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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,

I haven't seen a lot of info on the new 2019 690SMCR online yet. I put my name down at the dealership for one two days after it was announced at EICMA, and just picked it up Friday. I currently own a 2010 690 SMC as well, although I'm going to sell it soon. I haven't seen any comparisons yet between a 2010 and a 2019, so I thought if anyone was interested, I'd write down some initial thoughts here, as they are two generations apart.

I went out yesterday for a first ride on the 2019, took it up some steep hills with lots of switchback corners on a very twisty route and had the tires 95% broken in within about 40 km, at least that's when I stopped sliding around so much from the mold release, then I touched a little highway, then more twisties and then some city riding.

As a background, my 2010 690 SMC flat out rips. Its completely dialled in, Akropovic pipe with remap, Heidenau K73 tires, Antigravity Restart Li-Ion battery (-8 lbs!), slightly lowered gearing (+2 in the rear to make the front come up easier in city riding), etc. The bike is crisp, nimble, smooth, perfect. It needs nothing.

The 2019 is incredible. I didn't think that there would be this much of a difference between the two.

The handling first of all is improved. The bike's front end feels narrower, and the steering stop is much further back meaning that you can turn around 180 degrees much much tighter. On the 2010 you hold it on the steering stop and lean the bike down to turn tighter, on the 2019, you just slow down and turn tighter without hitting any steering stop. The bike's handling is much more agile as well; it feels nimble and flickable yet locked on whatever line you point it at. The 2010 has great suspension but these new forks are unbelievable. The bike was just completely planted and stable through whatever rippled or chopped up pavement that I could find. I haven't ridden the Bridgestone S-21 before either but they feel pretty good; it wasn't that warm out, like 12 degrees C, and they only slid while breaking in the tires. The handling feels like a smaller bike, like a 450; its nimble and just feels solid.

The quick shifter works incredibly; so smooth on the clutchless auto blip down shifts. The 2019 hydraulic clutch lever action seems slightly lighter too than on my 2010, and I upgraded mine with an Oberon clutch slave.

I haven't played around with the ride mode settings yet at all until I get more seat time.

Although the 2019 feels slightly muzzled or restricted, the power is there. My 2010 makes 69 HP, and the 2019's 74 HP is there. You can feel it, but I'm unaccustomed to the quiet stock sound as my 2010 is loud and evil sounding. The 2019 sounds sort of different at higher rpm, it sort of gets throaty, but I think that might be something to do with the firing order of the twin sparks, or I might just be imagining a change. I think that I had the anti-stall thing kick in once coming up to a light at walking speed when I think I got my light clutch blip and slight slip of the clutch timing off to pull the bike forward a little bit at walking speed and it made the chuff death sound that my 2010 makes when I mess that up, except that the chuff sound suddenly was hit with a blip of gas and the bike just purred along. The 2019 is so much more refined at and around idle speeds compared to my 2010, I don't understand how it can be so refined and smooth at extremely low rpm with zero stalling for such a big single.


I also noticed less vibes in the handle bars, that's likely due to the new balancer shaft in the head, and the new bike's seat is a little wider and flatter and nicer than the 2010.


I'll post up more thoughts as they come up ...
 

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Hi guys,

I haven't seen a lot of info on the new 2019 690SMCR online yet. I put my name down at the dealership for one two days after it was announced at EICMA, and just picked it up Friday. I currently own a 2010 690 SMC as well, although I'm going to sell it soon. I haven't seen any comparisons yet between a 2010 and a 2019, so I thought if anyone was interested, I'd write down some initial thoughts here, as they are two generations apart.

I went out yesterday for a first ride on the 2019, took it up some steep hills with lots of switchback corners on a very twisty route and had the tires 95% broken in within about 40 km, at least that's when I stopped sliding around so much from the mold release, then I touched a little highway, then more twisties and then some city riding.

As a background, my 2010 690 SMC flat out rips. Its completely dialled in, Akropovic pipe with remap, Heidenau K73 tires, Antigravity Restart Li-Ion battery (-8 lbs!), slightly lowered gearing (+2 in the rear to make the front come up easier in city riding), etc. The bike is crisp, nimble, smooth, perfect. It needs nothing.

The 2019 is incredible. I didn't think that there would be this much of a difference between the two.

