Don’t be fooled by the bare-as-bones design of the KTM 990 SM R; it’s got more meat than its look suggests.
Dynamic, powerful, and extremely comfortable, the 990 SM R combines a perfectly balanced chassis with a state-of-the-art V2 engine to create a bike that exudes versatility and all-around awesomeness. So is it safe to say that the 990 SM R is the most radical twin-cylinder Supermoto on the market?
Take into account the bike’s water-cooled V-engine that produces 114 horsepower and an intelligent design principle with multi-function balancer shaft, two qualities that make it one of the lightest and most compact V2s in its class. The engine, by itself, impresses with explosiveness and instantaneous throttle response. Add that to lightweight pistons and connecting rods that bestow the 990 SM R’s V2 engine with reduced reciprocated weight and it translates into instantaneous responsiveness, underlining its extremely sporty engine characteristics and further proving that the 990 SM R is one bike that rides as good as it looks.
Adding to the overall appeal of the 990 SM R is a tubular space frame that’s made from thin-walled chrome-molybdenum steel tubing with a bolted-on, light alloy subframe that only weighs 9.5 kg/21 lbs, yet it impresses with exemplary torsional stiffness. Thanks to multiple setting options, the upside-down telescopic fork and the directly connected shock absorber from WP Suspension allow optimum individual adjustment of the chassis to suit riding style, track, and load.
Find out more about the KTM 990 SM R after the jump.
The 990 SM R’s water-cooled V-engine with 85 kW (114 hp) sets the benchmark for free-revving twins. Its intelligent design principle with multi-function balancer shaft makes it one of the lightest and most compact V2s in its class. The engine impresses with explosiveness and instantaneous throttle response.
Particularly lightweight pistons and connecting rods bestow the 990 SM R’s V2 engine with reduced reciprocated weight and hence with decidedly instantaneous responsiveness, underlining its extremely sporty engine characteristics.
Frame and Suspension
The 990 SM R’s tubular space frame made from thin-walled chrome-molybdenum steel tubing with a bolted-on, light alloy subframe only weighs 9.5 kg, yet it impresses with exemplary torsional stiffness. The 575 mm long swingarm with conical profiles contributes plenty of mechanical grip.
Thanks to multiple setting options, the upside-down telescopic fork and the directly connected shock absorber from WP Suspension allow optimum individual adjustment of the chassis to suit riding style, track and load.
The recipe for the 990 SM R is based not least on the very finest ingredients, which also delight the eye of the beholder. Take, for example, the powder-coated frame, radial Brembo monoblock brake calipers or the high-quality shock components from WP Suspension.
More than adequate deceleration is ensured on the 990 SM R by Brembo brakes with the very finest components. At the front wheel, two radially-mounted four-piston brake calipers bite hard into floating 305 mm discs at the command of the radial master cylinder. So that braking works perfectly even in difficult conditions, a Bosch 9M+‑ABS intervenes in borderline cases to prevent the front wheel from blocking or a nose-over. But don’t worry, the ABS only makes itself felt when things are really getting too hot to handle. Until then, you can apply the deceleration with customary, racing precision.
The switchable dual-circuit ABS system developed in cooperation with Bosch offers total protection against over-braking, while maintaining the full effect and perfect feedback of a genuine sports brake thanks to very fine sensors. Weighing no more than one kilogram, the ABS system therefore allows extremely sporty braking. And prevents nose-overs actively and effectively.
The 990 SM R’s fuel tank in conjunction with the elongated seat provide the rider with excellent contact points and maximum freedom of movement for hitting the gas with commitment. The double-butted, ideally angled aluminum handlebars aid perfect vehicle control.
2-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine, 75° V arrangement, liquid-cooled
85 kW (114 hp)
6-speed, claw shifted
Dry-sump lubrication with 2 rotor pumps
Primary gear ratio
Secondary gear ratio
Liquid cooling system, continuous circulation of cooling liquid with water pump
Wet multi-disc clutch / hydraulically operated
Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment
Tubular space frame made from chrome molybdenum steel, powder-coated
Single-disc brake with two-piston brake caliper; fixed brake disc
Brake system Brake system
Two independent brake circuits with ABS (antilock brake system) - Brembo/Bosch
Brake discs - diameter front
Brake discs - diameter rear
5/8 x 5/16” X‑Ring
Steering head angle
Ground clearance (unloaded)
Seat height (unloaded)
Total fuel tank capacity approx.
Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)
Weight without fuel approx.
Total Motorcycle----"Also, 48mm USD forks by WP and a rear shock from the same maker thrill with a razor sharp racing set-up as well as a highly sensitive response. Ingredients that just could not be better matched. Or simply the recipe for one of the most dynamic rides, not just in the Supermoto segment."
Ultimate Motorcycling----"The short stroke, liquid-cooled V-twin loves to rev and the front end comes up at will. Handling is outstanding, as are the narrow ergonomics, and the SM R is an enthusiastic participant with those who like to back a bike into corners."