Buying Advice: KTM SMC 660

Been lurking here for quite some time now, ever since I got the itch. Anyway, I completed my full license a few months back and have finally saved a bit of cash dolla to buy something.

I’ve found a KTM SMC 660 that I am seriously considering buying. It’s from a dealership, which I am a bit more comfortable with even with the higher price, as I don’t know enough to really look at the bike in detail to see if its any good. A cursory glance from my untrained eye says it is in good condition.

I will use the bike for daily London city commuting, and maybe a bit of mucking about.

My only concern is that it is a kick-start only bike, no electric start. I’m not really sure the pros and cons here. Is it a big deal? Does it become incredibly hard to kick start in the cold winter months? Is a kick start prone to failure more than an electric… etc etc.

Any advice would be appreciated.
I’ve done my research on the dealership and they seem to be a decent outfit.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Apologies if this is in the wrong category.


Kick start is annoying if you stall it at the lights…

would this be the 660smc from DMC by any chance?

i had my 660smc for a few years and loved it, kick start i never had a problem starting cold or hot but is a bugger if stalled at lights:D as for around town its ok but do over heat summer time in idle traffics sometimes. did my oil changes at 500miles filters every 1000miles. also not 100% but i think the 660 has no keys.

I’ve an LC4 625 that regularly has a flat battery. I kicked it to get it going tonight, and have kicked it through winter to start it. I cannot over-stress how unique and different one bike can be to another similar bike to start. You can kick forever and it wont start if you’re doing it wrong for that bike. Ask me how I know :slight_smile:

In an ideal world get someone to show you before you buy it. Eg salesman. Don’t accept him starting it if then engine is warm as that’s basically cheating.

For me it’s goes exactly like this

  1. Stand on the bike, on it’s stand, bum off seat, right hand placed on the hand guard but absolutely not resting on the throttle. The kicking motion will inadvertently open the throttle if you’re holding to the bike with it. Even if you think you’re not, you probably are.
  2. What’s the temperature? If it’s shirt weather or the engine is warm leave the choke alone. If it’s UK cold and has been standing then about 1/5th choke, enough to feel the lever pulling something and just a tickle past that point but certainly NOT all the way. Max 2/5ths choke. Anything more is too rich.
  3. Check the kill switch is allowing the bike to start
  4. Check the fuel tap is open
  5. Kill the headlight, heated grips, gps, or any other electrical device that doesn’t need to be on
  6. Pull decomp lever in fully and:
  7. Kick about 10 times in quick succession to get a fresh mixture into the engine
  8. Close decomp
  9. WAIT 15 seconds at least. Super important.
  10. Kick down a stroke (probably wont start on this one) using weight
  11. Kick again being ready to move the hand back on the throttle to keep it running
  12. If it’s not started then see 11 and if no luck after 5 kicks, see 6.

The internet mentions finding the point where the piston is highest, then just creeping past here, to then find the perfect point to kick. I find the opposite for my bike, and it will start much better if initiated at a half stroke (or generally not worrying about where it is in the stroke and just keep kicking) or when the kicker feels quite loose. Dunno why but it definitely works for me. Momentum perhaps, again I don’t know.

But the choke and the timed wait, for me, are absolutely vital. And these will differ from bike to bike, service to service, dirty carb, dirty filter, etc etc that may affect the ratio of fuel to air going in to the chamber.

On the plus side, once you know, it’s awesome.

Hello Boom,
Yea, kicking starting a bike is cool.

But having an electric start is handy as well :wink: (get a 625 SMC - best of both worlds)

I’m thinking of getting another one.

From what you’re saying, it sounds like the majority of your riding is going to be city/commuting. I think you really have to ask yourself if it’s the right type of bike.

I’ve never had the pleasure of rinding a 660SMC, but been out with MD few times when he had his. It does seem to be a bit of an animal (I mean this in a good way), but can you live with it on your commute? My feeling is that you may get frustrated with the bike overheating, uncomfortable seat, more than regular oil changes, kick starting at traffic lights when a hundred people behind you are beeping … You may end up disliking what is a great bike.

My advice would be to look at a street tard instead. The 625SMC or Duke will probably be alright, also consider a DRZ. But I would say go for an XT660X. People will tell you it’s not a propper moto, but I’m not sure that’s what you want. I had an XT for just over a year, and I loved it. I commuted on it, toured on it, enjoyed riding the lanes, did my IAM training and test. It’s comfortable enough to ride all day, starts at the button every morning, only needs oil changes every 6000 miles (need topping up a bit every 500-1000 miles though), and they’re brilliant fun.
When you start riding more for pleasure than commuting, then maybe reconsider if you want a propper moto, but you won’t loose much money on your XT if you buy a decent second hand a keep it in good nick.