The handling first of all is improved. The bike's front end feels narrower, and the steering stop is much further back meaning that you can turn around 180 degrees much much tighter. On the 2010 you hold it on the steering stop and lean the bike down to turn tighter, on the 2019, you just slow down and turn tighter without hitting any steering stop. The bike's handling is much more agile as well; it feels nimble and flickable yet locked on whatever line you point it at. The 2010 has great suspension but these new forks are unbelievable. The bike was just completely planted and stable through whatever rippled or chopped up pavement that I could find. I haven't ridden the Bridgestone S-21 before either but they feel pretty good; it wasn't that warm out, like 12 degrees C, and they only slid while breaking in the tires. The handling feels like a smaller bike, like a 450; its nimble and just feels solid.

The quick shifter works incredibly; so smooth on the clutchless auto blip down shifts. The 2019 hydraulic clutch lever action seems slightly lighter too than on my 2010, and I upgraded mine with an Oberon clutch slave.

I haven't played around with the ride mode settings yet at all until I get more seat time.

Although the 2019 feels slightly muzzled or restricted, the power is there. My 2010 makes 69 HP, and the 2019's 74 HP is there. You can feel it, but I'm unaccustomed to the quiet stock sound as my 2010 is loud and evil sounding. The 2019 sounds sort of different at higher rpm, it sort of gets throaty, but I think that might be something to do with the firing order of the twin sparks, or I might just be imagining a change. I think that I had the anti-stall thing kick in once coming up to a light at walking speed when I think I got my light clutch blip and slight slip of the clutch timing off to pull the bike forward a little bit at walking speed and it made the chuff death sound that my 2010 makes when I mess that up, except that the chuff sound suddenly was hit with a blip of gas and the bike just purred along. The 2019 is so much more refined at and around idle speeds compared to my 2010, I don't understand how it can be so refined and smooth at extremely low rpm with zero stalling for such a big single.


I also noticed less vibes in the handle bars, that's likely due to the new balancer shaft in the head, and the new bike's seat is a little wider and flatter and nicer than the 2010.


I'll post up more thoughts as they come up ...
Nice review thank you. I owned a 2010 before aswell. Then a 2014 500 exc with supermoto setup. The 500 exc was a much better ride. So I'm glad they stepped it up so much with the 2019 690.
Do you have false neutrals on the bikes?
My 690 did but the 500 exc never had any.

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I assume you are on factory suspension set up?
Have you tried suspension on sport settings

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So yesterday I took the day off and went for the first highway ride. It was sunny and 16 degrees C out. Some more notes

Suspension. I was adjusting the suspension on the ride; the standard settings have been great for the city and commuting speeds, but I did have to add a couple of clicks of rebound and compression when things got faster, up around 100km/h as the street settings were a little soft for the turns; 2 clicks more of each felt enough for the highway, not a full +5 clicks track setting, but these forks are so incrementally adjustable that when I got back into the city the extra clicks were a bit much for the slower speeds, so I dialled them down.

Handling. The 2019 handles so much better than the 2010; it just corners better. It turns waaaay tighter and feels like a much smaller bike. This one changes direction very easily.

Seat. The new seat is a little different. it seems to have a deeper spot in the middle that holds you better front/back when driving out of the turns at highspeeds. this dip isn't noticeable until you start riding it, as its more in the seat foam density than in the overall shape.

Power. I'm unaccustomed to a stock exhaust as my 2010 is loud, but I"m enjoying the change of the stock exhaust. The engine note when it develops its power gives you a hint of what's going on, but when you glance back in the mirror you can see the results of the 74HP in the distance. when you want to drop the hammer the 690 reacts quickly. I've been enjoying the stealth power. Its one thing when you get more power out of a louder bike, but when the quieter bike makes more power than the louder one, it kind of changes my whole way of thinking.

Traction control. I've got mixed feelings so far. I did about a 10 km round trip off road up some gravel logging roads, the traction control was kicking in on the looser areas, so I wasn't getting too much wheel spin. I haven't tried switching to supermoto mode yet but on the street TC has been working against me a few times. I fight it when I try to first throttle up a wheelie, as it bogs for a sec to fight the throttle input and then explodes forward, front low, a second later. also I've noticed that on my 2010 I can pull it right into a wheelie from a corner exit with heavy throttle. The TC doesn't let you do this but you can lay in the power pretty good and drive out hard. When I hit a speed bump and give it some throttle to bounce the wheel up into a wheelie its fine though. Hoping supermoto mode will work a bit better for me or I might disable it on dry days. I dropped the gearing on my 2010 by a couple of teeth in the rear to orient the bike a bit better for my commutes, it makes wheelies a lot easier but the 2019's slightly taller gearing might account for a little of my wheelie grumblings here.

overall couldn't be happier with the new bike; two generations is a lot of improvement.
 

