What on earth would make you buy a food mixer that would only do dry food, when you really like smoothies, or a coffee maker that only did filter when you love Italian espresso. Buying a KTM 690 Enduro R is a little like that. It's really, really good at being itself, but its neither as stock a lightweight MX ragging machine or a comfortable travelling bike that is capable on the dirt. What it is good at is being an evening ride where you can zip along a bit of road before launching on to you favourite dirt trail. It does this very well. But if you dirt ride
more than 130 miles, this bike is not right.
So why get one. Well good question. I believe looking at the competition and there is not much to really compete with the bike in stock forms and it forms the idea platform to build into the perfect super lightweight Enduro tourer.
The competition comes down to the expensive untried CCM 450 Adventure, The Yamaha 660 XT and its big bro the 660 Tenere', or the lighter Yamaha WR250R. The XT is the closest and the newer ones are quite nice, but even then it needs tweaking for the type of trips I have in mind.
So to change a good bike into the machine that works for me I have to
- Add fuel range - about 100km
- Get a seat that is not like sitting on a knife after an hour
- Find a lightweight luggage system
- Add wind protection - not imperative but if it comes with better lights then great
- Change the stock Metzler tyres for something more dirt capable
- Change the plastic bash plate for one that has a flat base for propping up the bike
- Find an Aluminium Bash Guard that protects as much of the engine as possable
- Add some luggage carrying potential on the tail
- Change the grips so they are a bigger diameter and warmer
Cosmetically I don,t like the mirrors, so they will go, the stock exhaust is hot and heavy so maybe that will go to. The foot pegs feel narrow.
Then I will hopefully will have created a great machine.
Part of the beauty of the KTM is that there are many companies who make aftermarket parts to do just this. The secret will be to choose the right bits for my job, and thats part of the fun.