The KTM catalogue of sports bikes reads like a list of some of the most desirable motorcycles in the market today. While the choices are plentiful, to say the least, narrowing it down to the perfect sports bike that’s both powerful and efficient will lead you to the KTM 990 SM T.

The 990 SM T unites a sporty, high-precision chassis with a state-of-the-art V2 engine, a frame-anchored fairing, great comfort, and a sensitively regulating ABS system that you just can’t find anywhere else.

Speaking about the engine, it comes packed with a liter’s worth of displacement with the DOHC twin offering a choice between full-on power for vigorous throttle-twisting or refined power for making progress with ease, amounting to 114 horsepower and setting the benchmark for free-revving twins. The intelligent design principle of the engine accounts for a multi-function balancer shaft, making it one of the lightest and most compact V2s in its class. In addition to the bike’s combustion chamber design, the major factors behind the outstanding performance of the engine lies in the state-of-the-art four-valve cylinder heads, each with flow-optimized ducts and two overhead camshafts. The 990 SM T also features an electronic Keihin engine management system that regulates the modern fuel injection system on the 990 SM T, focusing on optimum behavior under partial load and spontaneous responsiveness.

Despite boasting of some serious horses, the 990 SM T is actually as comfortable a ride as any bike in its segment. The perfectly padded twin-level seat ensures suitable long-distance comfort for both rider and pillion, while also providing freedom of movement and crystal-clear feedback for a sportier pace.

All told, the 990 SM T is a unique combination of racer, tourer, and city bike rolled into one, combining sports talent with endurance, comfort, and sustainability.

Find out more about the KTM 990 SM T after the jump.

  • 2012 KTM 990 SM T
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V2, four-stroke
  • Transmission:
    6-speed, claw shifted
  • Energy:
    Injection. Keihin EFI
  • Displacement:
    999 cc


2012 KTM 990 SM T High Resolution Exterior
- image 436362

The 990 SM T’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 spontaneous throttle response.

Aside from optimum combustion chamber design, the major factors behind the outstanding performance of the 990 SM T’s V-twin with 75° cylinder angle are the state-of-the-art four-valve cylinder heads, each with flow-optimized ducts and two overhead camshafts.

Particularly lightweight pistons and connecting rods bestow the 990 SM T’s V2 engine with reduced reciprocating weight and hence a decidedly spontaneous responsiveness, underlining its extremely sporty engine characteristics.

Chassis and Suspension

2012 KTM 990 SM T High Resolution Exterior
- image 436361

The 990 SM T’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 adjustment of the chassis to suit the individual riding purpose of the versatile 990 SM T. For example, the spring preload at the rear can be adapted to the load situation in next to no time with the help of the new preload adjuster from the tool set - solo, two-up, with luggage; always en route with perfect vehicle balance.


2012 KTM 990 SM T Exterior
- image 436358

The disconnectible 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 1 kg, the ABS system therefore allows extremely sporty braking. And prevents nose-overs actively and effectively.


2012 KTM 990 SM T Exterior
- image 436355

More than adequate deceleration is ensured in the 990 SM T by Brembo brakes with the very finest components. On the front wheel, two radially-mounted monoblock four-piston brake calipers bite hard into 305 mm discs at the command of the radial master cylinder.

Rear Fender

2012 KTM 990 SM T Exterior
- image 436359

Thanks to an integrated luggage mounting system, it is possible to secure a rear bag and two panniers to the rear of the 990 SM T - compact and grouped closely to the center of gravity, but with enough stowage space for everything you could possibly need on your travels.


2012 KTM 990 SM T High Resolution Exterior
- image 436350

The gathered sitting position behind the double-butted, perfectly angled, aluminum handlebars support relaxed touring equally as well as hitting the gas with commitment.


2012 KTM 990 SM T High Resolution Exterior
- image 436356
Design 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine, 75° V arrangement, liquid-cooled
Displacement 999 cm³
Bore 101 mm
Stroke 62.4 mm
Performance 85 kW (114 hp)
Starting aid Electric starter
Transmission 6-speed, claw shifted
Engine lubrication Dry-sump lubrication with 2 rotor pumps
Primary gear ratio 35:67
Secondary gear ratio 17:41
Cooling system Liquid cooling system, continuous circulation of cooling liquid with water pump
Clutch Wet multi-disc clutch / hydraulically operated
Ignition system Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment
Frame Tubular space frame made from chrome molybdenum steel, powder-coated
Fork WP Suspension Up Side Down 4860 ROMA PA
Shock absorber WP Suspension 4618 BAVP DCC
Suspension travel front 160 mm
Suspension travel rear 180 mm
Brake system front Twin-disc brake with radially mounted four-piston brake calipers; floating brake discs
Brake system rear Single-disc brake with two-piston brake caliper; fixed brake disc
Brake discs - diameter front 305 mm
Brake discs - diameter rear 240 mm
Chain 5/8 x 5/16” X‑Ring
Steering head angle 65.6°
Wheel base 1,505±15 mm
Ground clearance (unloaded) 195 mm
Seat height (unloaded) 855 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx. 19 l
Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)
Weight without fuel approx. 198 kg


Total Motorcycle----"Why should you have less fun flicking through the turns in of the Black Forrest, the Ardennes or the Pyrenees than you have on your home track? The world is full of twisties. The problem is mainly in getting there. The solution is clear: take a light 2-cylinder Supermoto with power to spare and have some smart people integrate all those items that make long journeys easier. Like a frame mounted fairing with smart aerodynamics. Like a stepped seat for your pillion or luggage bag. Like a larger tank. Also a standard
luggage carrying system that will help you stow your kit close to the centre of gravity. Et voilà: you get a long-distance Supermoto that combines sporting DNA with endurance and comfort like no other genre."

Ultimatemotorcycling----"The dual-channel ABS system developed by Bosh continues as standard equipment on the 990 SM T, but has the feature to be switched off depending on riding conditions. Stopping the Supermoto T are dual 305mm discs with four-piston Brembo calipers up front, and a 240mm rotor with two-piston caliper out back."

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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