Which Supermoto KTM.

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01/08/2005 at 20:03
Tell me about you KTM Supermoto.
01/08/2005 at 22:03
My Duke is as you can probably guess from the name is one of the last of the Duke Is.

It's basically the 640 engine (625cc) from an early Duke II in a Duke I chassis. KTM also tarted it up with 'carbon' bodywork but it's not real carbon fibre, just a carbon look decal over the whole panel.

These bikes make an excellent 'streetmoto' offering most of the features of later LC4 KTMs for less money. As of writing (1/8/05) you should be able to get a decent condition example for ~£2k-£2.5k.

The Duke was always designed predominantly as a road bike so it doesn't have the longer travel suspension normally associated with a supermoto. It actually has similar travel at the front to an R1. Some prefer this for normal road riding, but you'd really need to compare it with other bikes for yourself to be sure.

It's definitely at the 'sensible' end of the spectrum. Service intervals are 1500 miles, it'll handle pillions, commuting and if you've an arse of steel longer journeys, although wind blast and vibration preclude speeds above 80mph for any length of time. If grunting along dull roads I find putting your feet on the pillion pegs much more comfortable.

If you're a tad short and want a KTM the Duke is worth a look, the seat height is slightly lower than other LC4s.

The suspension and brakes are good, the 640 lump is lively enough for an everyday bike, build quality is excellent and all the little bits you take for granted like robust lights, clear instruments and so on are there. Out of the box they're 'finished' and few people do much to them beyond putting a less restrictive exhaust on.

They share an awful lot with all other 1998-2004 e-start LC4s so things like race exhausts are easy to come by.

Common mods are to remove the rubber 'snorkel' on top of the airbox, fit a less restrictive exhaust and rejet to match. That's about it for them really unless owned by a compulsive fiddler.

Unlike later LC4s they're fitted with a Dell'Orto carburettor. This makes their idling and fuel economy slighty worse than later bikes but they're not restricted in the first two gears from the factory like the Mikuni carbed bikes.

A good one should turn in ~45-48bhp like most LC4s of this era.

Like all pre-2003 bikes, the clutch bearing is prone to failure, fitting the later upgraded part is a good preventative measure if you have major work done. They're not as weak as the 2002 one though which had a bad batch of bearings.

The odd starter sprag clutch goes too, but again it's not a major weakness.

In summary I can't think of anything against them as an everyday bike but if you crave a superlightweight race bred bike one probably isn't for you. Lots of people get them as a 'first motard'. That doesn't make them a bad bike, horses for courses and all that. Some people keep them after all.

If they're really handsome and charming they also fit a top box.

01/08/2005 at 22:13
After years of road biking (900 Monster, Hornet, GPZ900, Z1R, etc) I fell in love with Supermotos - having seen them in France. Since I had owned an LC4 crosser in 1988 - which was a riot - I got a 2002 LC4.

2002 LC4
It was a fantastic bike. A genuine credible Supermoto, but with leccy start, 3000 mile service intervals, solid build, great chassis parts, excellent dealer support and plenty of other owners to get info from.

I spent too much money making the bike quicker, lighter and better equipped. I had to fix the "infamous" clutch bearing (2002 bikes had a dodgy batch of bearings which MUST be retro-fitted or do not buy one) and the starter clutch too (don't start the bike in gear regularly - they don't like it). In the end I realised that I was wasting money turning the bike into an SMC, so decided to buy a new 2004 SMC on a 2005 plate when a great offer came up. Paid £4750.

Before I go on to the SMC, I would point out the my first impression of the LC4 wasn't that good. I thought it was slow and a bit agricultural - having just got off a very quick Honda Hornet. It takes a while to get used to short-shifting, riding on the torque-curve, braking late, and overtaking sportsbikes on the outside without breaking a sweat, and actual speed is very deceptive on a tall bike. You also need to get decent cans, remove the EPS, etc. ...Now, there's no going back

2004 625 SMC
The SMC is the perfect moto considering I commute to work across London every day in all weathers and enjoy the odd trackday, wheelie school and B-road weekend scratching. It's similar to the LC4 in spec, chassis, but it's 10-15% more powerful, lighter, more focussed and for a bike with leccy start and 3000miles service intervals (since 2003) it's as much of a no-compromise moto as I would personally use on a daily basis. (it's much less trouble than my 2001 Ducati Monster)

The bike now has a full Akro system, and has been set up at HMRacing in Orpington Kent, and is putting out a stonking 60.1bhp with only 1300miles on the clock. I expect another bhp or two as it loosens up. (Standard LC4 makes around 48-50bhp and weighs an extra 20kilos or so).

