In January, the unfortunate news of cancelling the highly anticipated KTM 490cc parallel twin motorcycle platform broke the internet. It was announced by the CEO of KTM, Stefan Pierer, at the event where the company celebrated its One Million KTM unit rolling out from India.
He had stated that the corporation would instead create a new 690 platform based on the current 390 Duke because the 490 platforms did not make financial sense. This platform would be constructed by KTM's partner CFMoto in China.
However, now for the Indian motorcycle fanatics, there is now good news as KTM has changed its business strategy. In a recent interview with renowned international writer Alan Cathcart, Pierer disclosed that KTM would instead produce a 690 or 650 based on the existing 390 Duke because the 490 platform was no longer an intriguing category for the company. This motorcycle would be based on the 390 but would be slightly scaled down; however, how and whether it would maintain the same engine capacity is yet to be discovered (Pierer mentioned that BMW does this with its bikes).
KTM claims that talks with Bajaj have started about the supply chain for producing the 690 in India and that it will undoubtedly take place within the next two years. Pierer went on to clarify that based on variables like pricing, sensitivity, closeness to other markets, and other similar ones, the twin-cylinder motorcycles built in India would also be marketed in countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Australia.
South American markets might also be considered; however, CFMOTO's affordable parallel twin models would supply Europe.
For Indian motorcycle enthusiasts who have been waiting for KTM's bigger-capacity motorcycles, this is undoubtedly fantastic news. Although Pierer claims that this platform will debut with a Duke, we believe it is reasonable to anticipate more configurations like an RC and even an Adventure in the future. In response to a question about why KTM couldn't sell large bikes in our market at the One Million event in India, Pierer said that the market's sales would be insufficient to support a full-scale domestically produced operation. But it makes sense for KTM to produce these parallel twin-cylinder motorcycles here now that there is a discussion of India functioning as an export hub.
Until we get more information on this, do check out our story on the Limited Edition 2023 Super Duke RR and everything it has to offer!
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