Photographer, Videographer, Writer, Motorcycle Racer, Dakar Rally Finisher and BRAKE Magazine's big dog, Llewelyn really likes to do things involving motorcycles. He also likes bicycles, coffee, pop punk and making horrendous puns.
Like many people who’ve climbed the mountain that is a huge personal goal, Lyndon Poskitt was looking for a challenge. In 2013 the Englishman finished the Dakar Rally and returned to the normal world. A year later he was riding through the Old Summer Road in Russia.
Following his decision to quit the day job as an Executive at BAE systems, Lyndon built a truly special bike, has now ridden 80,000 miles and filmed the whole thing for a Youtube web series, Races to Places. We caught up with him to ask about the details of his very special KTM 690.
BRAKE: Lets start with your bike. Why did you decide to build something so extreme?
LP: Because there weren’t any production bikes really capable of going racing other than a KTM Factory Rally Replica and the Factory RR wasn’t capable of travelling around the world with luggage. The only thing to do was get building. I wanted the chassis of a KTM Factory Rally, the carbureted version from ’07 to ’14, with the trellis chassis and use that to make a travel bike. I had an ’07 690 that’d already raced the Dakar and was looking a bit worse for wear, so I stripped it down. In order to fit the luggage, I needed to shoehorn the 450 Rally rear fuel tank on. I noticed on my KTM 450 Dakar bike in ’13 that the rear tanks had the two pickups for the luggage like the KTM 690 Enduro has. The main problem with the 690 Rally tank is that it doesn’t have any structural strength in the rear tanks so you can’t put a luggage rack on it.
“It’s about 215/220KG’s with luggage and fuel, which is pretty light compared to most other things.”
From the 450 and 690 Rally I cobbled a bike together. It required a huge amount of changes, silly things like footrest hangars, tank mounts and lots more, to make it work, but we got there.
BRAKE:If you weren’t going to race, would you still have gone to effort of building such a complex bike?
LP: Because of all the off-road I do, I would. After knowing what I know now, for example riding through the Old Summer Road and doing some of the serious crossings I’ve done like the Simpson Desert (He rode the Simpson unassisted with 52 litres of fuel) can all be achieved on something like an 1190R but getting through water, riding some of the really serious terrain and picking it up on your own are much harder. I really like the bike I’ve got, it’s about 215/220KG’s with luggage, which is pretty light compared to most other things.
So, overall I think I would go to the effort of building it again. After doing 170,000km on 950, and I loved that bike, I never thought I’d ride a single cylinder around the world., but I love the 690, it’s so smooth!
BRAKE: What would you change on the bike from where it is now?
LP: There is nothing. Everything I’ve done to the bike has made it the perfect bike for me, everything is built for adventure riding. I always see adventure riding relating heavily to rally racing so it all morphs together and makes the perfect combination of the two. If anything I’d change the seat from my travel bike onto my next rally bike because it’s so much more comfy.
BRAKE:The closet production bike to yours would be a KTM 690 Enduro R or Husqvarna 701 Enduro, so what are the modifications you’d recommend to someone who rides that bike.
LP: It depends what they want to do with it. The biggest thing for me was being able to travel 550/600km on a tank of fuel. That’s one of the massive problems with that bike for ADV travel; you’ve only got 14 litres of fuel in a Husqvarna 701 and 13 in the KTM 690. It’s not enough for serious, long distance travel and generally the bike isn’t built for that. Immediately you have to start adding tanks from aftermarket companies.
The KTM Basel kit is good because it uses KTM Original tanks from the 690 Rally, but there are a lot of other things on the rally bike that make it a better, stronger bike. The oil cooler, the frame and so much more. It’s hard to explain why the rally bike is worth it, but it really is.
“It’s really nice to have 80hp instead of 69hp.”
BRAKE:What’s your favourite modification to Basil?
LP: Probably putting the big bore kit in it and fitting the wide ratio gearbox. They are good mods to the KTM 690 if you’re horsepower junky and like doing wheelies or racing. It’s really nice to have 80hp instead of 69.
It made the bike much smoother than it was. Mine is carbureted, which I think for travel is a big advantage. You can fix it dead easily, you don’t get problems with blocked fuel filters and injectors, you don’t have so much drama with fuel pumps because you can get by with pressurising the tanks by blowing in them but you loose a little throttle response from the bottom. In some conditions that’s nicer because its really smooth and anyone that has ridden one of these bikes always comments on how smooth it is.
BRAKE:How many hours did you put into producing you bike, including research and so on?