I've also added a Cemoto rear mudguard and Acerbis LED rear light.

[Edit in Jan 2006 at 2750 miles] now added wavey front disc, acerbis frame guards, off road fender brace, gaitor stickers, drilled side panels, cutback airbox with no internal sides or lid, running Avon Pro Rain Extremes front & rear in Winter and with BT92 rear in Summer.

The bike goes from strength to strength and has endured daily commuting for almost a full year now. Only pain is the wheels are marked from road salt n filth, and the choke is annoyingly positioned. Black wheels coming soon.
[end of edit]

If you want a "real" motard that you really can ride every day, with only basic knowledge of looking after a bike and reasonable service intervals this bike is perfect. However, if you must take a pillion, and demand a 2 year warranty, then buy an LC4. (SMC has no rear footpegs and 6 month warranty from new)

All LC4 derived KTMs need to have the EPS emissions kit removed to unleash the full power. LC4s desperately need a new end-can and rejet. SMCs are better equiped as standard, but still benefit hugely from an aftermarket system.

Alternatives & how I decided (Just my opinion)

I did consider a Honda XR650 - but didn't fancy kickstart only, and while it was powerful, they're quite big, look a bit dated & I didn't want conventional forks with ugly old-school serrated fork gaitors.

I also rode a Husky 610 SMS. Crap. Terrible build, heavy and slow. (Italian electrics anyone?).

The Duke is a great bike, but not really a supermoto in my personal view.

KTM 660 SMC - This bike is brilliant. ...Although peak power is similar to my 625 they have enough extra torque to be noticeable. It's not a massive difference, but it's there. ...However, no ignition, less oil - meaning more frequent servicing, plus being kickstart-only, all offset the torque difference. It was a close call, but for me I made the right choice.

Mz and CCM? In standard trim they're just heavy old big-bore road bikes with moto looks - IMO.

Yamaha WR426/450 - Great bike and some here say great to ride everyday, but for me, too many oil changes and expensive to convert properly.

Smaller KTMs 525s, 450s... Yum yum. One day, but not as my only bike. Too much maintence for a daily commute.

Berg 650? As above, but with even more stonk, even more than the 660 SMC, and even lighter. ...Yeeha!!! (but where my mechanic?)

Here are both the LC4 (black) and the SMC. Both have the cemoto rear end and acerbis light, and the LC4 has a 2004 spec front mudguard and Acerbis black plastics.



01/08/2005 at 22:15
mines orange and black and i liokes it
01/08/2005 at 22:27
This was my first Supermoto. Being a pre-97 LC4 it was an 'old school' supermoto converted from an 'enduro' model.


LC4s of this era aren't as well developed as later ones. The chassis is very similar to later bikes with good quality WP suspension but for road use the electrics are a bit dubious and the engines are weaker.

Bikes of this age only have a single oil pump. With constant high revs you can get oil starvation and bad things happen. This particular model also lacked a counterbalance shaft. Most people consider LC4s very vibey, but this bike was in a different league to the later models.

Obviously the brake and wheel setup will vary depending on how the conversion has been done. Mine had a bit of a mongrel setup with wheels of unknown origin, a Fireblade disk and home made caliper bracket.

For reference wheels from a Duke I can be made to fit easily. The rear is a straight fit and the front goes straight in but will need the rim offset adjusting until it is central. Like this there won't be enough clearance for a Duke 4-pot caliper on a 320mm disk and if you use the Duke disk spacer the disk will hit the forks. You can however get a caliper bracket from KTM (part no. 58313049000) and use the oringal 2-pot caliper for an adequate setup. If you mess about with the offset, different wheel spacer and custom caliper bracket you should be able to use the Duke wheel and caliper together. It all depends how confident you are at making and modifying stuff.

Lots of bikes of this age will be very tired and you need to be very careful when buying them. Off road bikes get a hard life.

This all sounds rather negative, however it was a great fun bike and converted me to the whole Supermoto thing. If you can find a good condition one cheap I'd give it a go, but be prepared for some rough edges and fragility. Mine blew up in a big way.
02/08/2005 at 08:11
250 exc 2T

bought as an enduro/green laner, thought it would be a larf putting ickle wheels on it.

so i have a bike that weighs the same as 1 of my legs, with very little torque, and loads of hp.

so a ride consists of involuntary wheelies through the first three gears, then a good squeeze on the front lifts the back at 50+.

totally impractical, madder than a bucket of frogs, done 250+ motorway miles in a day on it, nothing has broken, haven't even fouled a plug, and it does about 70 miles to a tank.

do wish i'd bought a 380 tho'

Amateur gynacologist...........at your cervix
Crashometer 2005 NHRO
02/08/2005 at 12:10
None of this would really make sense unless I said what I actually wanted from my SM in the first place. So, here goes......I use my supermoto as a Sunday stunt, ride out tool AND for track days on tarmac only (mainly Brands and Lydden). I have been on this eternal search for the perfect moto to suit my needs and have come to the conclusion that there will always have to be some compromise somewhere. Heres a list of the KTM's I have owned and why they did or didn't fit the bill.

