The mods were coming fast and furious for a while before the trip to Utah. Then once back I had a bunch that I did and it wasn’t until now that I realized I hadn’t documented them so this post is sort of a catch all for everything I missed. I have an active spreadsheet going here. Some of the mods happened before Utah, some after.
KTM PowerParts Windshield
I knew I wanted some level of wind protection. While I love the look of a rally bike, most of the kits were too expensive. The KTM Windshield bolts right on top of the stock “number plate” and people seem to really like it.
Install was easy, they supply a pattern that you cut out, tape to your existing plate.
Next drill some holes.
And then bolt the windshield right to the plate.
It’s not too tall, not too small. I think it’s just about perfect (unless I go full Rally)
I’ve been running them on my 950 for the longest time. The good news is that they are relatively cheap, the bad news is that they wear out pretty fast (at least on my 950). I bought the set from Revzilla and had the local CycleGear mount them. I also wanted to add a rim lock to the front, as that’s probably where my greatest torque is going to come from. New heavy duty tubes are always option – plus I keep the old ones and rotate them into my spares I carry. Of course when I dropped them off at CycleGear I explained all of this in detail to the counter guy.
So when I picked up the tires and wheels I was a little surprised that BOTH the front and the rear had rim locks, AND they had thrown away the spares! CycleGear used to be manned by knowledgeable bike enthusiasts but that was a long long time ago.
Additionally, they added so much weight to balance the rim lock. Check this out!
Next tire change I’ll be using the lightest rim locks (Motion Pro) and possibly even putting a 2nd one across from the 1st to balance it better that way.
Non Lowering Link
It’s the first thing I noticed when I saw the bike. It had a bright orange lowering link. This bike was setup for someone short or possibly a fear of heights. I needed ground clearance. The bike was a full 3″ lower than stock!
The Seller said he had the old link sitting around somewhere but couldn’t find it. I bought the bike with the promise that when he did, he would send it to me. Days and weeks went buy and it was getting close to the trip. I kept bothering him for it but getting nowhere. So I went online and found a new stock one for $100 at RockyMountainATV and ordered it. As soon as I did , guess what? Yup! He found it. When it got here I checked it’s condition with the new one I had, and returned the ordered part (paying for shipping).
The bike was instantly taller but still not at it’s stock height. We found out the shock was hammered too.
These mirrors are great for being able to adjust, swing out of the way, and actually be functional mirrors. My 950 has the KTM PowerParts mirrors that ratchet out of the way in one direction but that’s problematic and I’ve had that tension on the ratchet come loose too.
Bought new and Tomm and I had a short discussion on which model to choose. Funny, he choose one model, I chose the other.
iPad Mini on the Dash
No… Really. I wanted to mount an ipad mini on the dashboard so that I could run a nice big fat version of Gaia Maps in real time and be able to see it as I rode. Ram makes a mount for the ipad and I got a nice small dust proof case from Amazon.
The ipad is a wifi only version which makes total sense as there’s no cell coverage where I want to be able to use this so why pay for a cell service version?
The GPS is powered by a Bad Elf GPS unit that pulls in ALL of the constellations. That means US, GLONASS, everything! The little sucker sits in my backpack and runs all day. The connection to the iPad is Bluetooth and it works great!
RallyRaid Tank Bolts
One of the weak spots on the 690 is that the gas tank is actually also the rear subframe. It’s a giant piece of plastic held up by 4 bolts. I looked at the bolts at the top (under the seat) and they were stock so I figured the bottom was too and ordered a complete set.
When we went to replace them we found out that the bottom had been replaced already! The RallyRaid fix is to have the bolts come all the way through. Up on the top the bolts thread through the frame, and the RallyRaid version continues further and is capped with an additional nut. On the bottom the stock version screws into a bushing from either side, the upgrade version has a single Stainless Steel Bolt all the way through.
AFTER THE UTAH TRIP
New Used Rear Shock
It took me a while to find the fix for the screwed up shock the bike had. I talked to SuperPlush in San Francisco who sourced a new shock body for me. If I did that with a full service it would be an additional $385. I found a guy on ADV who had sold his 690 and had a leftover shock. I bought it for $400. It was just about new. So for right now, low on funds, I have a rear shock up and running. It also came with a spring. Not sure which spring it is. It’s orange and looks aftermarket but hey, it works!
