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KTM 690 Enduro R or XR650L

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by R'oli, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
    So I think I have narrowed it to one of these two bikes to replace the DL650.

    I realize the KTM is much more powerful stock. XRL is air cooled, old technology.
    Is the KTM worth the extra $$, I am sure I will enjoy the KTM while riding it but will I be burdened with repairs.
    Is the XRL that much more reliable?
    has anyone owned both..?

    I have excluded the KLR and DR by now.
    #1
  2. Michelangelo

    Michelangelo 2 wheel rider...anytime..

    Joined:
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    I have owned an XR600R which is about the same as the 650L, albeit a little more oomph. I currently own a KTM 690E. I've also owned a Husky 610SM/TE, Duke II, XR650R. So I've had quite a bit of experience with big bores.

    The KTM is lots of dough compared to a 650L. I would say if you're not worried about power, then get the Honda. It's not very fast, esp compared to the KTM which is a burner. I like the simple nature of the Honda, lots of parts to hop it up. And the biggie is that it has a carb!! I'm NOT a fan of FI at all. Too many problems and pain in the butt having to pay someone to map it or buy the tech to do it yourself.

    There are some cool things that can be done to the 650L.
    Here is one of my favs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    204
    Location:
    Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
    KTM is about $11300 XLR is about $8100 around here.
    #3
  4. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
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    Idaho
    I currently own a 2005, Honda XR650L. I have never owned a KTM 690. :deal My XR650L has proven to be very reliable, and simple to maintain. :nod What type of riding do you plan with your new bike?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Spud :wave
    #4
  5. Devil#1

    Devil#1 Temptation Abounds

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    282
    Location:
    Bay Area
    That's a pretty simple one to calculate: Do you enjoy riding more than you enjoy saving money?

    Would you rather party with Carmen Electra or Rosie O'Donnel?

    Would you rather drive a Mini Cooper or a Morris Minor?

    If overweight, dated and boring are okay with you, definitely go with the L.
    #5
  6. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    Easy questions to answer. Carmen is nicer looking...much higher maintenance tho.
    #6
  7. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    Well, I want to ditch my Wee Strom and get something for :
    1) commuting to work couple times a week. (90km/55mile round trip,) I can take back roads and gravel roads to avoid traffic, but don't have to.
    2) weekend exploring back roads and what ever trails I find.
    3) logging roads, pipeline access roads, power lines, fire roads.
    4) Wee is nice but limited off road (some other wee owners think otherwise-...)
    KTM might be more than I need but but the XLR maybe under powered?
    #7
  8. TEZZA

    TEZZA ADV B4 DEM/TED

    Joined:
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    It all comes down to your budget.
    Do you buy a bike with all all the good gear or do you buy a bike and spend money on buying the after market good gear?????:huh
    KTM all the good gear and not high maintenance service every 5000km.:D
    HONDA old techno realiable yes , maintenance every 5000km , extras $$$$$$$$$$$.:evil
    All up to you at the end of the day.:clap
    You have to part with the money and ride it .:huh
    Tezza:D

    #8
  9. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    The XR650L is quite capable enough, and powerful enough to meet your intended riding needs. :nod Also, maintenance is very simple, and inexpensive for the XR650L.

    I change the engine oil every 2,000 miles, and the oil filter every 8,000 miles. Valve adjustments are very simple; the procedure takes only 30 minutes to complete, and requires only a screwdriver, two wrenches, and feeler gauges. I bought my bike used, with 7,800 miles on the odometer; at that time the valve lash was on the tight end of the acceptable range. I adjusted the valve lash to the middle of the range. The bike was running very well, so I next inspected the valves at 16,000 miles; the valve lash was exactly where I had left it. I inspected the valve lash again at 26,000 miles; the valve lash was still exactly where I had left it. :nod

    [​IMG]

    Spud :wave
    #9
  10. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Durham Region, Ontario, Canada

    There are plenty of used XLR's for sale in the area at a fraction of the price of new. No used KTMs to speak of.

    KTM
    Cons;
    small tank, not an inexpensive fix.
    No used ones for sale locally
    FI?

    Pros:
    comes well set up.
    FI?

    XLR
    Cons: never liked any of my previous Hondas that much although they were all fine bikes. (CB650, VFR, XL100)
    Needs mods,

    Pro:
    Used price low, I wouldn't care if it fell over, parts availability good



    I have found a new 2010 KTM , I read the 2011 is a better year, is this true?
    #10
  11. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    Indeed, you can find a lot of good deals on used, XR650L motorcycles. :nod Also, the condition of the used XR650L is far more important than the model year; the bike has been virtually unchanged since its introduction in 1993. :deal
    If I may ask, what mods are you considering?

