– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

KTM Introduces 890 SMT (But Not For U.S. Market This Year)

The last line in the following press release brings disappointment to North American riders. The exciting new KTM 890 SMT will be available this month in Europe and other markets … but not in the U.S.

Featuring the fantastic 889cc parallel twin found in several other KTM models, and here tuned for 105 horsepower, the new SMT looks like a great combination of fun and comfort.

Here is the press release:

Sharper, sleeker, sportier. Take a touch of touring, a pinch of unbeatable tarmac performance and a large vivid spice of Supermoto legacy and serve with speed: KTM is delighted to reintroduce the KTM SMT back to the table. No compromises and no catches. This regeneration of a KTM icon will sweep all highway traffic aside.

Imagine the ultimate Supermoto ‘play weapon’ but also a bike that boasts a number of technical features and additions necessary for extended touring capabilities: you can attack the hill but also know that the bike will take you much further. 

Essential information:

  • KTM 890 SMT back in the spotlight with re-tuned KTM 890 LC8c platform and developed to hit marks at the top of the Supermoto touring segment for power/torque-to-weight ratio.
  • A street focused chassis, adjustable suspension, premium tires and brakes, and other components elevate this purposeful model between KTM ADVENTURE and KTM STREET product ranges. The perfect foil for hill passes but then the road that lies thereafter.
  • The 2023 KTM 890 SMT is relaunched with fanfare and pulsating ‘hill climb’ concept in the hands of former AMA Superbike and Supermoto racer Chris Fillmore.

The only way is up. The racing skills of former AMA Superbike and Supermoto ace Chris Fillmore were an apt conduit to display the potential and the limits of the reimagined KTM 890 SMT. The American, and Pikes Peak winner, throttled the Supermoto-tourer along a Sardinian Mountain climb to show petrol heads and the motorcycle industry what they had been missing – and what they had been waiting for.

Fillmore gassed the super-torquey 889cc LC8c parallel twin and counted on 105 hp at 8,000 rpm. The engine is the same platform behind the enviable stats and output of the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R model and variations: with a 20% increase in rotating mass over the KTM 790 platform, providing stability and reassurance through corners, the knock control and 46 mm dual Dell’Orto throttle bodies guaranteeing optimum momentum while the fuel consumption from the 15.8 liter tank is fantastically low at 4.6 liters/100 km. The KTM 890 SMT is just as happy pushed through low revs as pinned in higher gears, in fact Fillmore used the full range of the KTM 790 DUKE’s motor to ace his second Pikes Peak hill climb record in Colorado.

The tank itself plays a forceful role in the ergonomics and has been slimmed and designed specifically for the KTM 890 SMT. The form of the tank slides the rider even further ‘into’ the bike with a wide and comfy contact patch but still compact enough for free and flowing movement (aided by the single piece Supermoto shaped seat at 860 mm height). The aero-optimized smoked windshield is placed just above the double fender concept with a low splash guard on the fork legs. Cruise or attack?

Chassis-wise the KTM 890 SMT has a CroMo steel frame with a tighter geometry that apes the KTM ADVENTUREs. The structure is typically light and superbly agile on the move but also ensures fierce stability the faster a rider pushes. The shock absorber is angled further to reduce the seat height and accommodate the longer swingarm, contributing to a forwardly inclined rider position as well as straight stability.

Feeling the KTM 890 SMT on the go is a prime experience: agile, flighty and responsive. The WP APEX suspension (43 mm open cartridge upside-down forks at 180 mm of travel and same for the shock) is fully adjustable and complements the 17” wheels. The Michelin PowerGP tires supply more than enough stick for the slickest tarmac and have been especially selected for their specs and appropriateness for the KTM 890 SMT’s demands. The state of the art 5” TFT dashboard is made from optically bonded mineral glass and is scratch and glare resistant and fully customizable while divulging the easy-to-use infographic menu system for setup preferences.

