Ice Riding Update

Posted: January 20, 2010 in Motorcycle
Tags: , ,

KTM 690 Enduro "Ice Bike" ready for action

This past Sunday was the debut of the 2009 KTM 690 Enduro on the ice.  I had to switch the rear tire on to the 690 rim since the wheel it was on didn’t match up with the spacing on the newer bike (with a cush drive).  I run the Rock Central Canadian tires and they’re going on the 5th year so they needed a little attention.  My rear was missing about 100 screws that I had to replace and then mount on the wheel and on the bike.  My front tire was in nearly perfect condition but the bead wasn’t seating properly after installing a new tube two weeks ago and that would prove to be a problem today.  I only got about 6 laps in before the front tire came off the bead on the right side and damaged a few other parts!  Not a good start and that ended my day of riding. 

With the limited laps I got in it was hard to get a true feel for the bike but it was definitely fast enough.  It was a bit of a beast to haul through the tight stuff and the track we were running had several decreasing radius turns that were challenging.  Visibility was an issue as well since we had a freezing fog all morning that would freeze on the helmet visor and you could barely see anything after two laps.   But I did get to run a few laps with the fast guys and I was almost able to keep their pace.  Not bad for a bigger, heavier bike on a tight track and not being familiar with the handling on this new setup.  I’m sure it will be a blast on fast tracks – I don’t think I ever got out of third gear so far!

A foggy winter morning and a new bike to try on the ice

I have loved riding the 690 on and off-road so I am eager to give it another try with a good set of ice tires so that I can ride without the worry of other damage to the bike.  I’ll give it another shot this coming weekend. 

I also wanted to follow-up on the KTM Pure Adventure Pants that I’ve been testing.  I got them in the late fall and wore them for my last few street rides and now have had a chance to use them for ice riding and they have worked out very well.  Warm, dry and functional with the over the boot design and four large pockets they have lived up to everything I expected for this part of the test.  The only area that has presented any issue is riding a four-stroke dirt bike I have managed to get a couple of burn spots from the exhaust header pipe.  This is always an issue on four strokes and most moto pants have leather on the inner calf to protect the pants/rider.  I am probably going to take these pants in and have some protective leather sewn in on the inner calf area to protect from this issue.  Overall I would highly recommend these pants. 

As a side note, CJRacer is testing the similar AQ Adventure pants on his current trip to Mexico and we’ll get some feedback on those when he returns.  (See the story below)

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