Driving report of the factory KTM 690 Rally
Bike for fun
KTM won the 2007 Dakar Rally with a new design. Dirk von Zitzewitz only almost won as a navigator in the VW, but is still the ideal man for the exclusive MOTORCYCLE test.
The plan was good: winner tests winner. Dirk von Zitzewitz, in the history
But then the technology thwarted the bill. The blue desert racer from Wolfsburg fell far behind with an engine failure. Dirk von Zitzewitz, for example, went for a test drive with the KTM 690 Rally by Dakar winner Cyril Despres on a test site in northern Italy without a winning smile, but driving became more and more enjoyable as the day progressed.
The sweeping desert ship with a proud seat height of 980 millimeters held quite a few surprises in store for the three-time Dakar motorcycle participant from 1997 to 1999). »The motorcycle is extremely manageable, which I would not have expected from a desert racer. In the past, around the late 1990s, the rally machines were much more sedate and bulky. “
Roland Bruckner, KTM chief mechanic responsible for Dakar winner Despres, confirms: “This year we have actually made a giant leap with the new 690. In 2006, the machines still had a clumsy character, as Dirk knows from his active motorcycle days. “
The rally motorcycle has KTM completely redesigned. The 690 cc engine is the vanguard for a new, lighter and more powerful generation of KTM single-cylinder engines in the various series models. In the current Dakar version, however, it is at least temporarily still with a Keihin flat slide carburetor instead of a petrol injection that was thought to be prone to failure. Under the direction of KTM rally boss Hans Trunkenpolz, the chassis was clearly designed for ease of use. The tubular space frame with a massive, central top tube is very narrow. And even the two 40-liter petrol tanks do not in any way disturb the overall slim appearance of the Dakar winner.
Dirk von Zitzewitz found on his test laps on the rather stony than
sandy terrain to a comparison that seems daring for the time being: »I don’t feel any different when I’m driving than with a current KTM EXC Sprint Enduro machine. And that even though the already heavier desert ship had around 20 liters of fuel on board during our test. The motorcycle even tempts the driver to play, which you shouldn’t expect from a heavy rally machine. “
Nevertheless, the KTM also impressed in its high-speed behavior: »I was able to drive around 150 km / h on this stony terrain on the straight, according to the speedometer. The front wheel was literally stuck to the ground and there was no noticeable bumpy road surface ?? almost scary. “
In the original Dakar set-up with a secondary ratio of 16 to 44, the 690 rally KTM runs just over 180 km / h on hard sand. A clear indication that the stately 78 HP at 7500 rpm specified at least for this factory racing engine are also completely collected. “When driving, there is even a desire for a wider rear tire than the standard 140 to bring the performance to the ground more effectively,” says the level-headed raid rally man, almost a full guest.
Also very impressive is the craftsmanship of the machine, as well as numerous well thought-out details with a focus on service-friendliness, which is otherwise only known from long-distance road racing. “Nothing on the motorcycle? and you have to say very clearly in contrast to before ?? seems tinkered «, praises perfectionist Zitzewitz.
Towards the end of the test day, Dirk von Zitzewitz had a lot of fun
Almost forgot the missed win in the car on the Dakar-winning motorcycle, but discovered a decisive weakness of the machine in the fun area: “When you stand in the wheelie, you see absolutely nothing, just this monstrous structure for road book and GPS system” , he grins and still almost succumbs to the charm of the completely renewed Austrian desert bride. “I was completely surprised by myself that I suddenly felt a great desire to drive a desert rally with such a motorcycle.”
Given his extremely tight schedule in the VW factory team, Dirk von Zitzewitz’s two-wheeler comeback seems unlikely. People with a little more time and a sufficiently large budget should hardly have any excuses. Because KTM wants to offer a largely identical replica of the factory racer for around 20,000 euros.
Technical data of the factory KTM 690 Rally
Engine: water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, transverse crankshaft, overhead camshaft, four valves, Keihin FCR carburetor, Ø 41 mm, hydraulic multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, chain.
Bore x stroke 104 x 80 mm
Cubic capacity 690 cm3
Compression 11.5: 1
Rated output 57 kW (78 hp) at 7500 rpm
Max. Torque 80 Nm at 6000 rpm
Chassis: Chrome-molybdenum tubular space frame, WP upside-down fork, Ø 52 mm, adjustable rebound and compression damping, aluminum swing arm, WP central spring strut with adjustable spring base and rebound damping, front disc brake, Ø 300 mm, Brembo two-piston Brake caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 220 mm, single-piston brake caliper.
Tires / wheels front 90/90 ?? 21 on 1.6 x 21
Rear tires / wheels 140/90 ?? 18 on 2.5 x 18
Dimensions and weights: wheelbase variable, 1510 ± 10 mm, caster variable, seat height 980 mm, ready-to-drive weight without petrol 162 kg, tank capacity 40 liters.
Price: 20,000 euros (Production Racer largely identical to the factory machine)
About the person: Dirk von Zitzewitz
The 38-year-old Dirk von Zitzewitz is now recognized as one of the best raid rally navigators ever. In the Volkswagen factory team with the South African driver Giniel de Villiers on the road, only one ensured
Annoying engine defect on the previously lightning-fast Race Touareg 2
for missing the top spot in the Dakar car classification. The two finally finished eleventh. At the time of the damage, after around two thirds of the rally in Mauritania, they were in the lead. In total, they had won four of the 14 daily stages. 2006 won de
Villiers / von Zitzewitz at the Raid Rally World Championship rounds Transiberico in Spain and the Morocco rally.
Von Zitzewitz, co-pilot and tracker in the raid rally car since 2002 and in the VW factory team since 2005, is clearly a motorcycle man by his roots. And not only because both his father Volker and his older brother Bert in 1980 won the Enduro Six Days Team World Championship with the German team.
Dirk himself competed in the Dakar on KTM motorcycles from 1997 to 1999, clinching a fifth and a seventh place overall as well as two day victories. The 14 German Enduro championship titles of the Holsteiner from 1987 to 2001, won on machines from Honda, KTM and Suzuki, are also very impressive. From 1989 to 1991, the hobby chef was three times vice world champion with the German team at the Six Days.
In addition to his involvement in the Volkswagen Raid rally works team, Dirk von Zitzewitz organizes numerous off-road and desert tours and courses, mainly for motorcyclists. Recently, however, there have also been special dates for cars and quads. More at www.zitzewitz.de.
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