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Old 16th March 2023, 05:33   #1
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KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

Source : https://www.motorcycle.com/features/...er-part-1.html

Stefan Pierer, CEO of PIERER Mobility AG, the parent company of KTM Group, Austria, was interviewed by Alan Cathcart. The below is extracted from Part 1. Part 2 is yet to be published.

Relevant excerpt for India reproduced below. Emphasis added by me :

Interview With KTMís Stefan Pierer Ė Part 1
The Roll Call of Success
Interview with KTMís Stefan Pierer

Alan Cathcart March 15, 2023

Alan C: Will all future middleweight KTM, Husqvarna, and GASGAS twin-cylinder models be made in China?

Stefan P: Thatís the plan Ė theyíll be made in China, and the premium bikes here in Austria. I distinguish between premium and entry-level middle-class models. The more price competitive models are coming from China, and the premium bikes are coming from here. But I was in India in January, and it seems now even the twin-cylinder bikes can also be made there, which is very helpful.

AC: I thought your future strategy had been for CFMOTO to concentrate on producing twin-cylinder middleweight models, and Bajaj in India the single-cylinder models?

SP: Yes, that was our strategy for a while. But for sure in the next two years, the twins will also be made in India, too.

AC: Will this be the RC490 500cc parallel-twin that youíve been working on for some years?

SP: No, itíll be the 790
Ė why should I reinvent everything from scratch?! Maybe theyíll name it the 690 or whatever like BMW, but thatís not an issue. Chinese products donít have any chance in India, where they have to have an Indian provenance. If you show up with a Chinese-made model, forget it. The 500 class, for me, is not an interesting category anymore, so we stopped the RC490 because we are bringing the 790 down a little bit. Weíre talking about the 690 or 650 Ė and thatís better for marketing, because more is always better than less! Also, its pricing is always an issue. Itís easier to make a satisfactory price tag with a 650 model compared to a 500. A 500 is an entry-level bike.

AC: So, youíre saying the 790 parallel-twin KTM will be made in India within the next two years?

SP: For sure Ė we are already starting the discussion on how to achieve this, and with which kind of component supply solution, but itís coming. We will have the 790 built there for sure, and the Naked bike will be the first one, as usual.

AC: Will these be only for India, or will they be sold in Western markets, too?

SP: The idea is that India takes care of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia Ė itís dependent on price sensitivity, as well as geographic proximity.

AC: But for Australia, which is close to both India and China geographically, would such models come from India?

SP: India, yes, for sure India.
However, for Asian markets China is ahead because the Chinese guys are so fast Ė Iím seriously impressed. They are the world champions in copying, but to a high level. Within less than two years we have transferred our entire 790 platform to them with a 100% supply chain in China, and itís working very well Ė the quality is excellent. So, we are starting this year to handle CFMOTOís distribution for the whole of Europe, which is the first step we agreed based on the intellectual transfer of the platform. We are taking care of importation to Europe of all CFMOTO products based on a KTM engine platform.

AC: Is it true that a number of KTM models manufactured in India has now passed one million?

SP: Yes, that was the reason that I visited there in January, it was the one million production milestone.

AC: Congratulations Ė but is your relationship with Bajaj still as strong now as it used to be in light of your growing alliance with CFMOTO?

SP: Between Rajiv Bajaj and me, itís turned out to be a real friendship. Itís a win-win situation for us both, and if we are both doing good, heís benefitting and vice versa. Without Bajaj we never would have leveraged overall production to the level that we are at now.

AC: Will Bajaj only make KTM branded bikes for you besides his own products?

SP: No, Rajiv is now also doing Husqvarna for us, and then for many years heís been trying to do something with Triumph, which, hopefully, will finally come to market later this year, or next year. Theyíve been talking to each other since 2016, and were supposed to be launching their first joint venture model round about now, but it seems, the earliest it will now come is in Autumn this year, because they made some more research and changed the styling, or something.

AC: Is the close relationship between Triumph and Bajaj a problem for you?

SP: No, I like competition, it keeps you alive, keeps you fresh!

AC: Itís competition within an established partnership, though.

SP: Look, Iím doing the same thing with CFMOTO, so it all balances out.

AC: So if Mr. Bajaj ends up taking over control of Triumph, which seems possible, it would be no problem for you?

SP: No, Iíve known for a while thatís his long-term strategy Ė weíve discussed it. Iíve been doing so many acquisitions myself lately, but now Rajiv Ė itís your turn! Youíre the expert on how to manage things with your former ruling nation, not this guy from Austria! So, good luck with that.
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Old 16th March 2023, 07:17   #2
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

I hope they keep true to their word. Or at the very least, don't be lazy to make the old 790 BS6.2 compatible.
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Old 16th March 2023, 08:47   #3
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

Thanks for this info, the future seems exciting.
This also points that the 390 Duke and Adventure will remain rather than a 490 and why not, they're at a perfect power and price point to capture riders from the sub 250cc segment right upto the 650s.

I hope that the international 2023 390 Adventure will be launched in the same configuration in India giving us the much needed adjustable suspension and slightly less important spoke wheels.
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Old 16th March 2023, 09:07   #4
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by FourWheelDrift View Post
......
SP: No, Iíve known for a while thatís his long-term strategy Ė weíve discussed it. Iíve been doing so many acquisitions myself lately, but now Rajiv Ė itís your turn! Youíre the expert on how to manage things with your former ruling nation, not this guy from Austria! So, good luck with that.
.......
[/b]
Apart from the KTM tit bit, the Bajaj taking over Triumph is also significant.

-Does this mean Triumph will become more accessible?
-Will we have Triumph service centers and showroom in more places?