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Have you tried switching off TC.

Im holding TC button for 5-8 seconds but TC light is not coming on

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Discussion Starter #6
Have you tried switching off TC.

Im holding TC button for 5-8 seconds but TC light is not coming on

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Yeah switching off ABS works fine, as for TC, I was doing what you're trying with the same result. Time to re-read that section of the manual but I think we're doing it right. Not sure why its not turning off.

I'm up to about 350 km on the bike now, so I still have a ways to go before I've got this new one totally dialled in but this faster snappier handling is awesome. The Supermoto map is way better- how much so overall, I don't know yet as I haven't hit 1000km but its more responsive at the throttle even at lower rpm. It lets the front end come up much easier too. I got in some turns through some wet roads through the forest, its been raining lots around here, not sure if the electronics were helping me or new sticky tires + suspension, but I was pretty planted through the wet turns with total confidence.

I just put in a Li-ion battery into the bike, Antigravity's latest ReStart one, and dropped 8 pounds off the bike's weight.
 

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Yeah switching off ABS works fine, as for TC, I was doing what you're trying with the same result.

I just put in a Li-ion battery into the bike, Antigravity's latest ReStart one, and dropped 8 pounds off the bike's weight.
I've managed to switch it off few times obviously button needs to be pressed under certain angle.

Good update I might look into that too as Wings is I recon more than half of oem exhaust weight

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Would you mind sharing dimensions of lion battery or the oem once since you already have it out.

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Discussion Starter #9
Would you mind sharing dimensions of lion battery or the oem once since you already have it out.

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Stock battery is a YTZ-10S, same as in previous 690s and found in other bikes...

Here's the antigravity one I'm using: ATZ10-RS https://shop.antigravitybatteries.com/products/starter-batteries/restart-oem/atz10-rs/

Format wise, it has identical dimensions to the stock lead acid battery, and drops right in no with modifications needed. When you order the battery it feels like they shipped you an empty box. New battery is 2.4 lbs compared to the stock's ~10 lbs... The Li-ion battery has about double the cranking amps of the lead acid. note that you will need to use a li-ion specific charger if you run it down. I bought it for my 2010 690SMC in October, used it for a month, and couldn't get over how the new battery made my 2010 just explode to life. I decided to swap batteries between bikes on Friday. Took it for a good ride yesterday, would love to say that I felt the difference but I'd be a liar with only ~400km on this bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Did anyone need to pay for the Quickshifter as an option? A guy elsewhere picked one up and griped that the Quickshifter was not included.


j
Nope its my understanding that the QS+ is a standard feature on all the 2019s.

Externally it looks the same as the previous generation engine- there's no additional external shift linkages like in most of the first generation quick shifters. Wondering if that guy actually has one on his bike and just doesn't know it/hasn't tried it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, just wow.

Update: This bike is a Beast.

It was an entertaining ride to work today. My engine was warm, brain caffeinated, and I was sitting waiting at a light and decided to try turning off traction control for the first time. Well, turned the corner and when I rolled on the gas hard the front floated right up into a stable crossed up wheelie that I had to talk myself out of holding up after the first half block, as the bike felt so balanced in the wind that I didn't want to put the front down. I was on the standard map. A few minutes later, at the light before the on-ramp corner, I flipped it over to the supermoto map. As I was going around the on-ramp corner, it just worked out that a bus was blocking all the traffic in the middle lane, meaning that the middle lane was clear of traffic for me, so I put on the turn signal, and rolled on the gas hard. With TC off, the back lit up and stepped out smoothly, and I drifted across the lane change a little crossed up and then rode it out and was gone. This is the power and delivery that i've been expecting, just took a while to find it! This bike is a beast!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So I just had the 1000km/first service done and now can fully open up the bike...

At 115 km/h in 6th it feels like the engine is off and you’re coasting, it’s just that smooth. From about 120 in 6th on it pulls hard but somewhere around 150 km/h it changes exhaust note and just sounds crazy and develops this insane very very hard pull for about the next 3000 rpm. I ran out of road before I could find out where that ends. Anything in your mirrors is dropped.
 

