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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.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  • 1 Post By Gipper
  • 1 Post By mavis cruet
  • 5 Post By Island Hopper
  • 1 Post By Walkabout
  • 2 Post By Island Hopper
  • 1 Post By Walkabout
  • 1 Post By Island Hopper
  • 1 Post By Island Hopper

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  #1  
Old 2 Nov 2017
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KTM 640 Adventure.... RTW?

I’m in very early stages of planning a RTW trip, current bikes; WR250F & XL600V Transalp and thinking now that neither is going to cut it.

WR is brilliant off road but not comfortable enough to contemplate RTW.

TA is too heavy (and limited ground clearance) to be much use off road on anything more serious than fire roads/gravel.

So what’s the alternative?
Wondering about late model KTM640 Adventure with 300mm suspension travel and just 150kg...

Anybody got one?
Or alternative suggestions?


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  #2  
Old 2 Nov 2017
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If you can find a low mileage one that hasn't been abused, you can stand the vibration and don't mind the fiddly oil changes with the oil in the frame then why not, they are light, have great suspension and have a decent range with the ~28L tank. But unless you already own one and you've ironed out their known issues (running hot, LH crank seal issue etc etc) then I would personally put my money into a different bike.

There's probably a big 640 Adventure thread on ADV rider to trawl through, which will either make you want one or put you right off!

Definitely take one for a test ride before you hand over your cash, I got annoyed with the vibrations on long rides (numb hands) and switched to the DR650, way smoother and comparatively a lot less maintenance required, but I do miss the WP suspension of the 640.


PS: If you fill in your location in your profile, we can see which market you are looking to buy a bike, which makes recommending one easier
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  #3  
Old 2 Nov 2017
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My xt600 Ivj tenere is ace (again a few issues, but sorted easily), but ive recently replaced it with a bmw x challenge with larger tank. Lighter, more economical & still pretty reliable. Hard to find though (the xcounty is lower and more readily available.) all down to which roads you want to ride. Any bike will do really....
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  #4  
Old 3 Nov 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Black View Post
I’m in very early stages of planning a RTW trip, current bikes; WR250F & XL600V Transalp and thinking now that neither is going to cut it.

WR is brilliant off road but not comfortable enough to contemplate RTW.

TA is too heavy (and limited ground clearance) to be much use off road on anything more serious than fire roads/gravel.

So what’s the alternative?
Wondering about late model KTM640 Adventure with 300mm suspension travel and just 150kg...

Anybody got one?
Or alternative suggestions?


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I'm coming up on 14 yrs with the 640 Adventure and the only reason I am still running it is nothing else has come out that can replace it... A bit of a learning curve to get the bike sorted, but once done it is very reliable...

I have never heard of a LH crank seal issue or had a problem with the engine running hot, I think my fan has kicked on maybe 20 times in nearly 220,000 KMs, but I did install a SXC muffler... If you run the chain too tight, you will find that the O-rings behind the countershaft bushing will tear and cause an oil weep.. These O-rings are cheap and easy to replace, but it is easier just to run the chain with more slack...

The stock silencer is very restrictive to the point where it traps engine heat in the combustion chamber and that heat will shorten the life of the valve components... I found that the valve life pretty much doubled when running a more open muffler.. I got about 80,000 KM out of my last rebuild and to refresh the engine a new set of piston rings and a valve job were required, though I could of likely pulled 100,000 km as it still was not using oil.... Vibrations are there, but have never bothered me, some examples vibrate more than others, especially when they are not properly tuned.. They are tough bikes that survive being dropped quite well and they can also carry a load over rough ground as good or better than any other bike out there...

Changing oil is more of a pain on these bikes as they have both an engine and frame reservoir { the frame reservoir acts as an oil cooler} which both have to be drained... They also have 2 filters, of which I alternate, changing only 1 at an oil change.. Conventional tappets make valve adjustments easy, but you need to remove the tank, seat and fairing to get to them {8 bolts + covers}.. I change oil every 5000-6000 KM but if doing long distance where it tends to be easier on the engine will run up to 10,000 KM before changing.. Water pump gets new seals at 40,000 - 50,000 KM.. I used to change the intake cam roller at the same time as the water pump rebuild, but found I was changing out a good part... I now wait till that roller shows wear or gets noisy before I change it, my current intake follower has 120,000 KM on it with no issues.. Being out of production for 11 years you wonder about when the factory will stop producing parts, so far it has not been an issue...

I have looked at and ridden the Suzuki DR models and prefer the 400 to the 650... The 400 is a much better suspended, lighter bike with almost the same power as the 650.. Both have plenty of aftermarket support.. Travelers who ride the 650 prolonged off the beaten track with a load have had issues with frame cracking and gearbox failings after less than 50 k KM... Suzuki says they are not designed for this kind of use...

I was hoping that the 390 Adventure would be a worthwhile option, but after yrs of waiting nothing yet has materialized, maybe we will see a production model pop up at the upcoming bike shows..
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  #5  
Old 3 Nov 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Black View Post
Wondering about late model KTM640 Adventure with 300mm suspension travel and just 150kg...

Anybody got one?
Or alternative suggestions?
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The main downside nowadays is that they are becoming rare, certainly in the UK market; it seems that owners are hanging onto them.
The significance is that you have to wait until the right one comes along and then be prepared to pay a premium price, potentially.

