KTM 690 Enduro R Custom Build

Adventure motorcycling has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Riders want to be able to go from the street to the dirt seamlessly – and they want to only have to use one bike to do it, no matter the terrain. This desire has inspired manufacturers to expand and enhance their ADV/Dual Sport lineup, pumping out bikes perfectly fit for adventure riding.

We recently got our hands on a KTM 690 Enduro R – a motorcycle created to fit our off-road adventure riding style like a glove. Weighing in at around 315 lbs dry, it’s much lighter, nimble and more maneuverable on rugged dirt roads than the larger, street-focused adventure bikes. Yet its 690cc engine gives more than enough power to keep its rider happy both on and off the pavement. In order to turn it into the perfect long-distance adventure bike, we added a few aftermarket touches. Take a look at the completed build in the video below!

Customizing the KTM 690 Enduro R for Long Distance Adventures

Although the stock KTM 690 Enduro R rolls off the showroom floor ready for adventure, with a few added accessories it can become the perfect bike for a multi-day adventure ride. Check out what we did to really make this bike shine.

Rally Raid Products EVO2 Fuel Tanks Will Fuel Your Adventure

KTM equipped the 690 Enduro R with a lightweight, yet sturdy chassis featuring a chrome-molybdenum steel tubular trellis frame and high-quality die-cast swingarm. It’s an ideal setup for off-road riding as steel is generally better than aluminum at absorbing and dispelling energy from the ride, resisting torsion while acting as a spring and still bouncing back to its shape. In order to optimize the space between the frame, swingarm and seat, KTM installed the fuel tank in the back of the bike and even used it as part of the sub frame. The 3.17 gallon tank keeps in line with the sleek design of the bike, but doesn’t quite add the capacity of mileage needed for long distance adventure riding. So we added the Rally Raid Products EVO2 Fuel Tanks with Shrouds that attach to each side of the bike and add an extra 2.6 gallons of fuel for the ride. If you spend a lot of time off-road, some extra mileage can bring you peace of mind and save you from hauling extra fuel containers along on your ride.

Trail conditions mixed with extended time spent on the bike can make your air filter work overtime to keep dust out of the engine. The 690 comes stock with a paper filter, and we noticed that it wasn’t doing the best job at keeping dust from getting through. We switched it out for an alternative – the KTM Foam Air Filter – and haven’t had trouble keeping the dust out ever since. Another great aspect of the foam filter is that it is washable, so it can be cleaned, re-oiled and reused ride after ride.

The Ricochet Off-Road Skid Plate Is Great Protection for Your Bike

A good skid plate is not to be underrated, especially out here in the west where the terrain consists heavily of dry, rocky conditions. The stock skid plate on the 690 Enduro R comes in a hard plastic and we didn’t feel confident that it would protect as well for our style of riding. We needed a more encompassing design that would hold up to the rigor of the rides we participate in. We installed the Ricochet Offroad Skid Plate to help protect the vulnerable engine components underneath the bike and to avoid that situation no rider wants to face – a cracked case.

We decided to switch out the stock clutch with a Rekluse EXP 3.0 Clutch on this bike. We tackle a lot of obstacles, and always worrying about not stalling the bike can make things tricky. If you are trying to make it up a rocky climb, constantly feathering the clutch and trying to not kill the bike can make a hard climb ten times harder. The Rekluse clutch is an auto clutch and although you still have to shift, it nearly eliminates the use of the clutch lever. The Rekluse clutch makes it so that when the engine returns to idle, it will disengage the clutch and basically be in neutral. This is helpful because it makes it nearly impossible to stall the bike.

The Tusk Pannier Rack Is One of the Best Ways to Carry Luggage

If you plan on being gone for more than a day, having a way to haul your gear is absolutely necessary. However, with the stock design on the 690 Enduro R, carrying heavy loads on the back of the bike can cause some issues. Since the fuel tank is under the seat and acts as part of the sub frame, a heavy load has been known to stretch the tank a little or damage the sub frame mounting bolts. So we thought it was necessary to spread the weight of our luggage out a little more evenly across the bike. The Tusk Pannier Racks help to disperse the luggage and triangulate the weight of the load so that it doesn’t cause so much pressure on the tank and subframe. The racks mount directly to the frame for sturdy support and are versatile enough to be able to accommodate multiple styles of saddlebags and pannier boxes.