The bike can be molded even further. The three standard ride modes (RAIN, STREET, SPORT) can be expanded by an optional TRACK setting that permits the rider to toggle different amounts of throttle modes and traction control through 10 levels. Cornering Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) is an important safety feature sensitive to the bikes’ pitch and behavior at lean. Try six different handlebar positions with a 30 mm range. The whole show can slide and be wrenched to a halt with potent brakes, with four piston calipers spinning a 320 mm front disc and 260 mm double piston calipers on the rear. Putting this stopping power into action employs Cornering ABS and Supermoto ABS; placing both technically advanced provisions into the mix for an excellent safety profile.

More add-ons include heated grips and the chance to add Motor Slip Regulation (MSR, ideal for better control in low grip situations and for fast downshifts) to the software package. QUICKSHIFTER+ and Cruise Control are optional and ready to go with a simple activation process. Good connectivity with the bike means full access to navigation possibilities, and the advantages of the KTMconnect App include (roadside assistance, owner manuals, digital service booklet for service and maintenance).

It would be very ‘backmarker-ish’ not to mention the looks. The KTM 890 SMT says a lot with its Supermoto tourer style, from the wheels to the sporty graphics. The SMT cuts a sharp profile and will be impossible to miss and harder to outgun on the road. As ever, don’t forget the encompassing collection of KTM PowerParts (accessories and TRACK and TECH Packs) and KTM PowerWear to look the part on the hill, the highway or any hike to KTM 890 SMT happiness.

2023 KTM 890 SMT Highlights

// KTM 890 LC8c reworked for special sport touring emphasis and the next generation of the KTM 890 SMT thanks to 100 Nm of Torque and 105 hp with unbeatable power delivery
// A chassis ideal for the perfect Supermoto-tourer that achieves the desirable pitch between aggression and chilled cruising with a sportier feel
// Frame, engine, wheels, WP APEX suspension all tweaked for lithe performance
// Blast the gradient of any hill climb with Cornering MTC, Cornering ABS and Supermoto ABS all applicable thanks to premium bike behavior functionality. More customization possible with adjustable Suspension and TRACK mode options
// Performance with function: get excited by the tech specs and then revel in the touring aspect of the bike with elements such as the 5” advanced TFT dashboard, Michelin PowerGP tires and optional QUICKSHIFTER+ and Cruise Control among other add-ons
// LED lights, eye-catching styling, 17” wheels and KTM 890 SMT spirit from the first throttle roll

Beat a path to any authorized KTM dealer from April 2023 to order or lay your gloves on the KTM 890 SMT.

The KTM 890 SMT will not be available in North America for model year 2023.


  1. squi2612 says:

    This article says it’s not available in North America for 2023. That’s incorrect. It’s available in Canada right now

  2. Artem says:

    As it was said – “Butt ugly”

  3. TimC says:

    I gotta say, at least it’s nice when there’s a bike report where I’d never in a million years buy the thing unless everything else was electric…

  4. todd says:

    Or, it’s just a less comfortable Duke. Maybe US buyers would see through the marketing drivel.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      More confortable, if the road is tight and bumpy.

      As more and more roads trend that way, 150-190mm travel is becoming the new optimum for street bikes. While it was too wallowy for track duty, and awkward for “hooliganism,” the near bottomless rear travel, was a real standout on the original Superduke. The latest one is more track focused, but the GT still retains the original layout. This one, is bound to be even better across bumpy, barely paved backroads.

      Versys’ and Vstroms, are also in that range of travel, and are really nice on what is unfortunately more and more becoming “real world” roads. Not full “Adventure” bikes; but still more “well travelled” than most nakeds and sportbikes.

      • todd says:

        If you’ve ever spent any time on a KTM dirt bike and the lumber that they call a seat, you’d know what I’m talking about. My 690 Duke has a comfortable seat with comfortable bars and plenty of suspension travel for bumpy roads. It’s a bit more comfortable to ride around on all day compared to the 690 SMC even though that bike has longer travel.

  5. Mick says:

    I get a kick out of the guys here who complain about supermoto fenders on supermoto bikes. Get the memo. A supermoto bike has a supermoto fender. It’s part of the deal.

