The KTM 950 SM is a versatile supermoto motorcycle that brings together the best of both worlds – a powerful adventure-touring engine with the nimbleness of a supermoto. KTM, renowned for its off-road expertise, ventured into the street segment with the 950 SM, targeting riders seeking a thrilling and dynamic riding experience. In this review, we will explore the design, engine performance, chassis, electronics, comfort, and overall riding experience of the KTM 950 SM.
🔥 Design and Appearance
The KTM 950 SM showcases a rugged and aggressive design that exudes a sense of adventure and performance. With its tall stance and large front wheel, the bike is unmistakably a supermoto. The combination of sharp lines and bold graphics adds to its assertive appearance, making it stand out in a crowd of motorcycles.
The high-quality build and attention to detail are evident in every aspect of the bike. From the robust frame to the beefy inverted front forks, the KTM 950 SM looks and feels like a purpose-built machine. The minimalist bodywork emphasizes the bike’s lightweight nature, contributing to its agility and maneuverability.
The fit and finish are commendable, with high-quality components and materials used throughout. The bike’s ergonomics and rider positioning create a comfortable yet sporty riding posture, allowing for confident control on both city streets and twisty backroads.
⚙️ Engine and Performance
The heart of the KTM 950 SM is its powerful 942cc V-twin engine, known for its performance and torque. This liquid-cooled, fuel-injected engine produces around 98 horsepower and 95 Nm of torque, providing ample power for spirited rides and overtaking maneuvers.
The engine’s V-twin configuration delivers a smooth and linear power delivery, making it well-suited for both city commuting and highway cruising. The broad torque curve ensures strong acceleration in the mid-range, allowing riders to effortlessly navigate urban traffic or tackle challenging terrain.
Chassis and Handling
The KTM 950 SM features a trellis frame made of high-strength chrome-molybdenum steel, contributing to the bike’s lightweight and agile handling. The suspension setup includes fully adjustable inverted front forks and a rear monoshock, providing the versatility to adjust the bike’s settings to suit individual rider preferences and riding conditions.
The 17-inch wheels, typical of supermoto bikes, enhance the bike’s maneuverability and responsiveness. The combination of the large front wheel and the narrow profile of the rear tire allows for precise cornering and quick direction changes.
With a low seat height and a well-balanced weight distribution, the KTM 950 SM feels planted and stable in various riding situations. The bike’s agile nature makes it a joy to ride through tight city streets, while the robust chassis inspires confidence during spirited rides on twisty mountain roads.
⚡Electronics and Technology
The KTM 950 SM is a stripped-down supermoto that does not include advanced electronics or rider aids common in modern motorcycles. While it lacks features like traction control and riding modes, this simplicity contributes to the bike’s lightweight and raw appeal, appealing to purists who prefer a more involved riding experience.
The bike does come with a minimalist instrument cluster that provides essential information such as speed, RPM, fuel level, and basic trip data. The focus on simplicity aligns with the supermoto ethos, emphasizing rider skill and involvement rather than relying on electronic aids.
🏍️ Comfort and Ergonomics
The KTM 950 SM strikes a balance between sporty ergonomics and rider comfort. The upright riding position allows for a commanding view of the road ahead, making it well-suited for urban commuting and touring. The well-padded seat provides ample support for extended rides, and the footpegs are positioned to facilitate control during aggressive riding.
Riders will appreciate the wind protection provided by the small windscreen, especially at higher speeds. The bike’s wide handlebars provide excellent leverage for maneuvering, contributing to a sense of control and confidence.
While the 950 SM is comfortable for most riders, taller individuals may find the seat height slightly low, which could lead to a cramped riding posture over long distances.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, V-twin
Power: Approx. 98 horsepower
Torque: Approx. 95 Nm
Transmission: 6-speed gearbox
Frame: High-strength chrome-molybdenum steel trellis
Suspension: Inverted front forks, Rear monoshock (fully adjustable)
Brakes: Dual-disc front, Single-disc rear
Wheels: 17-inch alloy
Seat Height: Approx. 850 mm (33.5 inches)
Weight: Approx. 200 kg (440 lbs)
How does the KTM 950 SM Ride?
The KTM 950 SM offers an exhilarating and engaging riding experience that appeals to those seeking a spirited and dynamic motorcycle. The powerful V-twin engine delivers strong acceleration and a satisfying exhaust note, adding to the overall excitement of the ride.
In city traffic, the bike’s agility and nimbleness shine, allowing riders to effortlessly weave through congested streets. The torquey engine provides excellent low-end power, making stop-and-go traffic more manageable.
On twisty mountain roads, the KTM 950 SM’s sporty handling comes to the fore. The bike’s light weight and responsive chassis enable precise cornering and quick changes of direction. The fully adjustable suspension allows riders to tailor the bike’s handling characteristics to suit their riding style and road conditions.
While the bike performs admirably on smooth highways, its true calling lies on winding backroads where its supermoto DNA shines. The powerful brakes provide confident stopping power, instilling a sense of control during aggressive riding.
In conclusion, the KTM 950 SM is a unique and captivating supermoto that appeals to riders seeking a dynamic and versatile motorcycle. Its rugged design, powerful V-twin engine, and sporty handling make it an ideal choice for urban commuting, spirited rides on twisty roads, and light off-road adventures.
The bike’s lightweight and nimble nature, coupled with its commanding riding position, offer a confident and engaging experience. While lacking advanced electronics and rider aids, the KTM 950 SM caters to riders who prioritize raw and involved riding.
However, taller riders may find the seat height and ergonomics less accommodating for extended journeys. Additionally, the absence of modern electronic features may deter those who prefer the convenience of advanced technology.
Overall, the KTM 950 SM delivers an adrenaline-pumping ride that captures the essence of supermoto riding. For riders seeking a bike that blurs the line between a sportbike and an adventure tourer, the KTM 950 SM is a compelling option that promises excitement and a thrilling journey on every ride.