While domestic demand will be limited for made-in-India twin-cylinder KTM bikes, the investment cost will be justifiable with aggressive targeting of export markets
Earlier this year in January, Bajaj-KTM partnership achieved a key sales milestone of 1 million units. The one-millionth unit to roll out of Bajaj’s plant was a KTM 390 Adventure. Going forward, Bajaj-KTM partnership will be further strengthened, as KTM is planning to manufacture its new low-cost twin-cylinder bikes in India.
While the 490cc parallel-twin project has been abandoned, KTM has shifted focus to a new 690cc platform. It was earlier reported that the 690 platform will be manufactured by CFMoto in China. However, there has been a change in plans, with possibilities being explored for manufacturing the new 690 platform in India as well.
KTM new 650cc twin-cylinder platform (made-in-India)
KTM will be using the existing 790 Duke platform to develop the new 690 platform. It could also be a 650cc version. While the 490 platform was cancelled, the new 690 platform has a better chance to succeed from a business perspective.
That’s because there’s growing demand in this segment, especially in markets like India. As of now, Royal Enfield 650 twins dominate this space with market share of more than 75%. Super Meteor 650 is also available and RE has plans to introduce more bikes in this segment.
KTM is currently in discussions with Bajaj to chalk out the finer details of the proposed 690 platform. KTM-Bajaj will be working to finalize plans for the supply chain that will be needed for manufacturing the 690 bikes in India. KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has assured that the 690 platform will definitely happen over the next two years. The first 690 bike is likely to be a Duke. Later, KTM could also introduce other formats such as RC and Adventure.
KTM 690 export plans
KTM’s new 690 made in India bikes will also be sold overseas in countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Australia. KTM-Bajaj partnership has already been successful in delivering top quality, all while minimizing production costs. The new 690 platform will enjoy the same set of benefits. With local manufacturing, enthusiasts can expect a more accessible price range. For reference, KTM 790 Duke (when available in India) was priced at Rs 8.64 lakh. Expect the 650cc KTMs to be priced in the Rs 5-6 lakh range.
Affordable pricing will allow KTM to explore opportunities in price sensitive locations. Markets like Latin America can also be on the radar for made in India twin-cylinder KTM bikes. However, for European markets, KTM will continue to depend on CFMoto for production of its low-cost parallel twin models.
KTM 650cc Duke, RC, ADV bikes could generate around 80-100 hp of max power. It will depend on how scaled-down the new platform is, in comparison to the current 790 Duke. The latter churns out 105 PS and 86 Nm. KTM new 690 platform will be getting all the advanced equipment such as traction control, quickshifter+, motor slip regulation, Supermoto Mode, motorcycle stability control with cornering ABS and ride modes of Sport, Street and Rain.