In an interview with Speedweek.com, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer revealed that the company is working on a twin-cylinder bike in the 500cc segment. He also added that the upcoming motorcycle will be manufactured by Bajaj here in India. What this means for us enthusiasts is that the bike is likely to have a very competitive pricing in its category. Pierer also said that KTM intends to compete with Japanese manufacturers in this segment. The brand reportedly feels that the 500-800cc segment is witnessing promising growth in developing markets across the globe.
It could be possible that KTM would eventually launch multiple motorcycles using the upcoming 500cc twin-cylinder platform. If KTM makes an adventure tourer, it would slot between the 790 Adventure and the upcoming 390 Adventure. In the Indian market, the 790 Adventure will command a premium because it will enter our shores via the CKD route. Hence, a made-in-India 500cc twin-cylinder ADV will be the perfect choice for someone who wants a powerful yet reasonably-priced motorcycle to explore the unknown. Even a 500 Duke (going by tradition, could it be a 490 Duke?) makes sense as it would offer more power than the 390 Duke while remaining relatively cheaper than the upcoming 790 Duke, which will be offered via the CKD route. You may argue that there’s the 690 Duke in the middle ground, but that bike is likely to be phased out and could be replaced with this new one.
Either way, we’re super excited as this platform has the potential to make a huge impact in the local as well global markets. Further details are scant as of now, but expect KTM to show a concept model of at least one new bike based on the new platform at the 2019 EICMA (we’re being optimistic). We expect the production-spec version to go on sale sometime in 2020.