The KTM 690 Enduro is an adventure motorcycle – a bike suited for touring on and off-road and was first manufactured by KTM in 2008.
The following year marked the debut of the Enduro R models, which had a taller suspension and seat height.
The original two designs had a 653cc motor, but in 2012, KTM revamped the 690 with a true-to-name 690 cc motor, the original model was discontinued, and the Enduro R was all that remained.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the most common issues of the 690 Enduro and Enduro R.
1. Clutch Seal Damaged During Assembly
As recent as 2021, KTM issued a recall on several 2018-2020 year models, including the 690 Enduro R.
Apparently, the recall was a response to the damage to the seal of the clutch’s slave cylinder during factory assembly.
Once compromised, the damaged bellow gasket can interfere with the clutch operation.
- The 690 R wasn’t the only model affected since KTM uses the same seals on all their models and their subsiding company, Husqvarna.
- The KTM 690 SMC and 690 Duke were also on the list of affected models, along with four Husqvarna 701 models.
- If you are the owner of any KTM 690 models, bring your bike to an authorized KTM or Husqvarna dealership to have your slave cylinder examined. The techs will determine if the factory put on your cylinder seal correctly and if it was damaged.
On some of the affected KTM 690 Enduro R models, the damaged bellow gasket prevents the clutch from disengaging when the rider pulls in the clutch lever. This can be a safety risk, as it causes the motorcycle to lurch forward while trying to stop the bike and when you start your 690 R, even while it’s in neutral.
2. Cam Sprocket Bolts Come Loose
In 2019, the year models of the same year were on a stop sell due to an issue with sprocket bolts coming loose from the cam and needing locktite, something that shouldn’t be the rider’s responsibility on a brand new motorcycle.
The stop sell was to prevent further issues from happening and was in response to complaints of sprocket bolts coming loose from the cams while riding the motorcycle.
Here are two real-life 690 owner testimonies:
“Out riding with my mate yesterday, five of his six bolts that hold the rear sprocket on had worked loose to the point where he lost 4 of the nuts somewhere on the lanes!”
“I was riding my ktm, and I had a fall got back on tried to ride on, put it in gear out of gear for about two minutes was getting confused then I looked down and realized the sprocket had come off. Since then, I have used Loctite, and it hasn’t fallen off since.”
If you’re the owner of the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R and you’ve experienced this issue, we suggest you take your KTM to the dealership to have it upgraded with proper fitting bolts rather than lock-titing them into place.
3. Rocker Arm Failure
The 2013-2014 year model KTM 690 Enduro had rocker arms with weak pins that would fail.
Here’s what one owner went through:
“Last year, I rebuilt my engine due to a pretty harsh rocker arm failure. The rocker arm bearing seized and jammed a valve into the cylinder, causing the piston to strike. Everything from the piston up had to be changed… last week… I opened up the valve cover and removed the rocker arms and cam. The intake rocker arm roller bearing had failed upon inspecting the rocker’s arms. The bearing itself is fine, there is no slack, but the peened pin that keeps the bearing intact has failed. It’s as if the peened edge has broken off – the pin can be removed only from one side, so the other peened edge is alright.”
Apparently, the rocker arms manufactured in the 2015 year models were a big improvement.
In the online KTM community, many riders discuss the possibilities of swapping out their rocker arms for the upgraded 2015 part – we suggest going over the process with a dealership technician first.
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4. Fuel Pump Failure
One of the most common problems on various year model KTM 690 Enduro R’s is with the fuel pump failing. One rider had three different fuel pumps fail on the same model in a 7800-mile period.
We turned to some real-life 690 R owners for some insight on the problem and heard two different potential causes.
Here’s what they had to say:
“In 2008 690s, there is a problem with the plastic gear on the throttle body that most riders will blame on the fuel pump. With throttle position open and pump pumping more fuel, the plastic gear slips and fails, giving a false reading, while the bike bobbles and dies. Sometimes the bike will barely run, seemingly looking like fuel delivery. Signal says fuel, but the pump doesn’t deliver because the vacuum required by throttle response doesn’t allow for the additional fuel.”
This rider claims it isn’t a fuel pump issue but is associated with the throttle discussed in the following section.
That may be the case, and we encourage you to look into the condition of both while troubleshooting.
Still, another rider had this to say on the subject:
“The OEM setup includes an inlet filter on the pump. Apparently, [the stock filter on the 08’s] does not fully protect the inlet side of the pump. I say apparently because there is a port above the filter, which is said to be an additional inlet… I got this info off the Profile site, where inlet filters are sold. I installed the Profile inlet filter at 2200 miles. I’m now at 11,000 with the original pump still going strong.”
