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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 6 Dec 2012
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And the two finalists are...

Seems after reading the entire Internet twice that the two top contenders for solo trans-continental travel are the XTZ 660 Ten and the KTM 690 enduro with fairing and aux tanks fitted.
I wondered if anyone had an informed opinion on the above?
(Not interested in anything else, I've made my mind up and would really like to keep this one thread on topic)
In the blue corner...
:0))
Simple. Fixable. Reliable. Cheap(ish). Economical. Robust. Factory prepared. Tried and tested. Accessories avilable
:0((
High CofG. Underpowered. Basic spec components

In the orange corner
:0))
New. Powerful. Sexy. Desirable. Off road ace. Quality components. Now reliable(?)
:0((
Expensive. Small tank. Expensive screen-tank mods to construct the missing adventure model. Not as reliable as yam. Fussier regarding servicing than yam. Not as good MPG as yam

Personal use.
I plan to travel into Morocco. Like to do some dune riding maybe (KTM). Like to do the Alaska to Argentina Trans trip (YAM) and overland to India and throughout India (?)
I don't know myself how much "off roadness" I would require and therefore which bike or the spares availability. I don't want to drag alternators and rectifiers around if possible

What say you and is the new true 690cc Ktm the way to go?

Please keep on topic....
Thanks in advance
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Last edited by alan hopkins; 6 Dec 2012 at 08:50. Reason: Because I use an iPhone
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  #2  
Old 6 Dec 2012
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Plus

To ad... I have a road bike (R1200r classic) which I love so it would not be my only bike. I did wonder if I could do some green landing as well if I went for the KTM?
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  #3  
Old 6 Dec 2012
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Hmmm... being a LC4-640-Hybrid smart ass my self, I would say stick with the YAM for what you would like to do... (I stick with my 640 because I got one and would not swap for a 690 at all for my travelling habits)

Had a riding buddy with a 690R and guess who had problems with the electric... yeah it was the 690R not my 640-Hybrid.... further more... the frequent stop or better hunt for a fuel station... not to top up my 640 with it's 30Lt. ADV-tank, but the 690R twice the day. And the missing carriage capability is another point that would put me off... otherwise it's a nice beast to play with.
(part of the wrong colours.... well the 690 only comes in bright orange and not in black)

You are saying that you are not so much in to the offroad play... well I guess the YAM would be more your piece of cake than... would be way easier and cheaper to find the additional parts you would need to build an overlanding bike on the YAM-base, and in case of a bush repair, parts would be more likely wildly around to source locally if needed.

And by the way... you don't want to race around the globe, do you, so this "underpowered" issue with the YAM is not true.. may only if compared with the 690 for competitions, otherwise you would have plenty power anyway.
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  #4  
Old 6 Dec 2012
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Tenere owner here, so read into that what you will in terms of bias, but for me the only reason you'd consider the 690 as a "solo, trans-continental travel bike" is if you already had one, or you really wanted one for other reasons (which is, of course, fine ).

The Tenere will do everything you want out of the box. It won't excel at any one thing, but it will do it all without fuss.

50% more horsepower, 20% less weight, and better suspension make the stock 690 a much better bike for off-road racing than a stock Tenere (although most of the people that race them seem to end up upgrading the suspension anyway). Outside racing, 46bhp is plenty, and you'll have lost the weight benefits by the time you've fitted big tanks, fairing, and luggage capacity.

I've been rallying my Tenere this year. I've spent quite a lot of money on the suspension, and I'd probably still be faster on a stock 690. But a 690 wouldn't be as good for *anything* else I do, and I don't want to have money tied up in a dedicated race bike at the moment.

You can put a WP48 front end and a Nitron race shock into a Tenere for about the same money you'd spend putting a fairing, tanks, and racks on a 690. But again, outside racing use, the stock stuff (possibly with uprated springs) is fine.
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  #5  
Old 6 Dec 2012
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Thanks guys. Not the partisan bullsh1t you get on BMW sites. Good honest stuff x
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  #6  
Old 6 Dec 2012
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I've had my KTM 690 Enduro from new (2009) and I use it mainly for trail riding. It would take quite a lot (of money) to get the KTM up to scratch for long distance travel and there is nothing wrong with the Tenere's off road ability although it is a bit heavy.

