This is a series of resources on the 2023 KTM 890 SMT, the adventure sport touring motorcycle from KTM with supermoto branding and pretensions.

KTM launched the 890 SMT in 2023 for the same model year. It’s an adventure sport touring motorcycle, much in the same vein as other sport motorcycles with upright, comfortable riding positions and some wind protection, like the Yamaha Tracer 9, for example.

Like the other 890 motorcycles, the KTM 890 SMT is based around an 889 cc liquid-cooled parallel twin. It’s a fire-breathing, characterful engine, that makes at peak 77 kW (105 hp) at 8000 rpm, with peak torque of 100 Nm (74 lb-ft) at 6000 rpm. Final drive is via six-speed transmission and chain

This resources page is to help current and prospective motorcycle owners (including me!) get a comprehensive view of the 890 SMT. Below you can find information on the maintenance schedule and service intervals, as well as parts you need for a standard service, guidelines for basic services like oil changes, drivetrain maintenance, and whatever torque specs are easily accessible.

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About the KTM 890 SMT

2023 KTM 890 SMT Action 1 wheelie
2023 KTM 890 SMT in wheelie mode

The KTM 890 SMT is a re-introduction of the SMT — “SuperMoto Tourer” — product line. It’s a nexus of the “Supermoto” concept — dirt bike-like riding position, modest power, street tires, and light weight — and middleweight sport touring, for motorcycles much like the Yamaha Tracer 9.

While people might be offended by that comparison, they have more alike than they don’t. Because supermotos were, at their core, something much more elemental than “big” supermoto-style motorcycles have become: They’re usually small cylinder capacity, single-cylinder bikes with no aids at all on them. Essentially, supermotos (or supermotards) have always been dirt bikes with street tires.

But the SMT is much more closely aligned with middleweight sport tourers. Sure, it might have a lively engine — the KTM 890 parallel-twin is pretty well-loved — but that’s just what gives it its advantage and differentiation. Maybe that’s enough to call it a supermoto… after all, it is a supermoto “tourer”.

OK, enough about definitions. What is it? Think of the KTM 890 SMT as essentially a KTM 890 Adventure with street tires and more comfort. The 890 Adventure isn’t uncomfortable. Nor is it unable to be ridden on the street. But if you’re used to diving deep into corners at high speeds, there’s a certain point at which a 21-inch front wheel and mixed-use tires starts to feel a little… disconcerting, even though it probably still has grip left for days.

That’s where the SMT comes in. It has 17-inch front wheels front and rear, with a 3.5-inch and 5.5-inch rim respectively on each. The stock tire sizes are the same as every other middleweight sport bike for the last decade, with a 120/70-17 on the front and a 180/55-17 on the rear. This gives a huge amount of tire choices, too.

The suspension on the SMT is middle-spec, with not a huge range of adjustability, but likely everything a tourer would need. KTM uses their in-house WP APEX suspension on both sides. There’s also 180mm of travel on each side. If the KTM 890 Adventure didn’t exist, people might have even put dual-sport tires on the SMT and called it a day.

The KTM 890 SMT comes otherwise with a whole bunch of tech — some of which has to be enabled through electronic package options, of course — that puts it near the top of its range. Standard, it comes with ride modes and an IMU that governs both ABS and TC. You can also upgrade to add cruise control, a quickshifter (two-way), and “Motor Slip Regulation”, which helps with low-grip situations and with fast downshifts.

There’s optionally also a “track mode”, if you feel like taking your tourer to the circuit!

In all, the KTM 890 SMT tries to strike a balance. It’s ideal for people who like the tight curves, but acknowledge that 80% (or more) of any ride is getting to and from the destination. Maybe the only thing extra it’d benefit from would be a taller shield to make that journey more comfortable. Oh, also, I’d probably go for optional heated grips!

KTM 890 SMT Specifications

Here are the core specifications for the KTM 890 SMT, along with some notes.

Engine typeParallel twin DOHC, 4 valveThese are all the rage
Capacity889 cc
Bore x stroke (mm)90.7 x 68.8 mm
Compression ratio13.5:1
Peak power77 kW / 105 hp @ 8000 rpmModest, but enough
Peak torque100 Nm / 74 lb-ft @ 6500 rpm
Transmission / Final drive6 speed, chain
Front suspensionWP Apex suspension, Compression / Rebound damping, 180mm travelMid-spec. Will we see an SMT R?
Rear suspensionWP Alex monoshock, preload and rebound damping adjustable, 180 mm travelDitto
Front brakes2 x 320 mm discs, radially mounted 4-piston calipers
Tank capacity15.8 L / 4.2 US Ga / 3.5 UK Ga
Wet weight194 kg / 428 lbClassic KTM — Very light for a bike this class.
Tracer 9: 212 kg
Multistrada V2 S: 225 kg
Ride aidsCornering ABS / TC, Ride modesThese are optional: Cruise control, quickshifter (2-way), and MSR (motor slip regulation). Software add-ons.
Other bikes with same motor890 Duke
890 Adventure / R
This is why you can’t just say “I have a KTM 890”. Need more info (unless it’s obvious)
KTM 890 SMT Specs

Using the KTM 890 SMT’s Screen and Controls

So you’re taking a KTM 890 SMT out for a test ride, are you?

Whenever taking out a motorcycle, I like to assess its core features, as well as those I’ll use on regular rides. This always includes things like

  • Trying different modes (ride modes, suspension settings, ABS/TC settings)
  • Using the cruise control (radar-enabled, if it has one… this one doesn’t)
  • Adjusting the suspension if need be to give it a fair shake
  • Using the quickshifter (if it’s on there)

When testing a new KTM 890 SMT, it’s likely to come with the kitchen sink. This is because new KTMs have a “demo mode” that has everything enabled for the first 1500 km / 930 mi. After that, you have to cough up money.

Anyway, here’s a quick overview of features on the 890 SMT.


KTM 890 SMT controls for cruise and menus
KTM 890 SMT controls for cruise and menus

Everything on the KTM 890 SMT is controlled by a switch block on the left, and the cruise control tip switch above it.

Changing ride modes

There are three ride modes stock on the KTM 890 SMT, with one more optional (Track mode). The three core modes are street, rain, and sport.

To change ride modes, you have to use the switch block. Do this with the motorcycle at a standstill.

  1. Press the set button to get into the menu.
  2. Press up/down until “Motorcycle” is highlighted. Press set.
  3. Press up/down” until “Ride mode” is highlighted. Press set.
  4. Press up/down to choose the riding mode. Press set

That might seem cumbersome, but you can also set up your own bike (once you have one) so that one of the up/down buttons directly access one part of the settings. This is done via the “quick selector” setting. Quick selector can control ride mode, MTC setting, trip, or heated grips setting (maybe other things depending on your option level).

Here’s how the ride modes work on the 890 SMT:

Throttle responseSoftBalancedAggressiveVery Direct / Configurable
ABSBoth wheelsBoth wheelsFront wheel onlyConfigurable (ABS submenu)
TCVery little rear wheel slipNormal rear wheel slipHigh rear wheel slipConfigurable (TC submenu)
Power modes on the KTM 890 SMT

Cruise Control on the 890 SMT

Cruise is optional on the 890 SMT. Before rolling out, if you want to test it, make sure it’s enabled in the software. This means that (if it’s not new, and thus with demo modes available) it should be a purchased add-on, and also it should be enabled in the menus (as should demo modes).

  • To turn cruise control on, you press the cruise control tip switch to the left. Same action to turn it off. (The status will display on the screen.)
  • To activate cruise at the current speed, press the cruise control tip switch briefly at the bottom.
  • To increase or decrease speeds, you either briefly toggle up or down for a 1 km/h / mph increase, or hold it up and down for a 5 km/h / mph increase.

There are some aspects of using cruise, but the above should have you covered.

Adjusting the KTM 890 SMT’s Suspension

The front suspension on the KTM 890 SMT is configurable for compression damping and rebound damping, and the rear suspension is configurable for rebound damping and spring preload.

To configure preload, use the hand adjuster. Turn it counter clockwise as far as it will go. For most use cases (“comfort”, “standard” or “sport”), KTM suggests adjusting the preload 3 turns clockwise. A full payload is 11 turns.

To configure damping (compression damping and rebound damping on the fork, and rebound damping on the shock), do the following:

Suspension componentDamping typeLocation
ForkCompressionTop of left fork leg
ForkRebound dampingTop of right fork leg
Shock Compression dampingBottom of shock, on right
Screwdriver required
Adjusters for KTM 890 SMT suspension

For each of these adjusters, turn them clockwise as far as they will go.

Then, back them out per the following table. It’s the same for all three damping adjusters. The adjustment of 15 clicks would be suitable for a wide variety of test-riders.

Response typeAdjustment
(counter-clockwise from zero)
Comfort22 clicks
Standard15 clicks
Sport5 clicks
Full payload15 clicks
KTM 890 SMT damping settings

KTM 890 SMT Service requirements

Overall, the KTM 890 SMT, like other KTM 890 motorcycles, has 9300 mile / 15000 km service intervals. At every service, change the oil and filter, and do a host of checks.

The major service for the 890 SMT is every 18600 miles or 30000 km, at which point you check the valve clearances and change the spark plugs.

The 890 SMT has a cable clutch, which means that you should service it regularly. However, you only need to change the brake fluid and don’t need to worry about clutch fluid.

KTM recommends changing the coolant every four years.

Finally, as the 890 Adventure has a chain drive, you need to regularly service it, particularly when riding in dust and wet.

Maintenance Schedule for the KTM 890 SMT

Below is the maintenance schedule for the KTM 890 Adventure, adapted from the manual, and simplified somewhat.

We restructured this slightly into a “service schedule” and a checklist of items to do at every service.

Service schedule


  • Maintenance schedule intervals for the 890 Adventure are 15000 km (9300 mi), with a major service (valve service & new plugs) every two intervals.
  • After the end of the service schedule, keep repeating it in this pattern.
miles x 10000.629.318.6
km x 100011530Every
Standard inspection checklist (see below) — Check all items.Year
Change the engine oil. (Motul 7100 10W-50)Year
Change the oil filter (KN-650)Year
Clean the oil screensYear
Change the air filter, clean the air filter box.
Change the spark plugs (LMAR9AI-10)
Check the valve clearances.
Change the front brake fluid (Motorex DOT 5.1).2 years
Change the rear brake fluid (Motorex DOT 5.1).2 years
Change the coolant (Motorex Coolant M3.0)4 years
Check the headlight setting
Check the fork bearing for play
Clean the dust boots of the fork legs
Check the wheel bearing for play
Check the cables for damage and routing without kinksYear
Check the fuel pressure.Year
Check the frame
Check the link fork
KTM 890 SMT Maintenance Schedule

Standard inspection checklist

Below is the standard checklist of items to do at every service.

KTM 890 SMT Standard Inspection Checklist
[Dealer] Read out the trouble code memory using the KTM diagnostics tool.
[Dealer] Program the shift shaft sensor.
Check that the electrical system is functioning properly.
Check that the front brake linings are secured.
Check that the rear brake linings are secured.
Check the brake discs.
Check the brake lines for damage and leakage
Check the front brake fluid level.
Check the rear brake fluid level.
Check the free travel of the clutch lever
Check the free travel of the foot brake lever
Check the chain tension
See below for guidance)
Check all hoses (fuel, coolant, bleeder, drainage etc.) and sleeves for cracking, leaks, and incorrect routing
Empty the drainage hoses
Check the coolant fill level and antifreeze
Check the shock absorber and fork for leaks. Perform fork / shock service as needed and depending on how the vehicle is used.
Check the steering head bearing for play.
Check the tire condition
Check tire pressure
Check the condition of the chain, front and rear sprocket, and the chain guide.
Check that the radiator fan is functioning properly.
Final check: Check the vehicle is roadworthy and take a test ride.
Grease all moving parts (e.g. side stand, hand lever, chain) and check for smooth operation
Check the tightness of the safety-relevant screws and nuts which are easily accessible.
[Dealer] Read out the error memory after the test ride using the KTM diagnostics tool.
[Dealer] Set the service interval display.
[Dealer] Make a service entry in
KTM 890 SMT Service Checklist

Chain Maintenance on the KTM 890 SMT

You need to service the KTM 890 SMT chain regularly, particularly as it’s a travel motorcycle that you’re likely to ride through rain, dirty roads, and so on.

Use a good-quality and portable lubricant like Motul Chain Paste, which is highly regarded.

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Check the chain, rear sprocket, and engine sprocket
Chain length: 18 rollers = 272 mm maximum
Check the chain tension
Chain tension spec: 2-5mm distance
KTM 890 SMT Chain Maintenance

To check the chain condition on the 890 SMT:

  1. Put the bike up on a centre stand (or raise up the rear somehow).
  2. Put the transmission into neutral.
  3. Pull on the lower chain section with 15 kg / 33 lb of weight.
  4. Measure the distance of 18 rollers (checking against the max spec).

If the chain is looser than the max spec, replace it, along with the sprockets.

The chain tension check procedure is quite unusual on the KTM 890 SMT. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Put the transmission in neutral, and put the motorcycle on a flat surface on its centre stand.
  2. Get the T-wrench out of the tool set.
  3. Stick the T-wrench in the area between the chain and chain sliding guard.
  4. Push the T wrench until it is under the screw indicated.

If you can push it just to the screw — the tension is correct. If you can push it more, the tension is too loose.

If the tension is not within this spec, adjust the chain tension.

  1. Loosen the axle
  2. Loosen the lock nuts
  3. Adjust the chain adjuster nuts (evenly, using the reference marks) until the chain tension is correct

See the below diagram for reference.

KTM 890 SMT adjusting chain tension 5
If the chain tension is off, adjust it.

Wheels and Tires for the KTM 890 SMT

The KTM 890 SMT wears sportbike-dimension wheels and tires. It has cast rims and the tires are tubeless

Adjust the pressures according to your own preferences, setup, ride style and conditions.

WheelRim sizeTyre sizeTyre pressure (cold)
Solo – Passenger
Front3.5 x 17 inch120/70 ZR 17 M/C 58W M+S TL2.4-2.5 bar (35-36 psi)
Back5.5 x 17 inch180/55 ZR 17 M/C 73W M+S TL2.4-2.9 bar (35-42 psi)
KTM 890 SMT recommended tire sizes and pressures

Stock, the KTM 890 SMT ships with Michelin Power GP sport tires.

Tightening Torque specs

Below are some core tightening torque specs from the manual. There are quite a few more in the manual (see below) for you to peruse.

Oil drain plugs (x2)2015
Oil filter cover screws64
Rear axle9066
Front axle4533
Steering head1813
Top triple clamp1511
Front brake caliper4533
Rear brake caliper pin2216
KTM 890 SMT torque specs

Alternatives to the KTM 890 SMT

The KTM 890 SMT doesn’t have any direct competitors (motorcycles claiming to be in the middleweight sport touring supermoto segment). But it loosely could be grouped with other middleweight supermoto / sport tourers, which deserve your attention. Some of them have 19-inch wheels. But that’s OK.

Other Related Motorcycles from KTM / Husqvarna

If you’re interested in the 890 SMT, you’re probably also considering other motorcycles with the 890 motor. They’re not all KTMs!

Reference — Owner’s Manual for the KTM 890 SMT

The above information came from a mix of the owner’s manual, service manual, press releases, and forum information for the 890 SMT.

Below you can see some screenshots for the manual of the KTM 890 SMT.

You can also download the manual directly from KTM here.

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