KTM seems to be planning more mid-size adventure bikes after introducing the KTM 390 Adventure. Leaked documents from a management presentation by KTM's parent company, Pierer Mobility Group reveal a roadmap for future KTM models, including an all-new KTM 490 Adventure, as well as new 890 models. What is of interest, however, is the new 500 cc parallel-twin platform, which will be the basis of the KTM 490 Adventure. And this new platform will not be just limited to an adventure model, but will straddle a street model, sport, as well as off-road and Enduro models in a 490 Duke, RC 490, 490 SMC R, and 490 Enduro.
A glance at the presentation document reveals that KTM will not be replacing the existing 390 platform with the 490, but both will co-exist. The 490 models in the presentation have been blurred out to show any design details, but it looks like the 490 Adventure will sport wire spoked wheels, a definite off-road ready upgrade from the cast alloy wheels of the 390 Adventure which was showcased at the EICMA 2019 show in Milan, as well as the India Bike Week 2019 in Goa this year.
KTM seems to be banking on the mid-size segment, instead of going for bigger and more powerful models in the Adventure category. While India may be just warming up to the adventure touring category, it's no secret that big bulky adventure bikes, even the middleweight models, can be quite a handful when traversing difficult terrain, due to their bulk and weight.
Even globally, seasoned adventure riders seem to prefer relatively lighter machines, not just for multiple-day trips, but also for round the world adventures. And the 490 Adventure will be more affordable than the middleweight adventure segment, so perfect for emerging markets where volumes are increasing, as well as the focussed adventure riding community worldwide. We'll be looking out for more details, as and when they emerge!