501/500 or 701/690

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by mixmaster, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. mixmaster

    mixmaster n00b

    Sep 22, 2017
    Reality tells me that the 701/690 is the bike best suited to my style of riding and usage. But my preference on weight, height and bore is aimed right at the 501/500.
    Dealers guide me towards the 701/690.
    Would a 501/500 with an upgraded tank and seat really be a bad idea for a rider who lives in the city, a good 50km from dirt, and likes to occasionally ride to work?
  2. miksu

    miksu Been here awhile

    Sep 28, 2009
    There is nothing wrong with the 500, will take it over a 690 any day. Biggest problem with it is that they are not street legal in normal, de restricted trim with offroad tail light etc. that is why they would not be sold for the same use as a 690.

    But yes 500 is a bad idea, it will probably get stolen in a day.
  3. Navin

    Navin Long timer

    Sep 22, 2009
    Either will get stolen so Id get the 500/501. If you can keep possession of it, its a great DS bike.
  4. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

    Apr 17, 2009
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    Agreed, it'd probably get snatched. Kinda like leaving a wallet in the bus station :lol3
  5. ArcticPig

    ArcticPig Adventurer

    Jan 13, 2014
    Haven't had mine stolen yet. *Knock knock knock*

    Definitely get a lot of envious looks from the local hood folk when I'm blasting around the city.
  6. Navin

    Navin Long timer

    Sep 22, 2009
    They just think you stole it.
  7. alexbit

    alexbit Adventurer

    Aug 12, 2016
    I've a 701 enduro 2016.
    For dual use is better than 500/501 principally due to it's maintenance plan, "confort" and fuel autonomy.

    Off-road 701 is very good (obviously NOT on Hard or Extreme tracks) but 500/501 is for sure better!

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  8. CanadianX

    CanadianX Don’t leave a steaming pile for others.

    Dec 26, 2010
    New Brunswick
    Have had both, currently have the 500 exc.

    The 690 is the better road going bike but only marginally so in terms of comfort. The engine is likely more suitable for road work and high average life span miles, but that is a guess as there are examples of both bikes having good reliable longevity and both have been used as a bike for world travel. Back to your road requirements, running 50 km on the highway isn't much of an issue on the 500.

    The 500 is easier to maintain even if it calls for more frequent routine maintenance. It is a far better off road bike (defining off road as more technical trail work vs. being anything not paved). The 500 is easier to modify for longer range travels, buy the KTM or Acerbis 20l tank and swap the fuel pump and drop it in place. You've got 400+km provided you don't try to ride on one wheel all the time for a relatively low cost and easy install. It is less complex with fewer sensors and by design is perhaps more robust for off road work, essentially saying it will take a hard drop better and has fewer periphery wear items. Better suspension and lighter weight.

    The 690 has more complexity and everything is a bit harder to get to, but the motor is a beauty and for high speed dirt tracks the motor and inherent stability of the longer wheel base is hard to beat. Also if you ride in a lot of water or deep water the 690 has a significantly higher intake and therefore far better water fording capability. If putting lots of road miles on the bike each year I'd say the 690 might be more comfortable. IMO the weakness of the 690 is the wiring harness and if I was to be really picky the on road design elements, like the rad and weak sub frame bolts, weak seat pan and shitty overly lean factory tune. You can pre-emptively protect and correct all of these and if you price a new rad it won't take much of a decision/action cycle to order some sort of rad protection as part of the initial purchase.

    My 2015 500exc has 300 hrs and 14,000km with nothing but oil and filter changes. I check the valves but have only adjusted once as the exhaust side was just on the edge of being in spec. My 2012 690 was around the same kms when I traded it. Time spent on maintenance and repair was higher on the 690. For my riding, occasional road to get to the trail and lots of trail, rallies and even a couple of multi day trips in the dirt the 500 has been the ticket. It is easier to ride when it starts getting rough. Can't go wrong with either in the end.
  9. Richarde1605

    Richarde1605 Long timer

    Jan 1, 2015
    NSW Australia
    Good comparison 'X, I have neither
    But I do like good firsthand opinions.

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