It’s been a while since we’ve received news about the KTM 490 series of motorcycles. While we're still waiting for the RC 390 to make its debut in the Philippines, Indian sources are pointing to a global premier for the 490 series of motorcycles from Team Orange later this year, with speculations pinning the Indian launch date on 2023.
A number of sources have reported that the 490 series of motorcycles made an appearance in a leaked presentation slide from Pierer Mobility, the company behind KTM, and its other sister brand, Husqvarna.
The rumor mill keeps churning with murmurs of a 490cc parallel-twin engine that shares the same firing order as the middleweight KTM 790 series of bikes which include the 790 Duke, 790 Adventure, and 790 Adventure R. Also, rumors and leaks point to three types of 490s joining the fray with an RC, Duke, and Adventure purportedly planned by the Austrian brand.
As to what kind of parallel-twin the 490-series will come with, it's likely that the actual displacement will come to a hair under the model name, along with an uneven firing order that’s similar to a V-twin configuration. The engine could come from KTM’s partner in the east, CF Moto, as the company is already in business together with Team Orange.
However, it is still up in the air regarding the manufacturing location of the new 490 platform. Indian sources like Gaadi Waadi have not been able to confirm the plans of KTM India at the moment citing that “if the KTM 490 range gets manufactured in India, the possibilities of it reaching the local market are high.”
That being said, India is one possible source for the 490s out of two. The other is China, where CFMOTO hails from. Being KTM’s manufacturing partner in the region and versed in the production of the 790 and 890 series of motors, manufacturing could also take place with CFMOTO.
It’s still up in the air at this point, but at least the global reveal is close and finally, KTM will be able to bridge the gap between the 790s and the 390s with a smaller capacity twin-cylinder platform.