Way back to 2019, KTM has been stoking fanatic pleasure with discuss of an upcoming 490 platform. Particulars of the plan emerged to incorporate a liquid-cooled, 490cc parallel twin engine, which was to provide someplace within the ballpark of 60 horsepower. In concept, it could characterize a big leap ahead for the corporate’s present 390 platform.
Just like the 390 platform, this new platform was to be produced as a part of KTM’s partnership with Bajaj. Anticipated fashions included a 490 Duke, an RC 490, a 490 Journey, and 490 supermoto and enduro fashions. The much-anticipated 490 platform was one thing greater than only a rumor, because it even confirmed up in a KTM investor presentation at one level.
The factor is, although, that even the best-laid plans can change. On January 20, 2023, Autocar India spoke with Pierer Mobility and KTM CEO Stefan Pierer, who advised them that your entire 490 platform is lifeless. Across the globe, Motorrad reached out to Hubert Trunkenpolz, who confirmed that the corporate made this resolution to reply with agility to market developments.
To what market developments does he refer? Though the dream of a 490 is seemingly kaput, KTM nonetheless desires to deal with the yawning displacement chasm between the 390s and 790s in its lineup. Sure, there are additionally the 690cc huge thumpers. Nonetheless, KTM reportedly desires to discover one thing else in the identical displacement vary—solely with a twin-cylinder configuration.
The issue with the 490, it appears, is that KTM analyzed improvement prices versus doubtless gross sales, and decided that the maths most likely wouldn’t work out in its favor. As an alternative, KTM now desires to discover taking its present 790cc parallel twin mill and bringing displacement down within the neighborhood of 690cc, though an actual quantity isn’t clear simply but. What is obvious is that, as envisioned, the brand new powerplant would produce over 70 horsepower, and can be designed to compete immediately towards the likes of the Triumph Trident 660 and Yamaha MT-07.
When can we count on to see bikes roll out with this new engine? Assuming that this plan involves fruition, the purpose is 2024. It’s additionally price noting that they’ll doubtless be produced by way of one in all KTM’s different partnerships, with CFMOTO.
As a giant fan of the RC 390, it’s a bit unhappy to know that the 490 gained’t see manufacturing. Nonetheless, we do look ahead to seeing what this theoretical new middleweight parallel twin has to supply as soon as it’s out on this planet.