First Ride Experience KTM 890 SMT

Sensible supermoto or crazy sports tourist? Yes! The SMT is back. Depending on your worldview, the resurgent KTM 890 SMT is somewhere between a stripped-down adventure bike and a bloated supermoto. Or if you know your ktms, between the KTM Adventure 890 and the Duke 890.

Here is the reflection. Most adventure bikes never leave the asphalt, so the sticky Michelin Power GP rubber and the SMT’s 17-inch rims make perfect sense, while the road and track-oriented ergonomics and the road-oriented WP Apex suspension provide tighter and sharper handling than the dirt-oriented adventure. It is still big and imposing, like an adventurer, still has a long and deep seat, which makes it possible to cover long kilometers for both the pilot and the passenger, like a sports tourist. And it still fits perfectly with the classic ideal of sports tourism to have a bike that can take you fresh to the mountains and then be good enough to tear up serpentines and sweepers when you arrive. This is supermoto tourism.

Like the original SMT, which found cult status about a decade or more ago, it is imbued with a racy attitude, and also a craving for miles and weekends. However, the centerpiece is now the second-generation 889 cm3 variant of the versatile dual-parallel LC8c, which in one form or another drives an ever-growing number of medium-weight Austrian machines, along with the strange Husqvarna and CFMoto as well-incoming gasgas?

It is a good choice. KTM could have integrated the 890er into the 119 hp Duke R, but opted for the twin Adventure instead, as it produces more torque under 7,500 rpm. Maximum power of 103 hp at 8,000 rpm and 73.8 lbs.- checked. the torque at 6,500 rpm, as well as 20% more rotational mass compared to the previous 799 cm3 design, provide a well-mixed mixture of mid-range growling and free-spinning spirit. Exactly what a supermoto with a view of the distant horizon demands.

The starting point of the SMT press in Sardinia turned out to be an ideal environment, with the endless ribbons of grippy sweepers and laces of the island, apparently designed for the KTM. With instant throttle response, it intentionally rolls at only 2,000 rpm and gains venom as revs increase. It’s not a big engine, but it’s extremely lively. The SMT pierces between the braking points and is as lucky to be offset to 8,000 rpm with the smooth (but only optional) speed selector as it is to turn beyond its peak of 10,000 rpm.