Austrian bike manufacturer KTM has a reputation for building all kinds of quality motorbikes, from bikes suited for cross country to motocross to enduros. Their entry into the world of Supermoto bikes is the SMC, and the 2008 KTM SMC is really a well-built bike for enduro riding and racing. What’s important to note about the KTM SMC is that it was designed to be street legal, while retaining the characteristics of a performance racing bike. This directive has resulted in an interesting combination of power and versatility that makes this bike extremely appealing.
The 2008 KTM SMC 690 is completely new, with a better chassis, an improved engine, and an ergonomic design that makes it light enough to really fly down the road or track when it wants to. The design, which includes a self-supported rear fender fuel tank unit and perfectly positioned aluminum handlebars, is one that motorbike enthusiasts, and Supermoto fans especially, are going to really enjoy, as it provides great control even under varying and challenging conditions. One look at the KTM SMC and it’s hard not to want to jump on and find out what it’s made of on the spot.
Of course, it wouldn’t be much of an enduro bike if you couldn’t ride it for a while, and the low, well-cushioned seat makes long, bumpy rides as easy to take on as a quick jaunt down main street.
You’ll get a healthy 66 horses out of the 654cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine, and this motor gets up to speed fast and sounds great. Most motorbike fans agree that the KTM SMC 690 is equally at home on the track or on public roads, so if you’re not a competitive rider but still love a great bike, you will absolutely want to take this one for a spin.
The fact is, though, even if you weren’t a competitive rider when you bought the KTM SMC 690, you might become one by accident. As a performance bike that is also street legal, you’re likely to leave your fellow bike riders in the dust even without planning to. If you want your weekend bike buddies to be able to keep up with you, you might look for a bike that’s less performance oriented than the SMC. You’ll find that this bike responds almost instantly, and you may find yourself working through the first few gears of the six-speed transmission without even realizing it.
However, if you’re worried about surprising your peers/the competition, don’t be, because they’ll definitely see the SMC 690 coming. The classic orange and black paint job and generally aggressive styling throughout mark this bike as a force to be reckoned with, and with good reason. As far as driver positioning, the seat is mounted a bit high at 35.4 inches, but the handlebars and footpegs are quite well-positioned, so unless you’re a very tall rider you should have no problem at all getting comfortable.
There aren’t too many negatives with the KTM SMC 690. You may need a little bit of time to get a feel for the handling and suspension, but when you do, this bike may well feel like an extension of your own body. At an MSRP of $9000, the price tag may give one pause, but considering you’re getting all performance parts and design (without even having mentioned the precision Brembo disc brakes), it’s well worth it if you’re a serious motorbike enthusiast. You can look at other bikes, but if you test ride the 2008 KTM SMC 690, you may want to make sure you have your checkbook on hand.