Can a KTM 690 Enduro replace a 790 Adventure R & 500 EXC?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by spartanman, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    And while I'm poking around here...as long as you don't expect it to be a great dirt bike, you may be fine...
  2. Takataka

    Takataka Been here awhile

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    That's the thing about the 500 that a 690 can never replace. When you get to the dirt you've got a proper dirt bike.
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  3. Traumat1x

    Traumat1x Been here awhile

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    I guess that’s also true for when you get to the slab right...? “you’ve got a proper dirt bike”.
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  4. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    There will be no consensus on this subject but it is fun to toss around opinions as long as no one gets worked up over it.

    For me the 690 ultimately came to represent a laundry list of the wrong compromises. After much time, effort & money trying to make the 690 work for me it boiled down to this: The 690 was not good enough offroad to put up with it for long travel distances on-road (though it was fun in the twisties).

    Just the wrong bike for my needs. I have a 250XC-F for local romps on single track. I have the 790 for everything else. I could see getting a 500 to replace the 250 but it would be no replacement for the 790, and the 690 couldn't replace any of them (for me).
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  5. DIYPSCM

    DIYPSCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    Just a reminder when comparing power/weight ratios... include yourself :lol3

    For example...

    500 EXC weighs 250 pounds & has 58 HP. P/W ratio is .232

    690/701 weighs 320 pounds & has 74 HP. P/W ratio is .231

    Now put my fat ass (225 pounds) on both..

    EXC is .122

    690/701 is .136

    You pay a higher fat tax with the EXC.... 690/701 "package" has 12% more power. Add luggage, spares, fuel, etc. etc & the tax gets higher.
  6. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    No real disagreement, but will only add that that difference means very little in the dirt - would anyone really argue that 58hp isn't enough for the trails?

    On the highway and passing, maybe, but outside of that?
  7. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    The elephant in the room nobody seems to talk about is one's riding abilities or lack thereof. We've all seen highly skilled riders take "inappropriate" motorcycles places lesser skilled riders struggle to go with optimal ones. No doubt a lighter, handier bike is easier to ride. But I wouldn't blame the 690 if I failed to navigate some challenging single track that I may have rocked on the 500. The problem is staring back at me from the double take mirror. I look forward to giving it a go.
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  8. Dale950

    Dale950 Long timer

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    How did they improve the rocker arm issue on the later 690's ? Different design ?
  9. Dale950

    Dale950 Long timer

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    Ahh I just found the new ones .:-)
  10. abandoned track

    abandoned track Been here awhile Supporter

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    It's good to be able to have more than 1 tool (bike), but like my 170 mile ride today, my 690 was perfect for the backroads, gravel roads, dirt roads, non-maintained roads that I took today. I can string a lot of roads like this together and I am comfortable all day on my 690. Of course a 790/890 can handle this also, but I like being 100 lbs. lighter.

    And working on a single cylinder bike is much easier.
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  11. Takataka

    Takataka Been here awhile

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    I had a lot of fun on this kind of stuff on my 690 too but for me the 500 is better on anything other than highway.

    I feel that the power delivery is way better on the 500. It's got more torque down low and requires less shifting. Gravel corners are just awesome on the 500 as it can drift out easier in a higher gear. I found the 690 to either be in too high gear to initiate a nice drift or else I felt I needed to shift up before even exiting the corner fully (could compensate to some degree with the clutch). The 500 just grunts out sideways then goes into a wheelie if you want :D
    It also seems to handle better on twisty sealed roads but that could be setup and tires, not sure, but I prefer it.
    A couple of weeks ago we did 475km in a day on mixed terrain and I never felt any discomfort.

    The only things I miss slightly about the 690 are the reduced vibration and more top end power on the road for overtaking.
  12. dakarchef

    dakarchef Been here awhile

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    It also seems to handle better on twisty sealed roads but that could be setup and tires, not sure, but I prefer it.
    A couple of weeks ago we did 4475km in a day on mixed terrain and I never felt any discomfort.
    *****
    Does this bit need some editing?
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  13. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I have both a 500 and a 690 for some reason. Actually I got in this position in going from a KTM 450 and a KLR in my last ownership evolution. Much clearer separation in that case.

    I have my 500 geared pretty low for tough trails. I am constantly shifting on rural farm gravel roads where there seems to be a stop sign every mile or so.

    I feel like I am wasting what I suspect are limited miles on the bike when riding very far on easy gravel roads.

    The 690 feels better and works well up thru some pretty gnarly stuff without putting me in survival mode. But I would never take it on any kind of challenging single track.
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  14. Takataka

    Takataka Been here awhile

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    I do have my 500 geared higher than most at 15/48. It makes it much better on open stuff and it's still significantly lower than a 690 standard gearing when the going gets tough.
    I ride trials so am comfortable using the clutch when needed but if I was riding a lot of gnarlier single track I would gear it down.
    It surprises me to see a lot of owners run 14/48 but hardly ever ride anything tougher than 2 track.
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  15. moto74

    moto74 displaced

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    I also have both an older 690 and a newer 500, which most would say too close together but works for me. I don't want a heavy twin. The 500 is set up as a light adventure bike for missions and the 690 has become my big bike for general use. Also if the 500 gets laid up before a big trip, I can take the 690 and mostly get away with it. I don't find the 500 a problem for long transport sections to get to the good stuff.
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  16. Bob599

    Bob599 Bob599

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    I have never really understood the maintenance argument between the two bikes?

    2020 500 EXC oil capacity 1.5 liters
    2020 690 R oil capacity 1.7 liters

    ? How is the 690 so much better with the same rider in the same terrain? Yes KTM recommends a much shorter schedule for the 500 based on intended use. But when ridden in the same manner of the 690's intended use wouldn't it be close to the same? I am asking this as a legitimate question, not as sarcasm. Is there something about the 690 motor that would enable longer intervals?
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  17. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    Two-second Internet answer - engine design and tuning, intended use, and user expectations are the three big buckets I can think of.

    What percentage each contributes to the service interval recommendation won't be clearly answered without talking to KTM...
  18. Bob599

    Bob599 Bob599

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    Yeah that is my question. Didn't know if anyone here would have the mechanical answer. Larger displacement, Lower RPM at similar speed, different mechanical makeup of motor for longer maintenance intervals. I have ridden a few 690's and owned a 450, 530, 500 and especially with the older ones I don't see the 690 working that much less.

    Just curious,
  19. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    I think I know what you're getting at, the stock 690 is pretty well mannered. To get the "grunt out sideways" experience, try a vortex equipped one.
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  20. DIYPSCM

    DIYPSCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    Looks like my earlier HP/weight number were off... (going by manufacturer's published specs) The 690 has it all over the 500 in real world numbers. Same people, same dyno...

    https://www.cycleworld.com/how-much-power-does-2019-ktm-690-enduro-r-make/

    KTM 690 made 59.2 rear wheel hp at 8,200 rpm and 43.4 pound-feet of torque at 6,800 rpm.

    https://www.cycleworld.com/story/bikes/how-much-power-does-the-2020-ktm-500-exc-f-make/

    KTM 500 made 39.4 rear wheel hp at 8,100 rpm and 27.7 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm.

    50% more HP, 57% more tq. The 690 makes more tq. @3000 rpm than the 500 does all day.
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