Supermoto is not the first thing that comes to mind when considering a touring bike. However, KTM is not averse to thinking outside of the box.The 2013 KTM 990 SM T takes the Austrian supermoto platform and turns it into a lightweight touring bike that is highly sporting, and has some off-pavement capabilities as an added bonus.
Bristling with high-end pieces, including KTM’s short-stroke V-twin, WP suspension and a chromoly trellis frame, the SM T has the unmistakable ergonomics of a dirt bike.The seating position is fully upright, and the center section of the bike is narrow. Although supportively wide, the seat is firmly padded, giving you a solid platform to move around on when blitzing through canyons.That’s not to say the 2013 KTM SM T is all about hard-core performance. Those ergos work for long days in the saddle, and to make it more touring friendly, we dipped into the KTM accessory catalog and added sidebags and a taller windshield (as well as putting a Rider Tail Bag from Cycle Case on the rear rack) for the bike shown here. Set up in this way, the SM T is a superb getaway machine, ready to rack up 1000 miles over a long-weekend.Six speeds and tallish gearing keeps the SM T comfortable on the freeway, and the motor will run the speedometer right up to triple digits before you know it.Going slowly on the KTM is a bit more of a challenge, as the fuel injection is a bit notchy and the bike has punchy power down low. Remember, it has a supermoto legacy, so the accent is going to be on acceleration rather than perfectly smooth throttle response.Sport tourers who don’t need a lot of protection or luggage capacity will be intrigued by the possibilities. Yes, the bike can be backed into corners, and such inappropriate fun as wheelies and stoppies are there for the asking. It is simply a blast to ride, and the cleverly designed sidebags can be removed in seconds (literally) and it takes only a couple of minutes to return to the standard flyscreen.Out of the ordinary, in both its mission and level of performance, the 2013 KTM 990 SM T is touring for the sporting at heart and the aggressive in nature.Photography by Don WilliamsRIDING STYLE Helmet: Arai XD4 Explore Orange Communication: Scala Rider G9 Eyewear: TAG Heuer 5103 Jacket: Firstgear Kilimanjaro Gloves: Firstgear Ultra Mesh Overpants: Firstgear HT Boots: Sidi Discovery Rain
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!