Midwest Dualsport Motorcycle Community 

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 #9078  by Harvey Mushman
 21 Jun 2011 11:35
Anybody here know anyone who owns a 690E? I've done alot of reading and can find opinions from people who have ridden bigger heavier bikes, KLR/XRL/DR, etc and they all rave about the 690. I only talked with one guy who currently has an '06 plated 525 for sale that said he was shocked how much the bike felt like his 525 as long as he was above walking speed. He did notice it would not turn as tight as his 525 but he was impressed enough that he is now going to replace the 525 with the 690E as soon as he can find one. Anyway, if anyone knows anybody that has one, I'd be interested in their impressions of the bike if we can swap contact information. Thanks

 #9103  by Stu
 22 Jun 2011 16:18
I had a 625 SXC which was a vibration horror. I've ridden 690s and they are really nice from the standpoint of vibration and road worthiness. KTM probably sells more 690E models than anything else. They are very popular.

The 525 is not as comfy on the road. However, it is lighter, feels greatly lighter, handles everything off road, has great suspension, is quick and a torque monster. It beats the 690E in every category off-road. I would decide what kind of riding you are primarily going to do. If you skew your riding to off-road then live with the lesser street manners. If you want to ride it to Alaska and back then get the 690E.

The 525 has a carburetor. You can fix any issues with it easily. The 690E is fuel injected. Better for big time altitude changes but not so good if the pump goes out or the injectors get clogged. Also a dead battery will leave you stranded unless you have jumper cables with you and another battery to use. The 525 has a kick starter and it works. Dead battery or not.

I have ridden my 525 on 350 mile days exploring in Colorado and in Utah. When off the pavement and on the trails the 525 is a delight. Where jeeps are doing 5 mph you whiz by them at 50. I do not ride my 525 on K-10 from Lawrence to Kansas City and then back. That is a waste of knobbies.

 #9559  by 3SuperSports
 30 Oct 2011 10:52
I just bought a used 2008 690E. My experience up to now has been off-road only and mostly on two-strokes. I started out looking for a 450EXC, had trouble finding one and stumbled onto the 690 after doing some research.
I started out looking for as light weight/off-road capable, street legal bike as I could find. Then I took the rider safety course and decided I might want to ride on-road more.
With the 690 being lighter than the XR650 and carrying it's weight lower, I decided it would be a good fit for me.
I finally got my 690 out in the country yesterday and got to ride off-road and on some gravel roads. I need to gain a lot more experience on this bike before I make a final judgement, but strictly off road (keeping in mind there's a lot of grass and not much "dirt") It felt slippery, tough to handle and maybe a bit twitchy. I'm sure that much of this has to do with my inexperience on this bike. On the gravel roads, it felt great. Although I think I need to soften the suspension and make sure the tires aren't too firm and I definately need to clock more seat time which needs to be softer (or my ass needs to get tougher).
I'm either going to love riding back roads, or wish I could do more off-roading and trade for a 525 or similar.
 #9562  by bird man
 30 Oct 2011 22:43
Put just over 800 miles on mine over the weekend carrying a giant loop with travel luggage for the weekend. Ever bike has its use nitch where it works best. On super 2's and 4- lanes not so fun. Once in southern Mo. and Ark on secondary and state rd twistys very fun and quick ,steering and throttle ,but got to keep the rpms up 4k or more for good throttle response. On backroads including ,Pannell rd , was nearly the same as riding my 450 exc. The 450 exc will do the technical stuff easier but in general for a backroads bike it is fantastic. I to notice it will not turn as short as the 450 exc but is really not a problem. Very simialer to the 450 exc just a little heaver.
 #9563  by Hayden
 31 Oct 2011 09:47
Have you read the wunderfest thread on ADV? That will steer you away from a 690 real quick. God the fuel injection problems those guys have. Its just crazy. I have vowed to never own an injected KTM. I think I would go with a 525. Carb and cables all around wont leave you setting.

 #9574  by Harvey Mushman
 31 Oct 2011 14:58
Yeah I'm not a big fan of FI, especially on a bike that I may take way out in the boonies but there will come a day when we have no option. KTM had some FI problems with the 950/990's and also fuel pump issues, that kept me from buying one of those a couple years ago. I have read alot of the ADV stuff about the 690's. I think you have to remember that you will see alot of the "bad" data posted about a particular bike more-so than the good. This makes it look worse than it actually may be. Still, I'd hate to be 120 miles from home and have the thing not want to start because the FI is hosed up. I'm getting the itch for another big block dually. Maybe I'll get me another old Lc4. I could use it to mix paint with when needed. I always liked a bike with "character".....

