Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Repsol KTM 690 Rally: What lies beneath…


Repsol KTM 690 Rally, currently the best off-road racing motorcycle in the world

With Marc Coma and other KTM riders doing so well – and consistently so over the years – at the Dakar Rally, you’d sometimes wonder what is it about their machines that keeps them winning. Those riders’ grit, determination and talent is, of course, unquestionable, but the bike must be pretty good too, eh?

Taking a quick look at KTM’s Dakar-winning 690 Rally machine, it’s fitted with the company’s 654cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled LC4 engine. In production trim, this engine makes 65bhp, but here it’s been tuned to produce 70bhp at 7,500rpm and 70Nm of torque at 6,000 revs. The engine, which is mated to a six-speed gearbox, features a Keihin FCR 41 carburetor – no fuel-injection here!

The wet, multi-disc clutch is hydraulically operated, the chassis is made of tubular chromium-molybdenum alloy and WP suspension components are used at both ends. At front, the WP-USD 52 MA fork has 300mm of travel, the rear monoshock has 310mm of travel, and both ends are fully adjustable.

The Repsol KTM 690 Rally has to stop as hard as it goes, so it’s fitted with a 300mm disc brake at front, and a 220mm disc at the back. The front wheel is a 21-incher while the rear hoop measures 18-inches. The bike rides on 90/90-21 (front) and 140/90-18 (rear) off-road rubber. Ground clearance is 320mm – handy when you are travelling across 6,000km of rough terrain in Africa…

The 690 Rally carries about 36 litres of fuel, weighs 162 kilos and in the right hands, wins the toughest off-road rally-raids in the world. Unfortunately enough, you can’t buy one just yet. While KTM have various 690-series bikes in their line-up, they’re yet to do a full-blown 690 Adventure. A Repsol-replica Marc Coma special edition KTM 690 Adventure for the street? Later this year, perhaps!

Also see:
A supercharged KTM RC8 drag-racer...
2009 KTM 1190 RC8 R unleashed...
Face-off: KTM RC8 takes on the BMW HP2 Sport!
NitroDuke: The world's fastest KTM...
KTM 125cc GP racer vs Suzuki GSX-R1000...
Face-off: KTM RC8 vs Ducati 1098...
Tiff Needell tests the KTM X-Bow...
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