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

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

  1. ventgeo

    ventgeo Adventurer

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    One big difference : 690 has a 3 rings piston, and EXC only has 2 rings. It probably contributes to degrade oil faster.

    Out of that, 450/500 engines are close to the "old" 690 LC4 up to 2018, with SOHC and 2 rocker arms : very easy mantainance.
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  2. husqvarna

    husqvarna Been here awhile

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    Fascinating that I find myself in the same position as quite a few grizzled adventurers; non grizzled ride BMW land yachts :lol2. I have a 525 (love that bike) and 640Adv BUT both getting dated, long in the toof and a bit battered, even though I am a cautious, often solo rider. So at risk of being the loser in a homicide committed by Mrs Husky (justifiable if she got a judge of the non male persuasion) I surreptitiously obtained a Husky 501. It is set up as a cross country bike; stiff and high so some changes needed plus it has no blinkers etc. Same time my business partner, even deeper into three score and ten dotage than myself falls for a saucy lady BMW 800 (to him; land yacht to me) and we start doing a few rides with me on my 640 which now needs a bit of attention and my boyish dreams turn to a 690/701 "upgrade" from the 640; risky to my person as this may be. The 790/890 is very attractive if you ride from home via highways to gravel roads but I am convinced this is the section that will kill me or rather some vehicle with more than two wheels will be carelessly navigated into/over me. I have one fear also, I will drop a heavier bike and not be able to pick it up! My future riding sees me trailering from home to a suitable spot. My riding aims to be day trips; jeep track and single track etc then a few multi day trips; rugged gravel roads and some surfaced roads, minimal highway.

    Also of course the 701/690 is quite a few shekels less than a 790/890 (particularly). Such a 790 type purchase could result in the death of a thousand cuts at the hands and other implements of Mrs Husky.

    But the denizens of this thread seem somewhat split with quite a few having pretty much the exact "quiver" I lust over, before Father Time reels me in. I can but dream and at least my last words may well be that there is a precedent for owning such machines.

    Thank you and apologies for my wordy waffle.
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  3. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    Just turned 600 miles and ready for the first oil change. This 690 is probably one of my favorite bikes ever. It's light enough to be fun off road, can comfortably run down the highway at 70 mph, quick enough not to be boring (2nd gear roll-on wheelies) and great mileage (60+mpg). I did a lot of upgrades before I even rode it, which was a dice roll. Happily it all worked out. My 500 has a new and happy owner.
    1BB190F3-A63F-4047-9913-39E7F00A1D05.jpeg
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  4. grace

    grace Long timer Supporter

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    congrats. you decision aligns with my thoughts. it's interesting to read so many people offering feedback on bikes they've never ridden or owned. the 2019+ 690 is whole different animal versus previous 690s. it's irrelevant to discuss a 690 when one's only experience is pre 2019.

    i have 2014 and 2021 690s, ktm 790 rally and 2017 bmw r1200gs. i intended to add a 500 or 350 exc and just couldn't love them enough and i so i added a 2021 690 and built it into my version of a dirt bike. i don't understand how anyone can compare the 500 exc to a 690 on the street. i found it painful to ride a 500 exc on the street. i don't trailer bikes.

    i converted the 2014 690 to a supermoto and it's the bike that i ride most on a daily basis. it's stupid fun and great for zipping around town.

    if there is a unicorn, the 2019+ ktm 690 is the unicorn. unless, one has actually ridden one, it makes nonsense for him to comment or compare the 2019+ 690. it's fast, smooth, rips canyons and, depending on skill level, it will tackle some pretty gnary singletrack -not as fast as a 500exc. the suspension on the new 690 performs worlds better vs the old 690 and, importantly, offers loads more options for tuning the suspension to one's desire.

    anyone saying 790 can do 90% of 690, probably hasn't ridden them on the same gnarly track. a 790 weighs 100lbs more than a 690. that's 100lbs (45kgs). there's absolutely no bypassing that 100lbs. 100lbs is significant. a "prepped" 690 vs "prepped" 790 still results in a 100lbs weight different. e.g., a proper skid plate on a 790 may add 8lbs. all my bike's are setup to my heart's content and there's still about a 100lbs weight difference.

    the 2021 690 is my dirt bike. it has a plush 300mm suspension and geared lower. i ride from home to trails. i don't trailer. i don't travel with the 2021 690. i adventure travel on the 790 rally and the r1200gs. i ride the 2014 690 sumo the most and i put the most miles on the 790, followed by the gs. like the op, the gs is here to stay. the gs is fantastic- still the best overall bike on the planet. there's nothing like the gs.

    no rocker arm issues on the 2014 690, and i've beat the shit out of that motor. it's spent a good chunk of it's life near the rev limiter and she still runs great with over 16-17k hard miles on the odometer. until last year, i traveled with the 690 loaded with 70-80 lbs of gear. it was no gs and it worked. the new 690 is sooo much smoother. i wouldn't hesitate to travel with the new 690 and i won't because i have 790 and gs.

    i've spent loads more cash to prep both the 790 and the gs versus the 690. i've spent lots on all bikes, since i build them as i want. that's one benefit of no wife. :lol3 so, in my opinion, one will still spend more to "prep" a gs or 790 -even the up spec rally version- vs a 690.

