Diving through KTM’s 108 page annual report for 2011, the Austrian company lists a couple of interesting developments in its Research & Development section. Partnering with Bajaj on small-displacement street motorcycles, the first obvious fruit of that labor was the KTM 125 Duke, and the subsequent KTM 200 Duke that is available worldwide.
We already know that KTM plans on bringing a 300cc version of the baby Duke to North America, and the Austrian company lists displacements in this project up to 375cc, a strong signal to the final displacement of the much anticipated KTM 350 Duke.
The other bit of interesting news comes from KTM disclosing that it is working on a v-twin platform with Bajaj, which would be a novelty in the single-cylinder saturated Indian market. Whether or not that v-twin project overlaps the small-displacement Duke project is up for speculation, though it is rumored to be the case.
Slotted to be a 2013 model year motorcycle here in North America, the KTM 375 Duke (note the 25cc displacement increase over previous company communications) would be a more premium offering to those looking at bikes like the Honda CBR250R and Kawasaki Ninja 300 — though it would likely still remain a step below the rumored Honda CBR500.
With KTM’s on-road segment struggling here in North America, a bike like the KTM 375 Duke, along with its full-fairing Moto3 inspired counterpart, could be the shot(s) in the arm that gets consumers and dealers alike into riding riding orange on the streets. Time will tell of course.