Upcoming 500cc parallel-twin platform is being wholly developed at Bajaj R&D facility in Pune

Engine will feature on KTM, Husqvarna models

First of these motorcycles will go on sale in 2022

In an interview with French publication Le Repaire des Motards, KTM’s CEO, Stefan Pierer, revealed some rather interesting information. The biggest takeaway is with regard to the sub-500cc parallel twin motorcycle that KTM is working on along with Bajaj.

What do we know about the platform?

News that the platform was in the works first came to light in late 2018, when Pierer revealed that it was being developed to rival similar capacity Japanese offerings. Now Pierer has revealed that the platform is being wholly developed at the Bajaj R&D facility in Pune, with support from KTM’s engineers. He went on to say that the engine design will be similar to the existing 790 and 890 platform, albeit in a 500cc iteration.

Pierer also revealed that just like the existing platforms, the 500cc platform will feature multiple models across the KTM and Husqvarna brands.

When are the bikes expected to launch?

Pierer mentioned that following the effects of the coronavirus, the brand is actually accelerating the development of the project. This is because the demand for small and mid-capacity bikes is going to be higher than large-capacity machines in the near future due to the economic effects of the pandemic. However, the first of these bikes are only expected in 2022. Going by KTM’s standard timelines, we could be looking at a prototype at the 2021 EICMA, followed by a launch at 2022 EICMA. This means that the bike is likely to start hitting showrooms only by early 2023. That being said, since the bike is likely to be fully manufactured in India, it might be one of the first markets to get the bike. 

Given our experience with the explosive 790 Duke, this new engine may very well create new segment benchmarks. And just like it has before with locally manufactured models, KTM could have another game changer on its hands. It’s certainly something to look forward to and it’s going to be worth the wait.

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