Jeli Motors: KTM 690 Enduro R 2021 Minek nevezzelek (with EN subtitles!)

Jeli Motors: KTM 690 Enduro R 2021 Minek nevezzelek (with EN subtitles!)

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[Our service partner:] [Spring 2022 training schedule] Hi and welcome from the Piliscsév track, look what we brought here today - I'm very excited! Although we've had a 690 before, but this is a brand new 690. It barely has a few thousand kms on the clock - around 2000, and on top of that, it's the new 2021 model year, which means it will be quite different from the 690 we had before. A lot of technical specs point to that this day will be different from the testing day of the other 690, or, who knows - we're here to find out.

Our friend Laci loaned us his bike for this test, for which we are very grateful - I promise I'll be careful with his beautiful, scratchless bike! Let's look at the specs what makes this different from the previous generations. The model is still called 690, the changes, e.g. to the suspension, are significant, though: this has a WP XPLOR fork in the front from an EXC, with the suspension travel shortened a bit to 250 mm; the rear travel is also 250 mm, but what makes this different from the European EXC models is that it has linkage. The quoted dry weight is around 147 kgs, also importantly, it has the filter housing in the front, but the fuel tank in the rear, the engine makes 74 bhp and 73 Nm of torque, not what you'd call anemic. While we're still talking specs, the suspension travel increase also resulted in a seat height increase of a few centimeters, Previous model years had gradually decreasing suspension travel compared to the first generation - although there were also versions with different travel; [braaap] ... it looks like the first riders have arrived...

so compared to the one we've tested, the suspension travel here is almost 60 mm longer. Another difference is that the engine now has 2 balance shafts: one at the crankshaft, and another one in the cylinder head; I assume they wanted to reduce resonances, which would be beneficial when going on long trips. [Take 2:] Another difference is that the engine now has 2 balance shafts: one somewhere around the crankshaft, and the second one in the cylinder head; it also got a slipper clutch, and a... - Quick-shifter. - A quick-shifter. - Take 3? - It's sad that I keep forgetting this. Maybe because it's early in the morning? - It's not early in the morning.

Providing some pleasant sounds is this Leo Vince exhaust. Like a helicopter. No choke, some real deep thud-thud sounds, a sudden twist of the throttle can give those behind you a jumpscare. I'll jump right on it to see how it is, so this is not a small enduro, but nor is it a large touring-enduro, it's somewhere in-between, what does this mean in real terms? I'm 182 cm (~6 ft), if I extend my legs straight, I just have the full soles down - this is a fairly tall bike. Recently we've had the Ducati Scrambler, there my legs were bent like this when my feet were on the ground, so I guess this is at least 6-7 cm higher. I think that had a seat height of 850, and this here is... 910? - Yes.

So that's a 6 cm difference just from seat height. The seat itself is fairly narrow and sporty, giving you ample choice of positioning. Look, the front doesn't feel much wider than an average EXC, this has more stuff under the fairings, though, an EXC has more space there, but here, they had to stuff all those electronics somewhere...

But otherwise, it's a bike that's narrow enough, and things are right at hand. Towards the rear, though, I can feel it's getting wider. Sitting this far back, you have the legs wide apart. At least there's no luggage rack or any other threatening things now, that would kick me in the back.

But here you can definitely feel that this is a bigger, wider bike. It has the fuel tank here in the back, that can influence the weight distribution positively, we'll see what it's like riding - at least it's smooth, so it won't be in the way. This bike has some electronic assists - it's not chock full of them at least, but it does have a few buttons; when you're riding off-road, you'd turn these off - or, today we'll have a look at what they can help with, that's also an interesting topic.

But first I'll start with them off, to familiarize with this bike, see how the bike itself handles. First, you can turn the ABS off with this button, you keep it pushed in - it lights up yellow, and no ABS from now on. Finally there are no silly ideas that it only turns the rear off, but the front is still active, or on many other bikes, when you put in 'Enduro/Pro' mode, it only uses the ABS just a little bit - no, here you can fully turn it off with just one button, and it takes just a few seconds.

