It has been confirmed that the KTM 490 series is being developed in India and will be produced in India. The 490 series comprises three motorcycles — RC 490, 490 Duke and Adventure 490. These bikes will be developed in India by Bajaj and KTM, and produced at Bajaj’s Pune factory before being exported to all other global markets including Europe.
It is no secret that KTM is developing a new range of 500cc motorcycles. Rumours of the same came up a few months ago and it became official a short while after. It is a completely new platform being developed and motorcyclists were excited, given KTM’s prowess in making motorcycles that plaster a grin on the rider’s face.
No major details about the new 490 series were available. Now though, it has been confirmed that the platform is being developed in India. Stefan Pierer, the CEO of KTM has just confirmed this. The very fact that KTM chose India as the location to develop the new platform shows just how big a role Bajaj and the Indian market plays in the functioning of KTM as a brand.
KTM and Bajaj can be considered among the most successful developmental partnerships in modern business. Both brands and their products have changed drastically ever since Bajaj invested in KTM. Over the years, Bajaj poured more money into KTM until it acquired a majority stake.
Since then, a majority of KTM’s bikes have been produced at the Bajaj factory in Pune. Bajaj got access to KTM’s technological expertise as well as its performance motorcycling heritage. Bajaj soon got products like the Pulsar NS 200 and Dominar 400, and both use engines developed from the KTM 200 and 390 Duke respectively.
KTM benefited from Bajaj’s production techniques and were able to price their bikes cheaper than the competition. Well, there is no looking back for both brands. The new 500cc platform is expected to change things drastically for motorcycle enthusiasts and even though development has only begun , there are people who are already waiting for the new bikes.
KTM currently has low capacity bikes with 125cc, 200cc and 250cc engines. Then there’s the 390 series which literally revolutionised the performance motorcycle segment. Then comes the big 790 and 890 series. In the future, KTM plans to replace the 790 with the 890.
The KTM 500cc platform is expected to bridge the gap between the 390 and the 890. The 490 Adventure will be positioned between the 390 and 890 Adventure while the 490 Duke will take the space between the 390 Duke and the 890 Duke. The RC490 on the other hand will bridge the rather large gap between the RC390 and the flagship RC8.
These motorcycles will be launched in succession to one another. We expect the KTM 490 Duke and RC490 to be launched in 2022, while the Adventure 490 will take longer. They will be packing quite a punch with a parallel-twin-cylinder engine powering the bikes.
Since the motorcycle will be produced in India, it will also be cheap for us to buy and this is what excites us most. We might finally get an affordable parallel-twin motorcycle with premium features. We expect the motorcycle to be packed to the brim with the best in terms of electronics, suspension, and brakes. The 490 platform will also spin-off new Husqvarna bikes. Exciting times lay ahead.
Images for representational purposes only.
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