KTM had switched to MRF tyres last year for 390s due to new import restrictions
It was during the festive season last year that KTM had introduced new colour themes for several of its popular motorcycles. Along with that, the company had also replaced Metzelers with MRF tyres for 390 Duke, RC 390 and 390 Adventure. While Duke and RC received MRF Revz C1 tyres, Adventure was fitted with MRF Mogrip Meteor tyres. These tyres are offered with lower capacity KTM bikes in 125cc, 200cc and 250cc range.
Only A Few
Even though Metzelers are back on KTM 390s, the company has chosen not to increase prices. The strategy was similar last year when prices were left untouched upon replacement of Metzelers with MRF tyres.
However, KTM has increased prices of its motorcycle multiple times this year. The most recent was last month in July when prices were increased by up to Rs 11,685. While 390 Duke and RC 390 had become costlier by Rs 11,620, 390 Adv witnessed a hike of Rs 11,685. In percentage terms, the highest price hike was for 125 Duke. Most such price hikes have been attributed to rising input cost and high market inflation.
It is possible that KTM may revise rates once again in the coming months. Even though it may not be attributed to a change of tyres, the increased pricing may cover for any loss that may occur due to replacement of MRFs with Metzelers.
Next-gen RC range spotted
In international markets, next-gen KTM RC motorcycles have been spotted wearing Continental ContiRoad sport touring tyres. It is not certain if the same tyres will be used in India as well. Based on prevailing conditions, it is likely that KTM will continue using Metzeler tyres for its 390s.
Using imported tyres for vehicles in India has become difficult with the change in import policy for certain types of pneumatic tyres. Amendments have been made to change this import sector from ‘free’ to ‘restricted’. This was done largely to curb dumping of cheap tyres, most of which came from China.
However, this change in import policy has also impacted premium tyres including Metzeler. Importers are essentially required to get a new license that limits the total volume that can be imported.
Government is aiming to promote made in India, which has created problems for tyre brands that do not have local manufacturing operations. Businesses that were purely importers have had to limit their operations due to the new restrictions. In comparison, global brands that have local manufacturing remain unaffected.