After initial announcement, KTM 490 Adventure, RC490, 490 Duke launch plans shelved as the company does not find the project feasible anymore!
Few years ago, Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM officially announced that the company is developing a completely new 490 platform. Motorcycles based on this were to get a twin cylinder engine. And obviously, most of the high selling models – Duke, RC, Adventure, etc would have had at least one variant here.
This was the biggest news for enthusiasts as this would have provided a nice stepping stone for all the existing 250/390 KTM users as well as others who were looking for mid-displacement twin cylinder models. And since these were expected to be manufactured by Bajaj Auto in India, pricing would have been a USP as well!
But unfortunately, this platform has been shelved according to an online report from Autocar. It says that ‘costs’ of developing and testing such a low capacity parallel twin engine are extremely high and KTM is not very convinced about putting all this money down.
Quite naturally, the prospects of owning a street naked, twin cylinder KTM motorcycle whipping up around 60-65 horses with tons of features and equipment – at expected starting prices of Rs 4 Lakh – were extremely droolworthy. We also see a big market for such motorcycles at least in India – but for some reasons KTM is not convinced. It is probably due to the global prospects for near 500cc motorcycles that made KTM concentrate its energies on other platforms – and take this decision!
This, now, makes us believe that speculations surrounding slightly bigger engine capacity for the upcoming next-generation 390 Duke may turn out to be true, considering that there won’t be any 490 model in the future.
However, the excitement around the 490 platform was massive and let us hope someone convinces Stefan to make it finally, sometime!