RTW with Noah on a KTM 690

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RoninMoto, Apr 14, 2012.

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  1. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    The cam rollers fail on the 640's around 25-30K. Mine blew up 3 days into a week long trip. And yes Noah, carbs for us folks on older machines. I just did a rebuild on mine, we'll see if I got it back together right:lol3
  2. RoninMoto

    RoninMoto Wanderer

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    I've been all over. 22 ski resorts so far this winter. Its a rough life, but someone has to do it :p
    And I'm not sure what you mean about suspect. Home is where you park it. Also.. why didn't you stop and say hi?

    I've pretty much come to the conclusion that arguing about the right bike is like arguing politics. No matter how blatantly obvious the right answer is to me.. 1/2 the population will get bent out of shape that they are right. Good luck with the rebuild.
  3. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Go get a few turns for me will ya? Life is definitely in my way at the moment.
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  4. Sherwin84

    Sherwin84 Adventurer

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    Great ride report and many thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with us. It'll be great to read the next leg of your journey!!

    I agree with your comparison of bikes vs politics. It does get a little annoying to have the 3rd grade arguments of which bike is the "best". The best bike out there is the one you own and ride. Whether it be a $32,000.00 Goldwing, a $1500 chinese replica of something, or an inherited 1978 Honda CB. If you have a bike, create an adventure. Its great that the KTM was able to hold up to your RTW abuse the way it did. There are many other bikes out there that would be able to do it I'm sure. Perhaps they wouldn't even have the minor issues you encountered. Perhaps they would grenade half way through what you did. Regardless...bikes are like anything else in the world. If we all drank the same Kool-Aid, it would be a pretty boring place.
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  5. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list Supporter

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    Man, this thing is still going?!!! Noah, your life is quite impressive. Doing whatever you want and enjoying every day is quite the accomplishment. I still look at 690s from time to time and think of you. Hope you are tearing it up right now!!! Oh, we need pics!!
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  6. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    He was at my place a week ago, he has been pretty busy for the last few months chasing winter...
  7. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Sick Bastard!:lol3 Someone get the man a Margarita!!
    JJ

    PS....It is Noah's fault I own the 690 in my avatar.:clap
    jj
  8. Wobbles123

    Wobbles123 Skinny bumpy roads make me happy

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    Noah, ran into you in Fernie earlier this winter with my wife Tara, we breifly chatted about 690's! Finally stumbled across your rr! On page 5, I have a ways to go....what are your plans this spring/summer? Rusty.
  9. RoninMoto

    RoninMoto Wanderer

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    Thanks for letting me do my laundry and take a shower! the meal was amazing also. Im looking forward to seeing where you take the (one of your) 640s.

    That was such a good day! so deep! I'm up to 33 resorts now and aournd 70 days on the snow. I plan to stop mid may. Go back to Minnesota to do some carpentry and build some more snowboards before taking a few contracts in july or something.
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  10. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    I loved my 100 day seasons! My best was 152. Keep it up! Did you go to Castle Mtn Alberta? Good buddy of mine is the marketing manager there
  11. go_modem_go

    go_modem_go Earth Crawler

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    Noah - Thanks for this RR - I have only discovered it now (via a KTM forum), and spent a solid 2 days reading all of your posts! :clap

    What an interesting read! Your travel philosophy resembles my preferred way of travelling (choice of pace, routes, etc)!

    Makes me envious... I have only travelled to 40 countries so far (albeit covering all inhabited continents in the process), of which I have covered only 24 by motorbike (mostly in Europe, if you don't count in a spontaneous 2-week mountain forest ride on a Bajaj 125 all across Sri-Lanka).

    Sadly, none of my motorcycle trips ever lasted more than 8 weeks in a row (for example Ex-Warsaw Pact Eastern Europe and Balkans off the beaten path tour last summer).

    I TOTALLY relate to your liking of lightweight, modern motorbikes!

    I own a lowered 2014 KTM Duke 690, since I am way too short-legged to safely ride a fully ADV-prepped Enduro.

    However, the new Duke gave me TWO catastrophic engine failures on longer trips abroad, one in the Kosovo 2015 at just 20k kms (broken valve tappet, with some bearing stuff inside the engine), and on another occasion last year a sheered-off gearbox final shaft en route to the Ukraine at just 25k kms on the odo (new engine courtesy of KTM extended warranty insurance this time).

    Both failures repaired under manufacturer warranty, but the bike had to be brought back to the EU to have it repaired by approved KTM workshops...

    I am not mad at my 690 Duke - I met the most helpful and friendly local people when stranded with my KTM, breaking down can open up completely new adventures in itself!...

    Yet it is still good to hear that a 690s can indeed take the beating past the 100k mark (with some regular maintenance to the valve train, of course...). I was going to sell mine, but I just love it too much to bite the bullet (too much fun and too easy to ride!)...

    Due to fear of further mishaps, I reverted back to a dirt cheap but disposable 70k km Y2k Suzuki GSX 1200 naked with Conti TKC70 nobbly tires for the Balkans / Albania tour in April / May I just came back from...

    Even this cheap, rund down 212kg UJM behemoth proved to be much better on Albanian donkey paths, and was way easier to get parts for in the deepest Ukrainian or Bosnian backsticks than my travel mate's lard-arsed and way too big BMW GS1150!

    I am SO glad I don't own one of these monsters - they are only really good for doing endless daily miles on mostly straight, paved roads, not much else!

