expensive motorcycle for what it is when you want to use it for travel. I'm into mine over $13k! But it is probably my last motorcycle so I don't really mind. It delivers what I wanted most; Yamaha 250 weight and agility and soft enough to use principally as a streetbike.

    I rode three dual sport rides with it so far. I flopped in the mud twice and filled my boots with water. I picked it up and I even did a couple of hero sections without much drama. And that's the other objective...no drama. :D

    Still, I'd jump on that 950 and ride to the west coast in a heartbeat. I'd Interstate all the way to Badlands or the The NM border. Then 2 lane it to my dirt road loops along the way as I worked west. Not sure I'd be so eager with the 690, but we'll see. I'm sure I'll do it at least once. If no fun, than maybe one more bike before I'm done...:deal

    New Seat:
    [​IMG]

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    Packed for travel. Even a Kermit Chair :lol3
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to Asphalt!

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    This is exactly why I'm switching from the SE to the 690. You must have read my mind. :lol3
    #9
  10. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    On your age. In your 20s, no problem with a 690 all day slab. 30s yea Ok, 40s not that great, 50-60s forget it. Get the 990. Or Keep your S10 and also get the 690.
    #10
  11. everetto

    everetto Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Central New Mexico
    Great replies/info from everyone, thank you very much.

    Part of this is a moot point I suppose b/c today the dealer would not even get in the ballpark on the Tenere trade, so that is off the table.

    So, I am leaning towards keeping the Tenere as my "touring bike", and in a few months buying either the 690R or maybe even the 500 EXC.
    #11
  12. Assfault

    Assfault Exposed Member

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    I disagree with this statement. I am 50 and do all day/multiday rides on my 690R. Granted I have a aftermarket seat, but even a 990 rider does that. I guess it's really not your age that keeps one from riding a paticular motorcycle, but rather how old you think you are.
    #12
  13. Frontwheel21

    Frontwheel21 Adventurer

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    Apr 13, 2012
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    43
    Location:
    North of the Alps
    Interview with Darren Higginson: “It’s all about power-to-weight”

    What about the bikes; did you ever miss the power and comfort of a more travel-oriented LC8 Adventure?


    I can honestly say that at no time did I wish for a heavier, more powerful bike. The KTM 690 Enduro R was everything we needed; it carried us and our luggage without complaint across the globe. It’s a fantastic bike.

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    #13
  14. Bigbugberg

    Bigbugberg Meatbucket Supreme

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    336
    Location:
    1313 Mockingbird Lane
    I have owned both and 400mi of slab on a 990 is no picnic either... The windscreen buffeting will scramble your brains. The 690 has clean air being there is a minimal windscreen. You will get wind pressure and you may get tired from that but the wind will be clean.

    There are places in Colorado that may limit you on a 990 namely Poughkeepsie Gulch. Be prepared to fan the clutch a lot on the 990 if climbing the various passes. And ride with someone because picking up the 990 while at 13000ft will sap what ever energy you have.

    You will also delight in the ease of maintenance of the 690 over the 990.

    Having owned both, the 690 IS THE dual sport bike biased to the dirt but that's what I ride.
    #14
  15. BJZ

    BJZ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Oddometer:
    345
    Location:
    Scarsdale, NY
    Had the 950, just too heavy. Ride the 690 with the
    Evo upgrade among others. At 57 years I ride all day and cruise at 80 +. Get a good seat and maybe the Ralley Raid fairing and tanks and you have all the advantages of the big bike with a fraction of the weight. The previous power to weight comment is correct.
    #15
  16. The Walrus

    The Walrus Gone and back again.

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    9,087
    Location:
    SLC, Utah
    Both bikes are great!

    But if you post this question in Orange Crush, you'll get a wider array of suggestions. Thumpers is for thumpers.
    Personally, the 950/990 is better on more slab while being the top contender for liter sized bikes in the dirt. And if you're ever 2 up, it's the right choice. I haven't had wind buffeting be a problem.

    The 690 is OK on slab but gets way more better when the slab is gone. There are some known issues to deal with but the bike is a classic. A Rally style fairing will remove the air flow issue, IMO.

    Don't rule out the 500 FI bikes, the power to weight ratio continues to improve and they're much more nimble in the dirt. They will slab along just fine if you choose. I think that KTM is currently making the best line of dual sports and making it tough to say no to any of their offerings.
    #16
  17. nivag

    nivag Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Sauf London
    I've got a 690r with the Rally Raid adventure kit and it's fine at cruising at 70-80mph, very little buffeting, though the knobbly tyres can give you a bit of a speed wobble sometimes.

    If I was doing repeated day in, day out 400 mile days I'd consider the 990. All depends on the type of off-road you're expecting to do.
    #17
  18. everetto

    everetto Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    350
    Location:
    Central New Mexico
    Thanks for all the replies, the 690 sounds pretty great to me. Since I'm basically upside down in my Tenere, guess I'll just keep it as a touring bike, and I will try to grab a 690 in the near future.
    #18
  19. RTODAHL01

    RTODAHL01 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    SedroWoolley Wa
    If that is the case I will be getting a big wheel:rofl
    #19