Nat recently put his KTM 990 SMT in for a full ECU remap (travelling up from Somerset!) and has been kind enough to let us know what he thinks…
Had 250 odd miles on the bike now since the remap so thought I would give my thoughts;
I originally test rode the 990 SMT and decided at that point that the fuelling would be a pain to live with on a daily basis and started researching if it was solvable. Originally I found BSD’s website, in particular the article for the MCN bike. Having picked my brand new bike from the dealer, I found that I very quickly started to dip the clutch coming on throttle and took to moto-x style fingers on the brake lever to get finer control of my right hand at low speed.
I did 2500 miles in under a couple of months and I have loved riding it. I did however realise in this time that I had simply adapted my riding to cope with the bike’s very obvious snatchy and unpredictable throttle at low speed and an almost complete inability for it to hold a constant speed (before I hear your say “but it’s a twin” my previous 2 bikes were a Tuono and a Firestorm, not to mention a 675 which I still have and has a pretty light throttle, none of which I have suffered these issues with). I took the time off and booked her in to go and see if the guys at BSD could work their magic. I arrived and within 2.5 hours the process was complete, I got pulled into to the workshop for a brief of what my SMT was showing on the dyno.
This proved a testament to why this process cannot be done by a “send them your ecu” style remap, as unlike most of the internet SMT grumbles of them running rich on the Akrapovic map, mine was in fact running lean! Furthermore, despite apparently the issues I have described being less evident on later bikes, mine was apparently one of the worst of the later generation bikes they had seen in the 50 odd bikes they have done this with.
So, process complete for what I considered to be a very reasonable cost, I set off for the long ride back to Somerset. 5 minutes after setting off – heavens opened, given that wet weather riding was one of the areas I had always been nervous of the throttle on this bike, I thought what better a test of the mod. Straight away, first few islands – I was finding that I could leave my left hand on my lovely KTM heated grips and return to control the bike on throttle alone, no hint of the unpredictability of the previous incarnation I had beneath me. Shortly after this I found myself having to filter for the best part of 3 miles down a dual carriageway – something else which I had previously found tiring due to constant clutch work and snatching, once again I found my hands toasty warm and firmly on the grips.
Finally, back in Somerset, and I thought I would complete my trip by getting off the dull stuff and go have a play – what a difference, straight away I felt it much more confidence inspiring in the slow speed corners, given the time of year and the large deposits of wet leaves, wet patches and tell-tail rainbows, I was still taking it easy, but still my eyes were no longer saucer like, great improvement once again.
So I guess, in summary, whilst you can ride this bike every day in standard form, I think it is worth every penny to make it the bike KTM should have supplied 🙂
Cheers guys !!