I was advised that this was the best compromise between road and track and if you're going to track on moto circuits, it probably is. On tarmac circuits, it runs out of puff far too soon on the straights (105mph) and if you gear it up , it just won't pull it.On back roads, it is excellent and the motor is very strong and light, but it runs a bit flat at higher end of the rev range.I put a 540 big bore kit on to try and get a bit more go , but to be honest, I couldn't tell the diference.Good reliability, lightweight, good handlng and elecrtic start. Needs a decent can to release its full power (about 55bhp)

I've had 2 of these and they are a very good road track combo, with a little more emphasis on the performance side of things They are slightly heavier than the EXC/MXC range and don't have a kickstart (though they start v.easily on the kicker) . Some were prone to heads cracking alhough it was only one batch and they all should have been sorted on warranty by now. Excellent back lane/ wheelie bike and tops out at about 115/120 depending on gearing. Good bike for Lydden but still gets whupped on the straights at Brands . Reasonably strong motor with good development history. Handle very well on stock settings and go really well when pushed hard.

KTM950 supermoto.
Stunning road bike with mental power and a genuine 140mph top speed. Is this to good to be true? Well yes, cos it comes at the expense of weight. It's VERY HEAVY at 187 kg dry and you can feel the weight on the back lanes when trying to hustle it around, although it will do it without complaint.I am booked on track on 9th August, but, as et, this is an unknown quantity. Seems to handle very well on the road, so I have high hopes for this. Reliability has not been a problem with the Adventure donor motor, although, mine has just been returned to my dealer with a strange noise coming from the engine ! No clues to what it is as yet, but it doesn't sound cheap ! 3 years warranty on these, by the way so I won't be footing the bill for once. I have to say that I am genuinely gobsmacke by the performance of this bike, it's just not got that lightweight moto feel to it.Expensive at 8 grand as well.

Big and clever.
02/08/2005 at 12:34
Had a 03 640 and now got a 660 and the difference is massive with so much more go then the 625 lump. It starts on the second kick most times and seems smoother than the 640 too. You really notice the weight diffrence also. It could do with a bit more fuel range but other than that I'm happy

UK KTM Forum


525 EXC :burnout:             950 SuperMoto :burnout:




02/08/2005 at 13:29
2003 KTM 525 EXE motard

My bike has about 3.5k on the clock and I've only put about 1k on myself. As mentioned above it's very light and excellent for off road and also very good on the road.

It's still pretty much as KTM intended. I aim to use it for Sunday blasts, occasional commuting (under 20 miles of City traffic) and off roading. I don't think theres a better bike for doing ALL these things very well. The Yam WR450 is very close and the bikes only other rival.

It seems to top out at 95 -100ish. It has a 5'' rear rim which can limit tyre choice as the swingarm is quite tight. If your not racing you probably don't need a 5'' rim but it looks nice anyway

The suspension I am still getting used to. It's an enduro bike so its softer than I like. I've fiddled a bit and it's a lot better than it was and is not a problem.

In terms of performance it's still stock so I have no idea how much power it makes. I've got an end can but haven't got round to fitting it. Also the airbox is not yet opened up. It's still more than enough to beat most bikes in a drag up to 60mph which is perfect for London. The front wheel is very light in the first couple of gears. It does shake it's head but it's never got out of shape. It seems happier below 70mph and seems to get a bit more sluggish up to about 100mph. I think thats more down to the fact that the bike is still stock.

As it's Enduro derived it make it's power quite low. Low speed lugging through traffic is easy and the bike hardly ever stalls. It's so light that commuting is very easy. It wheelies and stoppies with ease.

I've done a couple of days of MotoX on the bike and found it very easy to ride off road. I was a total dirt novice and still managed to get it around.

It does get quite hot so I've fitted the fan kit but it hardly ever comes on and has never boiled over.

The oil change routine is a bit of a pain. I'm doing it every 400 miles. It's not hard but there are quite a few filters to clean.

It looks the bollox in my opinion. It's so easy to ride that the relative lack of performance from the 625/660 is only noticable on the straights.

