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ADV NewsOfficial Docs Confirm Twin-Cylinder KTM 490 Adventure Coming!

Official Docs Confirm Twin-Cylinder KTM 490 Adventure Coming!

Finally a lightweight twin adventure bike from the ready-to-race company.

Published on 12.23.2019

Looks like KTM is about to get busy, um, busier than it already is outselling BMW in unit sales. A prospectus intended for shareholders of KTM and Husqvarna’s parent company, Pierer Mobility Group, is making rounds in the enthusiast sector, showing that more than a dozen new motorcycles will come to market in the near future, including a very timely 500cc parallel twin-driven Adventure model. 

Finally, news of a more sensibly-sized ADV entry for the 300-600cc segment during a model year changeover that has had announcements of bikes in the 700-1000cc range going off like popcorn.

KTM President Stefan Pierer had previously discussed plans to develop a new 500cc parallel-twin engine, similar in design to the 790 Adventure R’s, in an interview with CycleNews earlier in the year. Now we are seeing exactly what KTM intends to use the new platform for. Looking over the presentation document, we see the new 490 will not be replacing the much anticipated new-for-2020 single-cylinder 390 Adventure announced in November. Instead, it will represent one of five pillars in a new line of 490 twin-based models speculated to include a 490 Duke, RC 490, 490 SMC R and an even more dirt-worthy 490 Enduro. 

KTM 490 adventure bike revealed
Management presentation by Pierer Mobility reveals plans for a 490 adventure, a 490 enduro, as well as a 890 adventure model.


Since the 490 images in the presentation have been blurred for ambiguity, it’s hard to tell much, though the Adventure version appears to come with spoked wheels, an upgrade from the cast wheels that come on the current 390 Adventure, a bike that has already stirred excitement for its lightweight, entry-level approachability. 

And now comes this anticipation-worthy 490 edition, a model that will undoubtedly bridge the gap between starter bike and real world all-rounder by combining the top-shelf suspension kitting we expect from KTM with more roominess and the smooth, highway-friendly engine character of a twin. 

Filing in below the 390 in rank, two even smaller single-powered adventure bikes are shown in the report, a 125 and 250 most certainly pointed at the Asian market, especially India, where KTM has partnered with mega manufacturer, Bajaj Auto, a move that helped them increase global sales at a blistering pace. 

KTM 490 adventure and enduro r bikes coming
Visually, all we have to go by now are these obscured images of the new twin-powered 500cc Adventure and Enduro models.

Of more relevance to those who prefer bigger power and longer rides, is an 890 mentioned in the presentation. It appears to have a taller windscreen in the blurry image, which might imply that the base, touring-focused 790 Adventure could be bumped up to a 890, while the off-road focused R model will retain the smaller displacement, at least for the moment. At some point however, this more emissions-friendly, Euro 5-ready 890 will likely replace the 790 mill entirely, hopefully without any weight penalty. 

In a season of giving, this news from Pierer regarding future models — and especially the twin-powered 490 Adventure — feels like a gift. For far too long the major manufacturers have been churning out heavy, large displacement adventure bikes and paying little mind to the mid-weight segment, a category that has buyers lined up like a Best Buy on Black Friday. 

So this more manageable, hopefully dirt-leaning and presumably budget-friendly 500cc adventure bike is sure to gain traction in a market where street-focused choices like Kawasaki’s Versys-X and Honda’s CBX500 have been taking up all the air.

And guess what, that’s not the even the end of gifts gleaned from Pierer’s extensive report. We’ll have those additional details for you to unwrap shortly, way before Santa is de-icing his sleigh. 

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge

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20 thoughts on “Official Docs Confirm Twin-Cylinder KTM 490 Adventure Coming!

  1. Will almost certainly be made in China out of third world Chinese potmetal – and KTM’s are not reknowned for their quality to begin with!!

  2. Jamie did your sources mention any details on the Husky Norden 900 hitting the ground in North America before the New Year ends ?
    KTM has a ambitious, eager beaver attitude as to getting those new units out into the market place. They must have this Euro4 requirement down to a fine science within their tech engineering department. While other brands are running around like a dog trying to Catch it’s tail syndrome.
    As to dealership support as one travels further north they become less and spread far & wide. Not the case as one does a dealer location search further south and beyond.
    Must be that limp Loonie currency “A Way Up North to Alaska “ as Johnny Horton would say.

    • Your English grammar is appalling. How sad for you and the Canadian school system which “educated” you.

      KTM doesn’t have the emissions “down to a fine science” – most KTMs which conform to Euro emissions standards do so because the bikes have engine management mapping that is uses an air : fuel ratio that is far too lean, and as a result the bikes run poorly and will continue to run poorly unless measures are taken to change the mixture. The 490 KTM engines WILL be built in China or India, and I can tell you from personal experience that the KTM 390 engines are poorly made junk which wears out quickly.
      KTM is using the reputation it built over the past 30 years to fool people into buying the lower-end bikes, but if you want a quality machine, stay away from the KTMs which are built in locations other than Austria.

      • Yep – it’s a bad habit ! Got ta stop readin Mr Tumps Tweetie’s those thar xpressons ar bad influidinces arc arc arc !
        Love the education system, a BA only cost 18k for two years and ALL medical coverage cost 45.00 a month – free if it’s a employee benefit.
        True North Strong & Free !
        Oh yea I forgot – a US green back buys a $1.30 Canadian Loonie at the moment. Big discount on a KTM purchase !

      • You are right about the lean ktm bikes. My new ktm 1090r was so lean and hot I needed motocross boots and pants to keep from burning my legs. I couldn’t believe ktm would sell a bike that wasn’t rideable.

  3. Yawwwnnnnn! More fat overweight pretend offroaders!

    Ill hang out for the 45kg 790 motor to be fitted to the likes of the 690 chassis for a 145kg package.

  4. As nice as it sounds first … if we’re being realistic, not all of these bikes will be built, and those that will come to the dealer (in 3-4 year’s time), will be made in India or China …

    • The 125, 250, 390 & 490 models will be manufactured in India. We also have DUKE 200 & RC 200 for the Indian market.

      The 790 & 890 twins platform will be manufactured from September 2020 onwards at the new CFMoto Factory in China. The factory ought to be ready in June 2020. CBU exports for US & EU, CKD exports for India & South Asia.

  5. Pingback: KTM 490 Adventure Is Coming – Robert's Adventure

  6. Pingback: Bikers Report – motorcycle news, biker news, online magazine, sport bike racing, motorcycle event coverage, biker stories, ride maps

  7. I’ve owned 3 KTM’s and what a great motorcycle. 690 enduro for short rides, 790 adventure for longer rides. I had 1190 and a bit too much for me. All I can say is very well made motorcycle.they have power to weight ratio down.

  8. Pingback: KTM 490 Adventure Is Coming | Motorcycle News

  9. If I didn’t already have a DR650 and 790 Adventure R, this 490 twin just might have been the one and only for me. Before the 790 came out I imagined my modded/farkled DR would be perfect with a 500 – 650 cc smooth twin engine while still weighing in at the 340 lbs. wet I have it at. I think this will be about 400 – 420 lbs. though.

  10. I’m very interested in the 490. But if it is made in India or China, that is a deal breaker. I’ll buy a triumph or t7 or cb500x instead


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