Wintery tinkering 2019

Wintery tinkering 2019

During the long white season, there are not many travel stories to tell. And while I am not a winter driver (yet), I just do some slow maintenance work in my garage to my bikes. Last year I got a new bike to me, the KTM 690 Adventure R. I thought to broaden my riding more gravel roads and even some technical driving in single tracks and paths. There is some 20 000 km of gravel roads here in Finland. They are mostly well maintained and they winding between small villages through forests and fields. But because I like more long-distance traveling to other landscapes, I have to prepare my KTM to do more adventurous riding and more comfortable than it’s in stock condition.

My intention is to buy at least a more comfortable seat and so-called navigation tower. Seat speaks for itself, the stock seat is like wooden 2×4. Because the KTM 690 is considered to be a “hard enduro” class, the seat is not normally so much used component. You are supposed to ride while standing on the pegs. So when doing long-distance riding, you have to have a good seat. And I know the USA company Seat Concepts makes the best one.

The navigation tower is a replacement to the stock headlight assembly. It will give a room normally for the two new led headlights, a bigger windscreen, and a place for the electrical connections and switches.

One important factor is to be able to handle the bike in challenging terrain. But because of the height of the bike (from the center of the seat to ground) is 94 cm, it is to me very difficult to handle firmly. I have to lower the bike somehow. There is a quite expensive way to send all shock absorbers to specific companies and order shortening to them. A cheaper method is to buy a so-called lowering link which goes to the lower part of the bike, between the rear shock absorber and the body. It lowers the bike for example 34 mm which is most cases enough. The bike will lose some ground clearance and the rear wheel might touch the tank but only in some extreme cases.

So I decided to buy an aftermarket lowering link and install it on my bike. I found one from the Facebook forum and after changing the link seals it was like new.

On the right is the lowering link (Kouba Link). I took out the rear shock absorber and gave it a thorough cleaning, but no maintenance yet. My bike is the model year 2015 and only 11 000 km so the shock absorber maintenance can wait. On the left is a shorter side stand which I ordered from the USA company Warp 9.

One other important aspect is footpeg. It is a platform where you stand when riding a standing position. Larger is better. Hence I bought the best one; max_fx (Czech Republic guy Radan) made wide matte black -20 mm lowered pegs to me. From the photo, you can see size difference to the original one.

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