    [​IMG]

    Spud :wave
    #11
  12. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
    XLR mods:

    Tank,Carb, exhaust, suspension, (cam/engine work for more power.)
    clutch....

    replace signals, headlight (brighter for night riding), front fender, rear fender and tail light,
    #12
  13. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

    Joined:
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    Here's an honest post as I'm selling a 690R...

    The KTM is probably 4x as expensive to own after a year. It's not just the buying cost. It's how often it breaks down, WHO can fix it, what you can do yourself (you maybe able to do everything yourself blindfolded on the XR but find not even the top tuners in the world can figure out your KTM).

    Have you thought about the Husky TE630. Man I was recently blown away with how cheap they are... huge price cut and they are not much more than an XR650L. Best tranny out there, motor 2/3 the way between the XRL and 690...
    #13
  14. Jud

    Jud Long timer

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    I had a DR650 for about 3yrs and about a year ago I sold it and bought a XR650L. When I sold the DR650 I really looked hard at several of the big bore thumpers and the KTM was on the list. I ended up with the XR because it had a fairly wide gear spread {the Husky TE610 beats it}, it's cheap to buy and maintain and there are tons of parts out there, both OEM and aftermarket than can be procured to make into something that best for me and what I want it for.

    Pros-
    Cheap to buy and maintain
    Proven to be very reliable
    Valves are easily adjusted with screw adjusters
    Air cooled simplicity
    Huge aftermarket to make it whatever you want from an around the world tourer to a a stripped down trail runner.
    Has a much wider gear spread than the 690 and can be made 5% wider with a OEM 5th gear from a FMX650 {gear spread can be pretty important depending on how and where you ride}

    Negs-
    Nowhere near as powerful as the KTM
    No where near the suspension
    A bit heavier than the KTM


    For the way you ride, gear spread could be very important to you and if so, I highly recommend that you consider the Husky TE610. It has all the pros of the KTM in that it's faster and has a better suspension but the gear spread is even wider than the XR's. From all I read and heard, the TE610 is a very reliable bike and about the only mods I would bug about would be a larger tank, a better seat and possibly an aftermarket exhaust just like I would want on the XR or the KTM. To me it's the perfect dual sport for how would use it,,,,, it just cost more and at the time, cost was a large factor but not the only factor which is why I ended up with my XR. The TE610 was at the top of the list because it was basically the best at most things I wanted {reliable, good suspension, good engine and that great tranny spread} but a good used one costs double what a good used XR cost. To be honest, the KTM 690 was my 3rd pick due to cost and that close ratio tranny.
    #14
  15. Jud

    Jud Long timer

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    Dang,,,,, beat me to it!:1drink
    #15
  16. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    Te 630 $7300 xrl $8200.
    I'll read up on them, but they are not a common item here.
    Thanks
    #16
  17. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    Fuel Tank Mod
    This is an easy, and inexpensive modification. You would probably want to make this modification to both motorcycles.

    Carburetor Modification
    Another easy, well documented modification for the XR650L. The only cost associated with this modification is the price of new jets.

    Exhaust Modification
    The stock exhaust system on the XR650L is only approximately 2.5 pounds heavier than an aftermarket exhaust system. Also, the stock exhaust system undoubtedly makes adequate power for the intended riding you specified, especially after you perform the standard carburetor modifications. Therefore, after riding the XR650L for a while, you might decide you don't want an aftermarket exhaust. However, if you do wish to purchase an aftermarket exhaust for the XR650L, you have a lot of good options, and the modification is easy to perform.

    Clutch Modification
    I must admit, I don't know why you would want to modify the clutch on the XR650L; its great. :nod Perhaps you want an autoclutch? If so, you would need to perform this modification on either bike.

    Suspension Modification
    Based upon the intended riding you specified, I think the suspension of the XR650L is entirely adequate. However, just as you can't have too much money in the bank, you can't have too good a suspension. :deal If you are sure the XR650L suspension is inadequate for your needs, you might be better off buying either the KTM 690 Enduro, or the Husky TE 610. :deal

    Cam/Engine Mods for More Power
    Once again, based upon the intended riding you specified, I think the power of the stock, XR650L engine is entirely adequate.

    I enjoy my XR650L a lot, and I am very glad I bought it. :nod However, if I was sure I wanted a superior suspension and a more powerful engine, I would prefer to buy a bike I didn't need to modify. Either way, you are going to pay for the improvements, and I would rather let the factory do the labor for me. :wink: In this instance, I would buy either the Husky TE610, or the KTM690 Enduro, in that order of preference.

    [​IMG]

    Spud :wave
    #17
  18. XR650L_Dave

    XR650L_Dave Long timer

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    Nobody's asking what kind of riding?
    #18
  19. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    How is the fuel tank mod on a 690 inexpensive....I read $800 USD for this option; 2 side tanks that fasten on either side infront of the seat..?
    #19
  20. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    I asked in post #4, and he answered in post #7, Dave. :nod

    Spud :wave
    #20