KTM to launch 490 range in 2022, with five new bikes expected

KTM is expected to launch its 490 range as early as this year, according to some reports, with bikes across KTM's range expected.

KTM product portfolio. - Motorcycles News

KTM’s 490 range has been anticipated since 2019, and it seems that already this year we will see this new range launched. 

According to Motorcycles News, the KTM 490 range will include a Duke, RC, Adventure, Supermoto and Enduro. Additionally, they report that the CFMoto 450SR, which uses a 450cc parallel twin motor, could be the first results of the development of KTM’s 490 range. 

Of course, CFMoto is the Chinese arm of the KTM Group, coming further into European prominence this year with their sponsorship of the PruestelGP Moto3 team and their riders, Carlos Tatay and Xavi Artigas. Motorcycles News suggests that the 450SR’s 450cc motor could use the same architecture as a new KTM 490 engine. This would mean the 490s from Austria would make use of a 270-degree crankshaft, which Motorcycles News notes is similar to the 689cc twin Yamaha uses in several of its models.

The arrival of the KTM 490s would mean that the Austrian roster stretches right through the displacement range, from 125 to 1290 through 390, 490, 790, and 890. 

It is also interesting to consider a potential RC 490. The traditional RC model from KTM has been the 390, and it is that which the Austrian brand fields in 300cc competition. However, in that category it has been Kawasaki that has dominated with its twin-cylinder Ninja 400, while Yamaha has also been strong with the 321cc R3. A 490 twin from KTM would certainly change the landscape of 300 competition, and would make KTM’s the largest displacement in the class, since the Honda CBR500R is not fielded at all, and the CBR400R is available only in Japan. In such a case as the RC 490 replaced the RC 390 in this aspect, could it be possible that the 390’s days are numbered? 

Well, perhaps not. In the Motorcycles News article, it is mentioned that KTM boss Stefan Pierer has expressed desire to evolve the markets of 125s and 200s, as well as 300s. 

We still do not know exactly when we will see the first of KTM’s 490s, but it is looking like it will be sooner than previously thought.

Lead image courtesy of Motorcycles News.