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ADV ProductsADV Bike AccessoriesSafari Tanks: Double the Fuel Range of Your KTM 690 Enduro R

Safari Tanks: Double the Fuel Range of Your KTM 690 Enduro R

 Unlock the full adventure potential of the KTM 690 Enduro R with more range.

Published on 07.12.2017

The KTM 690 Enduro R is known for many positive attributes like its power-to-weight ratio and dirt prowess, but its fuel range leaves something to be desired. With a measly stock fuel capacity of 3.2 gallons (12L), an auxiliary tank is required for any serious off-road exploration. Lack of range becomes even more of an issue during aggressive riding when fuel economy can drop as low as 36 miles per gallon!

With a potential range of only 115 miles, we began searching out an aftermarket fuel tank solution for this otherwise adventure-worthy machine. After weighing our options, the Safari Tank’s 3.7 gallon (14L) capacity seemed like the best fit to unlock the full adventure potential of our long-term KTM 690 Enduro R.

Safari Tanks is an Australian company that has been manufacturing high-capacity fuel tanks since 2001. Robin Box, their founder, began producing long-range solutions for his Honda XR650 when his desert riding became more ambitious than the stock tank’s range. With the goal of making tough products that could go the distance, Safari Tanks carved out a niche for themselves as one of the top aftermarket fuel tank companies. They now produce tanks for a wide range of makes and models, and are constantly developing new designs to stay current in the rapidly changing adventure motorcycle landscape.

KTM 690 Safari Tank
The Safari Tank more than doubles the stock range of the KTM 690 Enduro R for a combined capacity of 6.9 gallons (26L).

How It Performed

Installation
Everything required for installation was provided by Safari Tanks including fuel cap, taps, mounting hardware, fuel lines and fuel transfer plate (For adapting stock fuel pump). The initial install took approximately three hours and involved: removing the emissions canister, tapping into the stock fuel pump, running new fuel lines, installing the mounting brackets and finally mounting the tank. While this process was a bit arduous, we found that subsequent installs and removals of the tank for maintenance were simple and quick (under ten minutes).

Directions were thorough with good pictures and helpful tips. The only thing we deviated on during the installation was replacing the provided fuel lines with Motion Pro Premium fuel lines for added durability and heat resistance.

Operation
After getting used to the drastic aesthetic change to the 690 Enduro, we began familiarizing ourselves with the tank’s general operation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as simple as you might imagine: filling the tank and forgetting about it… The Safari tank sits higher than the stock under seat tank creating potential issues with overflowing and venting if filled or dispersed in the wrong order (a common problem with aftermarket tanks on this bike).

Our formula for success was filling both tanks with the fuel tap just forward of the main tank closed, then opening it after approximately 100 miles (or when the fuel light came on) letting the fuel in both tanks equalize. Another solution we found to the venting issue was leaving all the fuel line taps (1 at the bottom of each side and 1 just before the stock tank) open and just filling the Safari tank. This wouldn’t allow filling to full capacity but it saved the hassle of removing luggage covering the rear tank fill and would distribute the fuel weight evenly below seat level.

Performance
The Safari tank outperformed our expectations in several aspects but the main thing that stuck with us was its toughness. High-speed low sides on gravel, low-speed tip overs in sharp rocks, and typical dirt naps all resulted in little to no damage at all. Scratching and scuffs on the tank were inevitable but cleaned up well after each adventure. However with the tank completely full, steering characteristics drastically changed and some nimbleness melted away off-road.

KTM 690 Enduro Safari Tank

On road though it was a completely different story. The added weight over the front tire increased stability on the highway, making long pavement stretches more enjoyable. A slight loss of agility was noticeable but justified in our eyes, and we simply avoided filling up the tank unless it was necessary. The tank by itself weighs in at 15 pounds with hardware, so it wasn’t much of a burden when empty.

Overall, the big tank was less cumbersome than originally expected. With most of its girth farther forward, the knee position stayed closer to stock than we originally imagined. After a few rides, the Safari tank began to feel much like a stock feature. And with a new range well over 250 miles, our gas station anxiety became a thing of the past.

Who Is It For

Anyone looking to transform their KTM 690 Enduro R into a true long-range adventure bike. The Safari Tank more than doubles the range of the stock tank for a combined capacity of 6.9 gallons (26L), giving it the legs to explore roads truly less traveled. It is also reasonably priced compared to other aftermarket fuel tank options and for the time being, it offers the most capacity available (Safari Tanks is currently working on an even larger tank that will increase total capacity to 7.9 gallons).

