KTM CEO: Bajaj to Build New KTM 500cc Two-Cylinder Model

LC8c engine
  • KTM CEO Stefan Pierer confirmed that a new 500cc two-cylinder model is coming.

  • He also said that Bajaj will build the new bike.

  • The Austrian firm wants to compete with the Japanese in this growing segment.


Rumors of a KTM 500cc two-cylinder road model circulated some time back, but it begot nothing thereafter. KTM CEO Stefan Pierer confirmed Bajaj will build the new KTM 500cc two-cylinder model during the recent interview with Speedweek. He had also expressed his interest in Ducati during the same interview.

Having Bajaj build the bike means it will be priced competitively. Pierer says it’s because KTM wants to compete with the Japanese in this perpetually growing segment around the world.

It should bode well with riders who want a KTM but finds the 390 Duke/RC too small while the 790 Duke/Adventure too big or expensive. a 500cc platform will most probably include both Duke and Adventure variants, as with the 790.

The new 500 could well be called the 490, going by the Austrian manufacturer’s tradition. But what can we expect?

The new generation 390 Duke features a TFT display, ride-by-wire throttle, ride modes, ABS, WP suspension, and such. The 790 Duke is also bedecked with those features. Consequently, we can safely assume that the new 500cc bike ought to include the same features.

As for the engine, KTM dabbled into a new direction for themselves with 790. Instead of being either a single or V-Twin, they went with a parallel-Twin called LC8c. Its 285ocrankshaft timing mimics the 75oV-Twin (360o– 285o– 75o) in the manufacturer’s larger bikes.

Hence, we should be able to expect of the same in the 500cc model. The engine should be compact and lightweight such as the 790’s, although we don’t know if it’s sleeved-down from the bigger engine.

What happens to the 690 Duke then? KTM may just replace it with the new bike, since a two-cylinder 500cc engine should produce equivalent of more power than a 690cc single.

We’ll definitely bring you more so watch this space.