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Old 12 Mar 2010
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There is a huge thread over on Advrider on the 690, it has all the info you could ever want. Tough to catch up since it's so long though, it will take you several weeks. But if you are seriously considering the 690 you should at least check in every now and then to see about the issues popping up:

KTM 690 Adv/Rally/Enduro/Duke/SM (merged) threadfest... - Page 119 - ADVrider

Ricky's user name is rickypanecatyl I think, he posts regularly on there.
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Old 12 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by Martynho View Post
Been following this and other threads on putting together a 690 Adv for off road focused touring. I reckon this could be the ultimate package, I liked Walter Colebatch's approach with his well prepped X-Challenge but I think this approach can be better. I note you are hanging around these threads Walter what do you think?

The lads at Route 55 KTM near Chester are putting together a package based on additional 14l front tanks mated to an Adv990 fairing top end inc headlight. For about £1500 or so either fitted up on a new bike or as a retrofit kit.

Route 55 Motorcycles, New and Used Honda and KTM in North West and North Wales.

Talk to Ian he knows his stuff.

Walter has already pointed out a great seat comfort solution -
Ortileb luggage
Not sure the KTM or other racks designed to carry DeutscheKoffers are right for soft luggage - Could be fabbed up or anyone know of a neat solution out there?
Bashplate/toolbox combo - Is there an off the shelf solution out there?

I think with the above plus engine guards and you have the basis of something pretty much good to go.

I am planning a South America 6 month round trip starting in Santiago in July. Given the good KTM dealer network in Chile and Argentina should mean I can get spares OK, and even looking at putting togther a kit to ship out to fit to a locally bought 690. Dearer with their import duties ($22K usd in Chile for a new base 690R!) but you save approx £2800 in shipping back and forth
and I plan to start and finish there so I can sell on after.

Again if anyone out there has any experience of this kind of approach of "buy local" guidance much appreciated.

Cheers - Martyn

Route 55 Motorcycles, New and Used Honda and KTM in North West and North Wales.
yes I still am around these forums ... and as for Hebden Bridge, I was planning on living up there in May and June ... nice part of the country.

I would not be a fan of buying a bike locally in South America. I spent 5 weeks prepping the Sibirsky Extreme bike and it was a mad rush to get it all done. It could have been done better for sure, and yes, that is part of my plans for Hebden Bridge later this year - to sort the bike out better.

As for your idea ... To try and do it better AND try to do it locally on the spot with a brand new bike you have fly in to pick up ... that might be too optimistic. You either prep your bike well, OR you fly in pick one up and do a few simple mods. Doing both doesnt seem realistic to me.

I am not convinced a 690 is better than an X-Challenge for the purposes of Adventure travel. I am studying the issue religiously, and am very close to giving it a try ... but as I have said before, its a lot easier to make an X-Challenge handle as well or better than a 690, than it is to make a 690 as reliable and fuel efficient as an X-Challenge. Suspension transplants are a lot easier than engine transplants. At the end of the day, you can make the X-Challenge pretty close to ideal. You just cant do that with the 690 because the untransplantable heart of the thing has big question marks all over it.

As Lukas says, the million dollar question mark is the 690's fuel injection. Certainly the 08 models had a lot of problems. It "seems" to be less of an issue now but I still haven't heard of a big, long distance, tough trip done on one to give it a thorough test as an adventure bike. So that still leaves question marks. A good dealer network down there in South America gives you a decent safety margin - if you assume a dealer can fix one in 24 hours or less - Which has not been Ricky's experience with his 08 model.

For luggage racks for soft bags, I would try and get something custom made. Hard luggage racks position the gear too far rearwards, messing up the suspension. Contact the guys at Adventure-spec: off-road rally adventure gear ... they are also in Hebden Bridge and know plenty of metal workers (and have plenty of adventure bits for 690s).

I am sceptical that the stuff Route 55 will come up with is anything new. I am imagining they are just like KTM Team West, rehashing existing products that are made and marketed by other people already. Since their website mentions a total fuel capacity of 21 litres, I think its a fair bet that they are just planning on buying and reselling these RallyRaid twin tanks which add 9 litres to the KTM's stock 12 litres:

Rally Raid - Fuel Tanks
and ...
Rally Raid - Rally / Adventure kits

In my opinion, if you can deal with the people who make the tanks and fittings, you are far more likely to get good information and the guys who make it will be far more interested in fixing any problems than a mere reseller. Bear in mind this stuff is made in very small batches and there will always be issues related to fit and finish.

A look at that second of the two links above pretty much strikes me as the kit you are describing Route 55 as hoping to put together. (9 litres of twin tanks plus a KTM 990 front fairing.) If you are interested in this extra 9 litres kit rather than the extra 14 litres of Alberto's kit, then I would be talking direct with Rally-Raid Products UK. (not to be confused with Lukas link to "Rally Raid UK").
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Last edited by colebatch; 12 Mar 2010 at 19:25.
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Old 13 Mar 2010
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C'mon, give the guys from KTM Team West a break. They don't claim they invented anything, their only claim is that they offer an Adventure-like model off the shelf. Their main purpose is to fill the gap that was left by KTM not offering a "ready to go" bike for purchase in one piece with door step delivery, so you can buy it from them instead. I don't see how this would compete with someone who does his own research, and preps and mods his bike of choice to fit his very own needs; and who consequently would buy the parts himself and mount them himself, probably arriving at a similar solution at a lower cost.

One reason why I am sticking with KTM, despite a sparser dealer network around the world are the guys from KTM Team West. Because they supplied me with spare parts manuals without me asking for them, they took an insane amount of time looking through pics of my bike that I emailed to them at their request to double check stuff. And all that although I hadn't even bought anything from them yet. And I know I can phone/text msg a request for parts to them and I will have an answer with GPS coordinates of where to pick up my already dispatched package no more than 2 days later. They themselves suggest alternative parts that fulfill the same function at a lower cost than the OEM part number I asked for, they take time to figure out which courier service will get my parts to Kathmandu for less money etc etc. So maybe I'm biased, but in my experience their service has been unrivaled by pretty much anyone selling anything I have ever dealt with.
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