Speaking to Motoring World, Stefan Pierer, Chief Executive Officer of Pierer Mobility AG, has revealed that the development of the 490cc motorcycles is underway. It is being carried out by Bajaj Auto at its R&D centre in Pune with the aid of KTM’s R&D staff. The new parallel-twin engine is similar to the one which we see on the KTM 790 Duke and other similar bikes.
While the development of the new models is 100% being done by Bajaj Auto, KTM is yet to decide whether it would like the Indian two-wheeler giant to manufacture them or not. The production of the KTM 490 Duke and 490 Adventure could be handled by the Austrian company’s partner CFMoto in China. CFMoto already makes KTM models based on the 790 platform.
Bajaj Auto currently manufactures several KTM and Husqvarna motorcycles for both the domestic as well as international markets. The biggest engine that the company makes is the 373cc single that powers the KTM 390 Duke and 390 Adventure. This means that if KTM gives the green flag to Bajaj Auto, then the upcoming KTM 490 Duke would be the first multi-cylinder motorcycle of any kind that the indigenous brand will make. Of course, the platform will be used for more models such as the 490 Adventure.
Interestingly, Pune-based two-wheeler giant, Bajaj Auto has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Maharashtra to set up a new production plant in Chakan with a proposed investment of INR 650 crore. This will be the company's second manufacturing facility in the region. The new Bajaj Auto plant will be used to manufacture premium KTM, Husqvarna, and Triumph motorcycles. The production at this facility is expected to commence from 2023.