KTM 525 is much more nimble then the XR650R but, at a price in the big races. Running the KTM on big weekend rides it is much more fun then the XR650R but, you get tacked much faster. Using it to pre-run part of the Baja 250 though the big whoops and the bike feels alive. After a half hour going through these big whoops and I am hating the linkless rear suspension. If KTM would use the Linked suspension they have on the 690 I would have the KTM 525.
But, I think it silly that this KTM 690 keeps coming up on the group after all the facts have been hashed out. It will be street leagel in all 50 states.
It feels more like a MX bike till you lean it or go into a turn. Had more trouble in the long runs of nasty whoops and is a tank in the air.
KTM 690 is 40 pounds heavier then the XR650R and has the same horsepower as the XR650R with a full HRC kit. A second place in spite all this shows how good the KTM team riders were in the last Baja. If they pre-ran the Baja on and raced it with a tricked out XR650R they might not have gotten second but, first! (this was actualy brought up)
It is not an answer to the XR650R but, to the XR650L.
For those that haven't seen it in use;
Here is some pictures of it's run in the last SCORE Baja race:
I think it's pretty sad you make a comparison of apples to oranges to justify your view.
How does the stock XR560R (NOT HRC kit as you mention) compare to the KTM690? I'd be willing to bet it hoses it.
Then if you want to make HRC kit comparos against the KTM690 then we'll see what the factory race team comes up with - my money is on the KTM due to one reason - modern design and engine development.
Furthermore your claims about the riders winning baja are spot on so why make a monster deal about an 8 year old bike when as you say it's the riders who win it? Seems disingenious to me?