In 2018, KTM’s Top Boss Stefan Perier confirmed that the Austrian brand will be bringing in a middle-weight segment motorcycle with a parallel twin-cylinder engine and a displacement of close to 500cc. The motorcycle is expected to be dubbed with a ‘490’ prefix in the signature style of the brand’s monikers. Now sources suggest that the motorcycle, which was expected to hit the streets by 2022, could be facing delays, due to the COVID-19 pandemic disruption in 2020.
KTM’s new parallel-twin cylinder motorcycle is expected to come in two iterations which are expected to be christened 490 Duke and 490 Adventure. The head honcho already confirmed in the past that the motorcycle will be manufactured at the Bajaj-KTM joint production facility in Chakan Pune and it is reported that the Indian partner has invested close to INR 650 Crores in retooling and upgrading the facility to accommodate the new production requirements.
Leaked investor documents have revealed that 5 iterations will be made using the 500cc parallel-twin cylinder engine. Two could be the 490 Duke and 490 Adventure, another two for the Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen and Bajaj is also expected to make its own unique motorcycle using the same twin-cylinder motor. This will be the first attempt for the Indian two-wheeler manufacturer to venture into the multiple cylinder engine format and KTM’s R&D department from Matighoffen are expected to provide close support to the brand.
In the near future, the KTM brand is also expected to offer an RC (Race Competition) Supersport iteration of the same engine that will be sold in the Indian as well as the international market. While the engine details are scarce at the moment, the architecture is likely to be borrowed from the 790/890 Duke engine and the liquid-cooled motor is expected to pump out around 60 Bhp of power.
The production of the new motorcycles is expected to commence early in 2023.