The Tusk Top Rack Is Essential for Traveling with the 690 Enduro R

Another necessary addition to the bike was a rear top rack. Tusk makes a great rack with a variety of mounting holes to accommodate just about any load. It also keeps the fuel cap easily accessible due to the rear-mounted tank making it necessary to fill your bike from the rear. Since we do plan to carry heavier loads on the back of the bike and we don’t want to risk broken or bent tank mounting bolts or lower sub frame mounting bolts, we replaced them with the Rally Raid Products Replacement Sub Frame Tank Mounting Bolts and Lower Tank Mounting Kit.

Stock Fuel Cap and Fuel Opening
Standard Acerbis Fuel Cap
The CJ Designs Billet Fuel Filler Neck Raises the Opening to the Tank

In regards to the fuel cap, the stock cap has a flat, flush triangular shape that looks nice with the design but recesses down into the tank enough that it might allow dirt to get down into the opening. In order to avoid this, we added the CJ Designs Billet Fuel Filler Neck Kit to the bike so that it would elevate the fuel opening. It makes the opening a little more accessible when it is time fuel up, especially if you have a top rack installed.

Seat Concepts Makes a Much More Comfortable Seat!

Rider comfort is an important factor on any motorcycle but when you plan to spend days on an adventure bike, you want to make it as accommodating as possible (especially for when you ride on rough terrain). We added the Complete Seat from Seat Concepts, which is specifically contoured to provide a better fit for riding. A better fit equals more comfort, and more comfort means that you will be willing to put in more miles.

The IMS Rally Footpegs Give You a Much More Solid Platform

Because of the heatshields that come stock on the motorcycle, your foot tends to sit a little farther out from the bike than you ideally want it to. Add boots and pants to the mix and it pushes it out even farther. The stock pegs didn’t provide a large enough footprint to let us feel stable on the bike, and the last thing we want is a foot slipping off the peg in a particularly rough stretch of the trail. We replaced the pegs with the IMS Rally Footpegs that extend out for a wider footprint than stock, and offer an aggressive design that will give you excellent grip in any terrain.

Sometimes It's the Little Things that Make the Ride...

Adventure riders tend to experience a little more of Mother Nature’s mood swings than the average motorcycle rider. Occasionally heated gear is a welcomed accessory for a ride! We are some of those riders that ride in all sorts of weather conditions, and so we installed the Firstgear DC Coax Battery Harness on the bike to be able to plug in our heated gear for a little added warmth on the chilly rides. We also installed the Tusk Grip Heater Kit so that our hands stay nice and toasty. The Tusk D-Flex Handguards and Giant Loop Bushwackers Handguards help to shield from the cold and elements as well. (*Note: The Tusk D-Flex Handguards will require a big bar adapter for 1 1/8″ bars.) Riding in the cold doesn’t have to be so bad if you have the right gear.

Up on the bars, we installed everything we needed to stay in touch and plugged in on our rides. The Tusk 12-Volt Power Socket is a good addition to have for charging your electronics like phones or battery packs. The Garmin Zumo 590LM GPS lets us know where we’re at and where we’re going, and the DeLorme inReach Explorer lets our loved ones keep track of the ride while giving everyone peace of mind to know that if we ever get in a bind, we’ve got a way to send word. We’ve got the units mounted with some Ram Mounts for ease and convenience to use them. The Double Take Enduro Mirror Kit lets us better keep track of what is going on around us.

Light up the Night with Aftermarket Lighting for the Ride

It’s amazing the difference a windscreen can make on a ride. We added the KTM Touring Windscreen to the motorcycle so that especially on those long sections where we pick up speed, a good portion of the force of the wind is directed up and away from our face and body.