    What I don’t get is the giant headlight structure. What’s up with that? If it’s any larger than an old school headlight, it’s way too big. It will be forever thus. Go ahead and post that up all over the styling department.

    Then there all this touring business mixed in with all the syrup in the sales blurb. Tired of all the touring bikes in Jeep drag now days? How about a touring bike in supermoto drag? We won’t say adventure. But we will mention a very conveniently named sibling a few times.

    I have three street bikes. All three are either full on supermoto or definitely on the supermoto spectrum. This bike should appeal to me in some way. But it seems like they really pulled out all the stops in making a supermoto that I’m not going to like. It starts deep inside with a ride by wire throttle. Then it builds from there with the gas tanks. Don’t forget the science fiction B movie prop headlight, structure, thing…wow. Then top it all off with that awful blue color they dredge up whenever they make something that I should like but they want me to avoid. And white fenders? Too many beers at lunch?

    Whatever. Carry on.

    • paquo says:

      The 990 smt had a low fender. It was my impression that the T in smt stood for travel, not testosterone like a red bull poster on some teen age deliquent’s wall

    • Dave says:

      Super-moto bikes have dirt bike fenders because they’re dirt bikes with street wheels and tires. This was never a dirt bike and it even has most of a street bike fender on it. This is just a juvenile styling exercise, much like putting “RAPTOR” or “VENOM” on a utility truck, or an RV.

      Would things really stop selling if they just looked however they did after being designed to function properly for their intended use case?

      • Mick says:

        Sorry Dave.

        I just happen to be one of the guys who has been building supermotos for decades. Supermoto fenders used to be hard to find and were faked at times.

        This whole “juvenile styling” thing is old enough to have graduated college and have had new little supermoto rider of hs own by now.

        I get it. You don’t like it. But history and objective fact are things that about half of the population still deals with.

        A supermoto fender is part of a supermoto bike. Ride something else if you don’t like it.

        • Dave says:

          But is there really such a thing as a “supermoto” fender? They’re just the fenders that the dirt bikes the supermoto bikes are made from. They’ve been rendered no longer functional by removing the bike from the environment where it once provided benefit.

          Applying this aesthetic to a street bike that in no way originated as a dirt bike is the very definition of a “styling exercise” The fender serves no purpose other than to evoke the styling of a bike that it was never related ot in the first place.

          • Motoman says:

            Your wasting your time Dave. No use in employing logic with Mick.

          • Mick says:

            Supermoto front fenders are shorter than regular dirt bike fenders. KTM does sell a street bike fender for this bike as an accessory. Some print articles show a bike so equipped. I think it makes the headlight, structure, thing look even more ridiculous.

            If you are marketing a bike as a supermoto and putting a street bike front fender on it. You’re making a really silly looking supermoto. So just call it a Multistrada or some other name that’s not taken.

            And logic? Isn’t it logical to have a supermoto fender on a supermoto? Isn’t it bad enough that they saddle this poor bike with that super overblown headlight thing? Oh no! It needs some unsprung ballast on the front wheel too. Stop Making Sense is movie featuring The Talking Heads. It’s not supposed to be a lifestyle choice.

  6. Dave says:

    Seems like they could’ve just put his seat and subframe on the Duke 890 and saved a model. I’d bet my very life that nobody interested in the Duke 890 would turn away from it because the seat and tail section wasn’t “small enough”.

  7. paquo says:

    i’m sure it rides well, but it looks a bit off, maybe the dirt bike fender, trying too hard

    • Tom K. says:

      The big white thing mounted just below the cowl is a transbeak, variations of which seem to be all the rage these days. Note the cisfender keeping puddles off the rider’s legs to the rear of the front tire. Personally, I miss the Talking Frogs.

      • dt 175 says:

        Superb! your throttle control is only exceeded by your neologism control.

        • Tom K. says:

          My first Manager had a clipping under the glass on his desk that said, “Tact is the art of telling someone to go jump in a lake in such a way that they look forward to the swim.”

  8. Jim says:

    Something doesn’t look right. Is this a Chinese copy of the 990SMT?

