And we can only be amazed by the impressive job they’ve done, not only in radically transforming the 990 Supermoto model, but in paving the way to a new category of touring motorcycles.
KTM’s Supermoto machines are acknowledged around the world as the best in the business, but, by their nature, these are meant to be ridden on the long haul so that is what the Touring version is here to fix. It uses the impressively light (58 kg) and compact LC8 engine mounted on the chromium-molybdenum frame (11 kg) as well as the WP chassis, but adds a half fairing and windscreen on top of that, making it ideal for long travels, be them on or even off the roads.
KTM created the 950 Supermoto model back in 2005 by taking the engine from the 950 Adventure and fitting it on a light and versatile chassis that was to unveil awesome road characteristics, especially in what concerns cornering. It was, and still remains one of the few bikes powered by a V-Twin engine that handled like veritable sportbikes which, most importantly, wasn’t made in Japan.
The carbureted, liquid-cooled 942 cc, 72 V-Twin, DOHC, four valves per cylinder engine developed 98 hp at 8,000 rpm and 90 Nm at 7,000 rpm, which is more than decent considering the engine configuration. Also, the tubular chromoly space frame and WP suspensions were there from the beginning, marking the beautiful (http://www.topspeed.com/motorcycles/motorcycle-reviews/2009-suzuki-v-strom-1000-ar66291.html )story. It looked modern, accommodated the rider well and it was a real blast so KTM hold on good to this one.
A year after the new model’s introduction KTM proved being consequent in its actions with the addition of the “R” version. Based on the original model, this was more of a track motorcycle as it weight less and received a more aggressive look. The two models were to be produced and sold in parallel.
The end of 2007 saw the introduction of updated 990 Supermoto and 990 Supermoto R models. The engine was now a 999 cc unit which produced 113.98 hp at 9,000 rpm and 97 Nm at 7,000 rpm. This is the same engine that was carried on to the 2009 KTM 990 Supermoto T.
Now, the 2009 KTM 990 Supermoto is a brand new idea and has a pretty hard time finding a decent competitor, but it seems that the 2009 Suzuki V-Strom is the closest thing to it. It won’t handle quite like a supermoto bike, but it has the 996 cc V-Twin engine and it can tour so it meats the basic requirements for this competition.
Style is what the all-new KTM is all about and this one is a combination of pure Touring with Supermoto and Dual-Sport. The aggressive front end features an integrated headlight and a very efficiently designed windscreen while the angular lines, by now a KTM characteristic, are all over T model’s half fairing.
The kind of rider that would buy such a machine most likely moves a lot on its seat concomitant with steering in the various terrains that the 990 Supermoto T is capable of going through so the mirrors had to be positioned on the handlebars for immediate greater visibility in all riding situations. Also, the hand guards share a thing or two on the off-road going abilities as well as the 7.68-inches (195mm) of ground clearance.
But, in contradiction with the off-road features and truthful to the on-road ones, the steering head angle is positioned at a 65.6, something that gives it that nice Supermoto aggressive look despite the additional equipment mentioned before.
The Austrians also had a lot of redesigning to do to that previously narrow, now spacious and comfortable seat, even in what concerns the passenger section. After all, this is a Touring motorcycle and must feel like one starting withthe butt.
Underneath all those design tweaks, the mighty V-Twin, light as a single-cylinder as KTM claims, looks docile and yet ready to get on putting those silencers to work at any time. So if the engine’s size doesn’t unveil the displacement, hopefully those cans will.
The 17-inch aluminum wheels seem like the adequate solution for the new bike, taking in consideration its heritage and that steering angle simply wouldn’t have worked properly together with a pair of spoke wheels.
Colors available are Orange and Silver.
With the 990 Supermoto T, KTM shows the various ways in which a motorcycle can evolve and, to be quite honest, it does it in the most expressive way. Who did ever suspect that a Supermoto bike can see its way from coast to coast and the rider to come off it in one piece? Well, we haven’t yet done that, but we believe that the new Supermoto is up to the challenge.
Engine and Transmission
Bore x stroke: 101 x 62.4 mm (3.98 x 2.46)
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