The first of KTM’s 500cc lineup is expected to be ready by 2022. This isn’t exactly new information for those who have been following the space, but it is the first time that we have heard it from the horse’s mouth.
This is because KTM CEO Stefan Pierer sat down with journalist Sir Alan Cathcart, and discussed the new models (you can read his full interview on Motoring World) and several other items in an expansive interview.
We do know that the 500cc platform (likely to go by the 490 moniker in KTM trim) will be a twin-cylinder engine, and designed by Bajaj with assistance from KTM. Of note, this is the first twin-cylinder engine that Bajaj has ever made.
Based around the 790/890 platform, the 490 machines will borrow heavily from their larger brethren, though it remains to be seen where manufacturing will take place – in India with Bajaj, or in China with CFMoto.
Power is expected to be in the 60hp range, with an emphasis that the motorcycle is to bridge the gap between the 390 line (40hp) and the 890 bikes (110hp) so riders can stay in the KTM family through out their two-wheeled progression.
We know from previous rumors that both KTM and Husqvarna will use the 500cc platform for a variety of models, including naked and adventure bikes.
KTM’s roadmap shows five models coming to the 490 lineup, and we can expect several more for Husqvarna as well. It’s even money as to whether Pierer’s latest acquisition, GasGas, uses the 500cc twin as well.
Positioned as premium offerings in developing markets like India, we still expect to see the 490 bikes in Europe and North America, as value-centered street bikes.
So far, this proposition from KTM has worked well in selling models like that KTM RC390 and KTM 790 Duke, so things bode well for the prospects of the 490 line.
What remains to be seen is when KTM will give us our first glimpse of its 490 creations. With a 2022 deadline, that could mean a concept or two at the 2021 trade shows, with a Spring 2022 debut.
But, just as we are uncertain about the trade show schedule resuming next year, so are our indications of when the first KTM 490 Duke will break cover. It could be closer to two years from now.. The boss says 2022 though…so, until then…
Source: Motoring World