  9. Stuki Moi says:

    I bet this sucker will be one fast mount, on tight, real world mountain roads……

  10. Tommy D says:

    This is what I expect from Harley Davidson. Look a new model, we took the wheels from one bike and put them on this bike and use a junior marketing person to come up with the press release. Super Moto Touring is reborn. I think I would like to see this motor in a sport bike chassis and look like a KTM Moto3 replica. By the time they come out with this sport bike I will be too old to ride it.

  11. joe b says:

    With many other manufacturers also coming out with big vertical twins, all with 270° cranks, hopefully soon, one of the big magazines will have a ‘shootout’, with them all. The Suzuki GSX-8S was just released, and the new Honda Hornet is just around the corner. With BMW also having a similar 270° big twin, this mid bike/big bike big twin range of models is all very interesting. How each manufacturer solves the shaking, exactly how the balancer shafts are arranged, driven, and just where do you put the water pump, and just how goofy they make the muffler and styling, is all up in the air. Such an interesting catagory of bike, I would compare to my Honda CB1000R naked, although it does have inline 4 engine, while all these new models have a vertical twin with 270° cranks.

  12. FreddyJ says:

    I was really excited about the this SMT when it was announced, but I don’t quite understand the dirt bike front fender look on what seems to be a street-only touring bike. At least it doesn’t have a hideous beak like the Multistrada. Regardless of looks, I’m sure it will be a lot of fun for both the street and occasional day.

  13. Tom R says:

    Closed course with a professional rider, I assume…

    “20% increase in rotating mass”. Does a piston “rotate”?

    • blitz11 says:

      The piston reflects inertia back to the crank, so it doesn’t have to rotate to increase “rotating mass.”

    • Dave says:

      Heavier crank, pistons & rods + balance shafts to offset them? I dunno. Could be heavier flywheel on top of that. 20% mass increase sounds like a lot for a ~10% increase in displacement.

    • Tom R says:

      If my wife complains again about my own 20% increase in rotating mass since we got married, I will have her read this press release.

    • Mick says:

      It used to be a very common practice for woods riders who build their woods rigs from motocross bikes to add flywheel weights to their bikes. I even tried it once. I didn’t like it. I might still have a Yamaha heavy flywheel for a YZ250 laying around somewhere.

      Yamaha sold one as an accessory. Theirs was kind of neat in that it was a replacement flywheel that had all the added weight around the outside. So it made better use of less weight than the typical aftermarket practice of selling you what was basically a heavy round plate that attached to the end of the flywheel.

      Why they would add flywheel mass to this bike I don’t know. Unless you really wanted to supermoto the thing and found that it spins up way too easily on the dirt section of the track. But really, if you aren’t racing other bikes just like it. Riding this bike in a supermoto race would be called losing. The tracks are too tight for the power to do you any good and you would be racing against bikes that literally weigh hundreds of pounds less. Maybe KTM has a test rider that backs it in and hacks it out of corners and found that the hack was easier to control with a heavy flywheel. If that hill climb rewarded a lot of sliding around tight corners I suppose the setup might be useful. I don’t see that happening with the average street bike rider. Most of those guys don’t slide anything anywhere.

      I have a dirt bike down in the shed set up for supermoto right now. It sort of goes from ice bike to supermoto and back with the season. Back when we had a season called winter where the lake froze. We haven’t had safe ice for a decent length of time for three years.

    • Motoman says:

      “Does a piston “rotate”?” Uh… does someone want to tell him.

      No a piston doesn’t rotate, but the crankshaft that the piston rod is attached to does. Also, anything attached to the crankshaft adds to its rotating mass. Plus they could add a flywheel weight as mentioned below among other things.

      • Stinkywheels says:

        As I get older I appreciate the right rotating mass, sometimes. I traded a Duc Hyper 1100 away because it needed some flywheel. I’ve a another Duc Monster FBF motor that could use some flywheel effect. I ride my DR650 more than my KTM 300. 890 seems like a nice take on the old 990 SMT I lusted for a few years ago.

wordscape cheatgun mayhem 2 unblocked games