After fans from around the world witnessed Chris Fillmore flog his SMR-fitted KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition machine at the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to claim a Lightweight division victory in record-breaking time, it became a matter of when, not if, we’d see a production version of that bike.
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And so it is that after a sabbatical of seven years, the highly anticipated KTM 450 SMR is coming back to the North American market as a 2021 model. Although it’s based on the championship-winning 450 SX-F, this latest SMR is fitted with premium supermoto-specific parts and top-shelf finishes, along with a now de rigueur “aggressive” graphics package to make sure you get the supermoto race-ready message.
It’s not surprising that a lightweight, compact, 450cc, liquid-cooled single engine—the same as the formidable unit found in the KTM 450 SX-F—takes center stage in the 2021 KTM 450 SMR as well. This latest generation engine incorporates the newest four-stroke engineering and, with a weight of less than 60 pounds – one of the lightest in the class – has been optimally placed in the frame to emphasize mass centralization, a characteristic further enhanced by a strategically positioned crankshaft. Managing the engine room is a 44mm Keihin throttle body and a Keihin Engine Management System with adjustable maps, launch control, and traction control, while a specifically designed airbox helps with respiratory duties. At the other end is a Pankl Racing Systems five-speed gearbox with an advanced sensor that also allows for tunable engine maps for each gear. Rear wheel stability? That’s enhanced by a Suter slipper clutch.
As with past iterations of this 450, KTM relies on a frame made of chromium molybdenum steel optimized for stability, with a lightweight aluminum subframe and die-cast swingarm for increased wheelbase adjustment. The CNC-machined triple clamps also offer a handy three-way handlebar adjustment.
As you’d expect, the suspension package is comprised of supermoto-specific components including an inverted WP Xact fork with AER technology (air adjustable for preload and damping, as seen on KTM’s 2020 MX models). Out of the box, the fork is set to offer 11.2 inches of travel and features a mid-valve damping system to enhance damping feel, while a compact WP Xact rear shock is also fully adjustable and operates via a linkage system with rearset geometry. It offers 10.4 inches of travel.
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Naturally, the quality of the rubber hitting the road (or dirt) is a crucial in this case, and for the 450 SMR, KTM fitted lightweight, Supermoto Alpina spoked tubeless wheels (a 16.5-incher up front and 17-incher in the rear) to reduce unsprung weight, while shoeing them with Bridgestone racing slicks for competition duty. Hauling those wheels down from speed is a Brembo four-piston radial caliper clamping a 310mm floating disc up front, with a 220mm disc out back.
The 2021 KTM 450 SMR will be hitting KTM dealerships in November of 2020, with an MSRP of $11,299
For more info, see ktm.com/en-us.
2021 KTM 450 SMR Specifications
|Engine:||450cc, SOHC, liquid-cooled four-stroke single-cylinder|
|Bore x Stroke:||95.0 x 63.4mm|
|Fuel System:||Keihin electronic fuel injection w/ 44mm throttle body|
|Clutch:||Wet, multiplate Suter slipper w/ Brembo hydraulic actuation|
|Frame:||Double-cradle, chrome-moly steel w/ aluminum subframe|
|Front Suspension:||48mm WP inverted fork adjustable for air spring, compression and rebound damping; 10.4-in. travel|
|Rear Suspension:||Fully adjustable WP monoshock; 11.2-in. travel|
|Front Brake:||Brembo radial-mounted 4-piston caliper, 310mm floating disc|
|Rear Brake:||Brembo single-piston caliper, 220mm disc|
|Wheels, Front/Rear:||Tubeless Alpina spoked; 16.5 in. / 17 in.|
|Tires, Front/Rear:||Bridgestone racing slicks; 125/600R-16.5 / 165/630R-17|
|Fuel Capacity:||1.8 gal.|
|Claimed Curb Weight:||232 lb.|