Time to start seriously thinking about how to load stuff for the trip. I have a Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag that I wanted to use on this trip, but the 690 lacked good mounting points and a strong enough rear “sub-frame”. The gas tank on the 690 is actually the tail section of the bike (sub-frame) and is susceptible to damage under excessive loading. Tusk makes some fairly affordable pannier racks that actually tie the tank to the passenger foot peg mounts. I ordered them and set about the install which was actually very straight forward.
The next couple upgrades were electrical. I added a charging point on the handlebars for phones/tablets/GPS. I also added two big 3×2 LED light bars to the front. I’m planning on doing some night riding on this trip and would really like to see the tree that is about to kill me.
I really have to hand it to KTM’s electrical department. They pre-wired in two accessory ports behind the headlight, one that is always powered, and one that is powered on ignition. This meant that I didn’t have to hack and splice into my brand new bikes wiring harness to install some super common upgrades. They even used standard spade electrical connectors! Thanks KTM.