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

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

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Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.