BlakeBlog: First Impressions: 2008 KTM 690 Enduro

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January 2014

First 2008 KTM 690 Enduro

I took of my 2008 KTM 690 Enduro on Saturday and immediately headed up into the Cruz mountains to break it in Over the next 66 miles I the following initial impressions of the In comparison, my most recent has been a 1999 Kawasaki which was designed for the same To allow riders to travel in comfort both on- and off-pavement.

The two however, are separated by nearly two of engineering practice, and the KTM is nearly the cost of a KLR. What 20 years and five thousand dollars bring?

When getting on the bike for the time I was immediately struck by two The seat feels significantly than my KLR, but it’s narrower at the front, allowing me to comfortably get the toes of both on the ground. The bike also much lighter, as it was very to lift it off the side stand. makes sense, as the KLR is about 420 while the KTM is about 100 pounds (both wet weights).

When I the ignition on the instrument gauge lit up as the tach swept across its range of travel and the speedo the number of front wheel per mile it was set for. This feature is very nice, as the of different tiresespecially if you switch knobbies to street tirescan affect the speedometer’s accuracy. It was a relief to know that I have to continually subtract 8% from the displayed speed, I had to do to compensate for the overly optimistic on the KLR.

It was especially thrilling to see an odometer displayed all zeros and briefly all the adventures to come. A short of the starter button and the bike to life, the automatic choke and start routines of the fuel system quickly settling the into an easy rhythm.


I then also realized the suspension had settled very when I got on the bike. As I started to off this impression magnified wow, this is the most sprung motorcycle I’ve ridden. I haven’t had a chance to the sag yet, so I’m very to see if my perception is accurate. The footpegs are a bit closer to the seat, so my knees are a little more than

Not uncomfortably so, but it was noticeable.

As I made my way through the city and up towards the mountains the brake started bedding into the and the smooth surface on the knobs of the MT-21 tires started up and gaining more traction. the front 300 mm brake revealed a amount of braking powerfar than what’s available on my even with its upgraded 320 mm It must be the twin-piston brake on the 690 that are responsible for the difference, as the KLR has a single piston.

Now the coolant was getting towards the middle of the so I started getting more with the throttle. Because of the suspension the bike is deceptively On the KLR you definitely feel the bike as you gas it, but the 690 keeps a nearly even and it just goes.

It’s trivially easy to in first gear, and even the bike’s ECU restricts the power in and third gears, the front end can get light as the RPMs climb. there’s a good amount of throughout the RPM range, there’s a hit around 5,000 RPM that has you gripping the bars as your vision blurs. Because the was still new I couldn’t fully the rush to redline (7,750 as the 6,000 RPM break-in limit on so quickly, but the future promises tremendous fun up there.


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