KTM 990 SUPERMOTO TOURING (2009-on) Review

Published: 23 April 2009

"Bloody good fun and way faster than you'd think"

KTM SMT

"Bloody good fun and way faster than you'd think"

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

The KTM 990 SMT is a new take on the adventure bike theme that manages to combine all the mental fun of a supermoto with the comfort, practicality and ability to cover miles of an adventure bike. It’s being hailed as the current all-rounder King offering all things to all riders. Of more interest to more people is the fact that it’s bloody good fun and way faster than you’d think for a 115bhp V-twin.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

KTM has taken the 990 Supermoto WP suspension but modified the internals of the forks to take out some travel so the SMT is a bit more composed on the road. The quality of the suspension is first rate but it does get a bit light at the front when the speeds increase. The light steering never gets alarming and the payback is the way the SMT soaks up scabby British roads like it was fine-tuned here rather than Austria. The only slight issue is with the feedback from the standard-fit Continental tyres which isn’t a patch on some rival tyres.

Engine 4 out of 5

This is far from the most powerful V-twin on the planet but it does have more than enough grunt to turn the KTM SMT into a rapid bit of kit. It can get a little bit lumpy down low but there’s a nicely judged throttle response that makes low speed work easy. Turn up the speed and the big 999cc lump keeps on revving. Enough power for a 140mph top speed. 

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

KTM reliability is pretty good but the V-twins are known to like a drop of oil and need some fairly close attention to make sure the level doesn’t drop too low. Fit and finish isn’t up to BMW standards but it’s still very good. Quality of the components means a high overall standard.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

Whichever way you look at it, the asking price of £9595 for the KTM is a lot of money. Sadly, the exchange rate between the Pound and the Euro means there have been some hefty price rises. When you compare the KTM against something like a £9750 BMW R1200GS with ABS then it doesn’t look so bad. Find a KTM 990 SMT for sale.

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Comprehensive instruments (only missing a fuel gauge), handguards, luggage rack, tall screen, race-spec Brembo brakes, top-line WP suspension, Marcheshini wheels…the list goes on. The panniers are an accessory and aren’t massive or waterproof (but do come with waterproof liners) and there is also a top rack and small bag as well as other accessories like a tankbag. The only thing missing are heated grips, which for nigh-on £10,000 new, the SMT really should have as standard. Compare and buy parts for the KTM SMT in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

12 owners have reviewed their KTM 990 SUPERMOTO TOURING (2009-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KTM 990 SUPERMOTO TOURING (2009-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.7 out of 5
Engine 4.4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.8 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
4 out of 5

Amazing V twin which needs some fettling to bring out the best in it!

21 December 2015 by JB8

Great fun to ride if you are on a bit of a mission! Very playful and easy to hustle, always gives me a BIG grin on twisty A & B roads. Suspension is great and the Brembos are awesome! Negatives are fuelling on stock bike is not perfect (Akros, DNA... Read more Mk3 air filter & remap will sort most of it). When stock the throttle is a bit of a bugger to keep smooth in town in amidst traffic, seems a bit too on or off. Having said the above if you've never ridden one you are missing out. Whilst there are compromises it is one of the best bikes I've ever ridden.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Brembos are awesome. WP suspension is good too!
Engine
4 out of 5
Punchy V-twin with a lovely note. Just a bit snatchy at low revs/low speed, you end up floating the clutch a lot to control it. The mods listed above stop this.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Never had a fault with mine. Well built! Only negs are: That the engine bolts tend to rust. The headlight access panel is a joke and changing a bulb requires lifting the front fairing off to get to the light!
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Does like a drink if you are winding it up but in cruise mode is perfectly acceptable. On a recent trip to Europe I was getting 245Km to a tank on the autoroutes and about 180Km in the twists.
Equipment
3 out of 5
No Fuel gauge or gear indicator which on a bike of this original value I think was a bit of a farce. Standard tyres were OK PR3's woke the bike up.
Buying experience

Bought from Fowlers in Bristol. Seemed very good and welcoming. Bike was serviced at Colwyn Bay Motorcycles who are excellent!

3 out of 5

Boring compared to a Superduke

01 November 2015 by jon verdi

Best: Engine response, engineering quality, ease of maintenance, comfort, pillion comfort, SMT community Worst: Boring and bad handling compared to the Superduke, Fuel range, lack of excitement, rough low speed running, fuel consumption, prices of... Read more parts (some!)

