Updated on August 18, 2022
What exactly is a supermoto? In the late ’90s and early ’00s, a supermoto was the peak of two-wheeled thrill. With the addition of uprated and firmer suspension and a smaller tyre, you’ll get a light, agile, and wheelie-popping superbike-slayer out of your dirtbike.
To win the traffic light race in town, and to embarrass superbike riders on the twisty B-roads at the weekend, supermotos have the right combination of short gearing and powerful single or twin-cylinder engines.
A television show called Superbiker was the inspiration for the first Supermotos in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States. For this event, the goal was to bring together the top racers from several racing disciplines on a track that included sections of short track, flat track, and motocross.
Among those that applied were such legendary riders as Eddie Lawson, Kenny Roberts, and Hkan Carlqvist (to mention a few), all of whom customised their own bikes for the show’s high stakes and hefty prize money. It was an intriguing race, with a combination of Japanese crossers and American V-twin flat trackers with smaller front wheels and fatter tyres in the mix.
During the introduction of the concept to Europe, the term “Superbiker” was changed to “Supermotard” and the bikes were referred to as “Supermotos.” The ‘back it in’ strategy used by supermoto riders is exemplified by the manner they approach curves – allowing the rear wheel to lose traction while the front brake is engaged.
Aprilia supermoto rider Massimo Manzo regaining control of the situation.
A short time later, manufacturers started producing SM models in addition to MX and enduro variants. The Suzuki DR-Z400SM is one of the best examples of this type of supermoto motorcycle. The Ducati Hypermotard and KTM 690 SMC R are two examples of larger-engined road bikes inspired by supermotos that manufacturers created to cash in on the trend.
The supermoto boom may be over, but roadster models like the KTM Duke, Yamaha MT, and Triumph Street Triple are still making a strong showing. Even if they’re no longer classified as supermotos, these bikes retain some of the drama, razor-sharp handling, and exhilaration of the category.
Despite the fact that supermotos are narrowly focused, impractical, and pricey, there is no other riding niche that provides as much fun as a sunny Sunday ride. Below you’ll find MCN’s selection of the top new and used supermotos available today.
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Price: £7500 – £9599 (used) (new)
Our favourite supermoto, the KTM 690 SMC R, comes in at number two. It’s doing a stoppie in this picture.
A fantastic road bike, the KTM 690 SMC R retains the raw exhilaration and rough edges that make supermoto so much fun to ride. WP suspension and a 690cc water-cooled single from KTM give the SMC R good low-rev performance, but it really shines in the turns.
The 2019 model sports a new chassis and a second balancer shaft to reduce vibrations from the LC4 engine. As indicated by the tiny LCD dash readout, there is very little in the way of practicality or creature comforts. Supermotos aren’t about that.
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An 875mm seat height is included in the specifications for this motorcycle, which has a 999cc engine and 114 horsepower.
The used model costs $4000, and it’s extremely rare to find one for sale.
MCN’s favourite supermoto motorcycle is the KTM 990 SM R wheelie.
The KTM 990 SM R is the bike to choose if you want to experience the true hooligan attitude of the supermoto. While riding this bike, you’ll be beaming with delight from ear to ear thanks to its 114-horsepower 999cc V-twin engine, powerful Brembo brakes, and a fully adjustable WP suspension system.
While the 990 SM is best suited for snarling around corners, it can also reach a high speed of 143mph and would be a blast on the track.
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693cc/74bhp/147kg/890mm seat height are the specs for this bike.
From £7995 (old) up to £9799 (new) (new)
In a corner, the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto slid to one side.
A single-cylinder engine like the one in the KYM 690 is a good thing for the Husky. In truth, beneath the white paint job, there isn’t much of a difference between the two – other from the fact that the KTM has a little larger tank.
Because KTM owns Husqvarna and both bikes are constructed on the same chassis, the parallels are obvious. Like a KTM in a tuxedo, it has all the enjoyment of the KTM, but is better-looking.
Features: 112bhp/200kg/870mm seat height/937cc engine
The Ducati Hypermotard 950 base model costs between £9,500 and £10,995.
In some ways, the Ducati Hypermotard is a more mature interpretation of the supermoto concept. Hypermotard 950 is the latest edition, after Hypermotard 939, and although containing enough electronics to stock a small Curry’s branch, it still has the fun factor you would anticipate. 950.
Lean-sensitive ABS (that can’t be turned off) and traction and wheelie control, slide control, and three rider modes are all included.
For an additional £3300, the SP model adds hlins suspension, a quickshifter/autoblipper, and Marchesini wheels.
576cc / 52bhp kg/910mm seat height are the specifications for this motorcycle.
The cost is £4500. (used)
Husky SM610 is one of our most popular supermotos.
The Husqvarna SM610 is the closest you can get to a real supermoto race bike on the road. There is a lot of torque at low RPMs because to the huge single, which is both raucous and lively. Until you hit 80mph, you’ll be having an incredible blast.
The suspension is harsh and requires a lot of effort to get the most out of it, but the 320mm disc and single Brembo calliper give it a lot of grip and braking power. It has a ferocious appearance and comes in a bevvy of wacky colour combinations. Though they’re not always easy to locate on the resale market, good ones tend to keep their worth.
Investing in a superbike
Forums dedicated to motorcycles
Think twice before you buy.
Villains adore supermotos, so make sure you have adequate security if you own one.
Motrax Vishas disc lock, £39.99
An adequate deterrent, but two men can still load the bike into a van.
Price: Almax Series IV £149.95 Chain and padlock
As a result, it’s only useful at home or at an area where you frequently park.
Ground anchor: Defiant £74.95 immobiliser
Your bike is well-protected if you use one of these along with an Almax Series IV chain.
Datatag, a security label, costs £75.
Although there are other options, Datatag is one of the most effective systems now in use since it employs a variety of approaches to identify parts prior to assembly.
Hey, all I am Joe Marino I love to ride bikes and teach others how to ride them. Most of my articles are about which bike is best for others. I am passionate about cycling and it shows, whether I am writing about a $25 bicycle from any random website or a $5000 Santa Cruz.
I have always been the guy who gets calls from friends while at work asking which bike they should buy. I have written about the best city bike for commuting, the best folding bike for use on public transit, and even what to keep in mind when shopping for kids’ bikes.
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