KTM has a reputation for making high quality dirt bikes. The 2009 KTM SMC is the Austrian motorcycle company’s only entry into the supermoto category. Since supermoto bikes have to be designed for a flat track, a motocross track, and a road track, the 2009 SMC is one of KTM’s most versatile bikes. Not only can the SMC compete in the difficult supermoto category, but it is street legal as well, so riders can enjoy this bike on weekend rides, and not just at the track.
The styling on the 2009 KTM SMC is distinctive. A compact bike, the SMC tries to merge the rugged look of a dirt bike with the smooth aggressiveness of a street sport bike. The SMC sports angular lines and sharp edges that give it an off-road look, while the exhaust pipe placed underneath the seat evokes sleek sport bike imagery. Overall, the design works well, as all the bike's components work together nicely. Finally, the color combination is classic KTM black and orange.
A 654cc fuel injected engine supplies the power for the KTM SMC. Generating 62 horsepower, this translates into a lot of power for a dirt bike that weighs only 305 pounds. Its 63 lb-ft of torque might not seem like a lot when compared to a car or even a supersport bike, but on a dirt bike, it’s an impressive amount of power. With such a great power to weight ratio, this bikes contains plenty of the juice required for supermoto events. The motor accelerates hard out of second and third gears, giving the rider a confidence that is limited only by experience and skill level. A six-speed manual gearbox creates smooth shifting for this chain driven motorcycle.
Handling is excellent on the KTM SMC, which befits a supermoto bike. Supermoto bikes have to be able to handle a wide range of road conditions, from smooth racetracks to off-road obstacles, and the 2009 SMC excels here. A 48mm WP upside down fork provides the suspension up front, while a WP monoshock with Pro Lever Linkage handles the rear. In the end, this amounts to a high quality suspension setup, but takes the rider a little time to get used to its eccentricities.
Stopping power on the 2009 KTM SMC is provided by top tier Brembo brakes that use a four-piston 320mm disc on the front wheel and a 240mm disc on the rear wheel. This setup is more than sufficient to properly slow and stop a bike as lightweight as the KTM SMC. Stopping power is superb on tar and hard-packed dirt, but riders should take care on loose surfaces like gravel, as the brakes are very responsive. Only one-finger braking is required for SMC riders on loose terrain.
Even though the seat is placed rather high, at 35 inches, the handlebars and foot pegs are positioned in a comfortable arrangement, which allows the rider maximum control over the bike. It’s important to remember this isn’t a touring bike, and the ergonomics are not designed for maximum comfort when riding hundreds of miles a day. The ergonomics are suited to a competitive supermoto bike, with the goal being maximum control over the bike over short, intense riding conditions.
Whether you are looking for a supermoto bike for competitive events, or just a fun motorcycle that can handle the bumpiest off-road conditions on fun weekend excursions, the 2009 KTM SMC has the power and edginess to be a great choice for riders.