Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Oryx 690 Impressions  (Read 4174 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kamanya

  • Global Moderator
  • Grey hound
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure S
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 5,172
  • Thanked: 529 times
  • Andrew to everyone
Oryx 690 Impressions
« on: December 18, 2011, 02:33:11 pm »
Thereís been a lot of noise about these Oryxís.

I have had opportunities to ride the 690 in its enduro form. It is potent but I didnít like it much less even want to own one. It is a race bike and touring would be tough; wind protection, range, luggage capacity, seat, gearing, pillion capacity, etc. Also, the suspension is setup for charging seriously hard and again I couldnít see the point if I was to go DSíing with it. Lastly since I only have space for one bike, the 950 has been, by a long way, ďitĒ. Anyway, in the last 6 years of ownership I have not even remotely been interested in any other bike.

I took a demo bike of Ashleyís from KTM Cape Towns creation for a really good workout. It is in high demand, but he asked me for input on the suspension and concept and gave me the nod for an extended burn. I did a bunch of mileage that gave me more than enough to get a real sense of the spirit of the thing.

Charl handing it over for a bit of gentle DSíing



Much has been written about the ability of the 690 and it has ability in spades, Iíve been with people who really make a mockery of the toughest stuff. Iíve seen in person what Alfie Cox and Marc Coma and co can do with it. I can appreciate that, but what I want is a touring capable adventure bike. My 950 has been that with no other realistic alternatives for me. I know the big twin is a bit on the porky side for some of the more hectic adventure riding, but Iíve learned to just trust the bike and plough on. That engine gets it into and out of a lot of places it really has no right to be and for that, Iíve loved it.

When news of the Oryx came along, I just rationalised that it was still the enduro bike I hadnít got on well with just with a tank and screen stuck on. But, I am curious and Ashley was willing to lend me the bike for the day. What could possibly go wrong?

First impressions;

Itís not just a screen and tank. Someone has done some serious design and fabrication. The adventure kit is really high quality. Cncíd metal and great mouldings for the screen and tanks. Nothing looks half arsed. I poked around the bike for a good hour. The Rallyeraid adventure kit is very high quality. Itís turned the 690 into a great looking bike. For some reason, I doní really see the bare 690 as eye catching but this looks the part. It has all been clearly thought out. Small things that ooze quality like the fuel quick disconnects and billet adaptor plates onto the fuel pump. I canít deny, it spoke to me seeing that it was not just any screen and headlight on it, theyíve lifted the LC8ís one and stuck it in there.

As for the rest of the bike, getting up close revealed typical high quality components, it should last well.

How does it ride?

First few moments with itÖ What an engine! I didnít even have the R that has another 8hp packed in. I do really like the shove that the 950 can give, the 690 is more snappy and is not embarrassed by the big twin. I had my brother in law Jim along with me. He was riding my bike so I had a direct comparison when jumping between the two later in the day. Iíve drag raced a 690 before on the 950 and I only just had the advantage till about 130 then it gets unfair. I believe that the bike has been given a one tooth larger front sprocket, as far as I can tell, the gearing is spot on.

A big bugbear for me was the suspension in the enduro. Ashley has been working with Hilton Hayward to create something that suits the purpose of the bike. At first the suspension, to me, was plush in the first bit of the stroke and then really harsh further down. On tar it seemed to jar on bigger ruts or holes, not a good sign for the gravel and offroad.

The ergonomics felt a bit wrong to start with. I felt cramped and there was outward pressure on my wrists (the bars are straighter than the 950, less sweep). The seat to footpeg height is greater and that was fine. Standing there is no interference with my knees as even though it has the additional tanks, itís still a narrow bike. But sitting or standing I felt too far over the bars. In looking at it for a bit I moved the bars forward by a few degrees. At full lock I had to be careful the bars didnít touch the screen, but I got 3 extra degrees in. It made all the difference. I left it there for the day.

Iíll say right now that it is a hooligan induction machine. It is terrifically quick in traffic and a wheelie slut. It is very precise. It is happy to sit at 130-140 or so but has absolutely no issues getting up to beyond 170. It was rock solid everywhere, not a wobble anywhere. That motor is really smooth for a thumper. This Oryx has an Ackropovic on and it talks through it beautifully Ė a bark that really advertises the bite. It is maybe a tad loud for good neighbourliness. Iíd keep the Db restrictor inÖ. maybe. The brakes are right up to the job with great feel and power, just brilliant. It was growing on me dammit!

