In a thrilling update for motorcycle enthusiasts, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has revealed that the company is working on a new 650-690cc platform, ditching its earlier plan for a 500cc twin-cylinder engine. The first bike based on this innovative architecture is set to be a naked offering, with a possible launch in the Indian market by 2026. Fully-faired RC and Adventure models are expected to follow.
Pierer confirmed that the new parallel-twin engine will be manufactured at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant in India. The company will tap into its existing 790cc architecture, produced in China, to develop the 650 or 690cc engine. This move aligns with KTM’s strategy shift toward a more appealing category for its fans.
In an interview with renowned journalist Alan Cathcart, Pierer disclosed that discussions with Bajaj have begun, aiming to establish a supply chain for manufacturing the 690 in India within the next two years. The made-in-India 650-690cc bikes will not only hit local markets but also be exported to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Australia. Factors like price sensitivity and geographical proximity will determine market presence.
Latin America is also being considered as a potential market, while Europe will receive low-cost parallel twin models made by CFMOTO. This news is particularly exciting for Indian motorbike aficionados eager for higher-capacity KTM offerings. The new platform is expected to kick off with a Duke, but an RC and Adventure models could be on the horizon.
Pierer’s change of heart comes as India’s role as an export hub for parallel twin-cylinder motorcycles becomes more viable, making it the perfect time for KTM to manufacture these high-powered beasts locally. So, gear up, millennials! The next wave of KTM bikes is coming, and it’s set to rev up the global motorcycle scene!