How KTM Became an Icon in India?
In eight years, the Austrian manufacture is already a superstar in the Indian automobile industry
India’s automobile industry evolved in the late 90s as renowned motorcycle manufactures like Honda and Kawasaki collaborated with Indian manufactures. The nation already had Yamaha who blessed the scenario with motorcycles like RX 100 and RD along with the Shogun from Suzuki. However, the country still lacked the idea of a streetfighter motorcycle. Before 2012, the only prominent streetfighter motorcycle available in India was the Yamaha FZ. Finally, in 2012, KTM joined the party to transform the Indian motorcycle scenario forever.
KTM or Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen from Austria collaborated with Bajaj Auto to bring in the first proper streetfighter motorcycle in India. A streetfighter motorcycle is a motorcycle that provides a sporty look with slightly forward seating ergonomics along with a peppy engine that can play effectively in the city as well as on the highway for occasional touring. KTM’s first motorcycle for India; the Duke 200 laid out the precise interpretation of a street motorcycle. The 200cc motorcycle flaunted a shimmering orange colour with an exposed trellis frame and an engine that generated 24hp of peak power and a top speed of 136 kmph. Further, the motorcycle’s shorter wheelbase and short gear ratio made it an excellent ride for commuters who also wished for a chunk of thrill. For its mighty motor, it rapidly obtained the moniker of ‘Hooligan.’
The Duke 200 immediately turned into a showstopper and KTM expanded in India. The company realized the hunger for power and sporty motorcycles amongst the Indian youth. Hence, they also presented the RC 200; a fully faired version of the Duke 200. KTM did not pause there as people began the hunt for bigger CC and powerful motorcycles. Hence, they also introduced the Duke 390 and RC 390.
KTM being a sharp player analysed the psyche of India buyers. They introduced premium class motorcycles but at a lower price range, which further pushed them to build a solid base in the country. The partnership with Bajaj Auto enabled them to manufacturer their motorcycles at the Chakan Plant in Pune, which reduced the overall cost of the motorcycles. That’s not all, as Bajaj also aided them to reach every corner of the country with service stations.
The availability of premium super motorcycles at substantially lower price-tag along with the easy availability of service centres and spare parts made KTM an icon in India. Recently, the Austrian brand further upped its game by offering the Duke 790 and the Duke 390 ADV.