No bike comes from the factory perfect. There is no perfect. We only hope to create a better version for the particular ride, for us, for the conditions we foresee. Being a motorcyclist, mods must be done. Those are the rules.
I’m building this bike for dusty dirt roads, firetrails, single tracks and the occasional rock garden and stream crossing. It’s not a highway bike, and it’s not a motocross bike. I’ve been calling it a “BDR Weapon” and here’s what I see needing to be done.
Some companies like Rocky Mountain ATV do great videos of their builds like this one:
And while I gather up some great info from that build, it isn’t exactly what I need or have in mind. I made a quick spreadsheet and identified the items I need for this bike. I’ll detail each below.
|Grips||COPPIA MANOPOLE MOTO RALLY-ENDURO PROGRIP|
|Rotopax||1 gal water, 1 gal fuel|
|Tank Bolts||rally raid tank bolts|
|Thermo Switch||FACTORY FORGED THERMOSTAT SWITCH UPGRADE|
|Air Filter||Rottweiler Performance|
|Exhaust||Wings Slip on|
|Heat Shield||Giant Loop|
|Filler Neck||CJ Designs|
|NON Lowering Link||7650408304401|
|Battery||Proper AGM Battery|
Tires: I’ve tried a few different brands of tires on the 950 and have settled into really liking the Continental TKC-80 series. They are a decent street tire but have great traction off road in the sand and rocks. That’s where I envision riding most or at least need the tire the most. They don’t last long on my 950 but might last longer on this as it’s lighter and less wheel spin. They are also ‘almost’ the same size as my 950. I’ve ordered tires and tubes from Revzilla and will have them mounted at Cyclegear with a rim lock.
Grips: I must be getting old. I like a softer, larger grip than what seems to be the usual. I found these through a recommendation from Lyndon Poskitt who swore by them on his bike that he raced Dakar in. I put them on my 950 and fell in love with a grip you’ve never heard of. The COPPIA MANOPOLE MOTO RALLY-ENDURO PROGRIP
BarkBusters: Back in the day there was only one and that was “Barkbusters”. I put them on my 950 when I first got it. Today there’s many different companies doing similar but also better things for hand protection. I chose HDB (or Highway Dirt Bikes). Rider after rider on ADV recommend the brand. They mount a little differently with replacing the top clamp of your bars and mounting directly there. We’ll see how they hold up and I’ll be prepared with my own opinion.
RotoPax: Always carry more than enough gas. I have a 2 gallon rotopax that mounts horizontally on my 950 top rack. For this bike I can go with less. I’m thinking a 1 gallon might be perfect. I ‘m toying with the idea of that and a matching 1 gallon water. Each mounted vertically to the pannier rack.
Tank Bolts: The 690 Enduro has a flaw. It doesn’t have a sub frame, it has a gas tank that IS the sub frame. That part isn’t the flaw. It’s the way the tank mounts to the frame. RallyRaid makes some great things and one of them is a replacement set of bolts for the subframe. Seems like a simple little thing but when you are out in the middle of nowhere and your seat, fender and gas tank fall off guess how much farther you are going to make it?
Thermo Switch: It’s just the temp control that tells your fan to turn on, it’s cheap and this little guy turns your fan on at a lower temp than the stock one does. Easy Peasy.
Oil Filters: This model has two different filters and a bunch of screens. I like to change my oil at regular intervals but when a big trip comes along it’s always good to change the week before you leave and then again when you get back. Filters and oil are cheaper than new engines.
The Seat: The stock seat seems ok, but I haven’t yet put miles on it. Everyone will tell you a Seat Concepts seat will make a world of difference. I’m just not sure yet which one. They have an XL , a Tall. I’ll have to figure that out.
The Air Filter: K & N right? Nope. The K&N does a great job replacing the stock filter but there’s a really cool other version out there. It’s the Rottweiler System and it does it better and also makes a nice cubby spot for tools under the seat where there was just airbox before.
Check this out:
Exhaust: I know what you might think. You don’t really need a new exhaust you just want it to sound good. Yes I have a Wings Exhaust on my 950 and yes it sounds incredible but in this case it’s to replace the heavy and HOT catalytic converter that is in the stock unit. It will melt your side covers and saddlebags. Wings is my choice for the exhaust.
Pegs: Everyone likes a bigger peg. I happen to really like PivotPegz. They are wider and that’s good but they also pivot like a bicycle pedal. That feels weird to people at the start but as a bicyclist it’s normal. I like the idea as it keeps your boot surface fully in contact with the peg as you lean back (going down a steep hill) or lean forward (as in going up the steep hill).
The Heat Shield: Giant Loop makes a cute but effective heat shield that simply straps over the outside of your existing muffler. It was only $30 so if it saves my saddlebags from burning up that’s worth it. The Wings might be cool enough without it, we won’t know until we try.
Filler Neck: At first I thought this was just a silly way to attach more bling to the bike, but then I went to get gas. That’s when I realized that every little piece of dirt, mud and dust that is on the fender can slip right down into the tank at a fill up. That’s what this thing stops. It replaces the stock filler neck with something taller. It’s made out of billet aluminum but I don’t see something like that breaking no matter it’s made out of. I’ll be getting a CJ Designs Billet Fuel Filler Neck Kit (and in black, not orange).
Mirrors: Simply the stock ones are crap and the only other ones to go with are DoubleTake. The question is do you go with round or oblong? Tomm tried both on his Husky. I like the oblong style.
Windscreen: While the bike is mostly for dirt that will be some highway and I’d like a little protection. KTM actually makes a windscreen that attaches nicely to the small headlight shroud. Most people that have it, like it.
The NON Lowering Link: Since I have a lowering link already and don’t want the bike that low I need to order the original KTM Part to get the bike back up to stock height. That would be part number 7650408304401 and it looks like it is readily available. Not as flashy but give me the height! See upgrades can go both ways!
The Battery: As I mentioned last post I found out I have a Walmart Battery that is too tall. I want an AGM style battery but in the right size. That would be a YZT10S according to Google. Not this one.
So, that’s about it for upgrades. As I consider what to do and how, I try to remember what Giant Loop says.
I’ll be detailing each mod as we go along.