The BMW X series of the G650 (mentioned in an earlier post here) are also becoming hard to find in the UK (they weigh about 145 kg): there are only about 70 of the XCountry registered in the UK (last time I looked) and a lot of them are being stored on the "SORN" system.

If you have the cash, look around for a CCM 450GP - there are more of them in the second owner market, all supposing that you are based in the UK.
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  #6  
Old 3 Nov 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
The main downside nowadays is that they are becoming rare, certainly in the UK market; it seems that owners are hanging onto them.
The significance is that you have to wait until the right one comes along and then be prepared to pay a premium price, potentially.

The BMW X series of the G650 (mentioned in an earlier post here) are also becoming hard to find in the UK (they weigh about 145 kg): there are only about 70 of the XCountry registered in the UK (last time I looked) and a lot of them are being stored on the "SORN" system.

If you have the cash, look around for a CCM 450GP - there are more of them in the second owner market, all supposing that you are based in the UK.


Yes uk based (for now ha ha).


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  #7  
Old 4 Nov 2017
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You could always build a 640 from parts available on Ebay and fleamarkets..
I built myself a spare 640 in this fashion and it turned out very good.. Here is a thread I put together on this build: New 640 Build from the Ground up | Adventure Rider
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  #8  
Old 4 Nov 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Hopper View Post
You could always build a 640 from parts available on Ebay and fleamarkets..
I built myself a spare 640 in this fashion and it turned out very good.. Here is a thread I put together on this build: New 640 Build from the Ground up | Adventure Rider
All credit, you put a few man-hours into that build.
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  #9  
Old 4 Nov 2017
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Originally Posted by Captain_Black View Post
Yes uk based (for now ha ha).


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CCM are going to produce a GP600 at some date, using the 600cc SWM engine.
I expect there will be even more GP450s coming onto the second-owner market when that happens.
https://www.motorcyclelive.co.uk/manufacturer/ccm/

It appears that SWM acknowledge that they will supply their engine to other manufacturers.
https://www.motorcyclelive.co.uk/manufacturer/swm/
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Old 5 Nov 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
CCM are going to produce a GP600 at some date, using the 600cc SWM engine.
I expect there will be even more GP450s coming onto the second-owner market when that happens.
https://www.motorcyclelive.co.uk/manufacturer/ccm/

It appears that SWM acknowledge that they will supply their engine to other manufacturers.
https://www.motorcyclelive.co.uk/manufacturer/swm/
The biggest drawback with the GP 450 is the 5 speed gearbox, the 600 engine should address that without adding too much weight to the bike..
I don't really care for the 450s tiny clutch, but the 600 will also address that.. I would consider purchasing the 600 if they were not so darned expensive, If I sold my 2 640s I would be lucky to get enough money to cover half the price of a CCM...
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  #11  
Old 6 Nov 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Hopper View Post
The biggest drawback with the GP 450 is the 5 speed gearbox, the 600 engine should address that without adding too much weight to the bike..
I don't really care for the 450s tiny clutch, but the 600 will also address that.. I would consider purchasing the 600 if they were not so darned expensive, If I sold my 2 640s I would be lucky to get enough money to cover half the price of a CCM...


They not cheap bikes hey, apparently the later GP450s do have a 6sp gearbox!

But I’m a little wary of ending up stuck IF something breaks and CCM spares are likely to be harder to come by than one of the bigger manufacturers...

Have just been reading about the new KTM 390 Adventure and that might be just the ticket...

But going for a new bike then means that Carnet Deposit is significantly bigger too.
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  #12  
Old 17 Nov 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Black View Post
They not cheap bikes hey, apparently the later GP450s do have a 6sp gearbox!

But I’m a little wary of ending up stuck IF something breaks and CCM spares are likely to be harder to come by than one of the bigger manufacturers...

Have just been reading about the new KTM 390 Adventure and that might be just the ticket...

But going for a new bike then means that Carnet Deposit is significantly bigger too.
The 390 Duke is pretty affordable, brand new here at the bike shop they were less than $5000, but sadly a 390 A is not in the cards, at least for this year...
The KTM corner at the bike shows was pretty disappointing.. Not a mention of a 390 A, and the 790 A is still only a concept bike... I am fed up with the manufacturers focus on the Fat Pig adventure bikes... Overweight, overpriced, overpowered and fragile has being the trend for too many years now, but I guess as long as they are selling that will continue.. There has been a couple small displacement bikes come {Kawasaki, BMW} out but they are more street focused and likely will not hold up to any amount of off road pounding..
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  #13  
Old 17 Nov 2017
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Originally Posted by Island Hopper View Post
The 390 Duke is pretty affordable, brand new here at the bike shop they were less than $5000, but sadly a 390 A is not in the cards, at least for this year...
The KTM corner at the bike shows was pretty disappointing.. Not a mention of a 390 A, and the 790 A is still only a concept bike... I am fed up with the manufacturers focus on the Fat Pig adventure bikes... Overweight, overpriced, overpowered and fragile has being the trend for too many years now, but I guess as long as they are selling that will continue.. There has been a couple small displacement bikes come {Kawasaki, BMW} out but they are more street focused and likely will not hold up to any amount of off road pounding..


Agreed!

I do think manufacturers are ‘missing a trick’ and there a big gap in the market which I thought he new (concept) 390adventue would/will fill perfectly.

More time I think about though I’m leaning towards (if one day I decide to buy brand new) a Christini 450 AWD Explorer. And use that as a base...

http://www.christini.com/bikes/christini-awd-450


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