The first motorcycle based on the 500 cc platform will be launched in 2022 and it will carry a parallel-twin engine
Speculations surrounding a new range of KTM motorcycles sitting above the popular 390 range have been rife in recent months. The 500 cc platform is expected to cater to volume sales while not being too expensive compared to the higher displacing middleweight capacity motorcycles. It was confirmed to be in the works already by KTM’s CEO Stefan Pierer and more details have emerged.
He explained in a recent conversation that the global health crisis has put more emphasis on private commuting and thus the 500 cc architecture holds plenty of promise, mainly in the developed markets like Europe. The Austrian manufacturer is looking to roll out the 500 cc motorcycles as soon as it could. The launch timeframe of the first product is set at around 2022.
Logically speaking, KTM will be looking to retain its customer base with the upcoming 500 cc and it could act as an upgrade to the 390 series across the globe. The Duke 490 naked streetfighter will likely be the first in line ahead of a dual purpose adventure motorcycle and a fully-faired RC bike.
In a similar fashion to the bigger 790 range, the 500 cc bikes will also use a parallel twin architecture. The 500 cc motorcycles will bridge the gap between 390 and 790 series and their engine output may also find a middle ground. Bajaj Auto has been taking advantage of its local manufacturing prowess and KTM’s expertise in developing motorcycles since the acquisition.
The same strategy will likely be followed here as they could be shipped abroad from Chakan plant and India could be targeted as one of the key markets due to KTM’s popularity. The 500 cc platform is also expected to be used by Husqvarna as they could be priced at a premium while sharing components to reduce production costs with the Swedish distinction.
They are said to sit on lightweight trellis frame while using WP suspension, and a host of rider assistive and safety technologies upon arrival such as cornering ABS, Traction Control, full-colour TFT console, Launch Control and so on.
*Pics for reference only