India's second largest motorcycle manufacturer, Bajaj Auto is to build KTM Duke 390 for the American roads. Currently, the US tracks are only filled up with off-road machines of the Austrian motorcycle giant. KTM plans to launch the Duke 390 at the earliest of 2014. The bike will be manufactured at Bajaj Auto's Chackan Plant, in Pune. Earlier, in March, 2012, Bajaj acquired 47% stake of KTM and enriched its partnership with the global builder.
"It is a strategic decision with Bajaj to go for sporty, stylish motorcycles, even for the saturated markets, because cars have become too expensive. We are entering the US street-bike segment for the first time and, beginning next year, the Duke 390, built in India, would be sold in the US market," said Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG.
It was a big surprise when the Duke 390 marked absence in the 2013 line-up of KTM for US, which was announced earlier this year in Long Beach. Along with it, the 1190 Adventure also didn't found place to be placed in the tabulation.
The sources find out that the reason why KTM is not launching the Duke 390 in US this year is in order to concentrate the European market. Last year, the Austrian firm overtook BMW Motorrad to become the number one player of Europe. The company wants to continue its top position and then to make a growth as well. Even though, US is the biggest market for the high-end superbikes, the recent financial crisis collapsed the entire two wheeler industry of America. So, releasing a new machine in 2014 would be much better, comments the firm justifying the delay of the Duke 390.
"These small-displacement street bikes are ideal for urban commuting, especially in saturated markets like the US and Europe. What we are talking about are powerful (40-44 bhp) but affordable bikes; at 138 kg, these are powerful and agile. With a target price of ^5,000, including VAT, we think it could be a big success. We would produce 200,000 units a year; of that, 100,000 would come from India. We expect sales of 10,000 Duke 390s in Europe and the US. India and other regions would be additional," adds Pierer.
KTM 390 Duke is wedded with a 373.2 cc, Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine, liquid-cooled engine. This naked bike is capable to produce a maximum power of 44 hp. It is mated with a 6 speed transmission. Being moulded with a disc brake at both ends, the bike truly stands for the street-riding. The bike also come in ABS as optional.
KTM Duke 390 will be the first Indian made motorcycle to be landed in USA.
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