Return of the SMT! KTM stamp their authority on supermoto touring with new 890 twin

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After endless spy shots and teaser trailers, the eagerly anticipated KTM 890 SMT is here – the first bike to bear the Supermoto Touring name since the V-twin 990 SMT of the late noughties.

Designed to provide a halfway house between long distance comfort and supermoto scratching, it tips the scales at 194kg and sits between the existing arsenal of 890 Dukes and 890 Adventures as a leggy corner carver, powered by the firm’s Euro5-compliant 889cc parallel-twin engine.

Versions of this LC8c motor can already be found in the aforementioned Duke and Adventure models, however KTM say the SMT has a fresh re-tune to match the more aggressive, abrupt nature of a modern-day motard.

Sliding the rear wheel on the 2023 KTM 890 SMT

We’ve been expecting the SMT for years – first spotting it in testing back in October 2021. Now here in the flesh, it looks set to go up against the likes of BMW’s F900XR, and MV Agusta’s Turismo Veloce.

Producing a claimed 103.6bhp at 8000rpm, the motor drinks from a 15.8-litre tank (4.2-litres smaller than the 890 Adventure) and benefits from a 20% increase in rotating mass over the firm’s smaller 799cc twin-cylinder 790 platform, said to provide greater stability and reassurance through corners.

KTM say that the bike is as happy to plod along at low revs as it is revving out at the top end of the tacho, with a claimed fuel economy of 51.1mpg returning a theoretical range of 179 miles.

Pulling a wheelie on the 2023 KTM 890 SMT

Housing the two-pot engine as a stressed member is the same steel main frame as the 890 adventure, with revised geometry befitting its cornering prowess. The angle of the shock absorber has been reduced to bring the seat height to 860mm and accommodate a new longer swingarm.

This longer arm comes in the name of straight line stability, with the bike providing more cantered forward riding position to help focus the rider into the snaking bends in front of them.

This frame work is shrouded by a set of plastics that sit somewhere between the 890 Adventure and 690 SMC R supermoto – with the new fuel tank designed to give a decent contact patch with the bike whilst also giving you enough room to get animated.

Parked on a road with the 2023 KTM 890 SMT

There’s also a single piece supermoto seat, as well as a small front fairing with smoked fly screen.

Back to the suspension and the £12,499 SMT gets 43mm WP Apex open cartridge upside-down forks adjustable for compression and rebound. There’s also 180mm of travel – the same level of movement as on the preload- and rebound-adjustable shock, and the bike rolls on 17in rims at the front and rear shod with Michelin PowerGP tyres.

KTM say this rubber choice is: “More than enough stick for the slickest tarmac and have been specially selected for their specs and to appropriately satisfy the KTM 890 SMT’s demands,” however the bike in the launch photos can occasionally be seen wearing a rear Pirelli Angel GT instead.

Cornering knee down on the 2023 KTM 890 SMT

Away from the tyres, four-piston calipers and 320mm front discs provide the stopping power, and it wouldn’t be a modern KTM without electronics.

There’s a five inch glare- and scratch-resistant colour TFT dash to help you toggle through the three Rain, Street, and Sport riding modes.

An optional Track mode also has 10 levels of traction control too, with lean sensitive ABS and traction control on hand to keep things shiny side up. But it doesn’t stop there, you can also adjust the handlebars to six different angles within a range of 30mm and add-ons like quickshifter and cruise control can be purchased as extras.

KTM 890 SMT spec and price:

  • Power: 103.6bhp @ 8000rpm
  • Torque: 73.8lb.ft @ 6500rpm
  • Engine: 889cc 8v parallel-twin
  • Seat height: 860mm
  • Price: £12,499
  • Available: May

Remembering the KTM 990 SMT

Cornering on the 2013 KTM 990 SMT

The 890 SMT might be new for 2023, but the SMT name has been around much longer. The last bike to wear the badge was the V-twin 990 SMT, which was launched for 2009 and featured a 999cc V-twin motor producing a claimed 115bhp.

Wrapped in a steel trellis chassis, with 19-litres of fuel on board, and a slightly lower seat height of 855mm, it shares the same basic recipe as the latest incarnation – rolling on 17in wheels as a halfway house between a sportsbike and comfy adventurer.

Whether this new version will live up to the original remains to be seen, with the 990 gaining something of a cult following, and later examples now available for less than £6000.

SMT-ing for the weekend? New KTM 890 Adventure-based supermoto spied testing

First published 08 February 2023 by Stuart Prestidge

KTM 890 SMT spy shot right side on the road

KTM look set to reveal a replacement for the much missed 990 SMT of the late noughties – with spy shots emerging of a new road-biased version of a KTM 890 Adventure, complete with a sporty 17in front wheel.

