20 years ago (which, I appreciate, is a long time), Supermotos were on everyone’s lips. In a market dominated by Superbikes, they were the ‘next big thing’.
While they did gain a cult following, they never really hit the mainstream. The thing is, while they’re seriously good fun they’re also seriously unpractical.
They have stupidly firm and narrow seats, razor-sharp throttle responses that take you from doing OK, to almost KO in a quarter of a twist. Then there’s the torquey but vibey motor, the lack of wind protection, the inability to carry anything and the woefully short tank range of around 80 miles.
Mind you, 80 miles is probably more than you’d want to do in one sitting. Supermotos are the ultimate ‘1-hour blast’ bike and that’s probably why they never really bothered the Superbike-sales charts. Bikes these days are mainly leisure items but a Supermoto is a toy.
We’ve chosen bikes that you probably won’t find in other guides. The ‘Supermoto’ market isn’t bustling with as many models these days, which is why we’ve picked a selection of brand new and used bikes as there are loads of low mileage options available from the brief era where SMs were all the rage.
So check out our review below, which gives you a leg up into the world of Supermoto.
Here’s a full run-down of each of these great bikes:
Husqvarna 701 Supermoto Key Specs
No change from the previous model, except for the more powerful KTM 690 Duke motor. Built around a lightweight Chromium-Molybdenum trellis frame for precision handling, and a 13L fuel tank housed within a polyamide subframe for perfect weight distribution. The 701’s suspension features WP split fork front and rear shock absorbers with damping adjusters. A beast.
KTM 690 SMC R Key Specs
One of the latest models for 2019, the sleek-looking SMC R has a new LC4 engine with higher power, torque, and fuel consumption. The larger 13.5L fuel tank acts as a load-bearing part of the chassis and allows for more fun. Complete with two rider modes, sport and street, the SMC R features, cornering ABS, Supermoto ABS, Quickshifter+, angle sensitive traction control plus, motor slip regulation (MSR).
Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP Key Specs
Possibly a controversial entry but while the 1100 EVO SP might not be a ‘pure’ Supermoto to those who care to judge but it exudes all the character traits of a Supermoto; tall riding position, wide bars, grunty engine, and the overriding feeling that it’s as comfortable on one wheel as it is on two. If you want a Supermoto bike that’s capable of more than just a 50-mile blast, the 1100 is where it’s at.
Aprilia SXV550 Key Specs
Unlike most supermotos, the SXV550 runs on 2 cylinders meaning less vibration, faster revving, and more top-end. The SXV550 has a lightweight, cast aluminium and steel trellis plus 48mm upside-down forks with full adjusters. The twin-engine makes this bike more powerful and a lot quieter than other supermotos. With ultra-cool bodywork and an RSV-like diamond-shaped rear light, it’s a great looking bike. There were pretty rare when newe and a lot ended up being converted to race in the GP450 series but as a tool for a mental once a week blast, you won’t find much better.
KTM 690 Duke Key Specs
The much loved DUKE has had an upgrade this year, with a higher spec and a modernised look. With a Chromium-Molybdenum steel trellis frame for precision handling, LC4 engine and optimised air intakes and exhaust system which aid balance. KTM have included a dual-circuit ABS system, ergonomic seating a large 14L fuel tank. Show off with this bright orange rimmed KTM, you’re sure to be noticed on this monster. If you can’t stretch to a new one, search for the KTM Duke II, the older and original version, which is just as much fun.
Riding a Supermoto can be a tad more complicated if you’re a shorter rider as they tend to have tall seat heights as standard. Don’t let the mid-size engined capacity of most Supermotos fool you. These are razor-sharp, unforgiving bikes, for experienced riders. Some will wheelie off the throttle in 3rd gear and as a general rule, you don’t have to ride them hard, instead, you need to learn how to tame them.
Keep in mind that the easiest way to tell whether or not a bike is right for you is by trying it out. So, visit your local dealer, sit on the bike and see which bike is the most suitable for your height and riding style.
Do you know roughly what you’ll need to budget to insure your Supermoto?
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