Saturday, May 31, 2014

Steering stops

Why in the fuck would the morons at the KTM factory leave the steering stop adjusters cranked all the way out?  You need a corn field to do a figure eight on this bike.  Jeezus.  I took a few minutes and adjusted them in all the way until the forks touched the body panels, then backed them off about 1/2 a turn. Now it turns on a dime.

Like this from the factory. Turns like a barge.

Mo' bettah. Turns nice and sharp now.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Orange plastics

I've always liked the bright orange colour of KTM bikes and  I also appreciate the extra visibility it can give when riding in traffic. Since the first 690 Enduro came out in 2008, the colours have been a varied mix of orange, black, and white plastics. You don't get to choose -- the colours change each year. When I decided to buy a 2014 Enduro, I figured I would probably change the plastics from white/black to full orange. And it probably makes sense to do it while the original plastics are still clean and free of scrapes and scuffs. That way, I could sell them for a decent price, or maybe just put them away to swap them back at a later date.

In any event, I ordered up a bunch of pieces at my dealer: front & rear fenders, headlight mask, fork protectors, and the euro LED brake light with mud guard. Total: €227. 

Then a couple of days later, I was browsing a local classified website (Kleinanzeigen) and found an ad from a guy 50 Kms away selling the same parts, more or less, for €200 with shipping. The bonus was that this guy's kit included the old style fender (KTM part #7650801000004) which has a flatter and more angular shape. This particular fender is no longer available to purchase new: it has been superseded by the new, rounder, floppier style fender (KTM part #76508010028). Overall, the used eBay plastics are in very good shape, with only some very minor scuff marks. I'd say condition is 8.5/10.

I happened to have €400 sitting in my PayPal account anyway: last week I sold the aftermarket Fresco carbon fibre mufflers which I removed from the Super Duke before doing the trade-in.

So now it looks like I've got three sets of plastic body panels:
the original whites, the new orange ones, and the used eBay orange ones.

Used plastics from eBay, and new plastics from the dealer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Carbon bling

 Just received some carbon fibre bling from Carbonadi. Quality looks very good.

They only make protective covers for the clutch and ignition cases. Another vendor, Carbon-Performance, makes these as well as other items like exhaust heat shields, front/rear fenders, headlight mask, swingarm protectors, etc.  I may eventually see about placing an order from them as well. I've heard from many others that their products are good.

The reason I decided to order these two items from Carbonadi is because of the cost. Also, they accepted PayPal. The price was €105 shipped to my door, including a tube of silicone. Carbon-Performance wanted €200 with shipping for the same pieces. Both companies are located in Germany.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fuel tank upper and lower mount upgrade

The fuel tank on the KTM 690 is different from most other bikes. The entire rear subframe is the fuel tank, made of plastic. Yes, the entire rear fender is a basically a plastic hollow fuel tank. An interesting design that keeps the weight distributed. However, it's widely known that the mounting hardware that KTM uses can eventually fail, causing much grief. For that reason, a couple of aftermarket upgrade options are available. Rally Raid UK sells an upper mount kit and a lower mount kit.  But them both and you're looking at £76 and that's before shipping. Ouch!  A cheaper option is available from Perun on ADV He makes his own version of an upgrade bolt kit for both the upper and lower mounts, and he packages it together for €55. More reasonable price tag, yet very good quality pieces. He was also a great guy to deal with.

I'm not knocking Rally Raid. They design and sell lots of really cool products, and they've been around a while. I will say that Rally Raid does have a very good instructional video showing how to do the upgrade -- which definitely proved helpful.  Took me about 90 minutes to get it done. I now feel reassured that it's done.

Rally Raid UK's how-to video

Remove side panels, seat, airbox, regulator/rectifier, muffler, and a few other things. 

Use a drift to remove lower mount's metal sleeve. Once that was done,
I fought for a while to remove the old rubber bushings. A little WD-40, pliers and 
a second beer and it eventually worked, and I was able to insert the new delrin bushings.

These are the new upper mount bolts. A much better design. 

Here is the original lower mount with rubber bushings on the top.
And Perun's upgraded lower mount with delrin bushings on the bottom. 

First oil change

169 Kms on the odometer --  time for the first oil change.

Two bottles of Motorex Cross Power 4T 10W60 synthetic oil
(a.k.a. KTM snake oil)
€46...ouch! That's $70 USD for fuck's sake.

This bike is so special, it takes TWO oil filters. Not outrageously priced,
 fortunately: €12 for both.  Also, there are two plastic/metal 
screens which need to be cleaned.
KTM # 75038046100 - short filter
KTM # 58038005100 - long filter

Both screens were pretty dirty with metal filings.

Both screens, cleaned and ready to be re-installed.

The magnetic oil drain plug had lots of metallic crud stuck to it.

Nice of KTM to include a magnetic plug from the factory. 
Don't know why other bike manufacturers aren't doing this.

GPS mount, USB plug, Volt meter

AMPS rugged mount with audio and power leads for Garmin Montana, 
along with a RAM B-347 ball. In an effort to reduce vibrations to the GPS 
as much as possible, I glued three layers of 3/8" rubber mat together, and I used 
four 2" screws on each side (total of 8) rather than just four long bolts all the way 
through with nylon lock-nuts. 

I bought this Voltmeter about 5 years ago on eBay
and misplaced it until recently.  Figured I should make use of it.

Trimmed the long 5' length of wires supplied with the Garmin 
mount, cut and re-spliced the audio jack about 18" from the mount,
and also spliced in the Voltmeter, as well as male spade connectors 
to plug into the available connections behind the headlight housing. The 
"Accessory 2" circuit is switched and fused from the factory. How convenient.

Voltmeter working

Weather-resistant USB plug from Wal-Mart. Trimmed the wires to about 
18" then crimped & soldered male spades with heat-shrink tubing. This will be 
connected to the always on "accessory 1" circuit located behind the headlight.

It is temporarily mounted with zip ties for now. I will figure out a 
more permanent mount later.

Very functional and solid mount with very little vibes transferred to the GPS.

Went for a ride to test out the new mods. Nice.