LP: I reckon it was about 200 hours of building and production time, plus another 100 or so ordering parts and sorting other things. It takes a huge amount of time to discover and then create a solution for each of the problems on the bike but the end result was worth every second.
BRAKE:What is the worst breakdown you’ve suffered from?
LP: The Stator failed. That was pretty bad. It’s odd, but for some reason most bikes that travel long distance have a stator fail at some point. After so long they breakdown, short out and melt and that’s game over. Basil also dumped a cam rocker. I knew that was a problem with the 690 engine before the trip but it was still a complete shitter when it broke.
Lyndon Poskitt Racing KTM LC4 Factory Rally-Adventure Specifications Include;
Main Frame & Chassis:
Modified 690 Factory Rally chassis (all LPR modifications) for strength and durability.
450 Factory Rally rear fuel tank mounts fitted.
Strengthened upper tank mounts.
Repositioned and strengthened upper shock mount.
Laser cut Tig welded VIN plate.
Frame prepared, etch primed and powder coated.
Swing arm, engine hangers, footrest brackets, footrests and triple clamps stripped, etch primed and powder coated satin black.
All moving components packed with waterproof grease.
Full 320mm travel suspension front and rear with strengthened linkage, pins and shock mounts.
Twin chamber full travel 48mm WP forks built to Factory specs with uprated spring rates.
Rear Factory rally shock with LPR shim specifications and uprated spring rate.
Engine, Transmission and Fuel Delivery:
KTM LC4 723cc
Low compression 105mm 3 ring slipper piston (for poor quality fuel)
Long stroke 84.5mm crank
LPR Custom high lift, long duration camshaft with smoothed lift for improved longevity of top end.
Engine rebalanced (primary balance shaft) for stroker crank and new piston. Nova Racing wide ratio 6 speed complete gear cassette including new shafts and all gears. Gives lower 1st (for technical) and taller 6th (for highway) gear ratios while maintaining an even spread between.
LPR modified Adler 6 spring clutch
Billet twin piece clutch cover for trail side clutch fixes
LPR custom NC machined LPR clutch cover
Oversize radiator with large cooling fan
Composite air box with large rally Twin Air filter
FCR41 Carburetor with LPR dyno tune / setup, filtration and quick adjust modifications
Full stainless steel 1-into-2 header system with LPR modifications
Twin LPR Titanium Silencers with 50mm acute exits, swivel inlet, removable dB killers and stainless steel straps.
LPR 1-piece stainless steel left side exhaust bracket
LPR 1 piece bonded aluminium right side exhaust bracket
17 tooth OEM front sprocket
48 tooth Dirt Tricks Rear Sprocket
DID 520 VX2 Chain
Wheels and Tyres:
Woody’s Wheel Works super lite hubs
Excel A60 Rims 2.15”x 18” rear and 1.6” x 21” front.
X3 superlaced heavy duty stainless steel spokes and nipples
Repacked Japanese wheel bearings and stainless steel spacers
Heavy Duty tubes
TKC80 front tyre
Golden Tyre 723 Rally rear tyre
KTM Factory Rally front disk
KTM OEM drilled heavy duty rear disk
Brembo racing calipers and sintered pads front and rear
2 x 7.5litre Polyethylene front tanks
1 x 17litre Nylon structural member rear tank
Overcapacity, opaque in line fuel filter system
High pressure hose and clips installed throughout
CPC Quick disconnects on all tanks.
Bodywork and graphics:
3-Piece KTM Factory Rally composite fairing
High fender with lower fork stone guards.
Bike fully painted in solvent based plasticised paint for durability.
LPR full coverage heavy duty 3M laminated graphics kit Renazco Racing full suede adventure seat
MD roadbook with Factory rally control switch
ICO Racing Rally Max (sensor) and Rally Max-G (GPS) trip computers with remote handlebar controls
Twin Baja Design LED Squadron headlights
Aluminum LED turn signals
Ignition switch installed
Odyssey PC310 battery
12V power outlet and twin USB port mounted in nav-tower
Luggage System & Protection:
Full LPR stainless steel symmetrical luggage rack with pannier exhaust protection, powder coated satin black.
Touratech top luggage plate with LPR strengthened mounts and modified baseplate.
Factory Rally radiator and guard.
LPR lower bush guard
LPR Aluminum bash plate with twin water tight tool cases
Double Take adventure mirrors
Full LPR tool kit mounted in nav tower for easy access
2 x Kriega Rally Packs mounted on sides of nav tower for spare parts
Garmin Montana powered mount, mounted in center of bars for maximum protection
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