To be developed at Bajaj’s R&D facility in Pune, the first 500cc KTM motorcycle is expected to be launched in 2022, but is likely to make its debut at EICMA next year. The new engine may power a range of motorcycles including the Duke, RC, Adventure and even the Husqvarna
After establishing its place in the affordable performance space, KTM ventured into the premium segment last year with the launch of the 790 Duke. Meanwhile, there are also rumours about the Austrian brand bringing in the 790 Adventure around the festive season later this year. But the biggest news from KTM so far this year was recently shared by CEO Stefan Pierer with French publication Le Repaire. KTM is developing new 500cc parallel-twin models, the first of which will be launched in 2022. This new model is likely to make its global debut at the EICMA in 2021.
Information about KTM working on a new 500cc motor first surfaced a few years back, but Pierer has now confirmed that the engine will be wholly be developed at the Bajaj R&D facility in Pune with assistance from KTM engineers. In the interview, the CEO said that the engine will be similar in design to the 790 and the 890 units, but will be in the 500cc range.
Given the popularity of the Duke models across all displacement categories and KTM’s signature nomenclature, it is safe to assume that the 490 Duke will be the first motorcycle to be launched on this new engine. Expect the RC490 and the 490 Adventure to follow. In fact, new Husqvarnas may also be based on the same engine.
As of now, the only players to offer motorcycles with a 400-650cc parallel-twin motor are Kawasaki and Royal Enfield. Keeping in mind that the KTM offerings will be developed in India, pricing is likely to be competitive, possibly around the Rs 4 lakh mark.
Meanwhile, as part of the partnership with Bajaj Auto, Triumph Motorcycles too is expected to bring in a new range of mid-capacity motorcycles in 2022. The all-new engine and vehicle platform will spawn new mid-capacity offering in the 200-750cc range.