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CONFIRMED! KTM To Start Making Its Middleweight Parallel-twin Bikes In India Itself

CEO Stefan Pierer confirms that Bajaj could soon manufacture bikes like the KTM 790 Duke in India itself

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In an interesting turn of events, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has confirmed that the company’s future strategy involves producing its twin-cylinder middleweight models in India with Bajaj within the next two years. Back in January, Stefan explained (to the media) why selling its big bikes in India didn't make sound business proposition for them. However, with the company now looking at localisation, existing KTM 390cc owners may soon have products worth upgrading to within the orange brand itself.

Speaking to an international publication, Pierer mentioned that while KTM’s 790 platform is being manufactured by CFMoto in China with 100 percent localisation, bringing the Chinese-made 790 products to India would not bode well for the brand. Hence, discussions with Bajaj have already begun to manufacture the KTM 790 Duke in India, once a supply chain is established.

The ‘Made in India’ KTM 790 Duke would then be retailed in the country, along with neighbouring countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, after considering factors like geographical proximity and price sensitivity. 

Pierer also reiterated the shelving of the fabled 490cc parallel-twin platform, for a dialled-down version of the 790cc platform, which could either be labelled the “690” or “650.” Bajaj may even bag the production of this upcoming KTM platform, which is currently under development.

Production of the middleweight parallel-twin KTM in India is welcome news for KTM owners who are considering moving up the ladder from their 390s but still want to stick with the Austrian bike maker. Localisation would help price these products aggressively, and package them as proper hoon machines.


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