Buy a KTM

Used buy­ers guide for the ul­ti­mate green­lane weapon

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - By Jor­dan Gib­bons MCN SE­NIOR RE­PORTER

What we said then

“The En­duro proved easy to ride and very tractable. The en­gine man­age­ment switch un­der the seat lets you choose your the map­ping to match the con­di­tions. The de­tail and thought that has gone into the de­sign of the En­duro is im­pres­sive, and neat touches abound. It’s also a dod­dle to ride, even for a rel­a­tive novice like my­self.” MCN launch re­port, Fe­bru­ary 2008

But what’s it like now?

Like many of KTM of the era, the 690 En­duro is an adapted race bike, and you can feel that when you ride it. The early bikes have a 654cc thump­ing sin­gle, which pro­duces 61bhp and a healthy serv­ing of vibes to go with it. Later bikes (2012-on) grew to a gen­uine 690cc and of­fered a lit­tle more poke.

The fuel in­jec­tion is semi-ride-by­wire, mean­ing there are still throt­tle ca­bles, but the ECU ef­fec­tively damps the throt­tle but­ter­fly move­ment to give a very smooth re­sponse. There’s a switch un­der the seat to al­ter the map too, switch­ing be­tween soft, nor­mal and ag­gres­sive, as well as a spe­cial map to cope with poor qual­ity fuel.

Un­like hard­core off-road­ers that need an oil change ev­ery few hours, the 690 En­duro also has 3500-mile ser­vice in­ter­vals.

The KTM has both Duke and Su­per­moto sib­lings that are more road bi­ased, mean­ing the En­duro is all-out off road with long travel WP sus­pen­sion, 21/18 inch wheels and of­froad tyres. De­spite this, the En­duro is re­mark­ably fun to ride on the road too and the Met­zeler Sa­hara tyres of­fer a sur­pris­ing amount of grip.

Weigh­ing just 145kg, the bike springs out of corners and the Brembo brakes pull it up quickly. How­ever, if you re­ally start push­ing it the long-travel sus­pen­sion be­gins to pitch send­ing ev­ery­thing a bit way­ward. The later bikes add an ABS safety net, although it can be switched off.

A tidy ex­am­ple

Un­like most en­duro bikes, this par­tic­u­lar ex­am­ple has never been thrashed, so it’s in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion. In fact, it had only done 590 miles, so was still short of its first proper ser­vice.

Back in 2008, KTM didn’t have the best rep­u­ta­tion for fin­ish qual­ity and it shows on this model, which was pro­vided by R&C Mo­tor­cy­cles, Milden­hall. Many of the nuts and bolts are show­ing rust, de­spite the low mileage and the al­loy rims had a few signs of ox­i­di­s­a­tion.

The stan­dard ex­haust on the 690 is a bit of a lump, so it’s quite com­mon for peo­ple to swap them out for lighter after­mar­ket op­tions. This one has a Exan si­lencer fit­ted.

While the bike ran fine when we were on the gas, it of­ten stalled at idle – a com­mon prob­lem with after­mar­ket ex­hausts. To com­bat this, the bike needs to be remapped to suit the new si­lencers. This is sim­ple on the early mod­els, but later ones need a Power Com­man­der as the ECU is locked.

Adventure po­ten­tial

The KTM Pow­er­parts ac­ces­sory cat­a­logue is huge and ranges from Akrapovic ex­hausts to an­odised trin­kets. As they’re des­tined for the dirt, most peo­ple re­place the bash­guard and add case pro­tec­tors.

Full lug­gage racks are avail­able if you want to head fur­ther as is a tour­ing wind­shield. If you want to go re­ally wild, long range petrol tanks and rally fair­ings are avail­able from Rally-raid Prod­ucts and Kit690. These turn the bike into a full-sized adventure tourer with a 300-mile range.

I even bought it!

Quite a few firms are catch­ing on to the idea that adventure bikes don’t need 120bhp+ and 200kg, so new mid­ca­pac­ity mod­els are ap­pear­ing all the time. In stan­dard trim, the 690 En­duro is ba­sic but the po­ten­tial for a gen­uine goany­where, light­weight adventure bike is there. What about this par­tic­u­lar one? Well, I liked it so much that it’s found a per­ma­nent home in my garage.

Jor­dan liked it so much he ended up mak­ing an of­fer Ser­vic­ing In­ter­vals are ev­ery 6000 miles, or a year. Ev­ery ser­vice is the same and con­sist of things like valve clear­ances, spark plugs and the air fil­ter. Top ends These en­gines are usu­ally very strong, but if they’re go­ing to have any prob­lems, it’s usu­ally at the top end – es­pe­cially if ser­vic­ing has been ne­glected.

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