Supermoto Bikes: 7 Options to Unleash Your Inner Hooligan!

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Supermoto is a combination of street and dirt riding resulting in a riding style that is wild, raw, and for those that want to go everywhere and anywhere. 

Supermoto initially started as a racing event in the 1980s that meant racers from road, motocross, and flat-track disciplines could come together and compete in one event for all. 

There has been a recent resurgence for supermoto racing and purpose-built supermoto bikes, which is perfect for those of us who want to unleash our inner hooligans. 

What is a Supermoto?

Essentially a supermoto is a standard dirt/enduro bike converted to allow sportsbike tyres instead of off-road knobblies. 

Other features can include upside-down forks and sportsbike braking setups. On the whole, the suspension is stiffened and lowered to account for some road riding too. 

What you are left with is a lightweight, narrow, quick motorcycle that can be thrown into corners, accelerate hard out of them and a suspension system that is solid on the road but will tackle the dirt without hesitation. 

Supermotos are the swiss army knives of motorcycles.

Whether you want to hit the trail and do some jumps, get the craziest lean angles in corners, pop wheelies on your commute, hit the track, or just fancy something different, there is a supermoto out there for you. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market.

KTM 690 SMC R

KTM 690 SMC R

Specs:

  • Engine – LC4, 690cc, single-cylinder
  • Max Power – 74 horsepower
  • Max Torque – 73.5 Nm
  • Seat Height –  890mm
  • Dry Weight – 147kg

With the 690 SMC R you get a single-cylinder thumper of an engine that is ready and smooth enough to do long stretches on the motorway if required but is free-revving and enough of a monster for all the fun things expected of a supermoto.

The 690 LC4 motor is packed into a lightweight chassis, with a trellis frame made from sections of chrome-molybdenum steel tubing. 

The design allows for weight to be kept down while torsional rigidity is high for excellent controlled handling. 

Alongside this, the model comes with a very sophisticated electronics package that will leave you wanting for nothing, including the ability to switch between ‘Street’ and ‘Supermoto’ modes.

KTM have utilised their Cornering ABS in the 690 SMC R, but in ‘Supermoto’ mode, ABS only works upon the front wheel, so you can do those rear wheel slides that supermoto is known for. 

Detailing even down to the rubber-mounted handlebars for reduced vibrations caters to riders comfort. 

The end result of the 690 SMC R is a brilliant purpose-built supermoto; through its electronics, the rider has complete control to set up exactly how they want to ride for the circumstances they find themselves in. 

Check it out on KTM


Husqvarna 701 Supermoto

Husqvarna 701 Supermoto

Specs:

  • Engine – LC4, 690cc, single-cylinder
  • Max Power – 74 horsepower
  • Max Torque – 73.5 Nm
  • Seat Height – 890mm
  • Dry Weight – 147kg

The Husqvarna 701 Supermoto is based on the KTM 690 SMC R, with KTM being Husqvarana’s sister company.

As a result, both motorcycles are pretty similar in their design; the engine is identical, which is reflected in the same power and torque outputs. 

The Husky is packed with electronics, including the same ‘Street’ and ‘Supermoto’ modes found on the KTM; the rear ABS also disengages in ‘Supermoto’ mode.

The bike differs from its sister with different wheels, suspension, and brakes.

WP APEX 48 graces the front suspension with CNC-machined triple clamps, designed to give great feedback to the rider and purpose-built for the supermoto style of riding. 

The power on tap is excellent as with the KTM and the Husky handles exceptionally well; it comes from a company known for building crazy good off-road bikes and race-spec supermotos. 

So to expect anything less than an excellent ride would be down to poor judgement. 

Check it out on Husqvarna Motorcycles


Ducati Hypermotard 950

Ducati Hypermotard 950

Specs:

  • Engine – 937cc, Testastretta 
  • Max Power – 114 horsepower
  • Max Torque – 96 Nm
  • Seat Height – 870mm
  • Dry Weight – 178kg

Who doesn’t love a Ducati? 

There is something about the Italian marque’s design that they just get things right.

Sure they don’t run cheap, and perhaps the joy of a supermoto for many of us is the fact we can throw it around and risk beating it up a little as the cost to repair is minimal compared to our other street bikes. 

However, the Hypermotard 950 means business. It isn’t a posers toy. It is a down and dirty Ducati that wants to unleash your inner rebel as much as anything else on this list. 

There are three variants: the base model, RVE and SP models. With the RVE and SP each offering a little extra over the base version, such as carbon fibre components. 

Even with the base model, you get a bike loaded to the brim with features including riding modes, Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Wheelie Control, USB ports. 

Riding position is confidence-inspiring; the front wheel wants to come up, so the Wheelie Control comes in handy, and the riding modes allow you to adjust to suit your environment. 

Maybe it is a little upmarket to be deemed a humble supermoto, but it is a flipping good one versatile enough to fulfil any rider’s needs. 