As for kickstarting. It’s interesting reading your list KTMmarting. I’ve got the hang of kickstarting my 520 now, and it’s almost completely different. Mine goes:

open fuel tap (very important, forgotten that a couple of times :smiley: )choke open completely (unless the engine is warm already)open and close throttle twicehand on front brake to avoid opening throttle while kickinguse decompression lever to move kickstart lever down a littlekickkick again and it usually just starts

been looking at the KTM 690 SMC,i think thats the best choice for a commuter/animal :slight_smile:

but hard to find a used one


Thanks guys, some very helpful info in there.
@MAD-DOG Dhofty: yep, thats the one. They seem to have a good reputation, and I went in to see them the other day. Seemed decent.

I really like the KTMs. But I think perhaps I should try find one or two more to weight up my options. Maybe the 625SMC and XT660X (the duke doesn’t really appeal to me that much - prefer a higher seat).
In addition, I’m fairly lazy when it comes to maintenance, and I didn’t realise the SMC will require a lot more frequent oil changes.

That said, I know myself, after a day or two I am going to get impatient trying to find other bikes, and just go impulse buy the 660 :smiley:

Reason I asked was cos DMC have had that 660smc for a looooong time. Not that there is anything wrong with it just the price is high so bet you could geta better deal from them. I sold my 2006 for £2600 with a big list of mods an there is plenty about.
I’d look for a 625smc for E-start for traffic use.

I wouldnt even bother with a supermoto pal. If your just after it for comuting get something else. If you want a toy thats gona make you grin from ear to ear get something like a 525 EXC :wink:

If your are adamant you want a supermoto go for the LC4.

Are MD what ya mean no problems kickstarting it… your such a liar :stuck_out_tongue: I have many a recolection of waiting for you to get your bike started :hehe:

If you’re commuting will you have secure off-street parking?

It’s the one thing that would put me off buying a KTM for day-to-day commuting use. as from reading on here they do appear to be the numero uno target for bike thieves these days. :angry:

Good point. That *might * be a reason to get an XT - no wants 'em! :wink:

there was the odd time you get trouble starting it but most of the time was fine, most of the times it had trouble starting was cos had to keep pulling over waiting for you to catch up;)

the first trackday I did on the 'berg, I had to find a helpful norvern bloke to kick the b’stard for me every session.

The last day I did (in November - bad idea), I worked up a major sweat wearing a t-shirt and jeans in sub-zero temperatures trying to start the thing!

High compression, race cam and kickstart only are not a marriage made in heaven…

That’s right. Main reason for that is that people, probably like you, who never rode one keep slagging them off.
Same with DRZs, a lot of the KTM crowd make a laughing stock of them, but when you ask those people if they ever owned or even ridden one, mostly the answer is no (or more likely absent).

I’ve never ridden the Duke, but I rode the 690 enduro as a loan bike, and I would say that there was very little or no noticable difference in “usuable” power. And I know it makes a few extra ponies at the top end, and I know my XT had a nice exhaust system, PC3 and stage2 filters, while the 690 was noticeably strangled, so not an entirely fair comparison, but I was surprised there wasn’t a greater difference.
Go out and try an XT and be honest.
I swear hands on heart that when a 625SMC or a Duke is quicker than an XT (or visa versa), it’s down to the rider, and be honest, you don’t often see great riders riding a 625 or a Duke as most of them will have gone bored of them and either bought a cheap reliable everyday bike (XT or DRZ) or something more exciting (propper moto).

Don’t get me wrong, I like the KTMs, I’ve got 2 of them, but if I wanted a street tard, it’d be another XT or a DRZ. They’re ride and forget, solid engines, great reliability, simple, and anybody will service them cheap. Whatever some keen owners will tell you, none of these things apply to any KTM IMHO.

Garret was lucky he got a 625smc cos when we viewed his bike he stalled it 10 times b4 nearly crashing it:D

…yeah and the MT03 is like the XT only it’s better. :wink:

The high desirability amongst thieves was also a concern. I do have secure parking at home though, and if I fork out cash dolla for a nicer bike I will probably alarm it etc.

To be honest, I think I need to cool my jets, and keep my eyes on the market for a bit longer, also a kick start only may be a mistake right now.
The XT660X is also something I may consider. I do really like the KTMs though… damn them thieves.

Thanks for all your comments.


Hehe! Damn hydraulic clutch - too good for me, and then there’s the throttle. Ahh… moto moments. Might be reliving them soon - thinking of part ex’ing for an SXV 550 :wink:

Yea, gotta have a brick garage, right?