KTM North America Inc. has introduced the 2023 KTM 450 SMR, one of the company’s finest expressions of pure READY TO RACE machinery. Even at a glimpse, the latest version of this competition Supermoto weapon reveals a bike purposely built to annihilate the asphalt. In a discipline where tenths of a second and fractions of an inch can make all the difference, the precision and sheer racing intent behind the 2023 KTM 450 SMR are exactly what any Supermoto fan or racer needs.
The innovations start with the refined hydro-formed, laser-cut and robot-welded frame. Front-end focus and confidence, along with rear-end stability, define everything that is fast on the Supermoto circuit. KTM has altered longitudinal and torsional flex through frame wall thickness and bracing to make sure that feedback and control are on-point to satisfy any rider — from novice to world championship-level racers. At the rear, a revised shock mount enhances energy absorption and straight-line stability for 2023. The anti-squat behavior translates to better acceleration and corner exit speed, courtesy of its repositioned rotational masses and an all-new, shorter shock body. New, wider foot pegs with tucked-in pivot points enhance the feeling that the 2023 KTM 450 SMR can be gripped, turned and pushed however hard the rider wants. The polyamide-reinforced aluminum two-piece subframe is another ingredient for overall greater handling with the bonus of superb strength. Rider flow out on the track comes effortlessly, working through the high-grade aluminum CNC-machined triple clamps, which are newly designed with increased grip surface for less handlebar twist.
Sliding into turns has never felt easier, thanks to the added reassurance delivered by the expertly calculated flex character from the new, diecast aluminum swingarm, new 22-millimeter rear axle and the latest generation of WP XACT Suspension. XACT 48-millimeter forks with AER technology have a split-damping function, simple toolless adjusters and are set up for Supermoto domination right out of the crate. Balancing the front-end performance is the new, shorter, lighter WP XACT rear shock (shorter but with the same amount of travel), which is fully optimized for tarmac and features several significant upgrades to enable advanced damping characteristics. The new WP XACT shock is the most progressive and capable system seen on a KTM Supermoto machine yet.
Calculated millimeters on corner entry are made possible by a high-powered four-piston Brembo brake system clamping down on a 310-millimeter front disc. A 220-millimeter disc and single piston caliper will bring the rear end around nicely while it’s complimented by the SUTER anti-hopping clutch and Brembo hydraulics that will let riders drift all the way till they shift.
Once the Metzeler Racetec SM K1 tires (with a large usage window and rapid warm-up times) have been abused into the apex, the unmistakable firepower of the 2023 KTM 450 SMR gets everything winding forward. The new single-overhead camshaft (SOHC) engine is designed with mass centralization as the goal and blasts out massive power and torque from a physically smaller overall package compared to the previous edition. The engine itself has been tilted back and the sprocket dropped by 3 millimeters with new cylinder internals and crankshaft optimization as other markers of the 2023 set-up. PANKL Racing Systems have supplied a redesigned, five-speed gearbox with a new transmission ratio. To make quick work of shifting, the fresh Quickshift sensor on the shift drum allows for clutch-less upshifts from second to fifth gear (this can also be disabled through the handlebar switch). The Keihin Engine Management System will administer the traction control, launch control and Quickshift actions, and the ability to flick between two selectable engine maps.
Throwing the whole package into place on-track is now simpler with new ergonomics and the sculpted rider “triangle” that permits even better contact points between motorcycle and user. There won’t be a better or harder-looking bike on the track than the 2023 KTM 450 SMR. The 1990s-derived splash of purple adds to the READY TO RACE graphic vibe together with the flat orange seat and white tail.
2023 KTM 450 SMR Technical Highlights
- Acute new anti-squat frame concept for unbeatable agility, sensitivity and stability
- Lighter and more durable 63-horsepower engine package for peerless power-to-weight ratio
- New-generation advanced and easy-adjusting WP suspension
- Searing braking components from Brembo
- Performance-led parts from foot pegs, compact exhaust system, electronics, wheels and tires
- Improved ergonomics to accentuate agility and centralization: better lap times
- Unmistakable race-orientated graphics and one of KTM’s best color schemes yet
The 2023 KTM 450 SMR will arrive at authorized KTM dealer floors from November 2022 onwards. For more information, visit ktm.com.