The KTM is reliable, good service intervals but quality components is argueable although probably better names than on the Yamaha. Yamaha would need an LC4 rear hubb.

Personally I'd go for the Tenere for all the very valid reasons you've mentioned in the first post.
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Old 6 Dec 2012
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Cheers. I was being swayed towards the new kid on the block but I'm guessing most roads will still be "roads" not cross country so the Yam is slowly winning through. Good to go out of the crate too
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Last edited by alan hopkins; 7 Dec 2012 at 17:43.
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  #8  
Old 23 Jul 2013
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Get the KTM.

I have 72,000 km on my 2008 690. People keep sending me emails that it is not reliable. I'm not sure what they are talking about.

I have 27 liters of fuel and a 500km range. It has the power to get you out of the soft stuff, the economy to get you between gas stations, the suspension to get you over the bumps, ridiculously strong rims (DID dirtstars) and its light. I can pick it up by myself when I dump it.

At the end of the day, its a blast to ride. Yes it cost more money but I promise if you ride both, you will buy the KTM.
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  #9  
Old 23 Jul 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoah View Post
Get the KTM. ...
At the end of the day, its a blast to ride. Yes it cost more money but I promise if you ride both, you will buy the KTM.
These days its not THAT much more money. The Yamaha started out sub 5000 pounds a few years back, but its now 7000 - not much less than the KTM.

I think if you have hopes to develop your off road riding the KTM will offer you a lot more potential.

The Yamaha is pretty bulletproof out of the box. The KTM has a number of known issues. I think if you take care of the known issues, them the KTM is not far behind in reliability. But you do need to be aware of and address those known issues.

The difference in weight is HUGE ... almost 50 kgs.

You can spend a fortune trying to improve the XTZ offroad, with 18 inch rear wheel, WP forks, etc, as J-Mo once did, but even then its a very very heavy off road bike with comparable suspension to the KTM. That 50 kgs of extra weight is a penalty you are just not going to be able to do anything about. In contrast, the issues with the KTM are all remediable.

On the weight basis alone, I personally would go for the KTM, given a choice of those bikes.
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  #10  
Old 28 Jul 2013
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+1 For the Yamaha XT660 Tenere.

Steer well clear of KTM's. My mate fixes and services his more than he rides it! It's oil service schedule is quite honestly stupid.

KTM's are too expensive to buy (and run) and too highly strung.

I know many of you love KTM's for good reason. Their build quality is top notch and when they are running they give a truly blistering performance.

The Yamaha will be bulletproof reliable and won't need a full service half way round a RTW.

The Yamaha Tenere series of trail bikes is an adventure legend.

If you are an ordinary oink without bags of dosh (like most of us mortals), the Tenere makes ultimate sense. If you are a rich boy then by all means go for a highly strung KTM.
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  #11  
Old 30 Jul 2013
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KTM 690R 2012 or 640 Adv used

I've seen no indication whether you actually tried those bikes or not. If not that would be the next step I guess.

I currently ride KTMs: 640 Adv 2002, 690R 2012 (66 hp), a 990R. I also own and ride Honda and Yamaha bikes, although no Tenere, as well as a Triumph. Since there's simply no comparable to a 640 Adv for what you want to do, I'd go for the second best around, e.g. the 690R but would definitely buy a 2012+ as the issues from previous years have been taken care of. The only challenge in my view is dealing with poor quality fuel in some countries, for that the EFI and fuel pump may call for extra precautionary measures.

Yamaha Tenere is decently looking bike, out of the box ready at the cost of 50kg more for roughly 20 hp less, and it will make the whole thing boring. There are tons of quality equipment to customize a 690R to your specific needs, both KTM and aftermarket, as well as availability of used gear should you wish to minimize costs or eventually sell what you don't need anymore.

At the risk of being off topic, there are sometimes 640 Adv in excellent conditions appearing for sale now and then. It could be an idea to try to get hold of one of them.

Try both, it will be easier to make up you mind!
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  #12  
Old 1 Aug 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
+1 For the Yamaha XT660 Tenere.

