KTM announced the return of its 690 SMC R Supermoto machine in 2019 at this year’s EICMA show, complete with the latest LC4 engine, revised chassis and a new suite of electronic rider aids.
The 690cc single powering all the fun produces 74 horsepower and 54 pound-feet of torque and is designed to provide an immediate kick right off idle. This is helped by a Ride-by-Wire system which ensures a crisp and responsive throttle. There’s lightweight components used throughout and twin balancer shafts to smooth vibration. The six-speed gearbox will be more accessible than ever thanks to the addition of a Quickshifter plus system, allowing clutchless up and down shifts. And to keep your back tire from hopping when you’re dropping gears fast, KTM again includes its Power Assist Slipper clutch.
Chassis updates make for better bump absorption and stopping power. The main frame remains a chrome-moly steel tube design, and the subframe continues to use the fuel tank (which has a slightly larger capacity at 3.56 gallons) as a primary structural piece. This package floats on the most up-to-date WP APEX suspension though, a split fork designed 48mm unit at the front with compression and rebound damping adjustments available at the dials on the top of the fork tubes. The shock is also WP APEX, connected to the swingarm via linkage, and is fully adjustable.
Brembo calipers grip 320mm and 240mm wave discs, front and rear, to bring the SMC R to a stop. There are 17 inch spoke wheels front and back wrapped in Bridgestone S21 tires.
KTM has also slimmed down the package in total, with a new handlebar, footpegs, and a lower seat height.
Controlling the output of the SMC R are a number of new and updated rider aids. Two selectable ride modes will be available: Street and Sport. Street mode gives a more subdued throttle response and engages the new Motorcycle Traction Control system more noticeably, particularly in the corners. Sport mode gives a more aggressive throttle and reduces the traction control settings, removing cornering sensitivity. The traction control system is a lean-angle sensitive unit that intervenes when it senses wheel spin going haywire. If you like living on the edge though, the system can be shut off.
There’s also the aforementioned Quickshifter plus, along with KTM’s Cornering ABS. There’s also a Supermoto ABS mode to choose, which turns ABS off completely at the rear wheel and disables cornering ABS at the front. And finally, you’ll get a new Motor Slip Regulation system to help smooth out engine braking.
Keep your eyes peeled for pricing details and availability.