The KTM 490 Adventure will be powered by a brand new 500cc parallel-twin engine and this platform will spawn an entire range of 490 motorcycles from KTM.
KTM has been on a roll with quite a few new motorcycles this year and they do not seem to stop any time soon. KTM is planning on more mid-size adventure bikes after introducing the KTM 390 Adventure. A leaked document has surfaced on the internet from a management presentation by KTM’s parent company, Pierer Mobility Group. This somewhat gives us an idea about the future road map of KTM and the most exciting of the lot is a 490 Adventure.
From this new leaked document, we have come to know that KTM is working on a brand new 490 range as well as new 890 models. This new 490 range of motorcycles will be powered by a brand new parallel-twin 500cc engine and this platform will spawn an entire 490 range of motorcycles which includes an adventure, a street model, sport, as well as off-road and Enduro models in a 490 Duke, RC 490, 490 SMC R, and 490 Enduro.
From the leaked document, we can tell that KTM will not replace the 390 platform with the 490. In fact, both the platforms will co-exist. This new 490 platform has been developed from scratch for the new 500cc parallel twin engine. The 490 models in the presentation have been blurred out to show any design details, but it looks like the 490 Adventure will sport wire spoked wheels, a definite off-road ready upgrade from the cast alloy wheels of the 390 Adventure which was showcased at the EICMA 2019 show in Milan, as well as the India Bike Week 2019 in Goa this year.
KTM seems to be focusing more on the mid-size motorcycle segment instead of going for bigger and more powerful models in the Adventure category. India is still just warming up to the adventure tourer style of motorcycles. Moreover, big capacity, bulky, adventure tourer motorcycles can be quite a handful when traversing difficult terrain, due to their bulk and weight. And that includes some middle-weight adventure motorcycles as well.
In fact, riders across the world actually prefer relatively lighter machines, not just for multiple-day trips, but also for round the world adventures. The 490 Adventure thus makes for an excellent platform for a lighter and more affordable motorcycle than even the middleweight adventure segment. It’s also great for emerging markets like ours where volumes are increasing along with the adventure riding community as well. We will share more details, as and when they emerge!