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ADV BikesKTM Twins ‘Ultimate’ KTM 690 Adventure Build

KTM Twins ‘Ultimate’ KTM 690 Adventure Build

 Transforming the KTM 690 Enduro R into the ultimate adventure machine!

Published on 08.25.2017

The KTM 690 Enduro R is an exciting platform with impressive dirt credentials and enough performance to get rowdy on any surface. Weighing in at only 309 pounds while making 67 horsepower, gives it a power-to-weight that’s hard to match.

Sporting a 21″/18″ wheel combo, 10 inches of suspension travel and minimalist enduro styling, it’s the perfect blank canvas for building a custom Adventure Bike build. So when we heard that online parts retailer — KTM Twins — was working on an ‘Ultimate KTM 690 Enduro’ project, our interest was piqued.

The Ultimate KTM 690 Enduro is part of a brand revitalization campaign that began when KTMTwins.com came under new ownership in late 2016. Twins chose a single-cylinder 690cc over a big twin because they wanted to showcase the depth of their catalog for this model, and also because they could see a recent trend toward smaller, more off-road-capable adventure bikes.

KTM-690-Enduro-Bike-Build

The goal of the build was to demonstrate just how much you can improve the versatility and capability of the KTM 690 Enduro with available aftermarket parts. But they didn’t just want to build the ‘Ultimate KTM 690 Enduro,’ they wanted to see if they could create the ‘Ultimate Adventure Bike.’ It’s intended to be a lean, mean, BDR-slaying machine, with trips slated for the Arizona, Utah and Washington Backcountry Discovery Routes along with several travel/overland events. Performance and off-road capability are the cornerstones of this 690 but it’s sure to turn some heads on the trail too.

Check out what went into the build below. We also provide a full build sheet for the bike, including pricing for each part:

ERGONOMICS

The first thing addressed on this bike build was the ergonomics. Ergos are a top priority because of the huge difference they make in riding comfort and control.

Seat Concepts Suede Rally Seat

KTM-690-Enduro-Bike-Build

Anyone that has ridden a KTM 690 Enduro can tell you that the stock seat is better suited as a torture device than a place to sit. The stock 2×4 seat was swapped for a custom Seat Concepts suede covered saddle for more comfort and also better styling.

Fasst Company Flexx Bars

KTM 690 Enduro Bike Build Fasst Company Flexx Bars

Vibration creates fatigue on longer trips and with a Big Single like the KTM 690 Enduro, you get a lot of Vibration. To alleviate some of the vibes in the hands and help curb fatigue, the stock bars were swapped for a set of Fasst Company Flexx Bars. These high tech bars utilize polyurethane bushings (elastomers) and hinge points to flex and absorb impacts and vibration while you ride. They come with four different elastomer densities, allowing you to tune the amount of flex for your style of riding.

Fasst Company Impact Foot Pegs

KTM 690 Enduro Bike Build Fasst Company Foot Pegs

With the Flexx Bars cutting down vibration in the hands, Fasst Company Impact Footpegs were used to reduce vibration in the feet. A polyurethane layer between the base of the peg, that connects to the bike and the foot platform, works to reduce vibration. With a larger footprint and robust traction screws, these pegs are designed to improve control and handling as well.

KTM 350 EXC Shorty Clutch Lever

The stock clutch lever was replaced with a factory shorty KTM 350 EXC lever for a less clunky pull and better feel.

SOLUTIONS TO KNOWN 690 PROBLEMS

Every motorcycle has quirks but thankfully on an established model like the KTM 690 Enduro R, solutions are readily available for nearly every shortcoming. These are some of the issues that were addressed during the Ultimate 690 build:

CJ Designs Fuel Filler Neck

KTM 690 Enduro Bike Build CJ Designs Filler Neck

The stock fuel filler neck on the 690 is a magnet for dirt, dust and grime. It also requires an ignition key every time you want to add fuel. CJ Designs’ solution is a nice looking billet filler neck that is much better at keeping sediment out and utilizes a simple Acerbis fuel cap (no key required).

KTM Thermostat Switch/Engine Ice Coolant

Its no great secret that KTM’s run hot and 690’s are no exception. Installing this lower temp thermostat switch and running ‘Engine Ice’ coolant reduces the normal operating temperature of the engine. This not very glamorous but essential upgrade starts the cooling fan at 190 °F instead of the stock 221 °F, helping to keep the engine cool in warmer conditions and during extended idling.

Factory Pro Transmission Detent Arm

KTM 690 Enduro Bike Build Factory Pro Transmission Detent Arm

This ingenious little part should have been on every 690 as they rolled off the factory floor but even these ‘Ready to Race’ machines were built to a price point. The Factory Pro part is just an upgraded version of the stock transmission detent arm with a better ball bearing and stronger spring. This creates a better feel, fewer missed shifts and false neutrals that are a trademark of this model.

