After first announcing that KTM would build a 200cc model of the new KTM 125 Duke for the Indian market, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has been quoted as saying that a larger, 350cc, model is in the works, and will debut as a 2013 model year motorcycle. It would seem that the 2012 KTM 350 Duke is also slated as an India-only model, though rumors and plans for a larger displacement Duke for the US market were banded about when the 125cc Duke launched at EICMA last year.
KTM seems set to take the 125 Duke platform as versatile bike for the global markets, matching configurations with localities. Since the 125cc format makes little sense in the United States (do you hear that Aprilia?), expect at least a 250cc version of the Duke to debut later this year, and likely a larger format (450cc?) as well for the US at a later point in time.
Talking to the Indian Express, Stefan Pierer was quoted as saying:
“During the Delhi Auto Expo next year, we will be launching the first 200cc Duke bike in India. We expect to sell 25,000 to 30,000 units in India in the first year of launch. After one year, we will launch the 350-cc Duke in India. We have already sold nearly 7,000 units in Europe. We are targeting to sell about 10,000 units in Europe this year. All the bikes that we produce in India will be global models. Now we are looking to export KTM bikes from Bajaj facility [sic] to other emerging markets like Thailand, Malaysia, and Brazil.”
The numbers being quoted here tell a compelling story as to why KTM is putting so much behind effort behind the KTM 125 Duke. The smaller Duke platform is clearly adding a significant amount of volume to KTM’s yearly production, and the Austrian company’s collaboration with Bajaj is certainly paying off in the Indian market.
It is also of note that Pierer mentions markets like Southeast Asia and Brazil, which have protectionist import tariffs just like India. How the company plans on working around those barriers remains to be seen, so time will tell on that one. But until then, we’ll continue drool over how great a competitively priced KTM 450 Duke would be on the urban streets of San Francisco.