Bajaj just unveiled the Pulsar SS 400 and CS 400. The excitement around both bikes has been stupendous, but a lot of eyes are on another brand because of this. Sharing technology aside Bajaj and KTM will always have counterparts with each other. News is now coming in that KTM will be launching both the RC 200 and RC 390, sometime in the middle of 2014. The launch will first take place on a global level and then be followed by the India launch shortly after. Who knows maybe the global launch will happen in India!
The RC series have been desperately awaited by bikers and KTM itself. Particularly in India, there is a strong inclination towards fully faired motorcycles. The Duke 390 and 200 have been selling well, but KTM could stand to gain a lot more if they have the RC series. The Dukes are minimalist, making them a lot lighter and ideal motorcycles for supermoto and stunt riding especially with the Metzeler tyres. However, the general want for more beef on the bike will drive KTM to launch the RC series in India, by or before the end of the calendar year.
When asked about the space between the 390 and the big motorcycle, Stefan Pierer, president and CEO of KTM, revealed that KTM has a 500cc and 800cc parallel twin nearly ready to go which are likely to be put into production in the next three years or so. This platform is also jointly being worked on with Bajaj and is likely to be manufactured at Bajaj’s plant in Chakan in which the Duke 200 and 390 are already being produced. The biggest thing to watch out for will be the price of the RC series. As both bikes are fully faired they will be more expensive. Both the RC 200 and RC 390 could cost around Rs 25000 more than their Duke counterparts.
Recent spy shots of the RC testing emerged which confirms that KTM will be launching the bikes in India very soon. A possible issue of the RC may be the underbelly of the engine. The base plate of the crank-case is also faired, so bad roads may prove to a task of treading lightly for bikers. The Duke’s engine also revs hard and heats up a lot, so with the full fairing riders may feel the heat even more so.
KTM may consider bringing Husqvarna and the 690 Duke here as well, but they will be a CBU’s as the volumes won’t warrant local production.