KTM 990 SUPERMOTO TOURING (2009 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£240|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||8 valve, 75 degree V-twin|
|Frame type||Steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||19 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||48 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£240|
|Used price||£4,300 - £5,200|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||115 bhp|
|Max torque||71 ft-lb|
|Top speed||140 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11.03 secs|
|Tank range||150 miles|
Model history & versions
2009 – 990 SMT launched as new model
Owners' reviews for the KTM 990 SUPERMOTO TOURING (2009 - on)
16 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£240|
The quality of components is first class, from the fully adjustable WP suspension to the Akropovic exhaust, Marchesini wheels and Brembo brakes. The torque of the engine unit is exhilarating and the comparative lightness of the bike leads to flickable cornering and an overall “I want more” feeling every time I ride the bike. The slow speed slight unevenness of the engine, that disappears completely when you get above 3k revs, only adds character to the bike, as far as I’m concerned (something very few bikes have nowadays). I’d certainly recommend it to any friend. It’s comfortable and very capable, even on long journeys and European tours, with fully laden KTM luggage.
It’s a brilliant all-round bike. Comfortable for >400 miles a day with only breaks for fuel and food, with no aches and pains at the end of the day. The brakes give confidence - the name says it all.
Slow running unevenness adds character
I’ve owned it from new and never had a problem.
KTM luggage is voluminous, robust and simple to attach to and remove from the bike, including the mounting brackets - just a quarter turn at each point and the supplied key to lock on.
Buying experience: First class info and help from the KTM dealer.
Annual servicing cost: £250
Handling, light weight, comfort, May be a little tall for some & tank range max 150 miles
Standard suspension settings slightly over sprung & under damped for my 70 Kg, once adjusted big improvement, all the brake you could ever want
Very flat torque curve which makes a great road bike, 113 HP & 67 Ft/lb measured,
No major criticism, does most things very well, handles superbly once suspension set up, powerful brakes with lots of feel, all day comfort, excellent build quality.
Just had major service approx £550 minor service half that, not cheap.
Does have ABS but equipment typical of KTM of that era, sparse.
Buying experience: Part from quite expensive servicing no complaints over 20,000 miles, I keep looking at new bikes but still haven’t seen anything that offers the same combination of performance, light weight & all day comfort & looks
Annual servicing cost: £300
A do-it-all bike with character. The motor is flexible, punchy and will get you anywhere you want to go as slow or as fast as you want. The seat is comfortable for all day riding, the upright position is natural and with a screen and hand guards you have adequate wind protection. Excellent brakes and fully adjustable WP suspension mean you can fine tune the bike to your needs. Get a remap done to smooth out the snatchy throttle; soften up the suspension and you will have a bike that you feel totally connected with and confident in its handling. It really is a great 'do-it-all' bike.
The race spec Brembos are perfect. Get the suspension set up right for balance and this will help. I can ride this bike all day and it will easily do two-up touring if needed. The bike loves twisty A and B-roads where the torque delivery means you can easily control the speed and accelerate out of the corners with a big grin on your face.
I got my bike remapped at BSD Performance. I already had the secondary air system (SAS) removed, had serviced the bike and added a K&N panel filter plus a previous owner had fitted Wings cans. So after BSD did the remap and after I had softened up the suspension the bike was superb. Mark and Andy at BSD know their stuff and were bang on with their advise. The power is now delivered so smoothly that you'd think you were on a brand new 1090/1290.
The only corrosion I have seen is on the two little bolts where the rear hugger joins the frame but it brushes off easily and comes up as new. Other than that, build quality is very good. For a 2010, 19,500-mile bike my example is immaculate. It's not failed to start. Only just had the original chain and sprockets replaced.
A KTM main dealer will always charge maximum for the service. I would choose to service the bike myself and there are plenty of Youtube videos to help. Anything I couldn't do would go to an independent specialist. 10w50 or 10w60 fully synthetic oil is best on these bikes. Buy the genuine filters from KTM. Brake pads can easily be replaced/upgraded.
The SMT comes with decent spec brakes, suspension and wheels as standard plus the hand guards and screen. Heated grips are an optional extra, which thankfully a previous owner had fitted already. Plus there is the option of jazzing up the bike with KTM bling for that anodised orange look! Metzeler Roadtec tyres are great on this bike as fitted by a previous owner. I cut off the original pannier frames so that I could retain the exhaust mounts. I have the original KTM top box which is handy and so with a bag across the rear seat, back pack and tank bag, you could carry all you ever needed.
Buying experience: I bought my bike used from an independent dealer that is local to me. I actually traded in a KTM 1090 Adventure for it as I wanted a smaller KTM V-Twin and a bit of cash my way. I got a great deal and so snapped the bike up.
Comfortable, quick enough and great suspension. The V twin engine is very 'agricultural' and feels unrefined, especially if you are used to an inline 4. The main problem was the snatchy throttle response. It makes smooth riding very difficult, and it is very hard to get into a rhythm on the twisties. The engine braking is excessive and you get full torque as soon as you touch the throttle. I tried everything to sort it, removed all emissions controls, fitted decat exhausts, paid over £300.00 for a remap but the problem could not be solved. I did over 4000 miles in 9 months but try as I may I could not get on with it. A great bike ruined by ridiculously sensitive throttle response.
Annual servicing cost: £300
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 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.
Brembos are awesome. WP suspension is good too!
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.
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!
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.
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!
Annual servicing cost: £230
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 parts (some!)
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
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
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!
Cost of fuel is the main problem here - it is too thirsty for the level of enjoyment
Buying experience: From a dealer so expensive but convenient
Annual servicing cost: £100
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 couch - big and soft. If you like sharp edges and aren't still believing in the 500lb "enduro" concept pick one of these up
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
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
Very good build, no problems except gauges leaked - replaced under warranty
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 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.
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...
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 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.
'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 fun, easy wheelies, and handles like its on rails. Three bikes in the garage but I always end up taking this one out.
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 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.
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 bike.
I've only had mine 3 weeks but my previous bikes were the amazing 950 Adventure and then the RC8. This bike is a combination of the two. The comfort of the Adventure with the speed and handling of the RC8. Capable of going places the RC8 would never get to - the middle of Dartmoor through the lanes for instance - with less buffetting than the Adventure and a huge smile on my face. Yes, it doesn't come with a full load of extras but I didn't want that. I wanted a bike to play on but that would take me to the Alps 'at the drop of a hat'! One amazing motorbike. I honestly think the SM-T will be the bench mark by which all other bikes that are considered as long distance, fun, machines will be judged. My only gripe at the moment is the rain spoiling my fun. Well done to KTM!
Took a test ride of the SMT - made my R1200GS feel like a barge - very torquey engine but wind blast seemed to lighten the front end up above 100 mph - nimble, quick but poorly equipped. Never worth the 10k they want for it - will be keeping my BM.