Turning traction control off is a bit more cumbersome, you have to keep this pushed in for 1... 2... 3... 4... 5 - exactly 5 seconds or thereabouts - and when this TC sign lights up, traction control will no longer prevent wheelspin which is good, because I'll take it for a spin... Let's check it's sound! Look at the ground! Give it some throttle It has some gnarly sounds It's funny, if someone brought me here blindfolded and asked me to guess what bike this is just from listening, I could tell rightaway that it's a KTM! There are such rattling sounds coming from the engine block, like we've said many times, when you hear sounds like these from a Japanese bike, you know it's the end, you take it to a garage, 'Guys, this is done for', con-rod or some other major fault; no, this is a KTM, fresh from the factory, this is it's normal sound. The endpipe has a very nice sound, and it does the bike good, because it overpowers those scary rattles from the engine... But I remember the other 690 also had frightening sounds coming from the engine, so this engine block is very noisy.

So-so. This is no joke. These seventy-odd bhps coupled with 140-150 kgs, you better not go crazy on the throttle. During wheelie, it was powerdrifting the rear... When you give it a handful while wheelieing and think it will... as the front was going down, I though I'd give it some more, and it will drift some, ... uhm-hum...

Look, it has such power reserves... it's frighteningly strong. This seventy... whew... So the gist of it: the power-to-weight ratio is over the top - especially considering my weight; despite that, this was my second wheelie here: first a small one, then this. Still, I could turn it into that slight curve wheelieing - so the balance and power control is excellent. It's not that aggressive at the bottom that it becomes unusable - but you have to mind the gas, it's not the 350 where you can give it a twist even at the top, because why not - here, you'll be in trouble.

The first, familiarizing jump was a small one, that wasn't recorded, the second one's in the video. Now, I don't like to do jumps in 1st gear, as I feel that's too harsh, so I put it in 2nd gear, but with just a little bit of throttle it just flew out... Look, it lands on its feet, moreover, I think you're jumping into a slight incline here, which I think is the worst kind of landing you can have at a jump, arriving almost vertically, from fairly high, into a slight incline, without throttle as there's nowhere to go - and I don't even want to; so... but the suspension - it just took it all, it's just fantastic. It's been a while since I sat on a bike that would take such a disgusting landing without a single complaint, it just swallowed it all up.

- I admit, I was already sneering what clanking sounds it would make, but nothing happened. Bence doesn't like it, as when testing bigger touring enduro bikes and we do such jumps - such? I mean half as big, or even quarter - they land with all kinds of clanks and rattles. Then it's like: 'It can probably do even bigger jumps, but it just doesn't feel right, I don't want to torture it'.

But here... I'm afraid that on this bike, I'll reach my limits fairly soon, it has power in spades, the suspension feels like it can take anything, like you could jump over the biggest motocross tabletops, and when you have good suspension, good handling, ample power, you reach the point when you become the bottleneck - I'm sure this bike has more potential than I can make of it. First stall! Hi! My opinion might not concur with Teach Jeli's opinion: I think this bike is a bit weak if you intend to do hard enduro, so it's too much of a touring / dual-sport bike for that; but for a touring / dual-sport bike, it's too much of a race bike... I'll try to elaborate briefly: in hard enduro, those extra 40 kgs compared to a proper race bike make themselves felt, but it you don't want to take a 200+ kg touring enduro to an enduro trail or some gnarlier sections, then it's an excellent choice. It's a category that has unfortunately been very neglected in recent years, with 2-cylinder touring enduros weighing well above 200 kgs, compared to them, it's like riding a bicycle.

It's not made for hard enduro, so keep expectations in check, but otherwise, it's a great bike, with excellent suspension, and fairly light - compared to those 200 kg touring enduros. We don't have many extra pieces of protective gear for this bike, as it's not intended for hard enduro, so you're less likely to break stuff, as normally you wouldn't take this bike to a rocky stream bed; so there are no manufacturers making after-market fairings for them. However, I do recommend a proper set of hand-guards, like this Enduro Engineering model, it's made of 6061 T6 aluminum, so it can take a beating; you can add this plastic part for added wind protection or as bark-busters - you can use these combined or just the hand-guards; last but not least, as you can hear, a heavy-duty aluminum skid plate, this has a nice engraved Dakar emblem, and as you can see, this is a lot sturdier than the factory part, so if you intend to go into the nastier parts, this will help protect your bike and prevent the tubes from being bent. So that's about it, thanks, and it really is a great bike that I definitely recommend, as I've also tried it - just don't expect it to ride it in hard enduro. Bye!

Now, let's look at... It's good at climbing; it's good at charging ahead; but now let's look at how well it crawls up from a standstill. This tyre doesn't look like it will be much help, but I think I can get traction.