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Brakes excellent Long travel suspension is ok if you are ultra smooth but as soon as the traffic gets tight and you need to change line sharply it is vague
Engine
4 out of 5
Brilliant above 3000 rpm Nice and responsive (but a bit flat compared to the Superduke) clattery below it - main problem is actually noisy vicious chain slap when it gets rough
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Very well made. Even plastic parts came of easily and went back for servicing or replacement. The only thing that broke was the side-stand cut out and I was expecting that so I had the replacement module on board!
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
Cost of fuel is the main problem here - it is too thirsty for the level of enjoyment
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Buying experience

From a dealer so expensive but convenient

5 out of 5

Game Changer - still holds up against anything since

17 September 2015 by AKRS

This bike defined a whole new category for me - the blend of supermoto handling and weight combined with reasonable comfort, luggage and wind protection is better than the sum of its parts. Makes an Adventure 990/1290 or a GS1200 feel like an old... Read more couch - big and soft. If you like sharp edges and aren't still believing in the 500lb "enduro" concept pick one of these up

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Amazing ride, this bike requires old school clickers on the suspension, no handlebar mounted farkles, but man this thing is dialed. Probably competing with the LC8 for the spotlight on this bike - Its great in comfort mode, but go to sport and leave it was what I came to - very little to pay for sportsbike handling
Engine
5 out of 5
One of the best lumps ever made - very versatile and rideable - perfect amount of power for fun with no scary moments. Nothing new here. This engine will be remembered in history
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Very good build, no problems except gauges leaked - replaced under warranty
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Normal
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Sports bike to ktm 990

12 July 2015 by Woody

Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

Chalk and cheese

10 October 2014 by apriliarsv100

I bought one of these with full luggage, sat nav, heated grips, leo vince exhausts, scottoiler and only 2500 miles. Soon realised if you want to chuck it around you need to put the suspension on sport setting which makes it VERY good. Takes the dive... Read more out of the forks and everything is that bit sharper. I was over the moon with my purchase until fuel started spewing from the airbox drain, which I had to fix due to the fuel feed to the injectors coming loose. I then installed a Rottweiler intake system, blocked off the sas system disabled the o2 sensors and remapped it. Now although it makes better power and noise it is still snatchy on the throttle. And I find it uncomfortable. I wanted a bike with supermoto fun but the ability to do distance. This bike ticks the first box but so far comfort is disappointing to say the least. 100 miles and I am shifting all over the seat like I have piles. And the fuel filler cap broke. 50/50 at the moment wether to get rid or persevere.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Nice one...

14 November 2012 by PaulDutch

Well,what a bike...! Truely a great allrounder. Good fun for a weekend blast. Been touring on it 2 up and solo, round northern Europe and northern England,very comfy position also got 43-53mpg... I'm impressed,definitly a keeper... Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

KTM...mmm

27 April 2011 by tman39a

Had mine almost a year and inquired with the KTM dealer about trading in...no problem he says and then Bammmmmmmmm...£6200 with all its extras or £5500 stock.... £4500 drop in under a year...great bike but once you buy one your stuck with it or be... Read more prepared to loose a fortune. Won't buy a new KTM ever again...whoever sets the used values is biased towards some Jap bikes and living in the past with regards quality etc. The SMT is a great bike but when depreciation is so steep its seriously putting buyers of new bikes off....non KTM dealers don't even want to touch one. So i'll keep this one til it falls apart etc and fat chance of looking after it properly with dealer servicing which is already expensive. They need to put ' BUYER BE WARE ' on KTM's with them loosing value soo quickly.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
1 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

wolf in sheeps clothing

24 April 2010 by katumsmt

've been riding for 40 years and I think i have finally found a true "all-rounder" Had mine for two weeks now, a slightly higher screen, fuel gauge and self canceling indicators should be standard, engine can be a bit lumpy in the mid range. Great... Read more fun, easy wheelies, and handles like its on rails. Three bikes in the garage but I always end up taking this one out.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

the ride that make me smile

12 March 2010 by Adhasky

2 weeks now and I am still smiling every time I parked my SMT at the garage. More than enough power for highway and city riding. Brakes are awesome, cornering is firm and very comfortable. It does and have what I had in mind for a bike. It handles... Read more well at 180km/h considering it is a tall bike. Now I can concentrate on my journeys knowing I have a bike that does it all.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

amazing bike

29 July 2009 by groeneveld

after riding all sort of motorbikes for the last 30 years the KTM 990 SMT surprised me in a way i could not understand. What a funbike to ride on. Yes in ain't sheap but when you want to have some great time even when your in a bad mood, try this... Read more bike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Read all 12 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £9,645
Used price £4,600 to £8,200
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £81
Annual service cost £210
Performance
Max power 115 bhp
Max torque 71 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.03 secs
Average fuel consumption 48 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 999cc
Engine type 8 valve, 75 degree V-twin
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 855mm
Bike weight 196kg
Front suspension Fully adjustable
Rear suspension Fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 305mm discs
Rear brake 240mm single disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17in
Rear tyre size 180/55 17in

History & Versions

Model history

2009 – 990 SMT launched as new model

Other versions

None

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