Rumour: Bajaj Auto to launch Kawasaki ZX10R and 14R in India?


Bajaj Auto could change tack and get into the high-end completely built unit (CBU) motorcycle market in the coming weeks. According to a source-based report on Overdrive, Bajaj Auto could launch the Kawasaki ZX10R and the ZX14R superbikes in the Indian market, in the coming months. The report goes on to add that an announcement in this regard is likely in September. 

Both motorcycles, if at all launched in India, are expected to be imported through the completely built unit (CBU) route. Bajaj Auto's CBU strategy would mark a major shift in trajectory for the Pune based motorcycle maker, which has thus far eschewed the CBU route citing low volumes.

If indeed Bajaj Auto begins importing Kawasaki's high performance motorcycles through the CBU route, the move opens up the possibility of bigger capacity KTM motorcycles such as the Duke 690 and the RC8 also being imported into India as CBUs. Notably, Bajaj Auto holds a 49% stake in Austrian motorcycle maker KTM, and builds and markets the Duke small capacity motorcycle range. 

Bajaj Auto and Kawasaki are in collaboration to sell and market the latter's sportsbikes in the Indian market. Kawasaki has an assembly facility at Bajaj Auto's Chakan unit under the India Kawasaki Motor banner. This facility assembles the Ninja 300R and the Ninja 650R motorcycles through completely knocked down (CKD) kits imported from Thailand. 

Bajaj also uses Kawasaki's distribution network in countries such as Indonesia and Colombia, where the former sells its flagship Pulsar range of sporty motorcycles. The 2013 Kawasaki ZX10R features a 998cc in-line four cylinder engine that outputs 197 Bhp of peak power and 112 Nm of peak torque. The motorcycle competes with the likes of the Yamaha R1, BMW S1000RR, Suzuki GSX10R and the Honda CBR1000RR.

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX14R, is a high performance super sports tourer with a 1,441cc in-line four cylinder engine that outputs 210 PS of peak power with the Ram Air induction system, and 163 Nm of peak torque. The ZX14R's prime competitors are the Suzuki Hayabusa and the BMW K1300S. 

Bajaj Auto runs Pro-Biking outlets in India, to sell and service high end motorcycles from KTM and Kawasaki. The Indian motorcycle giant has 72 Pro-Biking dealerships across the country. Kawasaki's CBU motorcycle range, if imported into India, is expected to be sold and serviced through Pro-Biking outlets.

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