The KTM 490s Are Just Around The Corner!

There are going to be not two, not three, but five new bikes in the lineup!

KTM just seems to be an endless stream of good news at the moment. We recently spotted the Austrian manufacturer trialling MAJOR upgrades to the 125, 250 and 390 Duke models, and now the next bit of good news is concerning the eagerly awaited 490 model range. A recent presentation by Pierer Mobility (KTM’s parent group) shows that the 490s will debut in the 2022 model year, meaning that we could lay eyes on them towards the end of this year. But wait, that’s not all.

We always knew there’d be a 490 Duke and an RC 490, but the presentation confirms that there will, in fact, be FIVE models in the 490 lineup. In addition to the Duke and RC, KTM will also roll out a 490 Adventure (which we expect to receive in India) as well as an enduro and a supermoto, neither of which is expected to launch in India.

Could the extra cylinder and bump in displacement help the 490 Adventure excel where the 390 fell short? It’s impossible to say at the moment, but we sure are super excited to find out! The already pretty explosive 390 Duke and RC 390 will get an extra sprinkling of dynamite too, which should make them pretty lethal.

The really good news is these incoming 490s will have the playground pretty much all to themselves. With neither the Ninja 400 nor the Yamaha R3 available in India, the RC 490 will become the undisputed king in the lower middleweight twin-cylinder sports bike segment. With the RC 390 looking all set to become a little more comfortable and sensible, could the RC 490 take up the mantle of KTM’s hardcore little sportsbike?

We expect the Honda 500s to be priced way higher than the KTMs, so they shouldn’t pose much of a threat either. If history is anything to go by, even if the 490s did have competition to deal with, they’d probably still be the best-in-class anyway. So you better start filling up that piggy bank because you’ll have to break it open pretty soon!

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