New Bikes

Is KTM about to launch a range of multi-cylinder 490cc bikes?

KTM’s tie-up with Bajaj may be about to bear significant fruit in the form of 5 twin-cylinder 490cc machines

REPORTS are surfacing online that seem to suggest that KTM is about to launch a raft of new models, including five all-new 490cc twin-cylinder machines.

We’ve known for some time that Bajaj, KTM’s engineering and production partner in India, has had a 490cc twin in the works since late 2018 – KTM’s CEO even confirmed the news himself. But if this report is true, it’s the first evidence that KTM is looking to use the unit to replace the current range of 390cc machines.

First reported on Indian Autos Blog, a well known and trusted source with links to India’s automotive workforce, it’s claimed that the new engine is not just going to power the existing range of 390cc machines from the Austrian manufacturer, but also a range of all new bikes to take on the A2 licence sector.

The new bikes are claimed to be:

  • TM 490 Duke
  • KTM RC 490
  • KTM 490 Adventure
  • KTM 490 Supermoto
  • KTM 490 Enduro

It’s also claimed that the new Duke, RC, and Adventure models will be built around the existing trellis frame of the current bikes – albeit tweaked to accommodate the slightly wider parallel twin. And the new Supermoto and Enduro machines will receive a revised version of frame and suspension that is in the current range of 690 enduro and supermoto machines.

The engine is claimed to be an 8-valve, DOHC unit which will obviously be liquid-cooled. KTM is also helping to keep the development of the motors as cost-effective as possible by using the same spec engine for each model in the range. Instead the bikes will feature specific gear ratios and final drive to ensure they perform appropriately for the class of bike.

The final, and most important, spec that is mentioned is the BHP, which is claimed to be between 55 and 60bhp. While this is a step up from the 44hp offered by the 390cc engine, it’s also above the A2 licence threshold and will require remapping or mechanically restricting to get it down to the 35kW (46.6bhp) limit.

If this news is true, we’d expect to see some new concepts or even a full reveal at this years EICMA show in November.

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