We tend to find ourselves riding in the dark more often than you might think, and not having proper lighting can make for some slow going. We installed two different lighting units: the Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED Lights, and the Rigid Industries Dually 2×2 LED Lights. These lights will basically light up the night as we ride so we don’t have to be worried about what we’ll encounter up ahead.

Good Luggage Goes a Long Way

Good luggage is essential to a successful adventure ride, and there is plenty of it out there to choose from. Some of our favorite luggage comes from the Wolfman brand. On this bike we have the Tank Panniers, the Enduro Tank Bag, the Rocky Mountain Saddle Bags and the Expedition Dry Duffel. Depending on the ride, we’ll switch out the saddle bags for the Tusk Pannier Boxes. Luggage can be as versatile as you need it to be for adventure riding.

The KTM 690 Enduro R Is Always Up for Adventure

The KTM 690 Enduro R is a great adventure bike. With a few personal touches, we made this bike the perfect accomplice for a long distance adventure ride. While this is our ideal set up, we know it isn’t the only way to modify this motorcycle. What would you do to this KTM 690 to make it your perfect adventure bike? Let us know in the comments below!

Products Used in the Bike Build

Rally Raid Products EVO2 Fuel Tanks with Shrouds 2.6 Gallon Ricochet Offroad Skid Plate KTM Foam Air Filter
Rally Raid Products EVO2 Fuel Tanks with Shrouds 2.6 Gallon Ricochet Offroad Skid Plate KTM Foam Air Filter
Tusk Pannier Racks Tusk Aluminum Panniers Tusk Top Rack
Tusk Pannier Racks Tusk Aluminumm Panniers Tusk Top Rack
Rally Raid Products Lower Tank Mounting Kit Rally Raid Products Replacement Sub Frame Tank Mounting Bolts CJ Designs Billet Fuel Filler Neck Kit
Rally Raid Products Lower Tank Mounting Kit Rally Raid Products Replacement Sub Frame Tank Mounting Bolts CJ Designs Billet Fuel Filler Neck Kit
Seat Concepts Complete Seat IMS Rally Foot Pegs Firstgear DC Coax Battery Harness 36"
Seat Concepts Complete Seat IMS Rally Foot Pegs Firstgear DC Coax Battery Harness 36″
Tusk Grip Heater Kit Tusk 12 Volt Power Socket Garmin Zumo 590LM GPS
Tusk Grip Heater Kit Tusk 12 Volt Power Socket Garmin Zumo 590LM GPS
DeLorme inReach Explorer Double Take Enduro Mirror Kit Ram Mounts Brake/Clutch Reservoir U-Bolt Mount w/Universal X-Grip Phone Holder
DeLorme inReach Explorer Double Take Enduro Mirror Kit Ram Mounts Brake/Clutch Reservoir U-Bolt Mount w/Universal X-Grip Phone Holder
KTM Touring Windscreen Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED Lights Rigid Industries Dually 2x2 LED Lights 3"x3"
KTM Touring Windscreen Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED Lights Rigid Industries Dually 2×2 LED Lights 3″x3″ Flood
Tusk D-Flex Handguards CrampBuster Cruise Assist Giant Loop Bushwackers Handguards
Tusk D-Flex Handguards CrampBuster Cruise Assist Giant Loop Bushwackers
Handguards
Trail Tech TTV Switching Temperature Meter Rekluse EXP 3.0 Clutch Scotts Performance SUB Mount Complete Stabilizer Kit
Trail Tech TTV Switching Temperature Meter Rekluse EXP 3.0 Clutch Scotts Performance SUB Mount Complete Stabilizer Kit
Dunlop D606 Dual Sport Tire Bridgestone Ultra Heavy Duty Motorcycle Tube Tusk Motorcycle Rim Lock
Dunlop D606 Dual Sport Tire Bridgestone Ultra Heavy Duty Motorcycle Tube Tusk Motorcycle Rim Lock
Wolfman Tank Panniers Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag Wolfman Rocky Mountain Saddle Bags 2016
Wolfman Tank Panniers Black Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag Wolfman Rocky Mountain Saddle Bags
Wolfman Expedition Dry Duffel Bag
Wolfman Expedition Dry Duffel Bag

By Rachel Bretzing