KTM 990SMT – Bad To The Bone
KTM 990SMT – Hiding Its Age So Very, Very Well
Way back in 2008 when the world was on the brink of disappearing up its own arse, the very clever and utterly irresponsible people at KTM were busily building these things. Supermotos were originally made in people’s sheds using a set of road wheels and a motocross bike. To make one from the ground up and finish with a one litre V Twin was simply wonderful.
Now many years later, the KTM 990SMT still feels as fresh and cutting edge as it did back then. The bikes suspension was designed by, gurus of all things spring-loaded, WP. The brake calipers are by Brembo, the master cylinders are by Magura and the bars by Neken. Even the wheels are by Marchesini. With these kind of components the big Super Moto was bound to be wonderful.
KTM 990SMT – A Barrel Of Fun To Ride
Once on board the bike is a barrel of fun to ride on all sorts of roads and in all sorts of conditions. While the big twin pushes out a reasonably modest 114 bhp, that snot what this is all about. A combination of those wide bars, a commanding seating position as well as those powerful brakes make twisties as unintimidating as they are addictive.
The clocks are easy to read with an analogue rev counter and a digital everything else with the basics covered by a bank of idiot lights. There’s no Antilock Braking System. There’s no traction control. There’s no Electronically Adjustable Suspension. There’s just a really good bike that is so rewarding to ride.
The later model was an ‘R’ which featured Bosch ABS. The earlier version was a 950 that was fuelled by carburetors years after everyone else had stopped using them. The latter bike was, to my mind, one of the best bikes ever made.