Check it out on Ducati


Suzuki DR-Z400SM

Suzuki DR-Z400SM

Specs:

  • Engine – 398cc, single-cylinder
  • Max Power – 39 horsepower
  • Max Torque – 39Nm
  • Seat Height – 890mm
  • Dry Weight – 137kg

Maybe looking for a used supermoto is the way to go if you are on a bit of a budget or have other types of bikes and just want to dip your toe in the water with a supermoto.

The Suzuki DR-Z400SM was born out of a time when manufacturers were trying to build off the shelf supermotos for a mainstream audience. 

This contrasted with riders of dirt bikes just undertaking DIY jobs on their own machines. 

As a result, it is a bit tamer than some other bikes, with the intention being to make it a capable street bike for commuting and everyday riding, not just hell for leather riding. 

It is lightweight, so even with its modest 39 horsepower, there is enough power to keep you entertained at all the right times. 

The only place you may run out of oomph is on long straights.

It handles nicely, the lightweight feel boosts your confidence to lean it over that little bit further or try some gentle jumps on the dirt. 

You will be able to pick a bike up relatively cheap, and it will do you a good turn. 

Just check everything over properly to ensure it hasn’t been beaten up by previous owners too much. 

Also, you will want to avoid home-converted DR-Z400’s on the whole. The original off-road versions will likely have seen more hard times than the SM models. 

Check it out on Suzuki


Yamaha WR125X

YAMAHA WR125X

Specs:

  • Engine – 124cc, single-cylinder
  • Max Power – 15 horsepower
  • Max Torque – 12Nm
  • Seat Height – 920mm
  • Dry Weight – 137kg 

Supermoto isn’t just for full-licence holders; Yamaha ensured the sport was available for new riders with the WR125X. 

The WR125X makes for a brilliant learner motorcycle but is also a whole heap of fun for those with more experience. 

The tall seat may be off-putting, but I implore you to go and sit on one before writing it off. 

The soft suspension, narrow build and light weight mean that it is a bike that riders of all heights and stature should manage.

You will find that the engine is largely bullet-proof, but as with the rest of the bike, it will be essential to check for any crash damage. 

Parts are easy to get hold of and cheap, so if a bike needs some TLC, it won’t be too time-consuming or set you back a fortune. 

It is water-cooled, fuel-injected, and you get an LCD dash with a fuel gauge; after that, it is a basic motorcycle which is exactly what new riders need. 


SWM SM500R

SM 500 R

Specs:

  • Engine – 501cc, single-cylinder
  • Max Power – 34 horsepower
  • Max Torque – 35 Nm
  • Seat Height – 920mm
  • Weight Ready to Ride – 120kg

Another middleweight to add to the mix is the SWM SM500R. 

A supermoto through and through the SM500R makes for a great addition to any garage, even if it isn’t the most known marque on the list. 

SWM was known for their off-road/enduro’s in the ’80s, and all of that knowledge gained has trickled down into the modern lineup. 

They also have close ties with Husqvarna, where a lot of the modern mechanical know-how and engineering has been borrowed from. 

The SM500R is relatively fast and has a punchy engine that will lift the front wheel without requiring much effort, and the ABS can be deactivated at the rear.

The instrument panel is basic but feeds back all the information the rider could need. 

Handling is excellent, with feedback through the front forks being more than adequate, and you can lean the bike as far over as you could possibly want. 

There is ample power to get you pretty much anywhere you want to go with power in reserve for smooth and safe overtakes. 

Easy and fun to ride, the SM500R is a competent machine that can be used as a mean weapon of a supermoto but is equally good as a pleasant about-town bike as it also has a tame side. 

Check it out on SWM


Aprilia SXV550

Aprilia SXV550

Specs:

  • Engine – 549cc, V-twin
  • Max Power – 70 horsepower
  • Max Torque – 54 Nm
  • Seat Height – 915mm
  • Dry Weight – 128kg

It wouldn’t be a worthy list of supermoto’s if Aprilia’s addition wasn’t on it.

The SXV550 utilises a compact v-twin engine with cylinders built into the engine cases. The crankshaft is lightweight, too, and the cylinder heads use a single overhead cam to save space. 

It was the engine design that made the bike stand out. Producing a v-twin capable of off-road by being lightweight enough while pushing out enough power isn’t an easy feat.

The overall aim of the bike was to be as lightweight and compact as possible to make it the perfect supermoto. 

Generally, the first supermoto’s and most current ones were single cylinders, so the extra cylinder made the Aprilia stand out and gave it an extra boost, with less vibration and more power. 

This also means as a street bike; it is highly competent and somewhat more civilised than typical supermotos. 

It is an extremely lightweight machine that is ready for the trickiest of manoeuvres, whether off-road or filtering through traffic in town.

However, a little side note worth mentioning is that the SXV550 is a racer at heart and is very loosely pretending to be a road bike.

It needs to be treated as such, with a small petrol tank, service intervals measured in hours instead of miles, and it isn’t comfortable; long journeys in the saddle are a no go. 

With all that said, it is easy to ride whether you are encouraging the hooligan racer within or you are being a little more conservative. 

They also don’t come cheap even though they are no longer part of Aprilia’s lineup, so be prepared to dig deep if you want one, but trust me, it is worth it.