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

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

  1. sharpie1

    sharpie1 Long timer Supporter

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    I just got back from a 1700 mile trip on my 450 and only changed the oil 7 times and rebuilt the top end 3 times. Oh wait, I did not, I just rode it...
  2. SCPancho

    SCPancho Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Just rode my 690 600 miles in three days. Buddies were on more street bikes. Love my 690 but it’s not a touring bike. So, it depends upon where you ride.
  3. SCPancho

    SCPancho Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    1700 miles over how many days?
  4. sharpie1

    sharpie1 Long timer Supporter

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    6 days, almost all dirt. For about 70%, my 701 would have been better, but the 60-70 miles of tight single track in Idaho would have been a little scary on a loaded 701.
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  5. SCPancho

    SCPancho Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    He-man stuff. Beyond me.
  6. gordfraser

    gordfraser Adventurer

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    I had a ‘18 690 which I loved, but I saw an opportunity to sell it to a buddy and get a 790R. I like it also, but it is not a dirt bike.
    I now have a ‘18 500exc also. I kind of like that combo although I’m not a collector.

    790 more black top or multiple day rides with no single track
    500 for day rides in whatever type of road or track i want to ride and back to base camp every night, or maybe one over night.

    I did the continental divide in ‘17 on the 690, camping, it took all the gear and me no problems.

    One guy had a 500 and on the highway sections into boulder CO he jurist got smaller and smaller in the mirror on the climbs, we were doing 70 easily. The altitude killed off some power of all our bikes

    G
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  7. Traumat1x

    Traumat1x Been here awhile

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    Devil is in the details. He is telling the truth. The rocker arms are not the issue. The bearings are.....causing the catastrophic results that can happen with the rockers :D

    With the new engine...doesn't it still have 2 exhaust rockers? Does that not work on the same concept?
    I would love to see a new engine opened to see how it looks inside compared to the other one.

    Is the 2019 and up engine the same as what the 2016 up Duke engine was or completely new?
  8. Traumat1x

    Traumat1x Been here awhile

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    Imagine what that dude would be able to do on a 690 :hide
  9. Traumat1x

    Traumat1x Been here awhile

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    But you will prep the 790 as well, taking it back to 100lbs heavier than the prepped 690.
  10. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    Having obsessed over the "rocker arm issue" for the last 8 years, I think it would be fair to say that the issue wasn't a bearing issue, rather it was the staking of the axle which was the primary cause of the failure. Which seems to have been corrected in the rockers with casting mark of "15" or higher.

    The new valve train geometry does have a rocker on the exhast valves, but I don't know if has the same axle retention design. Either way, no reports of the new engine grenading due to valve train issues as far as I know.
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  11. The Cone of Silence

    The Cone of Silence Been here awhile

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    Of course I will. I'm legitimately appalling at packing light. 2021 690 on the way. Farkles ordered, build to commence in a month. Can't wait.
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  12. Doc Sarvis

    Doc Sarvis Advent-ia before dementia Supporter

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    Just sold my 1190R because it was too big. I am loving the 701- its better on the street and the dirt than I expected. I love my 501 for day use but the thought of more than 50 miles of pavement makes want to puke. If I had to have one it would be the 701. I have been doing 300 mile camping overnighters with a good mix of dirt and tarmac and its easy.
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  13. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    Great thread. Thoughtful input. Update: Other than a front suspension upgrade, the 690 is ready to go. Details here: https://advrider.com/f/threads/2020-ktm-690-enduro-wr-build.1459338/
    I have a couple out-west trips planned this year to see how we get along. I still have the 500 EXC in case it doesn’t work out. But successful sea trials of the 690 will likely put the 500 on the block. In any event, the 1150 GSA stays.
  14. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    Got the 690 out for a 100 mile road ride today. The motor is uncannily smooth for a big thumper, and punchy too. I could comfortably ride it all day long; even the stock seat ain't bad.
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  15. Traumat1x

    Traumat1x Been here awhile

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    You will see that the bearings stick eventually - causing the issues.
  16. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob Supporter

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    Good video. He shows and talks about normal high mileage wear. The rockers he pulled out of the engine were the newer style with the deep staking.

    The earlier rockers had the staking loosen and that little shaft come out.

    Tell me if I"m wrong, but the really early 690's didn't have rocker issues. I've only seen the 11-13 years have failures.

    It's funny, but the old 400/600/620/640 motors had the same type of roller rocker. There was a kit from KTM to repair the short shaft, rollers and pins with instructions on how to stake the pin. I've only done one that was loose. Heard of those failing?
  17. oryx80

    oryx80 Adventurer

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    Just found out this thread and read all of it with big interest, since like many people, I am chasing the same goal. Can't give my opinion on twin adv bikes since I only owned thumpers, but I know that I really liked the 2 690's I used to have, despite the fact that they had their flaws. I decided to give a try to the lighter spectrum with a 500 and went all in with a brand new bike and many adv farkles including a rade rally fairing. Haven't had the chance to try the new 690, but if it is the better unicorn bike out there, the 500 is right behind it. It might not be as well balanced as the 690, but it has a lot going for it.. probably way more than most bikes..
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  18. Adanac rider

    Adanac rider O.S.T.R. 62 Supporter

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    To answer the OPs question , probably , but why . If you break one bike or it's down for regular maintenance or upgrades you have the other bike to ride . Myself ,I look forward to different rides , overnite trips , change it up .
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  19. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    The 500 is a great motorcycle. I love mine; I’ll have to be certain the 690 is a good enough dirt bike to let it go.
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  20. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    Not looking for an argument, so will certainly concede there were issues with the bearings. But if you dig through the Wunderfest thread I think you'll see the majority of failures appear to be caused the the stake not retaining the axle to the rocker arm.


    A few thoughts on the video, which I agree is good at showing you what to look for...

    Not that it matters, but the failed rockers he shows at the end are the earliest design. You can tell that by the "cross" stake mark and not the "dimple and ring".

    And second - for the love of God, do not work on the valve train without stuffing rags in the cam chain tunnel. He even mentions it. And he's 100% correct - that 1-minute of laziness will turn your day into a very long one if you drop something down there.
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