KTM could use the 500 cc platform to launch multiple affordable models which will be positioned above the Duke 390 in India
KTM CEO Stefan Pierer mentioned in one of his recent interviews to Speedweek that the company is actually working on a new twin cylinder motorcycle to compete against its rivals in the 500 cc segment. The good news is that this motorcycle will be manufactured by Bajaj here in India.
What this also actually means that the upcoming 500 cc twin cylinder unit will be a more powerful motorcycle than the existing Duke 390 and will be launched here in India as well. As far as the launch dates are concerned you can all expect the upcoming motorcycle to make it into production sometime in the year 2020.
If the motorcycle will be manufactured in India by Bajaj then expect it to also be priced aggressively as well and well within the reach of many. While there is also a possibility that KTM could use the same engine and platform to launch multiple affordable models. The KTM CEO said that the 500 to 800 cc category is witnessing a substantial growth in developing markets across the world and they are planning to compete with some other Japanese manufacturers in this particular segment.
Now, if KTM launches a streetfighter or an Adventure Tourer model and position it in between the Duke 390 and the Duke 790 then it will obviously be priced aggressively and much lower than the upcoming 790 Duke or the 790 Adventure (which will be launched in India sometime in the near future via the CKD route).
Whatever the options are we will be more than happy if KTM decides to put this new platform to good use and for the benefit of the developing markets like India. This new 500 cc twin cylinder engine definitely has the potential to make a huge impact on our market. The upcoming motorcycle will be manufactured at the company’s production facility at Chakan, Pune.
Royal Enfield has recently dropped a bomb by launching the 650 cc twins at an extremely competitive price in India. If KTM and Bajaj manage to do the same, then we are pretty sure that things will get really interesting for the 500 cc segment in the coming years.