2020 KTM 500 EXC-F -- many changes, how is it?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by motometal, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. motometal

    motometal i like motorcycles

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    This bike is almost all new this year, not finding a thread specific to the changes, observations, rider impressions etc. Looking to discuss the bike itself moreso than all the accessories and adventurizing...other than maybe how the changes may have effected accessories.

    I am knee deep in the 500 vs. 690/701 analysis and about the time I think I've decided, I read something else shoving me the other way.

    Existing bike is a TE610. I have not ridden a 690 but have ridden a couple '17-'19 500s.

    Here are a couple things I'm curious about with the 500, maybe can get some feedback to get the thread started then let it run where it will from there.

    Vibration--is this any better/worse/different on the 2020? One of the few negatives I noticed was vibration through the pegs and through my boots where I grip. This was a bit odd to me as on most bikes I feel it through the bars moreso. Does the higher compression have any effect?

    Fuel requirement--is it still ok to run 87 in a pinch without deto, even with the higher compression?

    Subframe--is redesigned and longer. Can it now support a modest size rack behind the seat?

    Electronics--I know it's a sign of the times when significant time on a review is devoted to talking about features that didn't exist on dirt bikes just a few years ago. How are the 2020's electronics?
    #1
  2. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    I bet fifth gear still blows gopher farts!
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  3. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    :rofl
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  4. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    I guess I will just keep ridin my 1978 KE175 until they fix fifth gear in it or someone else builds my unikernal.
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  5. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    :jack
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  6. motometal

    motometal i like motorcycles

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    See what's funny about that is, there is a lot of fixation on the 5th gear ratio with some people and then other folks either don't care or think it's great as-is.
    I think it might be annoying but not a deal breaker. On back roads with the TE610...45-50 mph is about the threshold where you are going to 6th. For example if I ride with someone on an MX bike that can't go very fast, I do find myself switching a lot between those two gears.
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  7. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    Ooooooooh...

    69E568D1-F7B3-405B-8D11-965C86782557.gif
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  8. Kaaden

    Kaaden Been here awhile

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    Powerful 5th Gear energy in this thread

    ETA: i've ridden most of the BMW-era Husk's I own a 2020 500EXC-F with 2 thousand miles on it already

    The 2020 EXC will do absolutely everything better then those bikes.

    Simple

    Nah on the rack champ, get soft sidebags
    Yes on the 87 just keep the bike stock
    Wiring is good
    Vibration is so subjective my 500 vibrates less then my DRZ400 with zeta solidmounts so :dunno
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  9. gnarlynate24

    gnarlynate24 Live, love and ride on :D

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    Following! I'm trying to look at both bikes as well to replace my Xchallenge 650 on my current RTW trip I'm on. Great write up and looking forward to hearing others experience
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  10. motometal

    motometal i like motorcycles

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    I thought about putting together a master list of pros and cons 690 500, might do it yet.

    Sounds like uncorking ECU for the 690 is more expensive.

    Some of the best advice is "be honest with yourself on how you will use the bike" and "which bike gets you excited".
    The thought of the powerful engine in the 690 gets me excited...would be awesome but the rest of the bike I have concerns about. 2" less suspension travel matters. And it does not have that conventional racing dirt bike look to it, a little more clumbsy looking. But, being honest with myself...most of my riding is gravel/back roads and two track, which points to the 690...yet I do occasionally get back in the woods and the 80 pounds difference can't be denied. I've always loved light bikes, and power.

    The TE610 has/had some kind of magic handling going on, which has been noticed immediately when I let people ride it. I'm confident the 500 would be fine in this regard, not sure about the 690.
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  11. motometal

    motometal i like motorcycles

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    My guy is saying the 701 (he doesn’t have a 690) is 1200$ over the 500. And considering a Vortex may be required on the 701...
    #11
  12. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

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    I put 11,000 miles on the TE630s I owned before taking my friends 500 for a ride in 2014. Within 200 yards, I knew I would own a 500 and had one within a few weeks. The 500 was light years ahead of the 630 in performance/acceleration and just about any type of riding you can do, including riding pavement at 65 mph. just my opinion.. My 630 had a full Leo Vince system and I had the software to adjust the fuel mapping myself, similar to the dealership so the moto ran well. The 630 has the 500 beat in one area,, the saddle width/comfort, especially with the Seat Concepts product.

    upload_2019-12-28_16-59-36.png
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  13. Dan950ser

    Dan950ser Two Wheeled Addict

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    If you buy a 690 you’ll be selling it for a 500 within a year.
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  14. trailrider77

    trailrider77 Been here awhile

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    I own both a 15 500 and a 19 690. Both are excellent. 500 excellent for more technical off-road with occasional slab and the 690 excellent for jeep trails and a lot of slab. 690 much smoother then 500 on the slab. It’s like a different tool in your toolbox. For pure single track I use a 18 250 XC smoker.
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  15. 0405canvet

    0405canvet Long timer

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    Sold my 500 for a 690, sold my 690 or another 500, sold my 500 for a 701.... Tough call. But you say you mainly ride roads, including gravel so if it’s over 70% roads then 690/701?? Less than 30% roads then 500??
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  16. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    I have a '16 EXC and a '18 701. If you have any intention of using the bike on the road, get the 701. If you want a dirtbike, the 500 is far better. I keep aggressive knobbies on the EXC that would quickly be destroyed on the pavement. The 701 wears 606s as a compromise to allow me to ride it the 25 miles to where I ride off road. The EXC always makes the trip in the trailer. IMG_0336ps.jpg IMG_0835ps.jpg
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  17. motometal

    motometal i like motorcycles

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    . Thanks, you have a lot of experience with both. Including both generations of 690/701. I think supply and demand is affecting price here...the 690 701 much more rare. I attended a dual sport event last year, was a variety of riding but not much ST. There was one 701 there (should have asked for test ride) and a bunch of 500s.
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  18. motometal

    motometal i like motorcycles

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    Sounds like the JD tuner design will be more challenging this year with closed loop and oxy probe, but close to being released.
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  19. Jon@Camano

    [email protected] Adventurer

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    I upgraded my 16 501s to a 2020 501s. Thought the 16 was great and near perfect with normal mods including euro map and end cap mod. The only annoying thing was the clutch rattle. Had over 8000 miles with no issues. It was fine for 200 plus miles for on/off road days

    Bought a 2020 501s last month. The one thing that jumped out was the engine vibes, with balanced tires. Hoping that will deminish as I put the miles on. The 16 was very smooth. Also added a 3.9 gal Acerbis fuel tank since the bike is my duel sport lite bike.

    Jon
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  20. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    I had a chance to compare my '16 to a new '18 500 with a ex. cap and Vortex. I was also struck how much worse engine vibration was compared to my older EXC.
    #20