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wpbarlow 07-20-2006 08:26 PM

950 Supermoto Chronicles
Clearly inspired by Eeyore's XB12X diary, I figured it would be neat to do something similar for KTM's 950 Supermoto. Though probably not as "interesting" to as many people as the Ulysses (I mean there really aren't anywhere near as many KTM bashers as Buell bashers :lol3 ), I suspect there will be sufficent to make it worthwhile.

In additon to my experiences, I'd like others to pipe in with items they think would be interesting: whether it be modifications, accessories, suggestions, potential or trouble spots, etc.. Not to mention questions.

But first off- to save a lot of redundant posts- let me just say that

This is an absolutely kick-ass motorcycle

And to answer the big question- "how can a 450 pound twin in any way shape or form be considered be considered a supermoto?"

I don't exactly know. What I do know is that speaking as a Duke and Husaberg supermoto owner, KTM pulled it off. The bike feels and rides like a supermoto.

So, now that we have those key points covered, on with the show...

I knew I would be getting a KTM 950 around about now. What I didn't know was whether it would be an SM, an SE, or an A. Plenty of reasons to get any of them, and no reason not to get any of them. After thinking through what I really wanted to use it for (loosely defined as street riding, though that includes dirt roads and mild single track- the kind of riding I do every week) I was pretty much leaning to towards the SM. But I wanted to check out the SE first, just to make sure.

I got a call from my dealer, Hanover Powersports, last week saying they'd just gotten the SE and would have it prepped by Saturday, so I stopped in on the way home from a ride.

Now, the SE looks positively killer in pictures and I almost expected to fall in lust for the impulse buy. And it did look good. But the bike just didn't look as good in person as the pictures. The front end looked a lot more spindly, and the brake looked kind of inadequate for my street use. I put them side by side for a closer comparison.

Between how I planned to use the bike, the looks, and the seat height (real big difference) it took a lot less time to make the SM decision than I would have guessed last week.

I went to the dealer's today and after taking care of business and a run through on it (sag seemed close, so I left the suspension alone) headed out. My first impression was that the bike sounds pretty good with the stock pipes- something I could easily live with except that they get real hot because of the catalyzers. So I'll probably get aftermarket cans at the first service.

My second impression was that the bike felt like it was broken in already- clutch and gearbox action was buttery smooth, and the engine is pretty smooth and has a great feel to it. Front brakes are pretty strong- a real 1 finger deal with quick bite and rapidly progressive. Rear seems to be nicely dirt biased with a lot more pedal movement and more gradual engagement.

Very comfortable riding position and easy to move around, and well set up for standing. In the least surprising news category- the seat is hard :lol3

36 miles later, it was time to get dirty with the bitch :D

As an aside- you'll notice that the standard KTM tank bag is a pretty good fit.

I did a couple of uneventful dirt miles and the bike worked pretty well: remarkably similar to my Duke- only waaaay more power :D

I followed that up with some twisties just to get a feel of how it behaved. In a word great :clap The bike definately feels motardish in how it behaves and likes to be ridden- very "together" and controllable.

I had to get home to do some stuff, so had to stop the fun. The highway riding part was tough- what with running up and down the rev range for the 15 miles or so. The bike is pretty smooth on the highway and the wind blast dwasn't too noticeable below 80 or so. The bike is geared high, so top gear isn't too useful; but it makes the lower gears pretty useful. Don't know if I'll get the 16T countershaft sprocket yet.

After I got home and took care of some things, I did a couple of standard things: battery tender & Widders wiring, and a handlebar mount.

Fair amount of room under the seat, but no compartment like the A

This Aerostitch sheepskin worked well on the Duke, so I'll give it a try

Last but not least for the day- a very important addition

because it holds this

That's pretty much it for the first day. I'll leave with some pitures

Metal Doc 07-21-2006 07:18 AM

Ooohh this should be fun

Jolly705 07-21-2006 09:00 AM

Great write up! I can't wait to pick up the other one in the photo tomorrow :evil

Red Roadster 07-21-2006 12:01 PM

Congrats WP,
I have the better handling, much faster black version:evil Right behind your battery, in front of the toolkit, you'll see a relay/main fuse block. The positive wire from your battery is hooked up to it. Move the little rubber boots aside, and check those screws to make sure they're tight. Mine came loose and caused a no-start condition. That's the only problem I've had in 2,000 miles.

Oil change was very easy on the SM, no tanks or plastic to remove.

I've got LeoVince cans on mine. Got'em from KTM Twins, 5% off and free shipping with your first order, they're the best deal I could find for the SM. Much lighter and cooler running, she's got a nice growl to her now when you're on the gas. Harley people can't figure out what the sexy sounding black streak was that just blew by!!

Keep the rubber side down,

Stephen 07-21-2006 12:13 PM

You makes proud, Walter! :thumb

My license would be toast with that bike. It's in enough jeopardy on the Adventure. Whew.

DockingPilot 07-21-2006 01:11 PM

Congrats Commander ! It's a beauty !........................but what the hell is this ? :huh
Promptly remove that butt ugly butt pad before my ADV shows up and kicks your SM's butt. :lol3
Not that I mean to butt in :rofl

robD 07-21-2006 02:35 PM

Dammit!! Stop it now!

It's two weeks before I pick mine up....

In the very tasteful orange color. With Akra pipes too :1drink :1drink


Wannabee 07-21-2006 04:52 PM

:knary Boy , that thing makes me hot!
I have been drooling over that bike , telling my wife that when she gets out of school next spring and i get some money freed up , one of those will be parked in the garage! Keep the info coming!

wpbarlow 07-21-2006 05:14 PM


Originally Posted by DockingPilot
Congrats Commander ! It's a beauty !........................but what the hell is this ? :huh
...Promptly remove that butt ugly butt pad before my ADV shows up and kicks your SM's butt. :lol3 Not that I mean to butt in :rofl

Butt it's not only butt ugly, it's also butt friendly. No ifs, ands, or (quite naturally) butts :lol3

DockingPilot 07-22-2006 06:02 AM

Yea butt........

KAdriver 07-22-2006 10:27 AM

Nice ride!!! Does it wheelie?:rofl

You might want to cover the "+" battery terminal with it's boot....

FlowBee 07-22-2006 11:10 AM


Originally Posted by DockingPilot
Congrats Commander ! It's a beauty !........................but what the hell is this ? :huh
Promptly remove that butt ugly butt pad before my ADV shows up and kicks your SM's butt. :lol3
Not that I mean to butt in :rofl

Ewe!! That thing looks baaaaad. ... for some reason, I'm reminded of my first girlfriend. :augie

Why not just spring for the KTM gel seat? Its only like $130 or so.

priller 07-22-2006 12:47 PM

awesome! congratulations!!! :clap:clap:clap

cannot wait to see and hear it. (does it mean you're getting rid of capo?)

wpbarlow 07-22-2006 05:47 PM

[QUOTE=pylot]You might want to cover the "+" battery terminal with it's boot..../QUOTE]

It slides off when you pull the seat back/off. Undocumented feature :D

wpbarlow 07-22-2006 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by yarrai
... (does it mean you're getting rid of capo?)

"it" doesn't mean I'm selling the Capo. But an A model may :evil

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