Will manufacture twin cylinder motorcycles in India, says KTM


This comes just two months after KTM CEO Stefan Pierer told us that low cost twin-cylinder bikes would be made by CFMoto in China

In January we brought to you the sad news that the highly anticipated KTM 490cc parallel twin motorcycle platform had been cancelled. This information was given to us by KTM’s highly candid CEO Stefan Pierer at the event celebrating One Million KTMs rolling out from India. He had said that the 490 platform did not make financial sense and that the company was instead going to develop a new 690 platform based on the current 790 Duke. This platform would be manufactured by KTM’s partner CFMoto in China.

  1. KTM to make 690 twin cylinder bikes in India
  2. Indian made bikes will be exported to Sri Lanka, Nepal

Now, however, there is great news for Indian enthusiasts because KTM has made a change in its strategy. In a recent interview with celebrated international journalist Alan Cathcart, Pierer revealed that the 490 platform was not an interesting category for KTM anymore, and that KTM would instead make a 690 or 650 based on the current 790 Duke. This motorcycle would be based on the 790, but slightly scaled down, although how so and if it would keep the same engine capacity (Pierer hinted that BMW does this with its bikes), is not known at the moment. This information was also given to us by Pierer in India.

What has now changed is that KTM says that discussions have begun with Bajaj regarding the supply chain on how to manufacture the 690 in India, and that it will surely happen within the next two years. Pierer went on to say that the made-in-India twin cylinder motorcycles would also be sold in markets like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Australia, and that this would be based on price, sensitivity, geographical proximity and other such factors.

Markets like Latin America may also be considered, but Europe would be supplied by CFMOTO made low-cost parallel twin models.

This certainly comes as exciting news for Indian enthusiasts who have been waiting for higher capacity motorcycles from KTM. Pierer says that this platform will start off with a Duke, but we think it’s fair to expect more configurations like an RC and even an Adventure further down the road. When asked at the One Million event in India as to why KTM could not sell big bikes in our market Pierer responded that the sales numbers in India would be too small to justify an entire locally manufactured operation. But, now that there is talk of India serving as an export hub for these parallel twin-cylinder motorcycles, it makes sense for KTM to make them here.

Are you excited about a locally made KTM 690 or 650 Duke that could make 80-100hp? How much would you pay for such a motorcycle? Let us know in the comments.


Also See: 

KTM working on new semi-automatic gearbox



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