Sporty – Triple test KTM 990 SMR, Super Duke R and RC8 R: a delicious R of arsouille! – KTM 990 SM R test: the shortcut to pleasure …

Triple test KTM 990 SMR, Super Duke R and RC8 R: a delicious R of arsouille !

Sporty - Triple test KTM 990 SMR, Super Duke R and RC8 R: a delicious R of arsouille! - KTM 990 SM R test: the shortcut to pleasure ...

Radical, the road KTM already does not lack spice! However, true to its ready-to-race motto, the Austrian brand offers its 990 Supermoto, Super Duke and RC8 in Racing version: triple test Site on the track of La Ferte Gaucher !

KTM 990 SM R test: the shortcut to pleasure…

Placed on its long crutch inherited from Enduro, the 990 SM R clashes a little on the pit lane of a circuit: with its physiognomy inspired by off-road, its wide handlebars, its flat saddle, its notched footrests and its high silencers, the SM R seems more intended to "scratch" a road rally special than to strike a pendulum on a speed circuit !

However, several flattering details irresistibly attract the retina: the forged rims are signed Marchesini and the 305 mm discs pinched by the dreaded one-piece Brembo radial calipers promise exceptional slowdowns for this 189 kg toy (without gasoline). Likewise, by letting the gaze wander along the inverted 48mm fork or over the impeccable welds of the very serious chrome-molybdenum tubular frame, the sporting pretensions of this tangy KTM concept begin to get sharper….

Extremely thin at the level of the tank (which goes from 19 liters to 15.5 l to save weight), the 990 SM R is however not the most accessible: motorcyclists under 1.75 m, remember to take more soup! Its measured dimensions (1510 mm of wheelbase) and its well-placed and easy-to-dose controls, however, quickly put at ease and facilitate the first turns of the wheels..

The magnificent aluminum handlebars offer surprising and intuitive guidance, light years away from the often unclear behavior of many maxi-supermotards. The attitude retains a reassuring stability when taking the brakes or accelerating: behavior due in large part to the well-balanced suspensions and copiously cut compared to the standard 990 SM (- 40 mm at the front of travel and – 30 mm at the rear).

Benefiting from perfectly controlled hydraulics, the WP elements work together to let the pilot take full advantage of the generous grip of the Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa. Reassured by these good manners, the pilot can pick up the pace, aided by the 999 cc twin cylinder which spits out its 97 Nm of torque and 115.5 hp with conviction! Expressive and voluntary, the LC 8 is a pure treat: relatively flexible at the bottom, biting from 5,000 rpm, it then gets carried away with sincere joy and surprises with its length !

Of course, there are a few vibrations at high speeds that spoil the party … Of course, the dashboard could deserve a little facelift … But the SM R manages to hide these minor annoyances behind its astonishing potential on the track! Because during our test in the winding parts of the circuit, its devilish braking of power and feeling is combined with the surgical precision of its front axle to go and fuck many sportswomen !

Her ground clearance (195 mm) requires a lot of gas before filing the footrests and that’s good as she likes it, the bitch! Helped by a precise and metered go-around, the machine pulls out of the way like pafs with the ease of a gazelle: it is not uncommon to continue to smile under your helmet while the rear tire begins to slip out of a curve, the SM R is so considerate and healthy! Apart from the long, fast curves where it is necessary to load the front well to avoid slight steering movements, the Katoche is simply confusing of ease. !

Devilish on the track, the 990 SM R is also a real sensation factory, halfway between the (ultra) sporty roadster and the big supermotard. On its handlebars, the slightest bump is a pretext for wheeling while at the approach of a pin, drifting the rear becomes a habit all the more quickly as it does not have an anti-dribble clutch. !

Coupler and equipped with a precise and well-staged gearbox, the orange ball will undoubtedly prove to be impossible to follow on small mountain roads, while offering the possibility of really going to arsouiller on circuit. It is nonetheless exclusive and only reserved for very sporty "walks": its passenger handles should not make us forget his perfect indifference to everyday needs … But at 13,170 €, it is starting to get expensive all the same. the big toy.

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