Newbie KTM640 advice (Alaska to Argentina and back)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by maxjewell, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. maxjewell

    maxjewell Adventurer

    Mar 27, 2006
    Skagway, Alaska
    Hello All,

    I am a serious newbie planning to ride a recently purchased KTM 640 adv to from my home in Alaska down to Argentina and possibility back. I am doing this trip with my dad and a friend of his. I am 100% new the world of adventure touring and long distance bike riding and have a lot of silly questions involving the KTM, general motorcycle maintenance, and the availability of high quality engine oil , special antifreeze, and tires south of the boarder. All suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated (accept, “you should have bought a KLR” ) ;) ! Hopefully I will repay you with a great ride report this fall and winter.

    Now for the Specifics:

    Engine Oil: My manual says I need to run only fully synthetic oil that meets JASO MA standards. Can this stuff be found down south? Will any fully synthetic oil work and is this easier to find? Also it recommends I change my oil every 4,000 KM, does this sound accurate?

    Antifreeze: In my owners manual it says use only high grade antifreeze (Motorex) will any old antifreeze, or just plain water work in a pinch?

    Tires: My dad say’s he expects to get at least 5,000 miles out of a set of tires. Can tires be found all the way down to Argentina, and any recommendations as to where? We have been thinking to order the tires while we are on the road and have them shipped ahead.

    Chain / Sprockets: Not sure how many miles these take to wear out during On / off road riding. Should I pack an extra sprocket set?

    Jets: Should I bring a jet kit for the temperature differences and elevation changes?

    KTM Dealers: It looks like there are a handful of KTM dealers along the way. Does anyone know if these guy’s stock engine parts?

    Any other spare parts / tools I should think about bringing along? I’ve got a full service manual, spare water pump, and gasket kit. I want to be as prepared as possible to fix whatever issues come up along the way. I would hate to get stuck somewhere for a month and a half waiting for some back ordered part from the states.

    Also my dad’s bringing a BMW GS 1150 and his buddy a KLR so any dealer / tire info for them would be helpful.

    Also how have your 640’s been of trips like this?

    Alright thanks very much for helping me out with these questions, I’m just nervous that I am getting in over my head mechanically speaking with this trip if something were to go wrong. I can’t wait to swing a leg over this bike and hit the road. I have gotten to ride it very little this summer. Whenever I get some spare time I will head up into the Yukon and out into the mountains and get a little saddle time in before our big trip. Maybe I will post some pics up. Thanks again to everyone, I really appreciate the advice!
  2. sparklr

    sparklr Adventurer

    Mar 22, 2010
    I am amazed at the lack of response from the Inmates. With such a worldly and knowledgeable group, I would have thought that there would be more input. I myself lack the sufficient criteria to offer any real assistance. But I have a distinct feeling this plan was hatched over some Brewskies and will end up with Daddy smugly admonishing " Told You So".

    Judging by the information provided or lack thereof, my suggestion is that you seriously consider ABORTING any such Adventure notions. Daddy 1- Son 0.:D
  3. lexluther11

    lexluther11 Ride,Eat,Rest-Repeat

    Feb 21, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Welcome to Adventure riding your going to have a great trip. I ride a KLR so I can't give you any tips for the KTM. Reading that your going to ride someplace hot I would recomend Engine Ice coolant, it's dropped the temp down in my bike. Try and get a reuseable stainless steel oil filter, that saves on packing spares or trying to find one when your on your trip. I don't think you'll have any problems finding synthetic oil. New chain, sprockets and battery before you leave. X-ring chain will last longer than O-ring. Mefo Explorer can get up to 10,000 miles on a set of tires and are a 50/50 tire. Tires are very pricey in South America so maybe plan to have them changed just before you get to Mexico if your old tires make it that far. Carry spare tubes, tire pump and 3 spoons to change your tires. Spare clutch and throttle cable, front brake lever, clutch lever and shifter. Check your brake pads replace or bring spares. Grease up your wheel bearings if they are not sealed.

    The KTM guys should be able to give you some tips on what can go wrong with your type of bike.


  4. charapa

    charapa Been here awhile

    Dec 4, 2010
    Huanuco, Peru, SA, home in Mid-Coast Maine, USA
    That's alot of questions guy, but I will address a few of them.

    Yes, you can get BelRay synthetic oil most anywhere in South America. No, tires aren't that expensive. Pirellis are made in Brazil and shipped all over SA. I prefer the MT-21. It is called a RallyCross, knarley, but runs smooth on asphalt, hard enough to get 8 to 10k even on highway. If you are 18" and 21", you will have no trouble finding tires in SA.

    Carry sprockets, but you can get good chains most anywhere.

    I have one question. 3 riders. WHY # DIFFERENT BIKES!!

    Enjoy! :wings
  5. garfey

    garfey Scruffy Adventurer&Curmudgeon

    Sep 22, 2010
    Deep East Texas
    ... when I get done changing exhaust systems on the Street Rod and piddling with the Brick and riding the SHawk.

    Summary: I have plenty of spare tires and a disassembled 640. You need plenty of the small oil filters but can reuse the large one.

    Why 3 different bikes is a darn good question. It'd be a lot easier to carry/preposition spares & supplies if they were all the same.
  6. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Nov 19, 2005
    N.V.I, B.C.
    Answers in Orange