The Austrian firm appear to have been developing the long-distance version of a supermoto machine for the past three years, with the first images coming to light in October 2021.

These latest shots show some styling changes to the front fairing and headlight unit, making the test mule appear more like the former V-twin 990 SMT, with a wraparound screen taken straight from the KTM 890 Adventure R model.

KTM 890 SMT spy shot left side

The front wheel has dropped from the standard 21in down to 17in, providing plenty of options for road orientated performance tyres, with the new spy shots showing less grooving than the rubber on test in the 2021 pictures.

The SMT looks to be powered by the same ever-popular parallel twin as found in the 890 Adventure models but loses the lower fairing and engine protection due to its strictly road bias.

This will be housed in the same steel trellis frame with the exhaust running under the engine and up through the rear swingarm to a larger right-side mounted end can with a small heat shield.

KTM 890 SMT spy shot front

Suspension duties will continue to come from WP (both brands are owned by the same parent company) with the manually adjustable, upside-down Apex forks looking similar to the 43mm units found on a number of other models.

Expect a shorter range of travel than the Adventure though, keeping the SMT’s weight closer to the road and the steering more direct.

Braking is taken care of by a twin disc setup on the front that takes up a considerable amount of the wheel’s diameter, while a single disc can be found on the rear.

KTM 890 SMT spy shot on the road

A new tank holds the fuel higher on the bike than on the standard 890 Adventure with a more angular design than the 20-litre design found on that machine.

Elsewhere, a TFT dash can be seen providing rider information and looks to be the full colour unit already found on other 890 models.

KTM 890 SMT spyshots in detail

  • Juice holder: The new-look tank appears larger with a more angular shape than the 20-litre one found on the Adventure and should offer decent range.
  • Weight loss: The removal of the heavy-duty engine/oil sump protector and fairing around the engine should help cut overall weight.
  • Face lift: The headlight and dash cowling has been streamlined into the minimal fairing and is a distinct change from the first spy shots MCN published in 2021.
  • Heart of the beast: The 890cc parallel twin makes around 100bhp and 74lb.ft of torque and was described by MCN chief road tester, Michael Neeves, as “a cracker.”

Spyshots: KTM 890 goes SuperMoto – is this a new SMT?

First published 15 October 2021 by Jordan Gibbons

KTM 890 SMT? It's possible... image credit BMH Images

New spyshots have emerged that show KTM working on another model in their 890 family. Beginning life as the 790, the 890 models appeared last year as a natural evolution incorporating the Duke and two versions of the Adventure (S and R). 

Now KTM appears to be working on something to bridge the gap between the two models, perhaps going after the slightly more upright sporty middleweight market spearheaded by the likes of the Tracer 9 and F900XR

KTM could have gone two ways with this model – they could have bulked up the Duke, or slimmed down the Adventure and a slimmed down Adventure appears to be the way they’ve gone.

The chassis is clearly from the 890 Adventure, as is the headlight unit and subframe. Interestingly they’ve ditched the large saddle tanks in favour of a single tank perched over the top of the engine, along with some new plastics to match. This will lose some of the weather protection of the adventure machine although will presumably strip a few kilos.  

This could be a KTM 890 SMT supermoto

What KTM then appear to have done is fit the wheels, tyres, brakes and suspension units from the Duke. The biggest change in the handling will come from the swap over to 17″ wheels from the 21/19″ of the Adv models. As well as lowering the bike, noticeably more so at the front, the 17″ wheels will be lighter improving the handling and speed of direction changes.

The suspension off the Duke is also shorter travel, again lowering the bike, but chances are the innards have been altered to suit the riding style more. Brakes from the Duke should also provide an improvement in stopping power, especially with some weight loss. 

The rest of the bike, including the engine and transmission, are likely unchanged, so we’d expect the new 890 to produce similar power figures around 100bhp as well as coming with top level tech such as cornering ABS, wheelie control, bi-directional quick shifter, cruise control and lean-sensitive traction control. 

The big question comes down to one letter: C or T. KTM used to produce the 990 SMT, which was a Supermoto powered by the 990 Adv engine, with a comfy seat, some wind protection and the ability to take small panniers.

It was KTM’s sports tourer before the Super Duke GT turned up but a smaller capacity upright sporty machine is what’s missing from KTM’s range. However they could well throw caution to the wind, go all KTM and turn it into a peg stretching SMC in a similar vein to the Ducati Hypermotard. Watch this space…

Watch MCN’s 2013 KTM 990 SMT group test video below: