Is it just me or?

The most important introductory info!
Cicsy
250cc
250cc
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:17 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Glasgow
Year: 2010

Is it just me or?

Post by Cicsy » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:51 am

Well I've had the bike for around 5 weeks now but Sunday was the first time it's had a proper blast. I'm based here in central Scotland but I've only to ride a few miles to have access to some great roads and Sunday seen me head up to the Trossachs area for much twistyness. Roads were drying out and a little greasy.

My initial impressions are predictably positive. Suspension sublime (especially over poorer surfaces) , brakes really strong and reassuring ,chassis tight and responsive to input.........however is it Just me or is that engine needing a few more ponies? :o

Now let me say right off the bat I wouldn't use the word disappointing, not at all but if I'm honest I'd maybe go with a little underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong I'm sure with more miles and time we can bond more and I'll be able to exploit everything it has to offer.
It was probably having spent sooooooo long reading the rave reviews on here I was maybe expecting dare I say it "a little more" thud down low. It does spin up really quick though as has been widely reported and more than a few times this had me bouncing it off the limiter.

Also I might try and drop the forks a few mil and stiffen the suspension a few clicks to suit my riding style because it did run a little wide a couple of times. Again time and fettling will cure this I've no doubts. On the whole though impressive enough. It''s certainly more involving than my old Tiger which I really loved by the way so maybe that puts my comments in perspective.

Anyway , just my initial thoughts guys. Let me know if you agree, disagree, whatever. It would be good to get some feedback.

Joe990roma
125cc
125cc
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:14 pm
Country: Italy
City: Roma
Year: 2012
Colour: Black
Model: SMT

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Joe990roma » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:43 am

Not sure about that. I drive majority in the city so getting into 4th or 5th means I'm travelling at some speed. It plenty for me

Biggest engine I've had was maybe the vfr or similar size xb9s. Ktm does it for me

User avatar
Gimlet
900cc
900cc
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:10 pm
Country: UK
City: Dorset
Year: 2010
Colour: Black

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Gimlet » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:45 pm

Is it in standard trim? They go better when they've been uncorked.

User avatar
ogden
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1739
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:46 pm
Country: UK
City: London
Year: 2011
Location: Twickenham
Contact:

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by ogden » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:57 pm

Sounds about right.

The 990 motor isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Its main strength is the way it spins up, good for punching out of slow corners, most likely because it has a pretty light flywheel. But if you're looking for a motor with vast amounts of low-down grunt or a manic top end, the 990 LC8 ain't it.

It's a hell of a package, but you have to play to its strengths. Wrestle it with the wide bars, and keep the motor spinning to get the best out of it. Sure, it wants to run wide out of most corners, and it hasn't got monster poweer, but the chassis will soak up everything you throw at it, and those crappy little back roads with grass down the middle never looked like such fun.

It's versatile. It'll go pretty much anywhere. And it'll put a grin on your face every time. If mine hadn't conked out (again), I'd probably still be riding it. As it is, once it's fixed, I'll still feel wistful when I let it go, regardless of what else I have in the garage.
ogden
S1000XR | 990SMT | YZF-R6 #7

https://storify.com/eldaifo/istanbul-and-back

Cicsy
250cc
250cc
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:17 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Glasgow
Year: 2010

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Cicsy » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:26 pm

The bike has had some airbox work but still retains the standard airbox only with a K&N filter and a blanked off pipe which I'm assuming is the sas MOD. It's got blanking plates either side of the engine too . It has mivv open cans with a corresponding map carried out by BSD which reads 115 hp and 70 lbs torque. It has a lovely smooth throttle throughout the rev range with none of the snatchy carry on associated with the smt.

User avatar
Gimlet
900cc
900cc
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:10 pm
Country: UK
City: Dorset
Year: 2010
Colour: Black

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Gimlet » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:40 am

Mine doesn't run wide out of bends. Not just saying that, it really doesn't. Goes exactly where I'm looking. No wrestling either. The merest hint of bar pressure and it dives into turns like a bird. Makes virtually every other bike I've ridden, except track bikes, feel heavy. Even the Superduke's steering feels heavier in comparison.

I've got my forks raised 10 mm in the yokes, I'm running sports tyres and about 3 mm more rear preload than factory "Sport" settings. Not a hint of bar wag either which in my experience is down to wrong tyre choice.

Power-wise, with similar mods to yours Cicsy, but with a stage 3 DNA box and a custom map (also BSD) I'm getting 120 rwbph and 74 lb/ft. OK its no 1290 Superduke and it doesn't have the big cubic thrust of an 1190 or a Multistrada but I wouldn't call it lacking.

One thing to bear in mind with the SMT is that for its assumed versatility it essentially has only one mood which is the main reason it wasn't my perfect sports tourer and why I contemplated selling it on to fund an 1190. Touring, even the lively B-road variety, general riding and commuting inevitably involve some stints of dreary riding in heavy traffic, lousy weather or fast boring roads. In these instances you want to be able to settle back and leave the bike to do the work. You want comfort, space, some sort of protection and big lazy power. The SMT doesn't really have any of these. It doesn't want you to go into your shell or switch off and look at the view. It demands attention all the time and wants to be ridden. If it doesn't get it, if you don't stay engaged with it, it starts to feel a bit too busy, a bit raw and a bit out of sorts.
Its a springer spaniel of a bike. Its got only two settings: asleep or tearing around with it tongue hanging out. Its no greyhound but it doesn't want to trot along at heel either. If you bear that in mind and let it off the leash as often as possible it never disappoints.

Cicsy
250cc
250cc
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:17 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Glasgow
Year: 2010

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Cicsy » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:57 am

Yeah I did wonder about that description of having to" wrestle " the bike into corners and that's not the first time I've read that on here.
Surely though , with suspension of this quality and range of adjustment there has to be a setting to negate the need to wrestle with the bike? My old Tiger for instance albeit upgrades back and front tipped in lovely and held the line no problem and I've heard that bikes handling being described as ponderous? Not in my experience, no way.

With the SMT The previous owner said he had everything on its softest setting and found it perfect for him . I'd be inclined to change that I think and probably swap to a sportier tyre like you say Gimlet. What do you run with by the way? Mines has pr 3's fitted and again the previous owner said they suited him and were great in the wet.

Tyre choice obviously makes a huge difference to the handling of any bike of course so when it's time to change them out I'd almost certainly go for the sportier recommendation.

User avatar
Gimlet
900cc
900cc
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:10 pm
Country: UK
City: Dorset
Year: 2010
Colour: Black

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Gimlet » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:16 pm

I use Metzeler M7RRs. I've got three bikes and I run those tyres on all of them. They're just my favourite road tyre for grip, feel and turn-in. They wear quite well too and they're excellent in the wet.

I had a lot of understeer at one stage while I was trying to dial out some terrible bar wagging which was caused by fitting unsuitable Metzeler Z8s. I changed to Dunlop Roadsmart IIs and the wagging ceased immediately.
Then i had a pro suspension set-up and everything was great (quick turning, no understeer) until I began to find the limits of the Dunlops so I went over to the M7RRs and I've never looked back. They have more grip, more feel and steer even quicker.
When I tried them first the suspension feel softer than it had with the Dunlops. I spoke to the suspension guy wondering whether the Metzelers had a softer carcase but he said they were much grippier than the Dunlops and that was making the suspension activate at a faster rate which gave the impression of softer suspension. He said add a click of compression damping both ends, did that and it was perfect and I haven't touched it since.

Cicsy
250cc
250cc
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:17 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Glasgow
Year: 2010

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Cicsy » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:22 pm

OK I'll check out the tyre suppliers at Scottish motorcycle show this weekend and see if I can pick up a pair. As far as the extra power thing goes I think I've got it sorted

:twisted:
Attachments
IMAG0519.jpg
My new go faster rim tape. I'm expecting at least another 10 horse at the Back wheel

Andy J
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:44 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Belchamp Otten
Year: 2010
Colour: Black & Orange
Model: SMT

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Andy J » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:16 pm

My previous bike was a BMW S1000RR so i dropped about 60-70 hp coming to the SMT but i found the 990 engine lovely on the road. Of course theres not the top end rush of the BMW but ive never found it lacking in power.
I set the suspension up as per KTM recommended setting and handles just fine. It does feel very different to a sports bike but you just have to trust it. I run Bridgestone T30 sport touring tyres yet have enough grip to regularly get my feet grazing the road on fast corners and for it to wheelie on the gas out of slower corners.
Just persevere with it, they really are excellent road bikes.

