KTM 990 SMT (2009 - present) review

Details
Manufacturer:
KTM
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 9595
Overall
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)
For it is a fact that while you can ride this bike quickly, you absolutely don’t have to
The most sensible KTM in ages.
Too compromised, still a hard charging big supermoto, hard seat.

The launch of a new motorcycle used to be a terribly messy, often Bacchanalian affair. In the mid-1990s when the average testosterone-charged tester was 27 years old and the bike industry was booming, marketing managers had vast pots of cash to spend and invariably launches descended into chaos. There was the Yamaha TRX850 launch of 1993, when photographer Kenny P was found unconscious from alcohol poisoning in a bath still running eight hours later (the hotel room repair bill was £17,000) while Chris Porter from Fast Bikes and I were arrested by Spanish police for stealing a small powerboat and setting off across Barcelona harbour.

In 1997 there was a spectacular launch in Florida (which shall remain anonymous), where we convinced the notoriously tight marketing boss of the time to spend $2,800 on lapdancers and cocaine for the eagerly waiting journalists. And of course, who can forget the legendary GSXR1000 launch of 2000, when a golf buggy was stolen and overturned into a lake at 3am by Jimi Miller (Fast Bikes again) while Martin Child of Bike and I blasted golf balls at each other across the hotel lobby with drivers. It was hilarious right up to the point we caught a complaining guest across the side of the head and all the emergency services got involved.

Ah, happy days. But age has caught up with us all and invariably launches today are much more sensible affairs. Instead of heading directly to the bar, now all the journos go for a 6-mile run or call the missus instead to let her know they landed safely. We all have to grow up at some point, and now KTM – the thrash metalists of the motorcycle industry – have done the same with their 990 SMT. A sensible KTM? Surely not. The SMT (where the T stands for Travel, not Touring) is KTM’s personal admission that in today’s climate even they need to spread their wings a little wider and move away, just a tiny bit, from their “everything we produce will rip your head off” image of the past.

“This is a big step,” admits their PR manager Thomas Kuttruf. “Racing is in the KTM mind forever, but as we see the market change so we have to respond. We’ve almost built a fence around our own products in the past, and for some people KTM is an intimidating brand. Now with the SMT we are hoping to change this with the first long-distance supermoto.”

Click next to continue

The launch of a new motorcycle used to be a terribly messy, often Bacchanalian affair. In the mid-1990s when the average testosterone-charged tester was 27 years old and the bike industry was booming, marketing managers had vast pots of cash to spend and invariably launches descended into chaos. There was the Yamaha TRX850 launch of 1993, when photographer Kenny P was found unconscious from alcohol poisoning in a bath still running eight hours later (the hotel room repair bill was £17,000) while Chris Porter from Fast Bikes and I were arrested by Spanish police for stealing a small powerboat and setting off across Barcelona harbour.

In 1997 there was a spectacular launch in Florida (which shall remain anonymous), where we convinced the notoriously tight marketing boss of the time to spend $2,800 on lapdancers and cocaine for the eagerly waiting journalists. And of course, who can forget the legendary GSXR1000 launch of 2000, when a golf buggy was stolen and overturned into a lake at 3am by Jimi Miller (Fast Bikes again) while Martin Child of Bike and I blasted golf balls at each other across the hotel lobby with drivers. It was hilarious right up to the point we caught a complaining guest across the side of the head and all the emergency services got involved.

Ah, happy days. But age has caught up with us all and invariably launches today are much more sensible affairs. Instead of heading directly to the bar, now all the journos go for a 6-mile run or call the missus instead to let her know they landed safely. We all have to grow up at some point, and now KTM – the thrash metalists of the motorcycle industry – have done the same with their 990 SMT. A sensible KTM? Surely not. The SMT (where the T stands for Travel, not Touring) is KTM’s personal admission that in today’s climate even they need to spread their wings a little wider and move away, just a tiny bit, from their “everything we produce will rip your head off” image of the past.

“This is a big step,” admits their PR manager Thomas Kuttruf. “Racing is in the KTM mind forever, but as we see the market change so we have to respond. We’ve almost built a fence around our own products in the past, and for some people KTM is an intimidating brand. Now with the SMT we are hoping to change this with the first long-distance supermoto.”

Click next to continue

The launch of a new motorcycle used to be a terribly messy, often Bacchanalian affair. In the mid-1990s when the average testosterone-charged tester was 27 years old and the bike industry was booming, marketing managers had vast pots of cash to spend and invariably launches descended into chaos. There was the Yamaha TRX850 launch of 1993, when photographer Kenny P was found unconscious from alcohol poisoning in a bath still running eight hours later (the hotel room repair bill was £17,000) while Chris Porter from Fast Bikes and I were arrested by Spanish police for stealing a small powerboat and setting off across Barcelona harbour.

In 1997 there was a spectacular launch in Florida (which shall remain anonymous), where we convinced the notoriously tight marketing boss of the time to spend $2,800 on lapdancers and cocaine for the eagerly waiting journalists. And of course, who can forget the legendary GSXR1000 launch of 2000, when a golf buggy was stolen and overturned into a lake at 3am by Jimi Miller (Fast Bikes again) while Martin Child of Bike and I blasted golf balls at each other across the hotel lobby with drivers. It was hilarious right up to the point we caught a complaining guest across the side of the head and all the emergency services got involved.

Ah, happy days. But age has caught up with us all and invariably launches today are much more sensible affairs. Instead of heading directly to the bar, now all the journos go for a 6-mile run or call the missus instead to let her know they landed safely. We all have to grow up at some point, and now KTM – the thrash metalists of the motorcycle industry – have done the same with their 990 SMT. A sensible KTM? Surely not. The SMT (where the T stands for Travel, not Touring) is KTM’s personal admission that in today’s climate even they need to spread their wings a little wider and move away, just a tiny bit, from their “everything we produce will rip your head off” image of the past.

“This is a big step,” admits their PR manager Thomas Kuttruf. “Racing is in the KTM mind forever, but as we see the market change so we have to respond. We’ve almost built a fence around our own products in the past, and for some people KTM is an intimidating brand. Now with the SMT we are hoping to change this with the first long-distance supermoto.”

Click next to continue

Price: £9,595

Frame: Steel trellis
Front suspension: USD WP 48mm forks, 160mm travel, fully adjustable
Rear suspension:  WP Monoshock, 180mm travel, fully adjustable
Front brake: Brembo calipers, 305mm discs
Rear brake: Single 240mm disc
Wheelbase: 1505mm
Seat height: 855mm
Weight: 196KG

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/2009-ktm-990smt-first-ride-review/10540-3.html#ixzz0x3Gh8QcT

Price: £9,595

Frame: Steel trellis
Front suspension: USD WP 48mm forks, 160mm travel, fully adjustable
Rear suspension:  WP Monoshock, 180mm travel, fully adjustable
Front brake: Brembo calipers, 305mm discs
Rear brake: Single 240mm disc
Wheelbase: 1505mm
Seat height: 855mm
Weight: 196KG

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/2009-ktm-990smt-first-ride-review/10540-3.html#ixzz0x3Gh8QcT

Engine: 999cc 75° V-twin DOHC
Compression ratio: 11.5:1
Power: 115bhp @ 9,000rpm
Torque: 78ft.lb @ 7,000rpm

Engine: 999cc 75° V-twin DOHC
Compression ratio: 11.5:1
Power: 115bhp @ 9,000rpm
Torque: 78ft.lb @ 7,000rpm

The most sensible KTM in ages.
Too compromised, still a hard charging big supermoto, hard seat.