Steer well clear of KTM's. My mate fixes and services his more than he rides it! It's oil service schedule is quite honestly stupid.

KTM's are too expensive to buy (and run) and too highly strung.

I know many of you love KTM's for good reason. Their build quality is top notch and when they are running they give a truly blistering performance.

The Yamaha will be bulletproof reliable and won't need a full service half way round a RTW.

The Yamaha Tenere series of trail bikes is an adventure legend.

If you are an ordinary oink without bags of dosh (like most of us mortals), the Tenere makes ultimate sense. If you are a rich boy then by all means go for a highly strung KTM.
Oil service schedule for a 690 is 7500 km. and 10,000 km on the '12, '13 (same as the tenere I believe?)

The weight. about 206 kilos for the Tenere. (dry)
138 kilos for the KTM (dry) stock. Mine weighed in at about 150 kilos in the rallyraid tanks ready for travel. 56 kilo difference?!?! My KTM with full kit weighs 210 kilos.

Price. Tenere €7699. KTM €8695 + (€1000 for tanks)

Hp. Tenere around 50. KTM around 70.
Here is you MAJOR misconception. That the KTM is a high strung race motor. This is far from the truth. It is a well refined, efficient, powerful, reliable motor. It is capable of SO MUCH MORE. And it will handle it.

Also, with the KTM you get other great stuff like WP suspension (amazing out of the box. Add a stiffer rear spring.. all you need for travel). Brembo brakes. DID dirtstar rims (I finally cracked one after 75,000 km of ridiculous abuse. these things are TOUGH). Did i mention from the factory it is about 70 kilos less than the Tenere? You don't need to be a "rich boy" to get a KTM... but you will need to be a strongman champion to pick up a tenere by yourself it you drop it.

Like I said before. Ride both. Your choice will be clear.
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  #13  
Old 1 Aug 2013
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The Yamaha XT series of motorcycles have a bulletproof reliability reputation second to NONE and that includes ALL KTM's.

The Yamaha XT600 (all models) are simply an adventure legend.

Just look at the history of XT's to find the facts.

Probably the most widely used budget RTW trail bike EVER made.

It's gonna take KTM a long time to catch up.
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  #14  
Old 1 Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
These days its not THAT much more money. The Yamaha started out sub 5000 pounds a few years back, but its now 7000 - not much less than the KTM.
Yamaha over-priced themselves in the European market a few years ago (nearly £15K asking price for a FJR1300!) and, as a company, I believe they have tacitedly admitted as much - they may have only frozen their prices rather than dropped them though.
Yam sold 40% less bikes in Europe in 2012 than in 2009.
Most of their current profit arises from sales of 125cc bikes in SE Asia which tells me that they are not making the bikes that westerners' want to own; not in the big numbers that they used to anyway.

So, yes, £7K for a 660cc single cyl engined machine doesn't add up compared with what Honda are offering with twin cyl engine design for far less money; but neither of them is a favourite manufacturer of mine at present.

KTM got my vote a few months ago.
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  #15  
Old 2 Aug 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
The Yamaha XT series of motorcycles have a bulletproof reliability reputation second to NONE and that includes ALL KTM's.

The Yamaha XT600 (all models) are simply an adventure legend.

Just look at the history of XT's to find the facts.

Probably the most widely used budget RTW trail bike EVER made.

It's gonna take KTM a long time to catch up.
KLRs have a reputation of being reliable also. But you will never see me on one.

The XT600 was a great bike. Even now.. if you only have a couple thousand to spend on a bike. But they are not bullet proof. I have first hand experience helping change suspension on one.. in Mongolia that had to be shipped in.

Obviously I have orange blood... and kent has Yamalube flowing in his veins. Every bike has its faults and every bike has its strengths. but really... 50 KILO difference?!?! I guarantee you can't drop that weight for the price difference.

I know almost dozen people who have been traveling on other bikes (tenere, 800xc, bmw 800, klr, bmw 650, xr650)... And switched over to a 690 after riding one.
Ride them both so you don't end up buying 2 bikes when you realise which one you should have gotten from the start.
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