Here’s the Quote from SuperPlush.
LED Turn Signals / Grip Heaters / Power Port Mod
Since I had broken the right rear turn signal just before leaving for Utah it was on my list of things to fix. I found some really cool ones on Amazon that I thought I would give a try. Amazon LINK.
I also wanted to add heated grips and the Tusk brand seemed to be perfect. Amazon LINK.
I had some shitty wiring in the bike that I had already found and wanted to correct.
I asked Tomm for some wiring help and together we did a pretty professional job.
One other thing I wanted was a light to show when the grips were on. I found these mini little LED’s an Amazon and since we’re doing all this crazy wiring, we added this in too. I got a new plate for the top clamp from HDB and drilled a small hole up above the switch. We figured out the wiring fine but kept blowing the led. It turned out (after 10 or so failures) that the LED was grounding out against the metal and so we created a shield of sorts around it with heat shrink. Amazon LINK.
The new system looks good and works great!
The stock exhaust has a catalytic converter in it and that sucker gets so hot you cannot have luggage without it burning it. I like the dual Wings I have on the 950. I found someone selling a takeoff from a bike they sold on ADV and bought it. It bolted into place perfectly. This was another slightly used part that looked just about brand new.
The other reason to switch is weight but if I was really concerned about the weight, I’d could just eat a few less pieces of pizza. That would be cheaper too.
But we weighed the stock exhaust as we took it off. That’s 4,763 grams or 10 pounds 5 ounces.
The new Wings for the exact same part weighed in at 1,992 grams which is just 4 pounds 4 ounces!
As for the sound, it’s a little louder, little deeper, but still has that big single sound that the 690 seems to have. As for more power, it might have a little more but that doesn’t seem to matter to me.
Check out all the clearance I now have (and it doesn’t get too hot!)
Wolfman Tank Bag
When we started the Utah trip I had put my larger Wolfman Expedition tank bag on the bike. It’s what I run on the 950. It was a little too big, too tall and crowded the handlebars. I ended up breaking a strap buckle the first time I rode it in Mammoth.
Tomm had bought a brand new Wolfman Enduro tank bag for his bike. It was small and didn’t interfere with anything. The one thing he didn’t like was the zipper on the new style. It’s a better waterproof material and the edges of the rubber make it hard to zip or unzip with one hand. I had my eyes on ADV and when an old style popped up for sale I bought it. The old style is probably not as water resistant as the new style is but you can zip and unzip with one hand. It’s perfect for the bike and makes Tomm jealous so it’s a keeper.
15 Tooth Sprocket
65 MPH at 5,000 RPM. That’s what the bike would do with the 14 tooth sprocket it had when I got it. The previous owner also had the stock 15 tooth so I had that in my spares. For anything freeway, that 14 tooth was just too much. I had great low end in Moab but I think that was more motor related and not so much gearing.
I swapped the 14 for the 15, adjusted the chain and now I’m doing 70 MPH at 5,000 RPM. That’s better for sure. I can bump up to a 16 tooth. I might do that for the BDR stuff I want to do.
Seat Concepts Seat
Let’s talk about butts… My butt. I have a weird butt. I can get on a bicycle and ride 200 miles for 14 hours straight and not complain about a hard little bicycle seat. Weird butt, right? But everyone will tell you the stock 690 seat is uncomfortable. Yeah it’s hard, yeah it’s shaped like a trapezoid, but I have a weird butt – I can deal with it right?
Tomm and I took a ride the other day and did almost 300 miles, with a bunch being on the freeway. Man did my butt hurt! So I found a guy on ADV (where else?) who had sold his bike and had a nearly new Seat Concepts seat.
Seat Concepts will sell you a new seat for $300 in three versions. They have a normal “comfort”, a tall, and a XL version. This guy was selling a “comfort” which means it was the same seat height, just more and better padding, so I bought it.
I haven’t ridden it for miles and miles yet but I can tell you right off the bat it’s better. Much Much Better!
So that catches me up on the mods I didn’t get a chance to write about. I’m looking for a few more things…
- Pivot Pegs
- Radiator Guards
- Gas Filler Neck
- Rubber Skid Plate
When I get each of those I’ll be writing about them and then that’s about it. The bike is riding much better these days and I can’t wait to get out and stat doing some ADV’ing.