    Anyway, are you planning to do to any more long rides abroad in the near future, or has the more "comfortable" VW LT Feuerwehr - live-in RV lifestyle gotten to you? :photog

    PS: I used to have one of these VW LT vans - albeit an older 1978 SWB 2x4 model, with the gas-guzzling Porsche 924 aspirated 2.0l engine in it. Back in the day it was MUCH better live with than the air-cooled rear-engined VW T2 Buses that everyone else was owning, because they were "cool" (even more so today, real overrated POS if you ask me...).

    I also drove the LT 35 LWD 2x4s 6cyl Turbo-Diesels in as a student weekend job, delivering stuff all around Europe in the early 1990s. Your 4x4 inline-6 diesel is indeed a very rare example of the crême de la crême of VW LT Mark 1's!

    If you need any LT-specific parts, I am at the source in Germany (and the Balkans / non-EU Eastern Europe, were most of the survivors have ended up these days). So drop me a note, I'll be glad to help out.
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  12. deaninkl

    deaninkl Been here awhile

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    Well Noah, I just saw this thread today... bit late to the party I know... but you see a good friend has a 640, which gives him grief almost daily, so we discussed that is probably why KTM never dared to give Ewan and Charlie KTM's because they knew they wouldn't make it out of England without a tow truck... so I wondered if any idiot.... ah.... brave biker... had ever tried an RTW trip on a KTM, so I googled KTM and RTW in the same sentence and you came up. So I'm on page one and I assume you made home, I take my hat off to you for doing the trip on a KTM, and I only have 220 pages to read... I'm in... ;o)
  13. Brian011952

    Brian011952 Been here awhile

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    Oh Come On! you obviously haven't owned any KTM's and are just bumping your gums about something you know nothing about. Having owned multiple KTM's and currently owning two right now (One that I am planning to ride on a roughly 14,000 mile trip in 2018), I know their reliability is outstanding. I once had a Honda that I rode (an XR). I found that it was three times less reliable in the same mileage than my KTM. In the first 18,000 miles, the Honda ate two clutches, on rear shock, and cracked a valve seat. The KTM, in 35,000 mile needed regular servicing (Oil Changes and Valve's checked). As I write this, I have two KTM's with a combined mileage of 36,000 miles on them in my garage. No breakdowns yet on either one. I do feel confident jumping them too as KTM forks are known to remain attached to the bike when you land.
  14. Grynch

    Grynch Long timer

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    I own a couple 640's....Nothing but trouble. We fixed the 03'...too gun shy to run it.
  15. Jbone11 11

    Jbone11 11 Long timer

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    Not that this needs talking about, but since Im here and have a moment or two to spare before my office door gets kicked in.....In regards to the comment about Long Way Round not going with KTM (The horse is dead, but Im gonna beat it anyway...LOL) Keep in mind the timeframe of when Ewan and Charlie were doing their thing...Early 640's did have their issues, and it wasn't until 2005 onward that the 640 really became reliable in the modern sense. And in 2004, the 2003 Models were likely still going to be the ones they got....Personally I wouldn't buy an '03 unless it had the (now) known issues fixed.

    Further, the support network likely wasn't as established at the time in comparison to BMW's, but that hardly makes KTM's shitty bikes. Now days, KTM is up there with Honda and the like.... at least in my experience... only they are easier to work on because they were designed to be worked on in the field or track side by large Bavarian types as oppose to Japanese bikes which require the mechanic to have hands the size of a small Asian child to work on and about 60 different sizes socket sizes! LOL.

    At any rate, times have changed and in the 14 ish years since LWR, bikes are better than ever. No need to shit on any one particular brand. The only caveat of course is if Your mate owns a different brand of moto than you...I which case, you may give him/her the gears in relentless fashion :)
  16. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    And on the other hand an inmate has just done a teardown at 850hrs on a 500EXC he uses for RTW riding. The rings were worn. Though he replaced the cylinder, piston and head because he wanted peace of mind they were still perfectly useable. He didn't do anything to the bottom end. The mileage was over 40000km.
    JJ
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  17. Jbone11 11

    Jbone11 11 Long timer

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    I'll add that I have 13K km on my '17 690 Enduro R and have missed every single service interval... I am about to do my valve check and whatever else I've been too busy to do...I suspect they are well within spec or at worst, require minor adjustment/shimming. Keep ya posted :D
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  18. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    The only difference between the 03 and the 05 engines is the 03 has one large oil jet to spray the piston underside as to where the 05 has 2 small ones... The 03 has a much better front end set up than the 05 which makes the bike 8 LBS lighter.. 02 was the last year that the older engine was used before KTM went to the Hi- Flo head..

    Regardless of brand, the biggest factor at play in whether a machine is reliable or not is the person riding the bike.. Often a show stopper breakdown will be caused by a series of small simple to fix stuff that went unnoticed.. When you ride the same machine for a long time you should become in tune with that machine, you will notice if something is off and be able to remedy it before it leads to more problems...

    Most round the world BMW riders plan there ride around the dealer network so not many actually get into some of those rough spots that Noah took his bike.. With Charlie and Ewen, things started to fail when they got into semi rough country... In Mongolia the 20 times cheaper Russian bike rode circles around those BMWs ..

    A lot of people swear by the DR 650, but those bikes have proven to fail when ridden in expedition type fashion over rough country, no bike is immune or invincible... For most RTWers, rider savy plays the biggest part to keeping your machine reliable.. If you are a BMW rider, making it to the dealership in time before the bike quits is the usual coarse..
  19. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    Sorry to be the kill-joy, but this is the wrong thread for this...
  20. anydavenow

    anydavenow Long timer

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    Jeff, could you post a link to that? I have ambitions for my 450!
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