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  1. Hi Lew, this is Dave from P&C, we met one time at the club while is was hacking a bent Thruxton frame.

    Question for ya about the 690 - would you happen to know your cylinder compression (psi not ratio) at the 25k mark?

    I have a lot of dirt bikes: xr650, xr440, xr280, yz250 - but im considering condensing down to 1 or 2 really good ones.

    The high compression motors freak me out a bit. I love them, but it they are just so much more powerful than my air cooled stuff, I dont even know when they are getting "loose".

    Anyways, just wondering.

    1. Hey Dave!

      I don't know the compression numbers. Haven't had to do a compression test. Sorry.

      Also I'm pretty sure that the 690 is made by ktm's road division and not their dirt bike division. It is released along side the duke and usually gets the same treatment the duke gets 1 or 2 years delayed. The LC4 motor isn't a dirt bike motor so it's really not comparing apples to apples.

      What I like about the 690 is that everything is quality and tough. When working on any part of the bike it becomes clear. I feel like when you compare the 690 with say a xr650l people will say the Honda is more reliable. The motor is unkillable because it's simpler and low compression. But I think you'll find cheaper components and more short cuts around the rest of the bike that will fail.

      Literally everyone I have met on a trip similar to mine has had issues with their bikes regardless of what they ride. Some even with a lot less miles than me. So my reasoning for taking my 690 over my klr stands. If I'm gonna ride a bike every day at great expense and risk then I'm going to maximize my fun. So for me, pick the bike you love and learn how to keep it moving. I'm still learning about the 690 and how and when to do maintenance to keep it free from problems.

      Any sort of real engine problems might start swaying my opinion but so far it's just with the rolling rocker arms and those are easy once you get the hang of it.

      tl;dr IMO everything will break, ride what you love

  2. Hi Lewis,
    Nice trip you took!
    I am very curious about a few things on the KTM 690 (I am considering to buy one)
    Fuel consumption
    Oil consumption
    and if any did you hate the bike at any point?


    Nick Dreyer (South Africa)

  3. Hello, the 690's fuel consumption is impressive in all conditions. The oil consumption was very small and I chose to change my oil every 2-3k miles just to be safe and because it's very easy and cheap. The 690 was great for my style of riding. If I liked long highway days I would have hated it. Patagonia was the only place where I wished I had a different bike.

  4. This is REALLY cool stuff Lew!

  5. Hello Lewis

    Awesome trip you are doing.

    I´m thinking about doing a similar trip and I was looking at the 640 adventure or the 690 but I heard the 690 you want to be attentive to fuel pump , water and oil pump. Have you had issues with that?

    What was the worst mechanical problem you had and where you able to find parts for it?

    Also, has poor fuel been a problem at all?

    Ktm ask for specific oil have you been able to find it , or what kind of oil are you using so you can find it everywhere?

    keep having fun



    1. Hey sorry for the delayed response. Missed this message.

      Fuel pump wasn't a problem but I carried an extra because I heard the same thing. You will want to change the fuel filter occasionally though. I found a cheap one at local autoparts store that fit well and seemed to do the trick.

      The water pump seals went for me at around 30k miles. I carry extra. Fairly easy to change them if you can get them out. I had to do mine in a parking lot. Oil change and coolant change along with it...obviously.

      Bike runs great on poor fuel.

      I used Motul fully synthetic because it's easy to find and good oil. The KTM specific oil is all about marketing. Husqvarna uses the exact same motors and they recommend a different oil. Don't believe all that crap on the forums that if you use anything else but Motorex your bearings will go...etc.

      Good luck on your trip. Consider the 690 over the 640 as the vibrations will kill you on the 640...the 690 is WAY smoother.


  6. Just found your blog from a work email. You should definitely check out the New Idria area for dual sport riding if you haven’t! Great info on the ride here

    Did it last week with some other work folks, it was a blast!