The upcoming KTM 490 range will consist of five different models, and they will be powered by a new near-500cc parallel-twin engine
Austrian two-wheeler manufacturer KTM is planning to add a 490 series to its motorcycle range. The automaker is working on a brand-new 500cc engine, which will power the bikes in the new 490 series, in partnership with India’s Bajaj Auto. KTM had previously revealed that five 490 models are in the works.
These include the 490 Adventure, 490 Supermoto, 490 Enduro, 490 Duke, and RC490, as revealed previously by an investment presentation. The design of these upcoming bikes will surely bear resemblance to their existing 390 counterparts, but there will likely be plenty of changes to distinguish the larger-capacity models from the smaller ones.
The 490 range will be powered by a near-500cc parallel-twin engine, with a peak power figure higher than 55 PS. This powerplant will have a 270-degree crankshaft, which should give it a V-twin-like burbling exhaust note. Transmission duties will likely be handled by a 6-speed gearbox, and a slip & assist clutch will probably also be offered here.
In the Indian market, we only expect the Adventure, Duke and RC versions to launch, likely a few months after their global debut. There is no official word on whether the 390 range will co-exist with the new 490 range or not, but we expect that it will, as the new parallel-twin engine would be significantly more expensive.
Currently, Royal Enfield is the leader in the 250cc to 500cc motorcycle segment, courtesy of its 350cc models. The arrival of the KTM 490 range could shake things up heavily. If the Austrian marque manages to nail the pricing, we’re sure performance enthusiasts will queue up in droves to get their hands on a new KTM 490 model.
The production of KTM’s 490 range will be manufactured by Bajaj in India, with a heavy focus on exports. Bajaj is also expected to utilise the 490 KTM platform to build its own 450cc/500cc models. It is also worth noting that Bajaj and Triumph have also partnered up for the development of new small- to mid-capacity motorcycles.
As per speculations, the development KTM 490 range will also benefit CFMoto. In fact, the upcoming CFMoto 450SR could be based on the KTM 490 platform.