Cicsy
250cc
250cc
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:17 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Glasgow
Year: 2010

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Cicsy » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:37 pm

Hi Andy , yep I've had my share of blades and gixers over the years too mate so wasn't expecting anything like that kind of performance. It's not really a criticism of the engine as I'm not sure what I was expecting definetly not the same eye blurring experience of a superbike.

Im totaly convinced I'll tune in to the bike and the penny will drop about what everybody's talking about in the coming months. Look, I've taken a leap of faith with the SMT and was heavily influenced by what i read right here on this forum. Its probably the only bike thats had uniformly positive reviews across the board. I mean really, its hard ro find a negative word anywhere on the net about this bike.

Ive spent a few quid getting the thing and I'll make it my own with a few personal tweaks. In all honesty I've done less than 100 miles in conditions that were less than perfect for spirited riding so I've probably been a little premature in my assessment so far. Watch this space. :mrgreen:

User avatar
jhalfhide
675cc
675cc
Posts: 219
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:39 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: East Sussex
Year: 2013
Colour: Black & Orange
Contact:

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by jhalfhide » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:42 pm

I had a 990 SMR a few years back and loved it, until it got stolen. Since then, I've had an R1 and then a Ducati Faultistrada 1200s. The Faultistrada was epic, when it worked. Masses of lovely torque and handled brilliantly. When it died, I decided I was done with Ducati (shit treatment because it must be my fault their crank snapped in two at low mileage) and wanted to revisit the KTM 990 as I had fond memories. Wanting to retain the touring capabilities I had with the fualtistrada, I chose the SMT.

In all honestly, I had it a week and was starting to think i'd made a mistake (I didn't tell the wife though). It was too revvy and I knew I was slower on it than the multi. I like to punch out of the corners with torque and this thing just felt lacking.

Since then, I have done the airbox, remapped it and changed the suspension settings. I'm loving life again. It took me a while to reprogram my brain but i'm getting there and my cornering on the bike has been massively improved since ditching the secondary flies.
Now: 2013 KTM 990 SMT
Old: 2010 Ducati Faultistrada 1200s (Broke)
Old: 2007 Yamaha R1 (Sold)
Old: 2009 KTM 990 SMR (Stolen)
Old: 2008 Ducati 848 (Written off... whilst parked :roll: )
Old: 2007 ZX6R (Written off... elderly driver)
Old: 1996 ZX6R (Sold)

User avatar
Gimlet
900cc
900cc
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:10 pm
Country: UK
City: Dorset
Year: 2010
Colour: Black

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Gimlet » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:15 pm

I had a love/hate relationship with mine until I sorted the suspension out. Once the handing potential is released exact power figures become irrelevant because you're too busy using everything its got to care.

Andy J
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:44 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Belchamp Otten
Year: 2010
Colour: Black & Orange
Model: SMT

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Andy J » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:09 pm

Had a quick blast on mine today, did 60 miles on a mix of A,B and unclassified roads.
Had another unexpected toe down moment in a quick corner! No chicken strips on my T30Evo!
You do have to bully it when hustling along but wide bars make it a breeze. For me having a bike move around under you and getting a waggle or two from the bars is all part of the fun!
Then when you need to pootle through 30&40 limits its so comfortable.
Brilliant bike.

Cicsy
250cc
250cc
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:17 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Glasgow
Year: 2010

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Cicsy » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:28 pm

"You do have to bully it when hustling along" ? There we go again, wrestle it ? Bully it? Sorry guy's but I'm just not getting this. Surely if she's set up right you should be able to tip in and hold the line without having to fight the thing or am I missing the point here? :?

User avatar
Gimlet
900cc
900cc
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:10 pm
Country: UK
City: Dorset
Year: 2010
Colour: Black

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Gimlet » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:20 pm

No, I agree with you Cicsy. A sorted SMT should feel weightless to steer. If you're battling it, its set up wrong IMHO.
There is absolutely no need to use body weight just the tiniest hint of bar pressure and its over. On mine I can tighten up mid-bend as well and change direction at the last minute without the bike fighting me. Doesn't stand up or run wide on the brakes either.
Its down to two things: suspension set-up, tyre choice.

