KTM 990 SUPERMOTO (2005-2013) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"A big capacity V-twin bad boy that can shake its tail at sportsbikes in the twisties"

KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Riding

"A big capacity V-twin bad boy that can shake its tail at sportsbikes in the twisties"

  • At a glance
  • 942cc  -  96 bhp
  • 42 mpg  -  150 miles range
  • Insurance group: 15 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • High seat height (885mm)

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

With the KTM 950 Supermoto finally someone delivers on the supermoto promise, combining the agility, low-down woof and rugged can-do with mile-after-mile reliability, comfort and higher speeds of a top-quality road bike. It’s a big capacity V-twin bad boy that, finally, really can shake its tail at sportsbikes in the twisties.

 

Watch the KTM 990 Supermoto take on the Ducati Hypermotard and the BMW Megamoto

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The KTM 950 Supermoto's high-spec WP suspension is fully adjustable fore and aft, with the added benefit of high/low speed compression damping to let you fine tune the ride quality to the Nth degree. The motor’s smooth, the radial brakes faultless and the quality of cornering straight out of the top drawer.

Engine 4 out of 5

The KTM 950 Supermoto's DOHC, 75-degree V-twin is the same carb-fed motor that powers KTM’s own 950 Adventure giant traillie so perfectly. It’s smooth, hoikes easy wheelies and will rattle on to a top speed on the indecent side of 130mph. There’s stomp aplenty, making pulverising corners and overtakes like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Updated to 990cc in 2007.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

The KTMm 950 Supermoto's componentry quality is excellent; WP suspension, Magura bars and Brembo brakes. Thanks to KTM’s long involvement in off-roading the motor’s super-reliable, replacement plastics are cheap and the finish isn’t dimmed by the rough and tumble of day-to-day riding in Britain.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

New or used the KTM 950 Supermoto represents good value for money. KTM’s brand represents high quality and the market reflects that with slow-to-sink residuals. As a flexible, feel-good option there’s little to touch it, especially if you’re tired of cramped sportsbikes. Think of it as a BMW GS with balls and you’re almost there. Find a KTM 950 Supermoto for sale or KTM 990 Supermoto for sale.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

KTM’s ‘Hard Parts’ catalogue will help you dress your 950 Supermoto with everything from carbon wheels to carbon-fibre cans (if your pockets are deep enough). Somewhat surprisingly the clocks come without a rev counter.

Owners' Reviews

15 owners have reviewed their KTM 990 SUPERMOTO (2005-2013) 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 (2005-2013)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.7 out of 5
Engine 4.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.1 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
5 out of 5

Riding it for 7 years and counting

09 April 2018 by Sean

Best features, easy to ride, responsive throttle for when you need it, comfy over long rides. Worst, can't think of anything I don't like (except parts costs) Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Brakes have saved my A** multiple times from idiots pulling out. Ride quality I did a 1200 km trip over rough NZ roads in 10 hours and only in the last hour was my ass getting sore but that's only because the roads became straight. Cruises nicely at 140kmph (illegal I know)
Engine
5 out of 5
Has the power to get up and go when needed, have rarely ever had throttle fully open except down highways testing the top speed
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Have been riding my one for 82000 kms, (51000 miles) and have been average on servicing. Stripped bike to clean carbs, replace spark plugs etc and looks as good as new inside. Slight Rust spots on suspension but it has had a hard life in NZ
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Hard to put a price on servicing, but when something breaks/needs doing my wallet cries, running costs vary and with New Zealand fuel expensive it can add up on a long journey
Equipment
4 out of 5
Haven't really had any accessories, here was a wind screen on the front but I didn't like it's look so removed it
Buying experience

Bought it off a family member who barely rode anymore, so scored it for only $7000 New Zealand dollars at low-ish kms

4 out of 5

KTM 990 SM All Year Round Report

13 November 2016 by Ade

Best features are the Great Brembo Brakes and the White Power suspension. Worst feature, Throttle response at low rev's, very Snatchy! Stearing head bearings always go at around 10000 to 12000 miles, rectifiers about the same time to (I have had... Read more the 950 to and its exactly the same, same problems like clockwork).