Pay attention to it's sound! - Shall we rate it an A? - A minus Ok, A minus, but if you take into account how much power it has, it's single-cylinder, an agile machine, you don't feel any sluggishness like in most enduros, which are good at starting in such situations and delicate control, but this makes them sluggish, not taking revs well. This brings back memories of when I was riding bikes that are way too strong, like CRF450X, RMZ450, it has that amusement park feeling when you give it throttle - it's unusable, as you can't keep it under control; but it just launches forward, pushing ahead like crazy! But then, good luck wrestling control back... Now this one, apart from being so good at this crawling traction from a standstill, this engine has a very wide range. Despite it's weight of 147 kgs...

So this is an engine that is both good at charging and crawling, which is very rare on the market. This happens when you have your panties in a twist, and you forget to pump, ugh, this was so bad... I'd rather not comment on that... Now, I have some insight on how this bike handles on the extreme course, you can do almost anything, and I almost did, and it didn't turn out bad.

There are a few things that were in my way, though: one is this tyre, which is stone-hard, we left the pressure as-is, we didn't let even a breath of air out, it has zero compression, I think it's at least on 2 bar (30 psi). This is one factor that determines the outcome. The other one is that you have a lot power after all, this actually is the only thing that makes it harder; because the clutch itself: where and how it starts to engage; the engine's characteristics, how it handles; and the suspension, it's fantastic and a lot of help here; there are certain things that I do so easily with this, that would be a challenge to do so well even with a lighter 2T - or I don't know how to put it, so it felt easy to do, like this stair of tyres, it almost went up by itself. It's weight seems like an advantage here, and so is this whole characteristic, but you have to keep your cool, sometimes I had to keep a finger on the brake even on the extreme obstacles, because I fear the throttle can get too much too quickly.

The machine has what it takes. And now with the Traction Control ON :) Bence just told me 'Have you noticed that you're still riding around although we've finished all the takes for the video about 20 minutes ago?' Now I'm just riding around for fun, trying this and that, phew... This is a blast to ride! If you can handle the power - at least for a few minutes - than these 74 horses can give you a fun time, with this weight of almost 150 kgs. Let's conclude! It has a crazy amount of power. I think it is clearly visible that I didn't even pin it, yet it charged ahead, and when it gets traction, it has power to stretch your arms. It kind of feels like when someone loaned me an RMZ450, a purebred motocross bike, that had way too much power.

This is a bit similar, however, it's lower range is tamed, and you can use it delicately. It's paired up with a sensational clutch - I was using a single finger only throughout, I didn't get any fatigue; it was easy to find the point it starts engaging, so it did an excellent job; and they also paired it up with a - finally! - longer travel suspension; although this did have the odium that I didn't always reach ground, and felt like I was about to fall over. But that's the way it is, a proper enduro has a high seat, except for some special types.. And the suspension... If I had to highlight a single thing, whew, I want this! If they put such a suspension in any bike, that works so well, maybe even this extra weight's inertia helps to absorb the shocks and unevenness of the terrain, but it's unbelievably good, I'm very satisfied with it. It's been a long time since I rode a bike that is so set up for my liking.

As you see, this 250 mm of travel is ample, you can even do botched-up jumps and it doesn't bottom out. Another thing that is different compared to older generations is that it turns different. On the previous 690, I just couldn't nail the corners. It didn't feel right, it didn't want to turn,

it had an insecure, floaty feel to the front. That is now gone - mostly due to the better suspension, obviously, but also a change in geometry, and I think the front clamps are adjustable, so it could even be fine-tuned - I don't know, don't ask me which position it is in - it's in the right position, because it works so well. To sum up: if I wanted a dual-sport bike that I wanted to make the most of, so I want to do rough enduro stuff, but I also want it to go hard and strong on tarmac and go to, say, Croatia - as it's service interval of 10 000 km makes it suitable even for longer trips, so it's service interval is not by the hour - although, you could make the calculation... So it's a long service interval bike that still performs great off-road - it's unique on the market now. It has no competition in this dual-sport category - or at least I've not tested it yet - I'm sure there are some more bikes that are similarly capable - if yes, then bring them on, let me test them, but I think this would still turn out the winner.

Bye, and don't forget to also subscribe if you like this to get notifications, to let our channel grow. Bye!

2022-04-11 23:43

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