2010 KTM 690 Enduro Review - part 3 Subscribe

See part 2 here: 2010 KTM 690 Enduro Review - part 2 or read from beginning: 2010 KTM 690 Enduro Review.

2012-07-24 Update: got the Rox Speed anti-vibe bar risers. They were easy to mount - they do reduce the vibrations quite a bit. Apparently I can play with the tension of one certain bolt to adjust the squishiness - I just put them on the way they came.

Oh, yeah - I have to remember to pay attention and keep the front wheel down. It comes up so easily...

Now on order are the Duke rubber peg inserts.

2012-07-29 Update

Long ride today to the SCORRA fun day. The vibration is becoming quite tolerable. I think after getting better grips and bar weights it will be quite ok, say up to 110 kmh. It is certainly usable up to 140kmh, but not for long stretches or with better wrists than mine. With a higher gearing, it will be even better. In fact, the handlebar is the only part where vibration is noticeable and, remember, I am not used to big singles.

Can handle freeway traffic very well. No drama, very stable and no bufetting. I mean there's obviously a lot of air resistance without a windscreen, but no funky buffeting like on other bikes.

I did tight double track and fire roads for maybe 2 hours and some single track. Amazing! The suspension is really nice even for my lightweight 65Kg.

After setting the FI switch to the soft, the engine is quite bearable on the single track. There's no twichiness in the throttle anymore and the bike becomes very tame. It is a huge difference, although you don't want to spend too much time on a tight single track - you still have to slip the clutch quite a bit, but I'm not the best at it, so maybe after a while it'll get better.

I think in fact, if you really must, with proper tires, gearing down a bit and knowing what you're doing, the bike can handle any single-track - which is amazing for a true adventure bike.

The tires are surprisingly good off-road. The Pirelli Scorpion A/T look like 80 road/20 off, but can handle the dirt very well. I had no drama, didn't lock the front at all and slipping the rear was quite predictable and actually not easy on the 'low' setting of FI. I even got almost all the way up a sandy uphill, but miscalculated a rut :) I am no longer planning to change these tires.

The most amazing was mixing twisty tarmac in between twisty double-track and fire-roads! This is the only bike that can do both competently. The rush when twisting the throtlle on tarmac, supermoto style is quite something. And then just turn off the road and do some woops. It REALLY needs a handlebar switch for the FI.

I also used the advanced setting for the first time (which is number 2 by the way: 1 is soft and 3 is standard !!). It turns the bike into a twichy nervous fire-breathing dragon. If you 'give it' you better be holding on! Needless to say, it does become a handfull off-road. Hence the need for the handle-bar mounted switch.

On this setting, the bike has some trouble maintaining idle when hot, you have to conciously keep the engine running, which was annoying. Also, very twicy and responsive. Also, a lot of popping on deceleration (backfires?) - I understand that's because it's programmed to be very 'lean'? This map really needs some re-mapping.

So, the switch settings:

  1. soft, throttle quite tame, bike very useable on dirt and even single track. This is what you want in the woods for the most part.
  2. advanced, unstable twichy throttly turns the bike into a monster on asphalt and a handfull on dirt. I think you can call it 'track mode'.
  3. standard, throttle a bit twichy, excellent city driving, bike very responsive - can spin the rear at will. This really is the setting you want most of the time on tarmac.

Oh - related to the vibration, I tightened the nut on the triple clamp - it was quite loose in fact, could almost turn it by hand. That made a big difference in vibration!

So, after discovering how amazing the bike is in all these situations, let me summarize:

  • true hooligan bike in the city, can go through traffic like butter, jump a curb and be out first, see far up ahead over all those vans and SUVs, it is that high.
  • can really rip on the tarmac like a super-motard, galaxies of torque at low revs, begging to slip the rear :). You can hang off or supermoto through the turns, very capable whatever
  • at home on fire-roads and tight dirt roads
  • can handle tight single track 'as is'

I must say, that after this, my woods weapon of choice, the 2010 Husaberg 390++ felt like a scooter. Honest - got to run a harescramble or something to get the respect back :).

This is exactly what I was thinking I want from a bike. Now, having done it all in one day with one bike, I don't think that is what I want anymore. The trouble may be that this bike is too good a match for my temperament. I think it will get me in trouble, since I don't live very close to trails and I may tend to turn the city streets into... trails :).

Oh yeah, before I forget - I tamed the seat by using my bicycle shorts/tights, with 'pampered' butt :) I spent maybe 6 hours in the seat thorughout the day, with frequent breaks though.

See part 4 and final updates here: 2010 KTM 690 Enduro Review - part 4.

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By: Razie | 2013-05-28 .. 2015-05-05 | Tags: post , motorcycle , review , KTM , 690


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