While commuter bikes still make up the majority of sales in the market, the Indian 2-wheeler scene has witnessed quite a change in the last few years. Mileage no longer remains the prime concern of customers and power and performance are slowly taking over the main reason behind the purchase of a 2-wheeler. Royal Enfield shocked us by introducing their Continental GT and Interceptor 650 bikes featuring twin cylinder at a very affordable price. Not to mention, other makers also took notice and are trying to tackle the challenge in their own way, and in a bid to do the same, KTM and Bajaj are buckling up to bring their own double-cylinder models in the market.
Giving confirmation of the same, KTM head Stefan Pierer talked to SpeedWeek about their upcoming double-cylinder engine with a displacement of half a liter that will be made by Bajaj in India. After dominating the market with their 390 Duke in the single cylinder arena, the Austrian manufacturer wishes to challenge RE and Japanese makers with this engine. A confirmation of these engines being seen on Bajaj bikes could not be made.
Now that RE and Japanese Kawasaki both offer twin-pot bikes in India, with the former having the more affordable option, other manufacturers were bound to enter the field. Although the presence of Bajaj-KTM’s twin-cylinder mill in Bajaj bikes could not be confirmed, we can hope that this engine will feature on the bikes of both the manufacturers.
Under the ownership of Bajaj, Austrian giant KTM has found a lot of success in India ever since its entry here. As of now, the Austrian maker offers Duke 125, Duke 200, Duke 250, Duke 390, RC 200 and RC 390 in India. KTM will soon launch an ADV bike to take on RE Himalayan in India and it will be known as 390 ADV.
In the wake of upcoming safety norms KTM recently made ABS standard on all the bikes in its model ine-up. With 1st April 2019 being the deadline for the implementation of these rules, manufacturers are constantly upgrading their bikes to comply with the rules.
Having gained a reputation for offering extremely powerful bikes at relatively affordable price points, KTM is expected to do the same with the bikes featuring the under-development 500-cc twin-cylinder engine. As has been the trend so far, the new mill could be designed and developed by KTM and bajaj might mass produce it. However, before all this, Indian bikers eagerly await the launch of 2019 Dominar 400 and KTM 390 ADV by Bajaj and KTM respectively.