    so, what's my point? i forgot. :confused

    oh yeah! it depends. it always depends on what one wants to do with bike and one's skill level. i ride the gs on trails where some will only small bikes. in skilled hands, gs will astonish with its capabilities. 790 rally is so badass -even compared to regular 790 r. as badass as the 790 rally is, the 690, weighing 100lbs less, is significantly more capable. when i want to go explore and i don't know if i'll get into trouble, no question i take the 690 vs 790. 690 is easier to pickup and much easier to save, if it starts falling over. for how i ride, the 690 is much closer to the 500 exc vs the 790. for me, the 790 is closer to the gs vs the 690. though a 790 weighs about 100lbs more than 690 and gs weighs about 100lbs more than 790, a 790 weighs about 22% more than 690 and gs weighs about 18% more than 790. kinda.

    and that rant maybe worth $0.02 -or less. :D
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  5. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

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    I can ride my 790 like a full on dirtybike…it’s certainly a workout. Ive long suspected a fully tarted up 690 would suit me just fine too. If I ever get my hands on one, it may mean trouble for my wallet…aux tanks, rebelX front end, cruise gizmo, stretched and worked suspension, hard and soft luggage, some kinda saddle one can actually sit on for some time, and it very well could replace the 790 with all those same mods, except for the fairing I haven’t bought yet.
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  6. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    ^^I know of a GS team rider who tosses around a 790 like a dirt bike. It’s at once humbling and a reminder of how good these bike can be in capable hands. I suspect he’d ride the 690 like a trials bike. For my part, I don’t miss the 100 lb or 100 cc.
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  7. Doc Sarvis

    Doc Sarvis Advent-ia before dementia Supporter

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    The more time I put on my 701 the more I love that thing. I did a trip last weekend that I never would have considered doing on my 1190 (or any of the KTM twins) and it just slayed it. I love my 501 but street riding on it is a necessary evil.
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  8. DJKuhn

    DJKuhn Been here awhile Supporter

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    2 weeks ago I spent a weekend in NW PA on the 701 (lots of trails in the Alleghany National Forest). I rode it down and back too (something I'd not have done with a 500exc for instance). I still have the oem seat and that was one shortcoming of the bike... and I still have the OEM tires and that's the other. Luckily both are easily fixed.

    So at the end of the weekend my ass was sore and I found that the oem tires were too squirmy on dirt for my liking... but neither of those issues would keep me from doing it again.

    It was pretty funny getting back on the Multi after that weekend though... most Duc folks complain about the seat (too hard), but compared to the weekend on the 701 it was like I was riding an armchair (really fast cushy armchair).
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  9. grace

    grace Long timer Supporter

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    getting a comfortable seat on the 701/690 makes worlds of difference in comfort and ability to ride all day -frankly on any bike.

    the 790 rally came with a one piece dirt bike type seat and that seat was miserable after 150 miles. just miserable. i switched to a two-piece seat rebuilt by sargents cycle and i've now ridden over 400 miles in one day, in comfort. similarly, after trying five seats from different manufacturers, i finally settled on seats from seat concepts from both 690s. with the seat concepts seats, i can ride all day on both bikes. i've done 300 miles days on the 2014 690, without issue. the seat concepts winning solution is the ability to customize foam density to specific preferences. i like really firm foam for a one-piece seat.
  10. DJKuhn

    DJKuhn Been here awhile Supporter

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    The Seat Concepts part seems like the consensus "way to go"... so that's what I was planning -but I figured I'd give the stock seat a try to see if my backside would get used to it (I used to do full day rides on road bicycles - those seats have even less padding). I think maybe I COULD acclimate... but it would take a lot longer than I'm willing to spend so I'm just going to get the replacement seat.
  11. Carmmond

    Carmmond S.E. WI

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    I would love to be getting 60+….. I’m seeing around 51MPG with my 2020 SM.
  12. Engineer5

    Engineer5 Been here awhile Supporter

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    What were the upgrades?
  13. Cam

    Cam Long timer

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    Alright someone talk me into or out of one of these options being discussed here. I keep flopping between the 500 EXCF, the 890R and the 690R. I live in SW Florida most of the time which means mostly zipping around town as not much here fun to ride on but I go up to GA/TN frequently where I have access to great curvy highways and a lot of gravel/fire roads. I want something relatively easy to load into a pickup for travel. I am too old (50s) to want to do much more than gravel/fire roads which is a good bit of the riding I plan on doing. I love twisties and have property right off some great ones in TN. I don't like riding for hours so the plan is to drive most places I want to ride. I haven't owned a bike in nearly a decade but I am not rusty as I borrow dirt bikes from family a couple times per year. I have decades of riding dirt bikes through woods and a couple decades carving Suches GA on sports bikes.

    I am relatively tall at 6'3 and not small at 270lbs. I like to stand up frequently while riding. Electronics on a bike intrigue me. Budget is a non-issue (well under 20k) and I don't mind "adjusting" or "farkling" a bike to fit my needs. I looked at a Svartpilen 701 and like it but found the peg position too aggressive for comfortable standup riding. The CRF300L and KLX300 are just too underpowered for my liking.

    Kinda leaning toward the 690/701 Enduro right now. The 500 EXCF seems like too much work to get it twistie friendly even for short distances. The 890R seems almost perfect but its a porker and not looking forward to loading/hauling around 450lbs plus. Thoughts?
  14. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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  15. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    Sounds like a 690 may be the bike. Way more comfortable on road than a 500. It’s as smooth running as my 1150 GSA. It’s 100 lb lighter than a 790. It feels light taking it off the side stand. Ride one. I think you’ll be impressed.
  16. Cam

    Cam Long timer

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    I will see if I can find a demo around. Seems there are a few 701s around my area. Oddly I don't find the 500 uncomfortable but I rode XR400s for over a decade hours at a time. I missed the last 890R demo day so hopefully one of those pops up sooner or later.