After addressing the lower and higher end of the performance motorcycle market, KTM has its eyes set on the middle-weight category where it lacks a strong presence.
KTM’s future plans are known, it’s no secret that the Austrian manufacturer wants to dethrone the Japanese and its partner Bajaj Auto has crucial role to play in this. The automaker also revealed it is developing two engines which will be twin-cylinder units. The company plans to launch new middle-weight motorcycles with V-Twin engines in 2016. As you are already aware, Bajaj Auto has been given the responsibility to manufacture motorcycles up to 800cc (excluding dirt bikes which will continue to be churned out by the Salzburg factory).
Thus the upcoming twin-cylinder bikes will be manufactured in India for the world and will be launched in the sub-continent at attractive prices. The new twin-cylinder equipped motorcycles will sit between the lower capacity singles and large displacement V-Twins which are already in production. The new bikes will have a displacement between 600cc to 800cc and the larger motor will power the Duke 690 replacement which we feel will be renamed to Duke 790. A full faired version of the next generation Duke 790 will also be launched and will be called RC 790. The entire engine range will be used on Husqvarna bikes as well.
Thus in the future, KTM’s Duke line up will include the following – 125, 200, 390, 590, 790, 990 and 1290. R versions of most of these bikes will be offered and there will be supersport version too, badged as Race Competition or RC. Interestingly in an interview, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer called Honda mighty but found products from Yamaha nicer. He went ahead and called Suzuki and Kawasaki as weak and is confident that KTM will easily overtake them in the near future. KTM aims to overtake all the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers by the end of this decade.