As covered in our 2019 First Look, the KTM 690 SMC R made its welcome return last year after a stint of being replaced by the KTM-owned Husqvarna 701 Supermoto. This upright machine is known to tear up asphalt in rear-end hacking slides, while delivering a serious smile in almost every riding scenario.
This supermoto machine returns again for 2020 powered by the latest-gen LC4 engine that delivers a claimed 74 hp. For extra rigidity and precision, even the 3.6-gallon fuel tank is a load-bearing component in addition to the chrome-molybdenum steel frame—its slim design makes it perfect for flicking around each and every turn. Highlighted features include: two ride modes, cornering ABS, lean-angle-sensitive traction control, motor slip regulation (MSR), a clutchless up and down quickshifter, and Supermoto ABS mode.
Riding the orange supermoto last year, we determined that “Rolling out onto mountain roads, you immediately feel the  engine’s effects. Well, actually, it’s what you don’t feel that is most noticeable—for such a big single-cylinder, the new 690 is impressively smooth. There is still a nice thrum to the engine, plenty of character there, but without making your fingers and eyeballs go blurry within the first mile. On tight, twisty roads, predictably the 690 is an absolute blast.”
There aren’t very many manufacturers that have stuck with designing supermotos, but you will still find a few: Aprilia’s Dorsoduro, Ducati’s Hypermotard 950, and Husqvarna’s 701 Supermoto.
Nothing major was highlighted for 2020. The SMC R is available to slay at a starting MSRP of $11,899.