Reliabilty seems good so far. Only time will tell though :burnout:

Crashometer 2003:
Crashometer 2004:
02/08/2005 at 16:10
KTM 660sx, before they became fashionable. Fast as feck but heavy through the corners and head shaking over the ton. Rider couldn't handle the power and had to give up on it.

KTM 300exc, surprisingly fast for an enduro bike, long exhaust really let it rev out. Rider capable of chucking it about and enjoying the ride.

KTM380sx fast as feck, nimble, torquey for a 2T, but current rider can't fulfil it's potential on the track


Roost Racing
I recommend Brian "Bone Welder" Simpson Bone Welder
02/08/2005 at 16:24
First SM : 2001 LC4 640 : great first SM, a bit heavy for racing, but great to go to work on, and as reliable as anything made by honda.

Second one : 2003 660SMC huge step up from the lc4, so much lighter, and much more punch in the power curve. On paper, not much different to the lc4, but in reality a big difference, the 2k3 model only holds half the oil of the lc4, so probably not ideal for commuting. still a bit heavy for racing on dirt, all tarmac would be a treat on this bike.

Current SM : It was a KTM 450SX 4 speed MX bike, untill HM racing got hold of it, they opened the engine, and threw everything inside away, new crank, new piston, new gearbox, new head and valves. Now it has a 6 speed box, and weighs in at a huge 613cc, which is good for over 70HP. To top it off, HM left the 10 stage variable ignition with traction control, quickshifter and launch control. on the scales the bike weighs 105kgs with fuel.

yes its bloody fast. probably not great for commuting as it only holds 1.5lt of oil.

My Supermotard racing page, Now with helmet cam footage

SV650S (Blue)
RSV1000R (Yellow)
KTM 450sx + Stroker Crank + 100mm Piston = 613cc (NORA & Prosupermoto #38)

12/10/2005 at 16:22
KTM 625 SMC - 04 Model

My first and only SM, used daily for London commute and recently went for a 300mile blat on the Surrey Scramble.

Bike is standard at the moment aside from Airbox mod and am adding Avon Pro Extreme front and BT092 rear having listened to others recommnedations.

Have doen about 1000 miles so far and am pleased with it so far, only niggles have been neutral can be vague and the speedo magnet has gone so ni idea how fast or far i have been.

Power wise I was not wildly impressed but having done the scramble and had the chance to really pin it open I am amazed to the power that you can wring out.

There are more technical views ^^^ but for a recent convert to orange and SM can recommend to anyone that this bike is the bollox..!!


The South West London Way
12/10/2005 at 16:39
KTM 640 LC4 "51" Limited edition 6 Days model.

It comes in green with a few little decals saying 6 days but other than that it it a standard machine. The motor is great, it pulls well enough and eventually I will get a nice pipe for it but for the time being it is ok. Handling is sound and the bike does handle its weight ok. The lights are good and the starter is fine but I have kicked it over before no problem.

The finish is a tad poor in terms of the fact that the subframe is going rusty (stripped down at the mo to be wire brushed/emery clothed/primed and painted) but the bodywork is ok except where the bolts go through including the head of the bolt!

I also get the odd false neutral between 2 and 3 when on the back wheel.

My first KTM and I like it.


KTM LC4 640 SM.

Fairings are for HOMOSEXUALS

Walking in town the other day and I spotted a piece of walking excrement. I pointed it out to the wife. She could not see it. I pointed again but to no avail. I took her right up to it and nearly stepped on it ... oh that she said. No dear, thats a copper.

24/10/2005 at 17:35
KTM 640 PRESTIGE SUPERMOTO 04'. passed full test aug 04, purchased this bike feb 05' this being my fist big bike not bad considering im only a pup 22yrs old!!!! awesome bike, done the short rear fender mod (not carbon) with led light and 6.5' squared plate which is generously angled!!! also little niggles like grab rails, rear pegs removed. plans for 06':
-Lotsa carbon goodies
-Wavey discs and good pads
-pair of diablo supercorsa pro's (feel free for any comments on these would like a little idea of any experiences!!)
-And anything to personalise her really, oh and new h/light unit like the acerbis cyclopse!!

24/10/2005 at 17:56
ok its not a supermoto but i got a superduke and i like it so much i bought another one for a track bike its being hm'd at the moment can't wait
29/10/2005 at 16:30
Excellent resource covering model numbers for all KTM's


Under Power catalogue
24/01/2006 at 20:56
2000 KTM Duke II


After my DRZ supermoto experiment I was left wanting more power and more road worthy characteristics, and after looking around I fell in love with the Duke II. The looks are what attracted me to this bike initially, but upon reading about other riders' experience on the Duke I decided to see for myself.