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Great for thrashing around on, fast and handles extremely well. Surprisingly good on the motorway to, due in part to the tall 6th gear.
Engine
4 out of 5
Fast and reliable, if you can ignore the rattly engine noises
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Paint work extremely durable, I use mine as a winter bike and its the most durable I have had in 30 years by far, if you can put up with the niggly breakdowns from the ancillary equipment, eg fuel injection sensors, rectifiers, head bearings.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Needs to be dealer serviced regularly, not a bike you can service at home unless you are very experienced and well equipped.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Accessory plugs in the headlamp fairing, very useful. Tyres, Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2.
Buying experience

Bought from KTM Birmingham October 2015, pleasant enough people, would buy off them again. Salesman told me not to come back if i had problems, I think he was joking?

4 out of 5

Surprising jack-of-all-trades with a race vengeance

13 October 2016 by Adrian von Grueningen

Replacement for a Honda VFR800F-2000, after a arthrodesis operation in the neck. After this I needed an "upright" bike, as the lean-forward ergonmics of the VFR didn't work for me anymore. Best at most everything I throw at it. Commuting or the... Read more race track, it's a walk in park. Worst is the fuel economy when commuting in-town.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Riding 70 % commuting, 20 % on short gocart race tracks and the rest on nice curvy roads to achieve that last bit of mental health renewing. The SMR can do it all. Surprisingly docile to ride while avoiding cars in-town. Even more surprising it handles long motorway hauls so good. Its performance on race tracks is sort of given... For my build at 170 cm, the bike ergonomics are just right. The saddle height might be a problem, but once you learn to step up on it using a foot-peg, and not to stop at red-lights on the middle higher hump, everthing's just dandy.
Engine
5 out of 5
Holy cow! Coming from three Honda VFR's I though I was going to miss that smooth gentleman-like V4. This V-twin is its exact opposite, some roughness but oh so sensitive on the throttle, and telling you exactly what it thinks of your driving slowly and carefully below 4000 rpm. Shift down, it roars and shows off what "ready to race" really means. This is a road legal, government approved vehicle? Somebody must've missed something here. Holy something or other...
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Compared to my former 690 Duke-2008, this SMR just works. Although I'm not looking forward to the bi-yearly bigger service... I just might end up learning to check and adjust valves myself. Doesn't shed parts and screws like the mentioned Duke either. It's got to be good!
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Commuting with a big, powerful V-twin in-town, is never going to be an economical way of living. I fill it up about once a week or approx every 100 km with high-octance fuel. So far the only service I've done is replacing engine oil and filters.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Well, it has a speedometer, a rev-counter and some info-lights. Oh, and some really slick radial brakes in front and suspension, from Brembo and White Power respectively. The equipment as a whole makes this a desirable bike IMO.
Buying experience

Privately bought, after having searched for and SMR with ABS for more than a year. SMR's with ABS are hard to find at affordable prices. When I found mine, I sprung at it like maniac. I had to have it.

4 out of 5

Exceptionally capable bike

01 September 2016 by James M

A most exciting bike to ride. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Excellent breaks- very capable and forgiving bike. Fast- good riding position. Exceptional at climbing hills/ steep roads.
Engine
4 out of 5
Suggest unless you know exactly what you are doing do not put oil in! Let the mechanics do this because if you get it wrong eg overfill the whole bike can go dramatically wrong.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Quality is excellent- reliability might be not as good.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
£300
Equipment
4 out of 5
Put a box on for trips away and commute- excellent!
4 out of 5

Bike for everyday use

07 February 2016 by Ade

I have had a 950 SM and loved it, had lots of little things going wrong all the time so sold it after 18 months and bought the 990, its the same as the 950 but with more power and better fuel consumption, looks like it has the same niggly problems to... Read more lol. But still love it. It does everything very well, I have a Ducati Diavel but prefer the KTM

