QUESTION: What do you get when you cross a motocross bike and road racer?
ANSWER: Supermoto (or Supermotard).
These bikes were developed for supermoto racetracks that typically include about 2/3 tarmac and 1/3 dirt with small jumps.
By adding headlights, taillights, horn, mirrors and street-legal tires, manufactures started selling these bikes in Europe in the 90’s for guys and gals that took a liking to the versatility, fun, and durability of these motorbikes.
It wasn’t until 2005 that Suzuki introduced their DRZ400SM into the US market, and since then the North American shores have seen more and more European and Japanese manufacturers move their supermoto wares into a motorcycle dealer near you.
I took the KTM Supermoto 950 out for a ride to delve into the personality of a category of machine noted for great city-riding manners, partly due to their upright seating position that allows great visibility in traffic. And further, partly noted for their relatively lightweight and narrow frames that offer high maneuverability. Need to bang over some curbs and potholes? Supermotos are just as happy on poor-condition roads as mountain twisties.
Riding this KTM through the urban, industrial jungle of Long Beach, CA certainly incited the desire to ride through, around, over, and all around places that are not meant for street-legal vehicles. It is truly a fun go-anywhere kinda bike!
This KTM is 950 V-twin that could be described as the ultimate power-playbike, and KTM also has a series of single-cylinder 690cc supermoto bikes, too. Beware: if you are inclined towards hooligan shenanigans on two wheels, these bikes are not made to tame any lacking in your road-riding civility.