Happy holidays to everyone and I hope you have a great time celebrating.
So it’s been talked about it for a while now, but KTM has confirmed that the 500cc platform WILL be ready in 2022. How do we know this? The CEO of KTM, Stefan Pierer has said it himself!
The engine is being 100% developed by Bajaj with assistance from KTM. The engine will power the entire 490 range, but the engine is in fact a 500cc parallel twin. What is interesting is that it will be Bajaj’s first attempt at making anything more than a single cylinder.
If you are worried about that, I wouldn’t worry too much as it appears the engine is based heavily off the 790 and 890 platforms, just shrunk to size. Bajaj currently build the smaller CC road bike engines for KTM and Husqvarna.
Now KTM is not sure where the engine will be made yet. Currently it’s a toss-up between Bajaj and CF Moto in China. CF Moto has been assembling KTM bikes since 2015 and KTM have been extremely happy with their work. So happy they’ve given them the 790 platform and the 890 platform to follow.
Ok so what bikes can we expect to use the new 500cc twin? Stefan Pierer has confirmed the Duke and Adventure models will come from both KTM and Husqvarna. We also have more information from a leaked KTM management presentation.
The slide shows a ton of 490 based bikes including the RC490, 490 Adventure, SMC 490, Enduro 490 and a Duke 490. That’s a lot of bikes!
Now while all these bikes are on the slide, all bar the duke 490 is greyed out. What does this mean? Who knows, it could mean any number of things. To me it looks like all the greyed out bikes are other bikes in the range except for the RC490.
KTM have stated they are positioning the 490 as a step up for 125,250 and 390 owners, while also bridging the gap to the 790 or 890. Power is expected to between 55-60hp. I’d be happy with that from a 500cc twin provided the weight isn’t crazy.
The weight, I’m going to speculate purely based off their current bikes. Looking at the 390 Duke, its only 329lbs (150kg) whereas the disappointing 390 Adventure is 379lbs (172kg). In the 790’s, the Adventure is 417 lbs (189kg) and the Duke 372lbs (169kg). As the bikes are a bridge between these two models, common sense would say the weight should be too. To me the 390 Adventure is too heavy and pretty much a street bike. Fingers crossed the 490 Adventure is more like the 790.
What surprises me is the sheer number of bikes that have been leaked. I mean I expected a Duke and Adventure, but I definitely didn’t expect three more. I’m super keen to see if these all eventuate.
I’m not sure if the Enduro 490 will see the light of day. I mean they already have the 500EXC that sells like hot cakes and 690 Enduro. Sure the 490 is a street engine, but you’d think an Adventure R would fill this gap. We’ll just have to wait and see.
So what do you all think? Are you keen for 490 range from KTM and Husqvarna? It wouldn’t surprise me if GasGas did something too. Let me know if the comments below.
Have a great holidays everyone, I’ll be back next week. Keep it OnTheBackWheel.