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Seat a bit hard for touring but ok otherwise
Engine
5 out of 5
Motor is marvelous
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Exhaust gaskets need replacing regularly, head bearings go at 9500 miles. Uses a bit of oil so check it every 200 to 300 miles to be safe.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
I use my KTM 990sm as daily transport so service cost maybe higher than normal.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Brembo brakes and WP suspension
Buying experience

Bought 2nd hand from Birmingham KTM, So ok

5 out of 5

Crackers

30 July 2015 by D

Every time i jump on this bike, it never fails to put a ear to ear grin on my face. It's one of the only bikes ive been pissing myself laughing when im not in deep concentration through the corners. Has given me confidence I never knew I could have.... Read more Wheelies up to third if you cain it at around 5krpm. Haven't had top end, but dont really care, been having so much fun lower end in the twisties

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Can set up suspension to suit the individual so easily. this is the first bike ive got it to a tee. Helpfull instructions in manual and also used tips from this website
Engine
5 out of 5
Slipper clutch helps if your that concerned about speed on entry to corners
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No problems
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Goes through fuel and a bit of oil. Dont regret the extra cost though.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Superb
5 out of 5

A big daft puppy!

06 November 2013 by Anonymous

So glad I tried this bike! When I 1st got the bike a year ago it came with the standard front sprocket & I have to say I was underwhelmed given the reviews. However...dropped a tooth & bingo, what a transformation,it's now as eager to please as a big... Read more daft puppy & will chase around all day no matter what you throw at it. Having had a Fazer Thou beforehand I had some concerns about its ability to tour with any level of comfort so I hung onto the Fazer for a few months as I was off to Spain in the summer & the Fazer was a proven weapon for the job. Well one long weekend touring from SW Scotland down through Wales & back on the KTM saw the Fazer sold. Apart from the reduced fuel range 120-130 miles before the light came on as opposed to the Fazers 160 miles+ the Katoom was better in every way & I am a total KTM convert. I have now done around 5k on her with no issues at all. The only way this bike could possibly be bettered is with a bigger fuel tank & perhaps a bit of wind protection...enter the SMT but that's going to cost you another couple of thou & tbh my mate has one & it really is only down to the fuel range. The braking is obscene & stick on some JCE cans at a reasonable price (or get a 2nd hand one with Akro's already on & you have all the soundtrack you'll ever need. This machine will flatter your riding skills & you will find yourself pushing lean angles & corner speeds with ease. If you have the chance buy one, it's that simple.

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

awesome!

26 February 2010 by revant

what a bike, wasn't sure coming from a K5 GSXR1000 but this is better, it just gives you confidence. I had a Buell SS last year and its like riding that on steroids. I added a screen which made a huge difference to plus 70 riding. off to france on it... Read more this august... If you're not sure, buy one, you won't be disappointed.

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

The mutts!

18 February 2010 by tonkerwcc

This bike is mad mad mad. I ride it all over the UK and it is ok for about 150miles before you need to get off and walk. Mind you you will have re-fuelled by then. Took a 1200GS out for a test ride and only smiled when I got back on this mad machine.... Read more This bike makes you truely belive you are a biking god. Took me one day to get my elbow down and it stayed upright...with a push!

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
3 out of 5
-
2 out of 5

perfect allrounder?

10 December 2009 by PaulDutch

Hi,thinking of getting one,would they handle 2 up touring ok? and what mileage are the engines good for? if anyone knows....cheers...thanks... Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
-
Engine
2 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
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Read all 15 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued 2013
Original price £8,045
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £330
Performance
Max power 96 bhp
Max torque 67 ft-lb
Top speed 137 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.4 secs
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 942cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Chromoly trellis
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 885mm
Bike weight 189kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, high and low speed compression
Front brake Twin 305mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2005: KTM 950 Supermoto introduced.
2007: Updated with 990 engine.

Other versions

2006: Tricked up R version introduced.

Photo Gallery

  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Side view
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Instruments
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Side view
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Side view
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Engine
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Instruments
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Engine
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Rear view
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM 950 Supermoto motorcycle review - Riding
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