KTM 690 Enduro Safari Tank

Our Verdict

As the auxiliary tank market continues to expand, Safari Tanks still has a strong foothold by maintaining their focus on building durable and functional products. After more than a year and thousands of miles of abuse, we can attest that this is the toughest aftermarket tank available for the 690 Enduro. Aesthetically it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but when it comes to raw functionality and durability, it gets top marks.

What We Liked

  • Heavy-duty tank construction.
  • Significant fuel range improvement.
  • On-road handling improvement.

What Could Be Improved

  • Tank styling.
  • Include higher quality fuel lines.
  • Mounting brackets looked a bit thin.

KTM 690 Enduro R Safari Tank Specs

Colors: Black, Orange and Transluscent
Capacity: 3.2 gallons (12L), 6.9 gallons (26L) combined
Weight Empty: Approx. 15 pounds (6.8 kg) with hardware
Price: $669.99

Shopping Options

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
Spencer Hill Author ProfileAbout the Author: Spencer Hill “The Gear Dude” has been fueling his motorcycle addiction with adventure since first swinging his leg over a bike in 2010. Whether he’s exploring his own backyard in the Pacific Northwest or crisscrossing the United States, Spencer is always in search of scenic off road routes, epic camping locations and the best gear possible. He began writing shortly after taking up two-wheel travel to share his experiences and offer insight with his extensive backpacking, camping and overland background.
Photos by Spencer Hill

Author: Spencer Hill

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Comments
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17 thoughts on “Safari Tanks: Double the Fuel Range of Your KTM 690 Enduro R

  1. Looks like the right side took a hit during a get-off in dirt. You do not mention damage, so I’m assuming it did not break.

    In your opinion, would the tank survive a get-off in rocks, taking a hit on a rock, same position? Speculate and tell me what you think, please.

    • Like mentioned in the review:
      “The Safari tank outperformed our expectations in several aspects but the main thing that stuck with us was its toughness. High-speed low sides on gravel, low-speed tip overs in sharp rocks, and typical dirt naps all resulted in little to no damage at all. Scratching and scuffs on the tank were inevitable but cleaned up well after each adventure.”
      “After more than a year and thousands of miles of abuse, we can attest that this is the toughest aftermarket tank available for the 690 Enduro.”

  2. Great review!

    I’m looking for a tank for my 690, so this is very relevant!

    A few questions –
    * As far as highway improvement, does it help any of the annoying 55mph-ish vibration that the 690’s are known for?
    * Does it change the overall width of the bike? Especially for standing up in a forward/attack riding position.
    * I assume if the tank is empty (or close to empty) the bike feels pretty much as it would without the tank?

    Thanks in advance for you answers!

    • -Yes it does help with some of the vibration in the 4,500-5,000 rpm range. Most noticeably it helps with speed wobbles and head shake though.
      -It does change the width of the bike compared to the stock shrouds, still skinnier than the bars by quite a bit.
      -Yes with the tank empty you hardly notice a difference in handling characteristics.

  3. That 690 is a very cool bike, but you can buy two KLRs with 5.2 gallon factory tanks with 200+ miles of range for what that KTM cost. (Just sayin)

    • That is true but the KLR 650 and KTM 690 are completely different balls of wax. It would take 3 KLR’s to come close to the same horsepower of the 690, 2 KLR’s combined wouldn’t have the same suspension travel and the 690 is arguably more reliable with its modern engine/fuel injection.

      • That last point about more reliable engine. Mmmmm, Maybe. Pretty tough to call a KTM anything more reliable than a KLR. The 690 more reliable? That’s a tough sell…

  4. Would be interesting to compare it to the Rally Raid tanks or some of the other aftermarkets out there. The EVO2 tanks from Rally Raid are a bit more, but you gain the ability to attach a front fairing (if wanted) and the styling is there as well.

    • We used Rally Raid tanks on the KTM Twins Ultimate 690 build that will be featured soon. It does have the advantage of being able to attach a fairing and some might say it is more ascetically pleasing but it doesn’t have the same capacity and might not be as robust. More details to follow with the build story.

  5. So, what do you think after all this, Spencer?

    Will these make it onto your “Ultimate 690” build, or maybe something else? Or, just keep the Ultimate stock tank?

    • I loved this tank but ultimately I went with Rally Raid on the Twins 690 because of the ability to integrate with the MST rally fairing. The build article will be featured here shortly with full details on some of these big equipment decisions.

  6. I have the tank and I don’t think it would interfere with the Rottweiler intake from what I can see. The intake is under the seat and this does not impact the seat in any way, except that you have to slide it under the tank now. Although the tank is wider than the stock “fairing” (how could it not be 🙂 ), it is about just as wide as the width of the rear of the bike where the exhaust is. I think mine also hits the fork tubes, when maxing out turning, not sure if you guys experienced that.

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