I had filled up halfway through the morning. I was keen to see what the extra fuel does to the feel. I managed to get 20 litres in. As to the feel, I couldnít tell, it felt the same. Nice!


On gravel, I really like drifting into and out of fast gravel turns using the rear to steer. My big twin is really good at this. All the power makes it really easy. The trouble is that that beast picks up speed very quickly but sheds it about as fast as I am trying to lose my extra 15kgs. Itís a dangerous combination. I thought with the smaller engine, Iíd miss the power to slide around. Not a chance! Plus it is really flickable, I could throw it all over the road and be exactly where I wanted. Even when crossed up and close to a highside because I had gone a bit too far, it didnít feel out of control. The big plus being that overcooking a corner was much less drama because unlike the twin, this bike slows down when the anchors get thrown out. It is a hoot on the gravel, the gripe I had earlier about the suspension disappeared, it was now working with me than against me.


Tick another box!

We ended the day in Macasser. Well! What a stunning bike. I was lofting the front at will, charging over whoops sections that would have been impossible on the 950. I rode all over the sand quarry, it went everywhere. Just point and it climbed and flattened everything. The suspension made complete sense now. Interestingly, Jim who is a sand novice and did exceptionally well preferred the 950 to the 690 in the sand. He felt that little bike was more twitchy and the power and stability of the 950 felt easier. I think the 690 is far more responsive and quick handling. Jumping between the two in the quarry, some things stood out;

You sit in the 950 and on the 690.
The 950 has more sweep to the bars, its more comfortable especially for touring. The wrists are not extended.
Pulling on carb cables is far less delicate than on FI cables.
I was amazed at how similar in some strange way they felt. Must be a KTM thing.
How good the 950 is compared to a fairly high performance race machine.
The amount of energy spent picking up and manhandling both bikes Ė That 950 is a haemorrhoid tester.

I entered up a power line path that I normally ride the other way. Iíve been up there on the 950 but it is hard work. This just made it stupid easy. There is a good pile of rocks at the top and I purposely aimed at the biggest hardest line. I had to do it 3 times just to make sure that I hadnít imagined the ease with which  it did it.

My initial gripe about the suspension was forgotten. I understand now what it does; It is set up plush in the first bit of the stroke and the transition to the harder part of the valving is just a tiny bit abrupt for the street. But once offroad, especially the more hectic stuff where the full stroke gets used, it soaks it up feeling really easy and controlled. I know that the suspension is a work in progress - they are close. The rear is a bit too plush and maybe just because of my weight could do with a bit heavier spring, especially if I was to load it up for multiday trips. Speaking of loads, the soft luggage option would be ideal with this bike. I know that you can get hard luggage but that might be a box too far for this bike. At most a topbox maybe. It has the adventure part of the touring bike formula very heavily weighted towards the former, hard luggage would be oxymoronic. (is there such a word? Well, you know what I mean)

There is only three areas that I have an issue with. Two, to me, are really nothing. The other is huge.

It is not intended for pillions, there are no pillion pegs. Not a real biggie for me as my wife is not keen at all on bikes. But, for those passengers that bravely tag along, they are either going to have to learn to ride their own bike or sadly stay at home.

The other small oneÖ Itís tall! I was on tip toes and really battled to get the sidestand up whilst seated on the bike. I am 1.78cm, 100kgís fat and stocky. When on the move it was not an issue, but once whilst turning in a tight path the wheels were on either side of the banks and I was left pedalling in thin air for a second before I came crashing over. I think with some luggage on it might bring the height down a bit and I know that there is a lowering link available. Personally Iíd leave it and just deal with picking it up more. On that note, it crashes pretty wellÖ Sorry Ash.

The big oneÖ It is a proctological torture tool. As a tourer, that seat would have even the hardest arse begging for mercy after a few hours. No matter where I sat towards the end of the day, it hurt.

But, thatís not the worst of it. I had wondered earlier, what could possibly go wrong? From the moment I got my big twin 6 years ago, Iíve had no eyes for anything else. I am currently refreshing my bike from stem to stern, I intend to ride it for at least another 6. Over the last two days I have been playing garage tetrus in my head trying to create more space. Also, I have been doing quite a bit of surfing in the thumpers sections of the net, places I seldom go. There is, I fear, an insidious betrayal looming.





In the rumour mill a twin 7 or 800 is in the pipeline for 2013. Really, they should just do one of these.

Click on the picture to watch. Sadly my helmet cam is not in commission at the mo and I was having such fun we really didnít do the video and photoís of the thing much justice.





« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 11:54:40 pm by Kamanya »
I wonder where that gravel road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. (Apologies to Mr Frost)

You want to have a stable Picture & Video host?

https://secure.smugmug.com/signup.mg?Coupon=7ovFBQhdrwnZw
 

Online 2StrokeDan

  • a Man of Character
  • Worshond
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 25,821
  • Thanked: 2124 times
  • Slim like Bill, straight like Steve
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 03:50:21 pm »
Good review! This could be a bike that I will look at, real Mr do-it-all.
 

Offline EtienneXplore

  • previously KnopKop
  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW G650 X-challenge
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 3,594
  • Thanked: 15 times
    • www.etiennexplore.com
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 04:17:54 pm »
 :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif:

That's the bike for me...........

Thanks for the lekker write up Andrew!!!


Offline superten

  • has a magnificent
  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: Yamaha XT 750 Z Super
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 1,033
  • ...XTZ 750 Super Tenere
    • the seals of nam
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 04:40:47 pm »
Thanks Andrew, I would never buy an Oryx, but reading this reminds me why I love my bike so much, and how much fun one can still have with a bike that isnt the latest or greatest.
It is time.
 

Offline TVB

  • Deleted Users
  • Grey hound
  • *
  • Bike: Honda XL650V Transalp
    Location: North West
  • Posts: 5,979
  • Thanked: 1 times
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 06:51:29 pm »
If you were an official adventure bike tester I would have subscribed to every result - ''Jy mag maar - baie dankie''  :thumleft:
 

Offline axehead

  • Pack Dog
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 640 Adventure
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 494
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2011, 08:25:45 pm »
Thanks for the review. Well written and informative.  :thumleft:

But about half way down, did you mean to say the 950 is a hernia tester? Or is hemarroid correct?

 
 

Offline Doerengone

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 640 Adventure
    Location: Europe
  • Posts: 618
  • Thanked: 1 times
  • doc, see its like this...my avatar left me- again.
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 08:34:51 pm »

Nice bike for sure. I had a looong look at one at KTM a while ago.  Thanks for the ride report.  :thumleft:
KTM640 Adv, R1100GS.
 

Offline MrBig

  • Grey hound
  • ****
  • Bike: Triumph 955 Tiger
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,410
  • Stellenbosch
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2011, 09:55:58 pm »
Suddenly a 690 makes a whole lot more sense  :drif:
"I know you think you understand what I said, but what you don't understand is what I said is not what I mean."
 

Offline capeklr

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 1,207
  • Thanked: 8 times
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2011, 10:15:59 pm »
Very interesting review, thanks Andrew.
 

Offline oo7

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: USA
  • Posts: 1,482
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2011, 10:18:24 pm »
Nice write up Andrew.

Surely one would be able to change the seat with something more plush? If that is sorted, it seems like THE touring bike.

Maybe the time has come for me to venture across to the darkside.
 

Offline Kamanya

  • Global Moderator
  • Grey hound
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure S
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 5,172
  • Thanked: 529 times
  • Andrew to everyone
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2011, 10:35:56 pm »
Ashley just informed me that they do come with rear footpegs. My advice, if that is a prerequisite get a 990.

He's also got another seat option that apparently is kinder.
I wonder where that gravel road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. (Apologies to Mr Frost)

You want to have a stable Picture & Video host?

https://secure.smugmug.com/signup.mg?Coupon=7ovFBQhdrwnZw
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Grey hound
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,874
  • Thanked: 502 times
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2011, 10:54:09 pm »
I like this review, it gives you a good idea if this bike is the bike for you or not. I found the height of the bike more of a biggie than you..

One thing I can completly relate to.. the garage tetris going on at the moment to make space for another bike..

Nice one
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Buks

  • RR's no more!!
  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 1,394
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2011, 10:55:12 pm »
 :thumleft: Thanks, excellent review!
2012 Honda XR650L

THE PAST :   '83 Honda MT5; '84 Honda MTX200R; '8? Kawa GPZ550; '79 Honda XL185S; '94 Honda XLR250R; '08 BMW G650Xchallenge; '95 Honda Africa Twin; '10 Honda XR125L; '10 Yamaha XT250; '09 Husqvarna TE610; '10 Honda XR250 Tornado... and more than a dozen Honda + Yamaha ATV's + 1 Arctic Cat DVX400.
 

terminator1

  • Guest
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2011, 07:10:58 am »
thanks andrew :-)

p.s I see you have not one, but TWO neon helmets?
 