Perun Moto Sub Frame Reinforcement Kit

A simple forum search reveals several accounts of rear sub frame failures on KTM 690 Enduros. With this in mind one of the first upgrades was changing out the upper and lower fuel tank mounts that represent the rear sub frame of the bike. Perun Moto offers a simple kit featuring beefier hardware that helps 690 owners sleep better at night.

ADVenturizing

Taking this oversized dirt bike and turning it into an adventure machine that can go the distance requires increased full range, better wind protection and improved lighting.

KTM 690 Enduro Bike Build Grand Canyon

Cyclops Tire Pressure Monitoring System

This system uses two wireless sensors that mount externally as valve caps to transmit pressure and temperature in real time to a compact remote display. This takes away any uncertainty related to tire pressure and how it is affected by temperature and altitude. The system allows for high and low pressure parameters on each tire with accompanying alarms as well.

MST EVO2 Adventure Rally Kit

KTM 690 Enduro Bike Build MST EVO2 Adventure Rally Kit

Two of the greatest downfalls of the KTM 690 that really keep it from being a true adventure bike are fuel range and any type of wind protection, enter MST. MST is an Italian company specializing in rally conversion products. Their EVO2 kit offers a solution to both the wind protection and fuel range problem with a rally style ABS plastic fairing kit that incorporates Rally Raid fuel tanks. This transformative upgrade relocates the instruments to a more visible location on the rally-style navigation tower, while increasing fuel capacity from 3.2 gallons to 5.5 gallons and adding an effective windscreen for highway travel.

Cyclops Long Range Optimus LED Lights

KTM 690 Enduro Bike Build Cyclops Long Range Optimus LED Lights

To put it in perspective: A standard 55-watt low beam motorcycle headlight has a reach of 88 feet while the 10-watt Long Range Optimus LED from Cyclops produces 883 feet of usable light in a 3.5” housing. Optimus lights were custom mounted one on top of the other behind the clear MST fairing. A wide beam clear filter was used on the lower light to make it a suitable on road light that doesn’t blind oncoming traffic.

Continue Reading…

Courtesy August Dering

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Author: Spencer Hill

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Comments
 22

Leave a Reply to Spencer Hill Cancel reply

22 thoughts on “KTM Twins ‘Ultimate’ KTM 690 Adventure Build

  1. Wow! Just what I was looking for. Totally worth a read. I’m planning to buy a KTM690 Enduro R from quite sometime now, but my height is 170cms, is it possible to lower the seat height.? how feasible it is to change the wheels set up from 21front &18rear to 19 front & 17 rear??

      • I have a 2013 R and I’m 5’7. I had Race Tech lower the forks and rear shock with spacers, custom springs 1 inch. I also placed a seat concepts saddle off a 2010 which lowers it another 10mm.

  2. For a grand total of $10,107.00. Did you get a “blank check” of someone else’s money? “Here, build what you think will be an Ultimate build, and get back to me.”

    It’s a great build, along with all the labor to install all that, and sort out what will / will not fit together.

    I hope it was fun, not soul crushing.

    I also hope you never have to sell it.

  3. I think that I would call it a Rally Build before I would call it an Enduro Build. And I’ll bet the “Wet” or “Curb” weight is about 360 lbs (164 kg).

    • MmmHmmmm. That was before adding 2+ gallons of gas and all the goodies. What do you guess wet weight is now? Over 380? (+ for gas, – for exhaust).

      I would certainly like to know what it weighs now.

      I’ll consider it when the redesigned motor makes it onto the 690 platform. This was a very nice build out, and offers many truly good upgrades / fixes for known 690 issues. Very Nice…

      But, the T7 is due now, very soon 🙂

      • Hey Bob, I would like to believe the Yamaha will be light, but realistically I would be surprised if it’s under 450 lbs by the time it makes it to market. The KTM may be more expensive, but hp and light weight doesn’t come cheap. Yes, this build was pricey, but you don’t have to do everything Spencer did. This build was about what CAN be done using the KTM Twins parts catalog.

  4. Pingback: KTM Twins Ultimate 690 Enduro Build Sheet - ADV Pulse

  5. That’s an awesome build. Very functional and great looking. But, what about getting some Trailjammer Designs Clutch Cover and Stator Cover Guards on there? 🙂 Protect that engine from a rock puncture when you tip over. Great write up too! Good job Spencer!

  6. Hi Spencer – Beautiful bike. I saw you mounted the Fasst Impact Pegs, which I love, but I ordered them for my 2017 690 Enduro and they’re not compatible. Could you please take the time to let me know how you got them to fit? Thank you in advance.

  7. Great Build. What model or degree rise did you get for the Fasstco handlebars. How did you like the way they meshed with the Steering damper? I am looking to do the same on my 2017 701. Thx Brian

  8. Curious about your opinions on the luggage… Here you list the Wolfman bags with the hard side luggage racks; why did you choose that over the Mosko BackCountry 35 like you used previously or even the Mosko Reckless 80 without any side racks on the bike?

    • On this build I used hard luggage racks because I wanted the extra protection. As far as luggage selection goes I was eager to test the Wolfman Pikes Peak Plates with Rocky Mountain saddlebags to see how they compared.

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