After tasting first blood, er success, in India with the KTM Duke 200, the Austrian motorcycle brand that’s part owned by Bajaj Auto is all set to make many more bigger splashes in India. While we’ll set out KTM’s 12 month roadmap for India in just a bit, here’s how the Duke 200 has fared in the Indian motorcycle market. A year after KTM and Bajaj Auto launched the Duke 200 street fighter motorcycle in India, the motorcycle has managed to find no less than 8,500 buyers across the length and breath of this great country. KTM claims that the Duke 200 is the best selling premium motorcycle brand(A premium motorcycle brand according to KTM is one that exclusively sell motorcycles priced at over INR 1 lakh) in India.
Coming to think of it, that’s quite a funny definition, one that tries to re-categorize a segment just to suit KTM’s PR machinery rather than be representative of the actual facts on the ground. While the Duke 200 has indeed been a strong seller right from word go, sales of 8,500 units in 2012 means that the Duke 200 is well behind the likes of the Yamaha R15 and the Honda CBR250R in terms of yearly sales. Moving on, KTM does have big plans for the Indian motorcycle market and here are the big splashes we’ve been talking about.
* KTM will launch the Duke 390 in mid 2013. So, that puts the March-April launch time frame of the Duke 390 out of the window. So, prospective buyers of the Duke 390 will have to wait until the middle of this year to ride off with the most powerful motorcycle to be produced(not assembled) in India. The Duke 390 will be built by Bajaj Auto at its Chakan factory and is expected to be priced close to the INR 2 lakh mark. Expect KTM to offer ABS as standard on the Duke 390.
* In early 2014, KTM will launch the RC25, a 250cc fully faired motorcycle designed on the lines of the flagship RC8 superbike. The RC25 will be built in India by Bajaj Auto at Chakan. The fully faired 2014 KTM RC25 is expected occupy the space between the Duke 200 and the Duke 390. In India and abroad, the KTM RC25 will take on motorcycles like the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, the Honda CBR250R and the Hyosung GT250R. The motorcycle will be aimed at beginner motorcyclists in markets abroad. The RC25 will be a global product and represents a first for KTM as it will be the first fully faired small capacity motorcycle to go into serial production.
* KTM Stores(Previously known as Bajaj ProBiking showrooms) in India will begin displaying the KTM RC8 Superbike. Sadly, the RC8 will not be launched in India anytime too soon. The display models across the country are meant to whet the appetite of prospective KTM motorcycle buyers by showcasing the brand’s flagship product.