 #9694  by Stu
 20 Nov 2011 20:43

You will get really annoyed with that "character" when your throttle wrist goes numb and you cannot relieve it easily. The 690E beats any 620/625/640 LC4. The latest ones are not having fuel pump failure (a Chinese component not -- what a surprise -- supplied according to specifications) or injector issues (bad gas can plug them and bad gas abounds -- you just don't notice it so much with a carb). The 690E is also a good street bike.

The 525 EXC is under-rated. Street legal '07's are selling pretty cheaply now. It is a decent street bike and a great off road bike. The RFS motor is better than the '08~'09 530s in my estimation. The '12 500 EXC (500/525/530 all are 510 c.c. motors) is FI and reports on this bike are stellar.

I had a 640E and a 625 SXC. If you are considering any other bike I would recommend that other bike.

 #9695  by Harvey Mushman
 21 Nov 2011 07:28
Yeah, I know a little about the Lc4's, I've owned five of them, two 620's, two 640's and a 400 over the course of 10 years and put over 25K miles on them total. You have to remember, I'm an old guy and have owned four cast iron Harleys over the last 30+ years, so a bike with a little personality doesn't bother me quite as much as it might some. I agree that the RFS street legal bikes values seemed to have dropped abit, I suspect due to the newer designed street legal dirt bikes KTM now have out. I still believe the RFS is the better of the two designs if you plan on putting much mileage on it. It's too bad Husky doesn't have a stronger position/dealership network in the marketplace because I think a carbed TE-610 is the most well rounded big bore out there if you want to do street/gravel/and light trail work.

 #9705  by Stu
 26 Nov 2011 20:25
I note that dealers are stocking spare injectors for the 500 EXC, probably not a bad idea given the size of the injector compared to car equivalents. If it gets plugged you just slip in the bolt-in spare and clean the original when you have the opportunity. I do not think the new 500 EXC would give reliability problems and if the injector plugged you just pop in your spare.

My personal choice was to send in my carb to Dick's Racing for the oval bore and the new intellijet. Now I have a simple carb that I can adjust on the fly for altitude. The best of both worlds. And the reliable RFS engine.

How is it on the street? May I quote you, Harv, that I am old school going back to '60's era Brit iron rather than Harleys. The RFS is incredibly smooth compared to those bikes.

 #9735  by Stu
 20 Dec 2011 07:32
Well, Harv, we are all waiting. What did you decide? You have a 690 in your sights?

I did get out to ride Sunday (12/18) with 3 other guys. Once we scraped the mud off the surface in the shaded part of the trail we were sometimes on ice. You could just slide forever until you banged into the bushes or crashed. It was fun. After the rain yesterday and today I think it might be a while before the trails drain down enough to try it again.

 #9736  by Harvey Mushman
 20 Dec 2011 19:46
My love affair with the 690 has unfortunately chilled for the moment. I have to start doing some more traveling for my employer in 2012 so my riding time will likely take a hit, (big bummer). Went for a ride on the street bike Sunday since the weather was decent. It's too muddy at Oakland right now to ride, (another big bummer).
FYI, there will be Arenacross races at the Topeka Expocentre in January. I think it's the 20th thru the 22nd but check to be sure. It should be a good time.

Happy Holidays all. Wait a minute,... that's too politically correct, screw that. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year. WOOOOHOOOOOOO!

 #9737  by Stu
 21 Dec 2011 07:04
You are not alone. There are a couple of 690s for sale on ADVRider with no takers. Tight money, threats of job disruptions and unease about the future probably have affected the 690's otherwise quick sales as used bikes. It is really surprising when you also see that these bikes are pretty well farkled.

"Happy Holidays" is PC? I thought it was just lazy. PC would be glomming all of the major religious major holiday greetings together into some weird expression sure to be used only by do-gooders. Something utterly hopeless and doomed like "Peace on Earth."

 #9739  by jsherm01
 22 Dec 2011 11:03
Stu wrote: Something utterly hopeless and doomed like "Peace on Earth."