My first impression on the Adv 640 2004
I have a day off in Mongolia after seven days of riding and thought I'd post my impressions on the bike. I bought the bike with about 13000km six weeks before leaving for Mongolia. I have put on all kinds of after market stuff.
The bike handles great after one gets used to the high point of gravity (with luggage). Very good suspension also. Saved my as when I hit a 50cm high wall of gravel in the desert which made the bike jump a couple of meters :-)
This is probably the best bike for Mongolia I think.
However two things I am not very happy with that KTM is responsible for:
1. Lower front fender. I got off the main track a few days ago and got on a track with some muddy sections. The mongolian mud is more like clay, and will clog the tire and the fender. After some minutes (probably because of the heat from the sun and from the tires) it dries and after not to long the front wheel locks up and off you go :-( I tried to take the fender off, but there is a brake line that goes from one side of the wheel to the other side, so it wasn't possible. Therefore I had to stop every ten minutes to clear the mud from the tires and under the fender so that the front wheel woudn't lock up.
How do you deal with this problem? Some kind of modification to the fender and brake line?
2. Front rim. I have had the front tire pressure at 18-22 psi and the other day after riding a road with a lot of potholes (speed was 50-70kmph) I discovered that the edge of the front rim had bent a bit. Nothing seriously. But rather disappointing, since that has never happened on my previous bike (the old F650) running much higher speeds at similar roads with same tire pressure. I travelled 2004 in Iceland with a guy from Belgium and he had a new 950 adv and this happened to him also. Though he was riding much higher speed at that time (100kmph) so the rim was bent a bit more. I have now put in some more air and will be running the front at 22 psi just as i do with the rear (which hasn't had any problems).
Somewhere I have read that some people have gotten a new front rim from warranty, was that for the 640 Adv 2004 model?
How do you deal with this problem? Higher tire pressure?
Two other things I am not happy with, but can only be blamed on the previous owners:
1. The jetting is to rich for the high altitude in Mongolia 1500-2500m. The bike has had the snorkel removed. The sommer needle and jets installed. And an aftermarket exhaust put on (XRacing?). The bike was (I think) running a bit on the rich side back home at sea level. ANyway I droped the needle down a notch and trimmed the mixture and got the fuel consumption down from 8 litres to about 6 litres for 100km. The bike runs ok at lower rpms, but stil bad on high rpms. I guess I should change to smaller jets to get it right. When I get back home I'll fiddle more with this. Rather have a bike that consumes less fuel and is quieter, then a bike that has a few more hp and is very loud (it's loud even with helmet and earplugs...)
2. I had to rebuild the engine before I left because there was a problem with some components of the electric starter. The first owner put in a racing cam (G1?) and removed the autodecomp a few years ago. Trying to start the bike not using the manual decomp has (or perhaps even using that???) has ruined some part of the electric starter mechanism. The cam chain was also very worn for a bike with so little milage. Now I opnly yse the kickstart which is just fine. I am thinking of changing back the engine to original when i get back home (removing the race cam and install a auto decomp).
Anyhow a great bike for off road riding :-)