Inside the new KTM 890 SMT

Another bike has been resurrected from the ashes for 2023, and this time, the phoenix takes the form of the KTM 890 SMT.

Combining Supermoto performance and adding long-distance touring comfort, the SMT first appeared using KTM’s 990 platform and proved an underground hit, developing a cult following of fans who appreciated that the bike was actually far more practical than it appears on paper.

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However, the 990 SMT was discontinued in 2013, and KTM’s Supermoto touring ambitions were cast adrift for a decade.

But anticipation for a new SMT grew over the last few years as rumours began to circulate, spy shots were captured, and finally, the 890 SMT was announced at the start of this year.

So, has KTM managed to recapture that sweet spot of ballsy tarmac performance wrapped up in a genuinely comfortable tourer? Read on to discover the brand-new 890 SMT.

The KTM 890 platform

Read our review of the KTM 890 Adventure here

For the new 890 SMT, KMT has essentially taken the 890 Adventure and discarded the off-road capabilities, replaced the wheels with 17-inch rims front and back, streamlined the fairings, and swapped the suspension out, all in the name of better (and more fun) road performance.

After all, many adventure bikes never leave the tarmac, so by taking the comfort, stance, and touring abilities of the 890 Adventure and making it even more suited for on-road jaunts, the SMT looks to be far more than just a gimmick.

The SMT borrows the LC8 engine found in the 890 Adventure and 890 Duke, but has retuned the 889cc parallel-twin motor to make it more aggressive. KTM claims that it produces 103.6bhp at 8,000rpm, which is more than enough poke to get your Supermoto kicks and liven up your daily commute while also providing plenty of leg for relaxed touring.

The 17-inch wheels front and back are shod with sticky Michelin PowerGP tyres, and the WP Apex suspension provides 180mm of travel at both ends.

The bike weighs in at 206kg wet, right between the Duke (188kg) and the Adventure (215kg), which is a nice spot to reach for the class, and the 15.8l fuel tank is claimed to be good for 213 miles.

Comfort and rider aids

Like most of KTM’s current lineup, the SMT features a host of electronic rider aids, along with many more that can be optionally purchased. Included as standard is cornering ABS, traction control, Supermoto ABR to lock the rear wheel, and rider modes including Street, Rain, and Sport.

The bike also features KTM’s ‘Demo Mode’, which allows you to test all of the optional technology for the first 1,500km of owning the bike. This includes cruise control, up/down quickshifter, and a ‘track pack’ which gives you a track riding mode along with engine map selection and nine-stage traction control spin adjustment.

The bike has a 860mm seat height and revised ergonomics from the 890 Adventure. While the tail and headlight are shared with the Adventure, a slimmer tank and new plastics around the rest of the bike give it a sleeker profile.

The low screen provides some wind protection, although it’s not nearly as large as it is on the 890 Adventure, and there’s a set of plastic or aluminium hard luggage available as optional accessories for your touring and commuting needs.

Is it SMThing for you?

If you’re looking to really put the sports in your sports-tourer, then the SMT is worth a look.

With rivals such as the Yamaha Tracer 9, the Ducati Hypermotard 950, and the BMW F 900 XR, the 890 SMT certainly provides a point of difference, and will gladly turn either a commute or a tour into blistering fun.

But is it worth sacrificing the go-anywhere ability of the 890 Adventure so you can pop wheelies around mountain passes all day? That’s a question that will have to be answered at a later time, once we’ve ridden the SMT.

The new KTM 890 SMT will arrive in dealerships from mid-May at a price of £12,499. Head to KTM’s website here to find out more.