2008 KTM 990 Supermoto

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The new KTM 990 Supermoto sees its own way in the highly acclaimed class as it takes fun and excitement to a whole new level. It benefit of a completely revised and compact LC8 engine fitted on a finely tuned frame so it will take you virtually anywhere. Its imposing stature will always betray it and give a clue on what the rider experiences on the angry-looking thing.

 

Introduction

KTM unveiled the new 990 Supermoto at the NEC show (Birmingham,United Kingdom) as the machine that completes with all of the requirements destined to make it a winner. It features the totally revised LC8 engine weighing just 58 kg and positioned on a chromium-molybdenum frame, also lightweight (only 11 kg). Complementing the incredible sporty attitude is the short wheelbase (1,510 mm) and 64.6 degree steering head angle. This new launch is expected to have an immediate influence on the KTM 950 Supermoto R.

History

KTM 990 Supermoto

Before 2008, the 990 Supermoto was known as the 950 Supermoto, an impressive-looking and performing motorcycle that was first launched as a 2006 model year by the Austrian manufacturer who craved for recognition in the most challenging Supermoto category of them all: 1000 cc.

Equipped with the already popular LC8 engine, the 942cc unit developed 70.5 KW (96.55 HP) @ 8000 RPM and 94.00 Nm @ 6500 RPM proving that it was all about performance. The newly introduced KTM ride performed incredible both on the freeway and off the road and this made it a popular choice for advanced riders who felt like going for something new, more of a combination between street and trails.

Colors were Orange and Black, just like on the 2008 model year. What is different on the new bike is the 999cc LC8 engine developing an outstanding 85 KW at 9000 rpm and 97 Nm at 7000 rpm thanks to a Keihin engine management system, fuel injection and bigger cylinder capacity. The tubuar chrome-molybdenum steel chassis is reinforced with an aluminum subframe and the WP suspensions are also here to do the trick. Brembo brakes couldn’t have missed this bike.

Competition

Being a one-of-a-kind machine, the subject of this review is hard to be positioned against virtually any other offer of the market today. It is a true off-road companion and it feels effective on the motorways while still going like no other on the supermoto race track so where should I head in order to find the closest think to it? BMW, of course!

KTM 990 Supermoto

The BMW R 1200 GS is considered to be one of the most able motorcycles to dethrone the KTM 990 Supermoto even though it won’t be your best friend on the track. It is destined to soak up the miles on and off the road and the powerplants are similar as the Boxer engine produces 100 HP and 85lb/ft. KTM’s competitor is more of a bike that would take you around the world, but it can be easily positioned against the 990 Supermoto.


Exterior

KTM 990 Supermoto

I’m not sure how many people would consider it beautiful (personally, I don’t), but everybody certainly finds it impressive and designed for practicability. KTM first had it go like a train and afterwards, the design pages were drawn making every single exterior piece look like it made an effort to find its place there. An example would be the side panels. Sharp looking, these elements are easily noticeable as well as the highly-positioned front fender which comes as a testimony of the 990’s off-road abilities.

The headlight and its small fairing seem separate from the fuel tank by the front fork while the seat is perfectly attached to it. The rear end of the bike is dominated by the exhaust mufflers, one on each side. Perfectly blended in, the massive cans give a clue of the V-twin engine performance available. The 17” five-spoke wheels are meant to keep the weight down so they feature simple design.

KTM didn’t introduce the 950 so long ago and this new version features the same colors which made it famous: Orange and Black.

Price

The KTM 990 Supermoto is expected to be manufactured for approximately $15,000 and considering the motorcycling public’s reaction, I reckon the eventual customers consider it well worth it.

Conclusion

Having the experience of the 950cc version (already successful), KTM knew what to improve for 2008 and direct this model towards higher culms of success. The upgraded engine (bigger displacement, Keihin engine management system and fuel injection), WP suspension and Brembo brakes seem to do the trick and this makes me wonder what the next level will be. Only time will tell.


SPECIFICATIONS

KTM 990 Supermoto

 

Engine and Transmission

Engine type: Twin cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75°

Displacement: 999 cc

Bore x stroke: 101 x 62.4 mm (3.98 x 2.46")

Performance (homologated): 85 kW @ 9000 rpm

Max. torque: 97 Nm @ 7000 rpm

Compression ratio: 11.5:1

Starter / Battery: E-Starter / 12 V 11.2 Ah

Transmission: 6 gears, dog-clutch engagement

Fuel Mixture Generation: Keihin EMS with EPT

Control: DOHC

Lubrication: Pressure lubrication

Engine lubrication: 10W50

Primary drive: 67:35

Final drive: 17:41

Cooling: Liquid cooled

Clutch: Wet multi-disc clutch, operated hydraulically

Motor Management: Keihin EMS

Chassis and Dimensions

Frame: Tubular chromoly space frame, powder-coated

Subframe: Aluminum

Handlebar: Aluminum, conified

Front suspension: WP USD Ø 48 mm (1.89")

Rear suspension: WP monoshock

Suspension travel front / rear: 200 / 210 mm (7.87 / 8.27")

Front brake: 2 x Brembo 4-piston fixed caliper, radially bolted, 2 x floating brake disc Ø 305 mm (12")

Rear brake: Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, brake disc Ø 240 mm (9.45")

Rims, front / rear: 3.5 x 17"; 5.5 x 17"

Tires, front / rear: 120/70 ZR 17"; 180/55 ZR 17"

Main silencer: 2 x premium steel with catalytic converter

Steering head angle: 65.1°

Trail: 110 mm (4.33")

Wheel base: 1510 mm (59.45")

Ground clearance (unloaded): 195 mm (7.68")

Seat height: 865 mm (34.05")

Fuel capacity: approx. 19 liters (5.02 gal) / 2.5 liters reserve (0.66 gal)

Weight (no fuel): approx. 191 kg (421.8 lbs)


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