KTM to Build V-Twin Engines for 600-800cc Bikes
The future of KTM is well known, and it is not lost on anyone that the Austrian automaker is looking to oust the Japanese, and its Indian partner Bajaj Auto has a big role in all of this.
KTM has been well represented on both ends of the engine displacement spectrum, but like most others, they do not boast of mid-size V-twins. And it is in light of this matter that the manufacturer also announced that it will be building V-twin engines for its mid-range motorcycles.
The plan is supposed to come into effect in about three years’ time, according to an announcement by the chief of KTM and sister company Husqvarna, Stefan Pierer, who was speaking at the EICMA Show held in Milan, Italy.
Made in India
As some of you may probably be aware, Indian-owned Bajaj Auto – which owns almost 50 percent stake in KTM – has been tasked with the responsibility of building motorcycles up to 800cc. This does not include dirt bikes which will still be the preserve of the Salzburg factory.
So, the V-twin engined middleweight bikes will be manufactured in India at the company’s Chakan manufacturing plant for the global market, with prices in the sub-continent rumored to be coming at some attractive rates. The upcoming twin-cylinder fitted motorcycles will range between the large displacement V-twins and lower capacity singles which are already in production.
According to sources, the bikes will have a displacement of between 600cc and 800cc which will be the maximum to avoid a clash between this and the larger bikes. The minimum capacity is yet to be set.
To Add to the Lineup
The new 600cc and 800cc twins will augur well with the firm’s street bike line up. The larger motor will power the Duke 690 substitute which is likely to be renamed the Duke 790. The single-cylinder 390 and 390 Duke will bring up the rear, with the 1190 and 1290 tourers, nakeds, and sports bikes comprising the firm’s crème de la crème.
The whole engine range will be shared with the new Husqvarna product line, and this is expected to bring down the cost of production and development. It’s just at the Milan Show that renowned Swedish brand Husqvarna revealed two new street-concept bikes dubbed the 401 Svartpilen and 401 Vitpilen.
The two concepts borrow from the KTM Duke 390, and are modern versions of the traditional scrambler and café racer bikes respectively. Pierer also promised that Husqvarna would be unveiling a totally new range of road bikes covering all capacities from 125cc all the way to 1300cc.
The company will in future be offering both R and supersport versions of their range of products, tagged RC (Race Competition). The V-twin motorcycles are likely to lure in bikers to the brand given the new engines will be smoother as compared to the single cylinder type. However, the new engines are likely to be more expensive than single cylinder ones, meaning the mid-range KTM V-twins will be priced higher than the Dukes and RCs.