5. Traction Control Issues
Another issue more than a few KTM 690 Enduro R riders have voiced concern about is the traction control deactivating on its own while the bike is in motion.
Riders report that the line will come at start up only to shut off when they get in motion.
One KTM rider gave us this advice:
“I come to a complete stop, use my right hand to give it a good solid squeeze as the button is sort of behind the middle of that rubber ridge, and it requires a firm direct press for at least 6 seconds.”
Related: How Long Do KTM Motorcycles Last? (9 Important Facts)
6. KTM 690R Enduro R Won’t Rev Up
Some KTM 690 Enduro R riders complain about their bikes not revving past a certain point.
This is often the result of a failing rev limiter.
The rev-limiter is a sensor that prevents the revs from redlining past the point of risking engine damage.
A failing rev limiter can misread the revs, thinking you’re redlining when you’re not. The result is that it limits your revs when they shouldn’t be. The result is your KTM 690 Enduro R not revving up.
7. Engine Light Problems
Some riders have complained that the Enduro R’s Engine Malfunction light will come on randomly when there isn’t an issue.
It often happens after the rider has been wrenching on their motorcycle.
If you turn the key and wake your enduro R while a sensor is disconnected, the Engine Malfunction light will come on.
It typically shuts off on its own after the bike starts up three times without an issue.
8. KTM 690R Enduro Engine Stalls
The Enduro 690 R tends to run hot when riding over rocky and technical off-road roads, especially when it’s hot out.
Once hot, it will stall out if the throttle isn’t revving past a certain point.
The fact is that the Enduro R isn’t made for stunt riding over rocks.
When the bike is hot, keep it in lower gear while riding rugged trails, so the revs stay as high as possible.
That said, the 2008 year models had Fuel Ignition mapping that was unrefined and ran sporadic, which caused frequent stall outs in hot weather.
Riders can remap them to run a more efficient and consistent air: fuel ratio, but it takes technical knowledge and trial by error, which takes time.
Starting in 2009, the KTM Enduro line had much more refined fuel maps, reducing the frequency of engine stall-outs significantly.
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Pros and Cons
- High Powered Motor pushing 70 Horsepower and snappy throttle response – quite a bit for an adventure.
- Lower center of gravity than other bikes in the adventure class for more handling control.
- Lighter weight than other bikes in its class.
- Comfortable and aerodynamic.
- Fun to Ride.
- Stock brakes are high quality.
- More expensive than other bikes in its class, some of which are more reliable.
- Gets shaky on paved roads at highway speeds unless the tires are filled to street PSI
- Handlebar buzz, especially on paved roads and at high speeds.
- Has a smaller fuel capacity than other adventure bikes, which can be disheartening on long trips, especially on the trails.
What Do the Reviews Say?
“Engine and handling are sublime! Loads of everything on tap. Wings exhaust is high quality and unleashes the hooligan sound! Tail tidy a must for off-road (+ Oxford heated grips for all-year riding!?) Great OE adventure tires go well on the road but could do with an extra set of supermoto wheels and sticky track day tires!”
“It’s a bit of a handful and tall for anyone under 5’10” but very exciting to ride, with a wonderful engine and super light handling! It feels like a genuine world-munching go-anywhere adventure bike! I love it”
“I had my doubts about the efficacy of the 2nd balancer shaft, but nope – it does work. Barely any vibes through the bars. Some vibes through footpegs on longer journeys, but maybe I need rubber footpeg inserts. Quickshifter is great. Can’t fault the engine and power – awesome. Easy to ride slow, easy to ride fast.”
“There were recalls on the 2019 model for cam sprocket bolts needing Loctite and problems with the traction control. A few owners reported issues with the rev limiter coming in too early and engine light problems (sometimes with the engine stalling) – one owner was given a new bike when KTM couldn’t resolve the problem. There are other isolated cases of various problems with electronics, probably not surprising with a revamped model. Prematurely leaking countershaft seals is still an issue for some 2019 models. It can occur as early as the first ride or two.”
“As a street bike, the Enduro R is impeccable, even with the blocky Continental Twinduro TKC 80 tires. You have loads of power and the electronics to manage it. If you’re the wheelie popping type, put it in Offroad mode and let the front end climb skyward. Most of the time, you will be happy with the snappier Road mode throttle response and the corresponding management of wheel lofting and slippage. Riders can switch off traction control, but I didn’t feel the need to disable that feature.”
What’s the Resale Value of a KTM 690 Enduro and Enduro R?
What are Some Alternatives to the KTM 690 Enduro and Enduro R?
|KTM 690 Enduro||$11,899|
|KTM 690 Enduro R||$11,999|
|Yamaha Tenere 700||$10,299|
|Kawasaki Versys 650||$8,399|
|Kawasaki KLR 650||$6,599|
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