2020 KTM 690 Unicorn R

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by spartanman, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    Here we go, you chortle, yet another promise of the impossible: One bike that does it all -- besides maybe climb sheer rock faces like a trials bike in experienced hands.
    I believe the unicorn exists in the guise of a 2020 KTM 690 Enduro R. Its shortcomings to becoming a do-all adventure bike are well documented and, with a single exception, surmountable.

    1. Lack of wind protection -> Fairing
    2. Short range -> Aux tank or Rotopax
    3. Uncomfortable seat -> Renazco
    4. Tall first gear, short top gear -> Nova wide-range transmission
    5. No sub frame -> Rack or rack-less options abound
    6. Other annoyances (fuel cap, ABS state changes key on/off, fragile clutch actuator cylinder, thermonuclear silencer) -> all addressed by OE and aftermarket.
    7. Large turning radius -> Nothing for it other than adjusting the stops, but not a deal breaker (for me).

    Yes, it's an expensive proposition outfitting a 690 this way. It's annoying that KTM never updated the 640 Adventure. Nevertheless, the result is a bike with proper gearing, a smooth running motor, great suspension, and a HP/weight ratio rivaling many twins, yet over 100 lbs lighter. Number 4 on the list arrived a few days ago. I'm awaiting the special tools needed to do the job.
    IMG_1261.JPG
    Stay tuned...
    #1
  2. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

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    Ffs ..pictures
    #2
  3. timeOday

    timeOday Long timer

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    You're really going for it with the gearset. (I always wonder why those are so expensive)

    Curious why you passed on the 701 LR?
    #3
  4. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    ^^The LR fixes one problem: Range. No other benefit I can see.
    #4
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  5. Bitingdog

    Bitingdog That's not my dog

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    Any fixes for the Jiggle-Poof forkzzz?
    #5
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  6. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

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    Explain?? I dont know about this...??

    Any one
    #6
  7. Bitingdog

    Bitingdog That's not my dog

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    Xplor. They jiggle on small impacts, and they poof halfway through the stroke shortly after. Apparently the jiggle is from the fork springs binding. My suspension guru believes that they are assembled in the third world by an indifferent workforce. Idk.
    They can be fixed of course, but gosh darn they sure don't meet expectations for what is otherwise a nice bike
    #7
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  8. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

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  9. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    Guess I'll have to add anti-Jiggle-poof to the list! LOL
    #9
  10. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

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    I have these forks, on a 1290s.a.r and a husky 300i, both bikes ride fine...must be a set up issue,
    #10
  11. Jan from Finland

    Jan from Finland Been here awhile

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    Didn't the KTM already fix the issues #6 (ABS state change) and #7 (turning radius and fuel cap) for the model year 2019?



    Edit: Fixed the #.
    #11
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  12. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    #5 is fixed with a dongle. #7 is inherent to a truss frame. The locking gas cap is annoying, especially one so hard to turn that it risks breaking the key. They did fix the placement so it's not a perfect well for dirt to collect in.
    #12
  13. timeOday

    timeOday Long timer

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    I think turning radius was revised, but this reviewer for one does not seem impressed with whatever improvement they made:

    "The turning radius and tight steering stops seem to have ‘not’ been improved at all, leaving me with the: lock the bars over and hope for the best approach known to those that have spent time on a 690. The steering head angle may aid in stability at speed, but it’s still a major annoyance when trying to make tight turns or flip around in confined spaces."

    https://www.advpulse.com/adv-bikes/2019-ktm-690-enduro-r-review/
    #13
  14. Jan from Finland

    Jan from Finland Been here awhile

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    So it's "vastly better" but not yet "great"?
    #14
  15. enduro16

    enduro16 Long timer

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    Sorry but the unicorn hasn't been made...
    #15
  16. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    That's what makes building one exciting.
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  17. The Cone of Silence

    The Cone of Silence Been here awhile

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    I couldn't agree more.

    In truth, for most people there isn't a unicorn bike and can never be one as the compromise of on-road handling and performance always equals too significant a compromise on the dirt, but for some the 690 appears to be an excellent platform on which to create a rider-tailored bike that may not solve but at least challenges the 'Impossible to be very good at both on and off road' paradigm.

    I'm looking to get mine next year and do the same - tweak it and improve it to be the right bike for me. I'll be watching this thread with great interest, @spartanman and I'm keen to learn from others what improvements they believe are required in terms of performance (on or off road), handling, reliability and comfort.
    #17
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  18. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer Supporter

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    Don't want to nominate a solution in search of a problem, but . . . what about a Factory Pro Shifter encouraging positive/definite shifts in # 6?

    KTM may have improved shifting by 2020 models; if not, a Pro Shifter might come in handy.
    #18
  19. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    A dongle AND a jiggle? Sounds finnishy.

    Swap the hole gearbox? But, butt... doesnt it have eh frigging shift leevar? Canned yew just....SHEEEEEEEEFT!
    How can one knot find a final drive ratio to work within the limitations of that bike, that motor and the mentioned mods? Madness.
    #19
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  20. Requiem84

    Requiem84 Riding around the world @gravelforbreakfast.com

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    Shouldn't the real unicorn be a bit lighter as well?
    #20
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