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Around 203 is average what I got on mine with exhaust intake and tune. Max what i topped was 210 km/h a according odometer

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well I came off a sweet weekend ride where I almost got rid of my front chicken strips and thought that I should give an update...

I've got about 4000km on the bike now and have it totally dialled in now. Its just noticeably more refined and better in every detail than the 2010. better handling, braking, power, throttle crispness, smoother delivery, better suspension. The 2010 is sold now and I'm not missing it, although I am seriously liking the stock pipe's silence, I kind of wonder what the 2019 would sound like with my old Akro pipe on it. My 2010 was so loud you would have cops waiting for you, the 2019 is so quiet that I'm passing them before they notice me.

The two different ride modes make the same peak power but the street mode/1 is a bit softened while the other one 2/ yields a very direct throttle, great for riding hard. The first drive mode is no slouch, it just sort of smooths out your riding inputs a little, so its more oriented to aggressive commuting than track mode. It took me a while to realize that I've been battling the electronics on the 2019; when traction control is on, anti-wheelie is on. There is a dongle that you can get to save the setting on power down, but the bike automatically resets to TC on when you start it, so you always have to stop for a sec to switch off TC to wheelie, I always also switch to ride mode 2, the track one. The other night I was out for a ride and had TC off but I was in mode 1 the street mode and decided to loft the front wheel for some aficionados and proceeded to go about 50 feet further than usual - the throttle in ride mode 1 I find much easier to hold a wheelie up in as I find mode 2's crisp throttle upsets my one wheel balance more than in mode 1, but I'm by no means a wheelie master, just what works for me. Also it took a minute to realize that if you accidentally brush the quick shifter it can really pop the bike out of drive quickly, so keep your foot clear for wheelies, but theoretically you can now clutchless up and downshift in a wheelie, if you happen to have that skillset and the giant balls of steel required.

The first hard corner that I took in the rain with TC on felt like I was cornering on a dry road. unbelievable.

The brakes. Gen 2 ABS. I was savagely cut off oh so bad the other afternoon on the highway. It was one of those scenarios where my brain told me that I was going to be rear ending this truck with such force that I'd be in the passenger seat, as there was no way that I could stop. I have been riding 20 years and had a race license back in the day so i'm not a stranger to hard stops, but what happened wasn't possible in any realm of physics. Gen 2 ABS is insane. I gave it the full mustard front and rear and matched his speed about a foot off his bumper then rapidly dropped back... it was that close. I was all tensed up for the impact too lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
That sounds super annoying, you have to come to a stop to switch it off?
There is a KTM dongle that you can buy that plugs into the bike that saves your TC settings when you switch off/restart the bike, so your ideal ride mode settings stay the same every time you start it up. I haven't bought that dongle, but I might. Traction control is on from when you first turn on the bike if you don't have the dongle, -TC prevents the front coming up, so you have to turn it off to wheelie, although you can hit a speed bump and hit the gas and have the front float up in a wheelie with TC on, although generally TC will kill the wheelie.

To be honest, I turn mine on and off. I use my bike for both commuting and some aggressive evening or weekend rides (been riding supermotos on one wheel since 2005), but in the wet TC is unbelievable, its like you're riding on a dry road, especially when you factor in the new gen 2 ABS, so there is a time and place in my mind for TC. For highway riding I like TC as you get some incredible drive out of turns, where in the past I was getting a healthy amount of wheel spin out of turns- its like maybe 20% more drive at full throttle as it just hooks up, computer does the work, you just focus on the ideal line. For city riding you definitely want it off. I don't do a lot of highway wheelies, most of mine are in the city, hence turning TC off for slower speed and back alley whoops. The 2019 makes a lot of power and just comes up on its own with TC off in every gear, and if you go +2 on the rear it comes up even easier, lol, like on my 2010. On gravel roads TC is crazy with slicks, the rear really really hooks up in loose dirt, super weird.


I don't have the dongle, but I found a quick workaround last week. If you start your bike in neutral with the side stand up, standing next to it, and give it a quick hard shove forwards and tap the front brake at the end of the hard shove, (so that you maybe push the bike like 12-18" forward at most) the ABS warning light turns off (which always lights up at startup), signifying that you can now switch off ABS or TC. So you can now climb on your bike from rest and adjust your gear and then wheelie away, without having to ride, stop, switch off, ride...

I usually switch mine at a traffic light.
 
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