KTM aims for stability and control with 2023 450 SMR supermoto

KTM has launched its latest Supermoto bike, with the 450 SMR receiving some updates for 2023, including a lighter engine and other optimisations.

KTM 450 SMR 2023. - KTM Media

KTM’s 450 SMR Supermoto bike has received several updates for 2023, and has been launched today (31 May 2022). 

Starting with the engine, which now weighs just 27kg and produces 63 horsepower, and has been redesigned with mass centralisation in mind. To do this, the motor has been tilted back, and the sprocket has been dropped by 3mm. Additionally, there are new cylinder internals, and work has been done on crankshaft optimisation. 

That power will be electronically controlled via a Keihin Engine Management System, including traction control, launch control, as well as two engine maps for you to swap between.

The gearbox comes from one of KTM’s technical partners, Pankl Racing Systems, who provide a five-speed for the ‘23 450 SMR. Shifting between those gears is also clutchless, with a “fresh,” according to KTM, quickshifter which can be disabled via a switch on the handlebar. 

Of course, if the quickshifter is disabled you will be manually operating the clutch on upshifts as well as downshifts. That clutch is provided by Suter, and its anti-hopping engineering is paired with a 220mm rear brake disc and single piston calliper, with hydraulics from Brembo, “that will let riders drift all the way ‘til they shift,” KTM says.

On the front, you will find a 310mm disc, four-piston calliper system from Brembo, along with 48mm AER forks with split-damping. KTM also says the adjustment is tool-less, but there is no confirmation that that also extends to the person making the adjustment. Back to the rear, the WP XACT shock is shorter and lighter, but with the same amount of travel as before, which should make for superior precision. 

The front and rear are brought together by a “hydro-formed, laser-cut and robot-welded frame,” KTM says. Both the longitudinal torsional flex has been adjusted compared to previous versions of the 450 SMR to improve feedback. Additionally, the aforementioned XACT shock is positioned with a revised mount, which KTM says “enhances energy absorption and straight-line stability.”

Other updates include changes to the positioning of rotational masses, which combined with the new XACT shock helps to contribute to KTM’s ‘anti-squat’ concept.There are also inward footpegs for improved control, and a polyamide reinforced aluminium two-piece subframe. 

The 2023 KTM 450 SMR will be available in KTM dealers from June 2022.