Offline Kamanya

  • Global Moderator
  • Grey hound
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure S
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 5,172
  • Thanked: 529 times
  • Andrew to everyone
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2011, 07:32:43 am »
But about half way down, did you mean to say the 950 is a hernia tester? Or is hemarroid correct?

You clearly haven't had the pleasure of the latter? But you have a point; if this reveiw were ever to make it onto more gentlemanly spaces, the former would be more appropriate.
I wonder where that gravel road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. (Apologies to Mr Frost)

You want to have a stable Picture & Video host?

https://secure.smugmug.com/signup.mg?Coupon=7ovFBQhdrwnZw
 

Offline Kerritz

  • KTSSSSK!
  • Grey hound
  • ****
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 5,626
  • Thanked: 50 times
  • What a SUPER-loss....DAMMIT man!
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2011, 07:49:44 am »
Lekker Andrew.

Ek het dit al voorheen gese en ek gaan dit weer se....die 690 Oryx is defnitief my volgende fiets maar ek gaan nie my 950 verkoop nie.  :thumleft:
Vorige skoeters: XT660E, TL1000R, 2006 R1200GSA, 2010 R1200GSA 30 Years Anniversary, CRF450R, CRF450X, DRZ400SM, 950 Adventure, 990 SuperDuke (ISM) 2012 R1200GS Triple Black, F800GS, Wolskoeter!

Kaapse Jelly Tot!
 

terminator1

  • Guest
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2011, 07:50:52 am »
A comment on one or two of your observations, if I may...

The bike is fairly tall, but still shorter than my KTM 300. It is something you get used to, and actually begin to appreciate.

The feeling of "on" instead of "in" compared to the 950 is quite marked. It makes technical riding all that much easier and more natural. The downside, as you have pointed out, is the longer distance riding, where you still feel perched on top of a camel's hump, rather than nestled between the humps.

Your ass does take a beating, but you do eventually get used to it. I did several rides of 500-900 km and it is do-able, with a certain amount of fatigue and ass-pain.

Stopping distance is much better on the 690, meaning you can go hard into corners and technical terrain with the ability to slow down fast if needed. The 950 takes an age to slow.

The 690 handles almost like a plastic bike in sand etc, but still has the ability to travel thousands of k's relatively easily and good speed. Just chuck on a normal KTM tank bag, and (if you pack like me and Jacko) you have a touring plastic.

I haven't ridden the oryx version with fairing and tanks, but will do soon!
 

Offline Snafu

  • Grey hound
  • ****
  • Bike: Honda XR125L
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,004
  • Thanked: 92 times
  • Brackenfell Bricket
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2011, 09:15:50 am »
Excellent review, but somehow, i don't see you another bike than the 950!! :)
Rimtape: Sounds like something in the first-aid kit of a gay-porn movie set. - Jaco
 

Offline Kaboef

  • Jedi Knight
  • Grey hound
  • ****
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure S
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 5,730
  • Thanked: 493 times
    • CFO Consult SA
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2011, 10:10:23 am »
Nice write up Andrew.

Surely one would be able to change the seat with something more plush? If that is sorted, it seems like THE touring bike.

Maybe the time has come for me to venture across to the darkside.


And what exactly does the Oryx do that your sorted XChallenge can not?
At half the price.
Just drop your front sprocket 1 tooth and you are sorted.


Just farking with you. I saw an Oryx in the flesh the other day and the quality of the components just blew my hair back. The bike looks like a million dollars. It looks MUCH better in the flesh than in photos.
If I had the cash, it will be my next bike.
If I had only half the cash, a sorted XChallenge will be.
And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

www.cfoconsult.co.za
 

Offline oo7

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: USA
  • Posts: 1,482
Re: Oryx 690 Impressions
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2011, 10:13:52 am »
Nice write up Andrew.

Surely one would be able to change the seat with something more plush? If that is sorted, it seems like THE touring bike.

Maybe the time has come for me to venture across to the darkside.


And what exactly does the Oryx do that your sorted XChallenge can not?
At half the price.
Just drop your front sprocket 1 tooth and you are sorted.


Just farking with you. I saw an Oryx in the flesh the other day and the quality of the components just blew my hair back. The bike looks like a million dollars. It looks MUCH better in the flesh than in photos.
If I had the cash, it will be my next bike.
If I had only half the cash, a sorted XChallenge will be.

Hey! Who said anything about letting go of the BMX??