KTM 390 Rally Spied
KTM has been developing a new range of small-capacity, single-cylinder bikes for years now, and models including the next-generation 390 Duke have been spied several times already—but this Rally-styled version is by far the most extreme to have been spotted to date.
The chassis and single-cylinder engine are new, shared with the next-generation Duke singles. Various prototypes have been spotted around KTM’s Mattighofen factory using the same components over the past couple of years. Eventually, the same engine is likely to be offered in a range of capacities from 125cc—to suit European new-rider rules—to somewhere closer to 400cc. The tubular-steel trellis frame is expected to be shared across KTM Duke and Adventure models, Husqvarnas including the next-generation Svartpilen and Vitpilen models, and even the planned electric KTM e-Duke and Husqvarna e-Pilen.
Currently, only the e-Pilen has been officially shown, albeit at a fairly low-key presentation and appearing to be quite a way off from its final production form, but it’s very clear that KTM is developing a modular platform that will be used across a vast range of machines.
That brings us to the question of what, exactly, this machine is. The most obvious possibility is that it’s a hardcore Rally version of the next-gen 390 Adventure, but it’s also quite possible that KTM will choose to paint it red and add it to the GasGas range. The Spanish company, which was bought by KTM parent company Pierer Mobility in 2019, has just entered the street-legal market with its new SM 700 supermoto and ES 700 enduro models—both lightly revamped versions of KTM’s “690″ equivalents—and the slab-sided look of the prototype seen here would align well with those models—as well as matching the (also KTM-based) GasGas RC 450F Dakar Rally bike.
However, the styling also resembles KTM’s 450 Rally Factory Replica, borrowing that bike’s stacked headlight setup, and sharing components including the front fender. The slanted air outlet below the bars also mimics that of the KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica.
While the new model’s frame and engine are shared with KTM’s other forthcoming single-cylinder models, this prototype features a new swingarm that hasn’t been seen on previous prototype machines. The extreme “banana” shape helps increase ground clearance substantially compared to the next-generation Duke and even the model that’s expected to replace the 390 Adventure. Prototypes for both those bikes have been seen already, each with KTM’s signature, externally braced, cast-alloy swingarm. This bike, however, has a slimmer-looking unit without any of those visible braces. The wheels are off-the-shelf D.I.D DirtStar rims, 21-inch at the front and 18-inch on the rear, and the suspension is obviously WP kit, as you’ll find on every model in the KTM stable.
At least two examples of the bike were spotted testing, one with more complete bodywork, but the existence of multiple prototypes—and the finished look of the swingarm—suggest it’s a machine that’s already been signed off on for production rather than simply a case of experimentation by the R&D department.