LEAD: KTM-890-SMT-DSC_0373.jpg | Spy pictures of what’s believed to be a brand new 890 SMT, displaying how KTM has raided the components bin to create this variation of its middleweight platform. | Photograph: Stefan Baldauf
The mix of the large bars, tall suspension, and spacious driving place of an journey bike with the grip and dealing with supplied by asphalt-focused suspension and tires has all the time been an interesting one. The most recent spy footage from KTM’s take a look at facility present that an 890 SMT is below improvement to fill exactly that area of interest.
Noticed on take a look at in Spain, a preferred winter improvement vacation spot for European manufacturers because of year-round good climate, this 890 SMT is the newest in a string of prototypes spied during the last couple of years, as KTM edges fashions towards manufacturing. Since 2021, bikes have been seen in each “SMT” type (the letters originate from the 990 Supermoto Touring of 2009–2013) and as a extra pared-back “SMC” selection, missing the display and gaining a high-mounted, motocross-style entrance fender. The latter would rival bikes like Ducati’s Hypermotard, whereas the SMT model seen right here is extra akin to BMW’s F 900 XR in its enchantment.
The concept of mixing streetbike suspension with an adventure-bike stance isn’t a brand new one. Yamaha’s TDM arguably pioneered the thought within the ‘90s and Ducati’s unique Multistrada firmed up the idea a decade later with suspension and wheels that regarded like they have been from a sportbike. The unique KTM 990 Supermoto Touring of 2009, was lauded for its skill to mix the poise and enjoyable of a supermoto with the practicality of an journey bike, nevertheless it proved comparatively short-lived, disappearing from the vary after the 2013 mannequin.
It’s instantly clear from these photographs that the brand new 890 SMT has reached well-developed prototype stage. There’s little right here that’s lashed collectively or jerry-rigged for take a look at functions, suggesting a motorcycle that might attain showrooms comparatively quickly. KTM has all the time been a grasp of making extra fashions from off-the-shelf components and the 890 SMT is a transparent instance of that. The body, engine, exhaust, and a lot of the bodywork are straight from the latest-generation 890 Journey—simply up to date for 2023 with new styling. Nevertheless, the street-focussed WP suspension, the entrance brakes, and the cast-alloy, 17-inch wheels are extra just like the components discovered on the 890 Duke.
The primary new ingredient that’s distinctive to the 890 SMT is the gasoline tank. Whereas the 890 Journey lends most of its components to the brand new mannequin, the SMT doesn’t inherit that bike’s low-slung, side-mounted twin gasoline tanks. As a substitute, the tank is mounted in a standard spot above the engine just like the 890 Duke, nevertheless it’s a brand new design, made to swimsuit the 890 Journey bodywork and aspect panels used on the SMT. On the rear, the tail and subframe are straight from the 890 Journey, as is the seat. Whereas on the entrance the windscreen is the shorter model from the 890 Journey R. The mirrors are borrowed from the 890 Duke.
The shared elements imply it’s simple to take an informed guess at energy and weight. In Journey type, the 889cc LC8c parallel twin is sweet for a claimed 103 hp. There’s scope for extra, because the Duke manages 114 hp and the Duke R is claimed to provide 119 hp, however the SMT makes use of the identical exhaust because the 890 Journey, suggesting it should have that mannequin’s state of tune. The 890 Journey’s 473-pound moist weight can be an excellent indication of the SMT’s mass. The numbers put the SMT at a slight benefit over its nearest competitor, BMW’s F900 XR, which has 99 hp from its 895cc twin and weighs 482 kilos totally fuelled.
Though the SMT seems to be near manufacturing type, it might not be destined for a really lengthy life on this spec, because it makes use of the present “890″ model of the LC8c engine. We’ve already seen KTM testing its next-generation LC8c in quite a lot of prototypes, believed to be a “990″ model with a capability nearer to 1000cc. The redesigned parallel-twin additionally appeared in design registrations earlier this yr. As soon as rolling off manufacturing strains, the next-gen engine is prone to step by step supersede the older model throughout KTM’s mannequin vary.