I have heard of KTM's reliability issues but for me the Duke II was pretty good; regular oil changes every 3000-3500 km and this bike was fine. The bike did not idle very well despite many changes to the carb (by a professional) and it vibrated a LOT so bolts had to be continually checked before they rattled right out. The rear signal lights were not connected very solidly either but these were minor issues and overall the reliability for this bike was good.

As far as mileage is concerned, the stock tank would get me anywhere from 100 - 150 km but if the bike was running well that range could be extended close to 200.


The Duke looks like a supermoto but it performs like a sportbike. The suspension is stiff with no where near the travel of a SM although the rear allows a little play, and other than the riding position when riding this bike it feels like a sportbike. The rear swingarm is beefed up considerably so this increased stiffness is likely a big reason why it handles the way it does and with the suspension the ride is somewhat hard compared with an SM which soaks up bumps better. Acceleration is quick and you go through the first few gears rapidly, the braking is good and predictable, and the cornering is very sportbike-like.

Bone stock the bike is a little choked up but there are a lot of resources onlie to find how to de-restrict the bike and really let it rip. Out of the box performance is pretty good already but because the Duke is a bit on the portly side it could stand a little more low end power. There are many aftermarket options available to acheive this though, so the possibilities are virtually endless.

This bike is made for the blacktop and as suck it would do well as road only; road races would be fine for the most part as it is certainly capable but the ergonomics would have it overmatched against sportbikes. The Duke would not fair well on an SM track in competition as it was not built to handle the tighter turns and jumps with regularity.

Overall Impressions

One of the best rider positioned sportbikes; the upright riding position combined with sportbike inspired handling makes this a great daily rider. At home commuting or canyon carving, the Duke II offers a unique blend of style and performance suitable for anyone who enjoys the freedom of 2 wheels. Track days are doable (road course) and reliability is good so this KTM really is a nice bike for someone who wants one bike to handle a lot of different roles.
25/01/2006 at 09:55
I have sold my Berg and bought a KTM 560!! Haven´t tried it yet though, as it is ALOT of snow right now over here....

' target='_blank'>Yes, I am for real!
25/01/2006 at 10:50
2004 KTM LC4 640

Bought the bike with 1800 miles on the clock, completely standard, about 6 months ago after part ex'ing a 2000 Yamaha R6.
I've also ridden 2 smoke motocross bikes for the last 5 years on and off, so I felt I'd be more at home on a Supermoto.

Initial impressions - the bikes got lots of low down grunt, but seems to run out of steam quite quickly so short shifting is a must. I guess thats what coming from an R6 does for you It handles well, and the grip is hard to beleive and get used to at first - it takes a few weeks of pushing the bike harder and harder into corners to actually find where the limit is.
At this point the bike had the original tyres on, which everyone slates as being crap . . .and I agree. The back end lights up at the first sign of any throttle coming out of corners and it can all go a bit pear shaped quite fast. After changing the tyres for Conti SM's there is much more grip and you can really get the power down. Much more predictable.

The bike can feel quite heavy, but it is a 640 at the end of the day, and it feels like its built to last. I wouldnt like to take one off-road though personally. Electric start makes life easy in busy traffic/towns or just when you're knackered.

I also take my missus on the back now and again and she reckons its quite comfortable (compared to the R6). The bike is very easy to ride 2 up and still handles well.
For commuting to/from work (which I sometimes use mine for) they are great, long service intervals and about 90miles from a tank make it practical for everyday use.

This is my first Supermoto and I would recommend it to anyone else as a first supermoto or a comprimise between something fun but still practical . My next bike, however will most likely be a CRF450 or something more "track" based as I wouldnt mind giving racing a go, and I don't need the bike for commuting or taking the missus on the back anymore.
09/02/2006 at 13:35
This is my first KTM having previously had a ZXR750, Speed Triple, CBR600 and a ZX6. Reasoning behind this was insurance costs to start off with a third of the price of a ZX6.

She's a 96 620 SuperComp but with new body panels. Talon hubs and Akront rims. She's MoT'd and taxed but needs the speedo fitting.

I bought it with the intention of commuting but have been told by a bloke in the know that it's not the best model for everyday use. Apparently this model has the big bang motor with only about a pint of oil in it and should ideally have the oil changed every 10 hours. Ok for racing but not riding everyday.

It's been suggested that I let go of her and get an LC4. Any comments would be gratefully received, even the sarcastic ones!

"Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff." - Frank Zappa

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