Capital goes where capital flows, and it seems that India is turning out to be both a huge market expansion and production opportunity for many manufacturers.

As such Stefan Pierer, KTM’s President and CEO, says the Austrian company is considering manufacturing a 500cc and 800c parallel twin motorcycle on the subcontinent sometime in the next three years.

With the company’s 390cc offerings, the KTM 390 Duke & KTM RC390, already being manufactured there, it seems that KTM is considering upping the ante with larger displacement bikes that can both expand the market for such bikes in India and also be exported to established markets where such larger, heavier bikes are the norm.

While some of us have enjoyed the lightweight and torquey 690 Duke, its small tank capacity and annoying vibrations at highway speeds made it strictly a back road brawler. A smooth running parallel twin would be a welcome addition to the KTM lineup as long as the company can keep the power up and the weight down.

It is interesting how new production capacities open up new opportunities for products that would have otherwise been papered-over by historical market norms. So while American brand Harley-Davidson moves into India, Indian brand Hero moves out to the rest of the world.

This cultural cross-pollination is going to produce some interesting products and maybe even some perceptual changes in the riding populations across the world.

Source: OverDrive.in

  • eg

    never seen a company get watered down so fast

  • This is terrific news. I have been eagerly awaiting the launch of DUKE 690 in India.

    But I will go for the RC 390 next year.

    A [Made in India] 800cc parallel twin would be a good upgrade.

  • BBQdog

    As long as those 500cc’s don’t get as heavy as a Honda CBR 500 it’s OK by me ….

  • SteveR

    I just spoke to KTM North America on the phone yesterday…. inquired about if or when the 390 Duke &/or RC390 would get here to the US…..
    That’s been our problem here for years…. while I can go down the road about 15 miles to a KTM dealer & buy a dirt bike, I cannot go anywhere to see a 690 duke, etc… & the 390’s are not even being imported…

    A KTM dealer said that KTM posts all this info on the web… but it just ain’t real… at least for the 390Duke/RC390 …

    I think they are missing/missed a golden sales opportunity with the 390’s here in the US….. once Honda, Yamaha, Triumph, etc…. produce smaller displacement, sub $8000 bikes ( & they already are – Yamaha triple, CBR300R), then in my opinion, the 390’s might not look so attractive….

    Oh well….

  • Grey Matter

    Pretty sure HERO is already going to beat them at that game. They just released a 620cc parallel twin street fighter style bike there and it’s a deffinate strike against the KTM and Bajaj partnership.

  • rt

    @Grey Matter HER0 hasnt released it. They just showcased it as a prototype. HERo isnt the company that will experiment with their production models. BTW I noticed that the author is new. From India I suppose.

  • Grey Matter

    RT, You’re right but, the Hastur would hit KTM right where it counts if there were to release this bike but, it needs much more work to get it there.

  • @rt,

    My parents and genes are from India. Don’t conflate being “from” a place with having ancestral ties to it.

  • paulus

    @ eg
    It is not dilution, it is diversification. The emerging/expanding markets need locally produced, more affordable models.

    So it makes sense to make an Asian 500 and 800 model, to compete for the local Asian market.
    No reason to think weight/quality will be an issue. It will be whatever the brand decides is appropriate.
    CBR 500 is heavy and slow, because that is how it was designed. Honda’s latest 650 is a great step forward.
    BMW 800 is being produced in Thailand now, Ducati 7XX Monster, Diavel… all to great success. Good quality and international standards of performance.

    @ SteveR
    If KTM North America are not getting models, it is probably because of their own choices as to which models to market and when to import… You can get KTM 690/390’s just fine in other countries that want them.
    There are now probably companies making grey imports direct from India ;)

  • Sean

    Hopefully they will do a clever design like BMW’s 800 – traditional counterbalancers don’t work any better on a parallel twin than they do on a single. They don’t control vibes well at high revs, and they add rattle. It’s ok if you keep the revs low, which is exactly what the Honda and Triumph parallel twins do. Even the BMW 800 has a low redline, compared to KTM and Ducati V-twins. For high revs, use a V twin, or follow Triump and MV to triples – counterbalancers work really well on triples.

  • MikeD

    Honestly, KTM being KTM the first thought that lit on my head as reading the article’s title was:

    BABY LC8 !

    Then i read parallel twin and i’m like . . . MEH, oh well, it could be way worse. LOL.

    P.S: Today i heard for the first time a BMW I-2 800 at full swing passing a couple of cars . . . it sounded AWESOME.
    Still not CrossPlane, Aprilia V4 or Testa Stretta 1200 awesome but still pretty sweet for such an OBTUSE engine.