Cicsy
250cc
250cc
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:17 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Glasgow
Year: 2010

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Cicsy » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:01 pm

My thoughts exactly Gimlet. Not suggesting for a minute I know the bike better than others god knows I've only had the thing 5 minutes. I'ts just that's the two areas that's always improved my previous bikes.

Andy J
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:44 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Belchamp Otten
Year: 2010
Colour: Black & Orange
Model: SMT

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Andy J » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:44 pm

I guess it depends how hard you ride. If im plodding along its a lovely neutral bike but as with any bike if you start to press on and ride harder then more input is needed. I ride a lot of B roads that are quite tight and very uneven and if you ride hard then changes of direction need more counter steering to achieve the turn. This has as much to do with the gyroscopic effect of the wheel as suspension set up. If its spinning faster and you want to turn quicker then more force is required to initiate that turn.
And with regard to the bike moving around, again riding hard on uneven roads means the front can become light or even leave the floor. This can make the bars shimmy. I dont mind it, im happy with a bike that does it. Others would call it unstable and poor handling, i dont.
Having ridden these roads for years on a tuned GSXR1100, R1,S1000RR and now an SMT i confident to say the SMT is as good as if not better than all of them.

User avatar
Gimlet
900cc
900cc
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:10 pm
Country: UK
City: Dorset
Year: 2010
Colour: Black

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Gimlet » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:25 am

Yes all bikes require more effort when ridden hard over poor roads than when ridden more slowly over good ones. Its how the SMT compares with other bikes that matters. Correctly set up an SMT should be more agile than most things out there and few other bikes will feel as effortless at the same speed over the same stretch of road.

But they are sensitive to set-up and because the riding position and the character of the engine encourage lively riding there's nowhere to hide and a poor set-up really makes its presence felt.
When I was (mistakenly) trying to dial in a suspension solution to a handling problem that was actually caused by tyres I experienced just about every text book symptom of incorrect suspension set-up there is including massive understeer, rear end chatter, violent sitting up under breaking, vague steering, heavy steering, poor grip, excessive weight transfer and a crap ride.

I nearly gave up and got rid of it. When I changed the tyres and the steering wag I'd been trying to get rid of vanished so I went back to factory SPORT settings and started again from there, got it as good as I could including lifting the forks 10 mm to make the front end feel more connected then took it to a suspension specialist for a pro set-up. It turned out I was 90% there but he found the incremental range for the damping was slower at the back than the front. That is to say, one click at the front was worth two or three at the rear, particularly on rebound, so I hadn't got them correctly matched. Something I wouldn't have thought of or been able to detect on my own. And he set the sag correctly for me, left the forks where I'd put them and from there added a touch of rear preload until he was happy with the bikes "attitude". Subtle changes that made an enormous difference. It was an entirely different bike. £99 thoroughly well spent. It was the first time he'd worked on an SMT and he remarked on the quality of the suspension, especially the build quality of the rear shock. He said it was as good or better than some of the best current sports bikes. (He was much less impressed with the shock on the 1290)

Its so easy to ride now. And its forgiving. If I do power into a bend on lousy bit of road with bumps and slumps and it starts to get thrown around, its just a matter of getting my weight off the seat and carrying it on the outside peg as you would on a sports bike and allowing the bike to move as it needs to and just tracks the surface and never gets out of shape. I've overcooked it many times on the SMT and its kept me in control where on lesser bikes I'm sure I would have stuffed it.
A large part of it is that the SMT strikes that magic three-way balance between weight, power and geometry. Change one of those and some of the poise will be lost.

Cicsy
250cc
250cc
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:17 pm
Country: United Kingdom
City: Glasgow
Year: 2010

Re: Is it just me or?

Post by Cicsy » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:53 am

Gimlet it seems to me you have went to a great deal of trouble to get the most from this bikes suspension. I wonder if you could save me a lot of time and agro by sending me a pm of your exact settings?

Obviously each rider's weight has to be factored into achieving the best results but I't would be a big help if I know with some certainty what works well . I want this bike to be the best it can be right from the off.

I read with interest the very detailed nature of all your posts . Yesterday I ordered a set of M7 RR's at the Scottish bike show as the supplier didn't have any in stock . Idealy I'd be looking to have the bike set up and ready for May for a planned Euro trip with some workmates.

Post Reply