Has KTM canned its 490 range before it even arrived?

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer said the cost of developing the 490 was too high, and the focus is on a 690 version

KTM 490-twin 01

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has gone on record to confirm that the widely reported 490cc parallel twin-cylinder engine platform has been shelved. It’s said that the Austrian firm is hedging its bets on a 690 twin instead.

Visordown first reported on the news back in 2019, and at the time the engine was thought to be landing in a new 490 Duke, RC490, 490 Adventure, 490 Supermoto, and 490 Enduro. For KTM fans across the globe, it was an exciting prospect, taking KTM into a mid-capacity niche in the market with a very comprehensive range of models.

Sadly though, the dinky twin-pot looks to be no more, and all before it even turned a wheel. The news comes from Autocar India, who sat down with Pierer for an update on the Bajaj-built models. In this interview, he confirmed that the 490 range was dead, and it seems the cost of the development of an all-new engine at such a small capacity was the reason for the change.

To fill its place, KTM will now switch its focus to building an engine of around 690cc in capacity, with an approximate output of 70 to 80bhp. That slots this potential new bike into the mix with other entry-level middleweight machines like the Triumph Trident, Yamaha MT-07, Kawasaki Z650, and CFMOTO 700 CL-X.

Autocar reports that its new range of 690 bikes will be ready to hit the road in 2024 and that production of the machines will be handled by its technical partner CFMOTO in China.

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