KTM, the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer, has today become a household name. However, that was not the case when information first rolled about Bajaj Auto buying a 14.5% stake in the brand back in 2007. Today, Bajaj Auto holds 47.97% stake in KTM and has been a significant partner in the Austrian bikemaker’s fortune transformation.
Today, KTM retails 7 motorcycles in India and is the leading performance motorcycle brand. However, it is still to bring in its big capacity models, and it can play this game with a significant plus point. Localisation possibilities exist, thanks to its domestic partner Bajaj Auto. That being said, here are 5 KTM motorcycles we wish to see in India:
KTM 790 Duke: Twin-cylinder scalpel
Competing against the Street Triple, Kawasaki Z900 and Ducati Monster, the KTM 790 Duke is the next logical step for the Austrian bike maker in India. The carefully chiselled body of the 790 Duke is well complemented by the split LED headlamp unit. Besides that, it gets PASC slip-assist clutch and quickshifter (both up and down). The ride-by-wire throttle system allows it to have 4 riding modes (sport, street, rain and track).
The KTM 790 Duke employs a power-packed 799 cc parallel-twin, liquid-cooled mill with twin counterbalancers. It boasts 270-degree firing order. The LC8c engine produces 105 PS of power and 86 Nm of torque. It is coupled to a 6-speed transmission. Brakes include twin discs in the front and a single disc in the rear with Supermoto ABS.
Safety aids include traction control, cornering ABS, Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) and wheelie control. Suspension duties are taken care of by a 43 mm upside-down fork up front and a monoshock in the rear. Highlights include a Bluetooth enabled TFT display as well.
There have been some solid rumours about the 790 Duke’s launch in India. The latest is that the bike will be launched sometime in 2020 with a price tag hovering around INR 8 lakh (ex-showroom).
KTM 790 Adventure: Let’s go wild
With lunar crater-sized holes marring Indian roads, the KTM 790 Adventure can be the perfect middleweight adventure tourer for our country. Based on the 790 Duke, this adventure motorcycle carries the lineage of the Dakar-winning KTM 450 Rally. It competes with the Triumph Tiger 800 family and BMW F 850 GS.
The powerplant is the same 799 cc unit from the 790 Duke but the engine has been re-tuned to produce 95 PS of power. Torque output has been increased to 88 Nm. Electronic aids include ride-by-wire throttle, multi-level traction control system and multiple riding modes. Besides that, a quick shifter and switchable ABS with Enduro mode are also on offer. Brakes include twin disc up front and a single disc in the rear. The 790 Adventure has a fully adjustable suspension setup.
The 790 Adventure is shod with a 21-inch spoke wheel with on-off road tyres in the front. An 18-inch unit does the job in the rear. There have been no official words on the 790 Adventure’s Indian launch. However, if introduced, we expect the bike to carry a sticker price around INR 8.5 lakh (ex-showroom).
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KTM 690 Duke: World’s most powerful single-cylinder production motorcycle
The 790 Duke with an expected price tag of around INR 8 lakh (ex-showroom) would put it out of reach of most Indians. However, the Austrians from Mattighofen have another ace hidden up their sleeves - the forgotten KTM 690 Duke. This naked motorcycle has clear design elements seen in the previous generation Duke 390. Its headlamp is still a halogen unit and pays tribute to the first-ever KTM Duke. Yes, it all began with the 620 Duke launched nearly two decades ago!
In its present form, the KTM 690 Duke is powered by a 690 cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder mill. The powerplant can churn out 72 PS of power and 74 Nm of torque. The gearbox is a 6-speed unit and is assisted by a slipper clutch. The suspension system includes upside-down fork up front and a monoshock in the rear.
KTM can make this bike pretty darn accessible by manufacturing in India. After all, building a single-cylinder bike is way easier than a twin. However, dark grey clouds loom over 690’s future due to the new 790 twin. There is no confirmation if KTM will be upgrading the 690 Duke to meet the upcoming Euro 5 emission norms.
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KTM 1290 Super Duke GT: Sports Touring at its best
No, it is not every day that you see a giant which is blisteringly fast. The KTM 1290 Super Duke GT is that monster. This mile-muncher amplifies the meaning of the term performance touring with its large semi-firing.
At the core of the 1290 Super Duke GT is a 1,301 cc V-twin engine with titanium inlet valves and resonator chambers. The engine can produce 175 PS of power and 141 Nm of torque. It even boasts a track mode and a bi-directional quick-shifter. The suspension setup includes 48 mm upside-down semi-active WP fork in the front and semi-active WP monoshock in the rear.
Brakes include 320 mm twin discs in the front with 2 Brembo monoblock four-piston radial fixed calliper and a 240 mm single disc in the rear with 2-piston fixed calliper. ABS is fully disengageable. Besides that, the 1290 Super Duke GT is fitted with cornering ABS and Supermoto mode. A number of electronic riding aids are present as standard.
If launched, the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT will be brought via the CBU route. It would cost around INR 20 lakh (ex-showroom)
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KTM RC 250: Moto3 machine for the masses
The KTM RC 250 follows the familiar design philosophy seen on the RC 390. It features a slipper clutch but misses out on ride-by-wire. It mounts a 248.8cc liquid-cooled mill, which is actually a re-sleeved version of the KTM RC 390's powerplant. The engine is good for around 30 PS of power and 24 Nm of torque. Its suspension system is the same as that of the bigger fully-faired model, but the braking setup includes a 300 disc up front and a 230 mm unit in the rear. The fuel tank can store 10 litres of petrol, and the bike has a seat height of 820 mm.
Besides that, if introduced, the KTM RC 250 will be positioned between the KTM RC 200 and the KTM RC 390. It could cost around INR 2 lakh (ex-showroom).