Are you ready to up your riding game by challenging yourself with elements from both street and dirt bikes? If street riding is starting to feel a little bit mundane or old, then it’s time to try Supermoto and give yourself a new experience.
Having years of biker experience can mean that you know every curve in the road by heart or that you’ve taken every ride in your state multiple times. By giving Supermoto bikes a try, you open up a whole world of riding beyond the road.
Try one of these Supermoto models to get you started.
What Is a Supermoto Bike?
In this special racing event, riders from different racing disciplines compete in a mashup of a race. Professionals from flat track, road, and motocross all compete in one event. The racetrack is partially paved and partially dirt. There are tight and twisty turns and jumps to challenge all riders, no matter their background.
The bikes are lightweight, nimble machines that can corner at insane angles while conquering the trails like a pro. These bikes may seem a bit like a Frankenstein build with their large 17-inch wheels and sticky sport tires. Your natural reaction is to think that they won’t excel in any terrain challenge. This is far from the truth, as they excel both on pavement and off-road.
While Suzuki is known for making some of the top-performing sportbikes, it also has an extensive lineup of recreational vehicles. The DR-Z400SM is its Supermoto offering. It comes with a 398cc carbureted single-cylinder engine. This gives it a top speed of 90 miles per hour.
When compared to the Euro bikes, you’ll find the Suzuki has a softer and lighter feel. It stays true to Supermoto roots by starting with a dirt bike body, but the tires are wider and have more grip. The brakes are also beefed up, and the suspension is firmer.
The handling is agile due to the lighter weight. You’ll find that long, big roads are a bit more than what this bike can handle. So, stick with tracks, city streets, and trick riding.
As with most dual-sport bikes, proper and regular maintenance is key to keeping this bike running. Fail to do this, and you’ll face reliability issues. You should also be diligent when buying a used one, as many were sold at significant discounts. But you should be able to score a reasonable price for one.
This 449cc carbureted engine will achieve a top speed of 110 mph. Husqvarna is a brand that has a solid foothold in the Supermoto market. This European niche brand produces some of the highest-quality and top-performing bikes that are ready for the dirt and the road.
The SM450R is a bit more of a racing bike than a road bike, but it was the best of the best when it came to performance crossover upon its release in 2004. You’ll find it to be slim in design yet powerful with a higher revving engine. It was a turning point for Husqvarna due to its smoother running engine.
Just keep in mind that long, open-throttle straightaways are not kind to this Husky engine. You also want to be careful buying used ones, as a lack of proper maintenance can cause the reliability to be spotty.
This is another purist Supermoto bike. Yamaha stayed true to the Supermoto roots by using a dirt bike body as the starting point and then adding road bike detailing. The most notable feature of this bike is that it’s the smallest on this list. But don’t let the smaller engine size fool you into thinking that it can’t perform.
This is the perfect beginner bike for someone not experienced in Supermoto or riding in general. Don’t expect to hit 80 miles per hour. Yamaha claims the top speed is 85 mph, but you’ll hear the engine screaming and maxed out at 75 mph. The engine will give you smooth throttling and operation. You’ll be able to build confidence and experience on changing and unstable riding surfaces.
For a little step up in power and performance, consider the YZF450. The slightly bigger engine will take you from 250cc to 449cc.
There are some bikes on this list, such as the Ducati, that lean more towards the street side than the dirt side of the Supermoto market. Honda is more of a dirt bike than a street bike. In all honesty, you’re buying a dirt bike that needs modification.
Once you buy your CRF450, you can upgrade a few key components and have a wicked Supermoto bike. Plan to change out the tires, wheels, suspension, and brakes. Your other option is to find one that someone else has already converted. The problem with this is that you can’t be confident that it’s still street legal.
There are two versions of the CRF450: the enduro styled “X” and the aggressively styled “R” version. You’ll find that the X version has a few more creature comforts, like additional lighting and an electric start. The R version is a purebred dirt bike through and through. If you aren’t into spending time working on your bike, then the CRF450 isn’t the bike for you.
These bikes tend to eat through pistons like it’s their job. If you plan to go racing, you’ll be lucky if one set lasts you the entire weekend. But this may not be a big deal if you’re a Supermoto enthusiast, because you’ll get some serious thrill out of riding this bike. The 449cc engine that produces 49 horsepower is perfectly paired with an overall weight of 264 pounds.
Ducati Hypermotard 939
The 939 from Ducati is one of the most stylish and sleekest looking bikes on this list. You’ll love the black and bright red color scheme of this motard. It also comes in a black and white version with red accenting. It looks the least like a typical dirt bike and more like a streetbike pretending to be a dirt bike.
Providing the power for this Ducati is a 937cc 8-valve fuel-injected L-twin engine. This gives you 113 horsepower on a bike that weighs 449 pounds. The performance on this bike is what makes it one of the most recognizable in the segment. It has excellent handling, incredibly light steering, and an ability to achieve insanely tight cornering.
Plus, you can’t forget that Ducati packs some serious punch in the speed department.
KTM 640 LC4 Supermoto
This bike may no longer be in production, but the fact that it’s on this list is a testament to how great this bike is. Plus, it’s relatively easy to source a used one. It may not have all of the flash and panache of some of the other bikes on this list, but it’s perfect for a beginner in the Supermoto segment.
Powering the KTM is a 625cc carbureted engine that produces 53 horsepower. This will get you up to 110 miles per hour. This will have you cruising around the city streets with plenty of get up and go. And it won’t disappoint if you get a chance to take it out on the track.
The performance of this bike is sensible in that you’ll find it fast and focused without being overwhelmingly so. This isn’t the bike you’ll take a long cruise on, but it’s perfect for prowling those urban side alleys. Stunting will come naturally with Brembo brakes and an adjustable WP suspension.
KTM stays true to its reputation with this bike by using only the highest quality components and materials. This helps this bike and all KTMs to hold their value, so it may be a challenge to score a great deal on one. But once you do buy one, it’ll retain its value.
One of the lesser-known brands on this list, Aprilia has a 549cc 8-valve fuel-injected V-twin engine that can produce top speeds of 115 miles per hour. This means that it departs from the true Supermoto bike trend of having a single-cylinder engine. The extra cylinder helps it to outperform all of the other bikes on the market.
The introduction of the extra cylinder caused quite a stir when it was first introduced 10 years ago. With the extra cylinder, you’ll experience less vibration and greater power with a lower weight. The different weight to power ratio gives this bike a performance edge and extra oomph.
It has 70 horsepower and weighs just 282 pounds. The result is an absolute wicked ride and a weapon on the track.
Tackle the Road and the Dirt
If you’ve mastered the road and are ready for a new challenge, then it’s time to try a Supermoto bike. These bikes are a fantastic mashup of street bike and dirt bike that gives you a high-performing piece of machinery. You’ll find them slim through the body with larger, smooth tires.
So, get your own Supermoto bike and go from the road to the dirt and back. You’ll find a renewed excitement for riding as your skills improve.