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.