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KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has confirmed that the Norden 501 and its sibling the KTM 490 will be coming out in 2022.

For those of us still waiting for the ideal middleweight adventure bike, KTM Group CEO Stefan Pierer has confirmed a 490 parallel-twin based Adventure model, as well as an alter-ego Husqvarna Norden 501, are definitely on their way.

In an interview with France’s Le Repaire Des Motards, Pierer told journalist Alan Cathcart the Pierer Group, which owns KTM, Husqvarna and recently acquired trails bike marque GasGas, is fully committed to fleshing out the long-neglected middleweight adventure bike market, saying that despite the ongoing global pandemic, his company is actually accelerating production of the 500cc category projects.

Pierer, whose brands have enjoyed an unexpected upswing in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, also cites the crisis as a reason the light- and middleweight all-terrain market is more important than ever, predicting that economic uncertainties will keep consumers from splurging on larger displacement models “for a long time,” though later in the interview he suggests there was already a lull in sales of flagship models like the 1290 Super Adventure R and S.

Big surprise since everyone here already knows “heavier” and “more expensive” aren’t qualities on any adventure rider’s wish list.

As we reported late last year after a Pierer shareholder prospectus documenting a slew of forthcoming light- and middleweight models was made public, the new 500cc mill (based on 790 twin technology) is slated for multiple applications across the Duke and Adventure platforms. However, since the images in that document were intentionally blurred, there was no real clue given as to the bikes’ spec level.

This more recent scoop doesn’t go much further to address the more important question of the KTM 490 Adventure’s or Husqvarna Norden 501’s prowess. Hopefully they will be more off-road leaning than the recently launched 390 adventure. Can you say: “Pretty please, with 21/18-inch spoked wheels and long-travel suspension?”

Pierer did say he expects the 490 and 501 to land as 2022 models, so we have at least a year to wait before seeing the real thing. In the meantime, KTM’s new 390 Adventure — an answer to many a newbie’s prayer — is also scoring big points with adventure riders.

All of Pierer Group’s sub-600cc models are manufactured in partnership with Bajaj Auto Ltd. in Pune, India, a savvy partnership that has catapulted the European-based brands into broader global markets, while positively affecting consumer costs, even here in the States.
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