- KTM is working on new 650cc bikes
- Will be made in India
- Duke 650 launch in 2026
KTM is working on a new motorcycle platform derived from the famous 790cc parallel-twin. KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has already confirmed this significant development.
According to an interview, the company's top honcho was candid about the brand's plans. He talked about a wide range of things, but the most crucial information reveal was that of a new 650cc-690cc platform which is being developed by KTM and manufactured in India by Bajaj at its Chakan plant.
The Austrian brand previously worked on a 500cc parallel-twin platform, but that project was shelved for various reasons. However, the company is highly interested in the 650-690cc space as it already has the 790cc platform ready, which can be scaled down to offer lesser performance and bring the overall cost down. This strategy will also help the brand in having the right marketing strategy for the segment.
The first bike from this new platform will be naked and likely be followed by RC and adventure models. There's yet to be an exact timeline for the launch of the Duke 650, as both brands are working on getting the supply chain right. But the first bike is expected to hit the Indian market by 2026.
KTM is already manufacturing the 790cc bikes in China, so having another assembly operation in India would have made sense as the segment offers low sales. However, by manufacturing this new 650-690cc range in India, KTM plans to export it to various markets like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. The export markets always help in getting the sales numbers up, due to which investing in a new project becomes financially viable.