Interesting times ahead!!!
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Old 16th March 2023, 18:45   #5
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

This is fantastic news if the statements made come to fruition. The 790 is a good step up from the 390. If they would bring in different category of bikes it would keep enthusiasts happy. Only time will tell.
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Old 16th March 2023, 19:42   #6
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

The only way to achieve success in the big bike segment, according to me, is make them here and sell them here. I mean,CKD and CBU models don't sell well obviously due to the high pricing. Imagine a locally made big bike and the pricing it will come with. And even the government will welcome it, no stupid taxation like those on CKD's and CBU's.

I really love my 390 Duke, and I wish KTM brings in the bigger bikes so that owners like me can stay within the KTM family.

Also, I seriously wish Stefan Pierer considers bringing powerparts to India. Just like how RE has all those customisation options. It will be a huge boon to someone like me who is scared of fitting aftermarket parts because people will call me a chapri . It will also open a good business case IMO.

Last edited by vb-san : 17th March 2023 at 07:45. Reason: As requested
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Old 16th March 2023, 20:17   #7
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by FourWheelDrift View Post
However, for Asian markets China is ahead because the Chinese guys are so fast Ė Iím seriously impressed. They are the world champions in copying, but to a high level. Within less than two years we have transferred our entire 790 platform to them with a 100% supply chain in China, and itís working very well Ė the quality is excellent.
Reading stuff like this saddens me - obviously we have a long long way to go before we can meet China's engineering prowess. Wonder what they're doing right that we aren't.
Anyway - good for KTM. Hope they can release some reasonably priced twin cylinder models in India.
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Old 18th March 2023, 16:30   #8
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

All the hopes of 790 platform coming to India made me test ride the KTM 790 Adventure S in Hanoi.

It felt right at home coming from the ADV 250 be it the seating comfort, the weight while standing or on the move, the light clutch action, or the windshield shaking while going over rough patches . But just give the throttle a twist and you will be at triple-digit speeds before you can blink. I am really excited about the 2023 model which comes with the redesigned headlight assembly.

The 435-degree firing order engine was smoother than I expected it to be. But the engine sounded a little clunky which could be because of the test ride bike was still in the break-in period.

KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India-pxl_20230318_052633536.jpg

KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India-pxl_20230318_052647714.jpg

KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India-pxl_20230318_052614013.jpg



Quote:
Originally Posted by SkylineGTR View Post
Reading stuff like this saddens me - obviously we have a long long way to go before we can meet China's engineering prowess. Wonder what they're doing right that we aren't.
Digressing from the KTM topic I think I can shed some light on why the Chinese hardware ecosystem is miles ahead of the Indian one or anywhere in the world for that matter. I lived there for approximately a year pre-pandemic and took a product from 0 to 1 during that time and eventually to mass production during the pandemic. This could be an essay in itself but keeping it short here are the two main factors: the "sudu"/speed they work and the ecosystem of vendors available for every scale and cost.
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Old 18th March 2023, 16:52   #9
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

Thanks for sharing such great news. Looks like RE 650 will have a much needed adversary. There should be a competition, then only customers will benefit and manufacturers will be forced to bring updates and new products often. Imagine it took RE almost 5 years to bring 1st major updates to their best selling twins. If they had any good competitor twin cylinder in the market, by 2020 1st update should have rolled out. And on Bajaj accruing Triumph it will shake up the whole two wheeler market like when Tata's took over JRL. And if Triumph modern classics (ST900 ) and 660 inline series are manufactured in India, Its will be icing on the cake.
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Old 19th March 2023, 05:51   #10
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

Sorry if this is off topic. The interviews are great and very inspiring. Also, what KTM has done for India is quite an achievement and really a blessing. However, worldwide and in North America KTM is rightfully popular for using cheap Chinese electronics that fail often. Rust issues on new bikes. Broken speedo TFTs and some more. This is sincerely not my own opinion but the opinion of KTM owners, dealers, and the general riding community.

The troublesome speedo/dash that has issues with cracks, moisture, as seen on the 690/790/890 is still in active use. If KTM would do a little on improving the product quality, that would be a real blessing and is also the differentiating factor between say the Japanese manufacturers and KTM. Cheers!

Last edited by iron.head : 19th March 2023 at 05:52.
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Old 19th March 2023, 18:40   #11
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

Excellent catch! KTM and Bajaj leveraging their partnership have redefined what performance motorcycling is for India, ctapulted the Indian market for better machines, but also consummated each other's strengths exceptionally well. The fact that the 390 is a more than enough motorcycle for most of what the Indian tarmac demands, squeezing in a 490 or a 590 doesn't make financially viable, be it parallel twin or a single.

Take for example, RE 650, this displacement perfectly eclipses the CC discrepancy in their own line-up gap, yet being strikingly affordable. If anything, RE has struck the chord right, with the 650.

Now, Stefan and Bajaj have all it takes to bring in a Made in India 690-790 motorcycle. Case in point, CFMoto already being strong in the mid to upper segment twins, KTM tagging with CFMoto would mean, CFMoto could in fact leverage the tail-wind associated with KTM, similar to how Bajaj experienced with KTM.

CFMoto, KTM and Bajaj this trio can make wonders in the middle segment, and the future is extremely promising. Indian consumers should definitely taste the thunder before all the thunder is taken over by batteries.

Cheers!
VJ
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Old 20th March 2023, 05:26   #12
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

Part 2 of the interview with Stefan Pierer is out. It can be viewed here :

https://www.motorcycle.com/features/...er-part-2.html

There is nothing mentioned that is relevant for India.

There is going to be a Part 3 as well, where electrification and synthetic fuels will be discussed.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 09:52   #13
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

Thanks for bringing us this info. It's really good to know that KTM owners will now have an option to upgrade to. Also, manufacturing here will help keep the cost low. I hope they bring the bigger bikes over time
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Old 25th March 2023, 01:54   #14
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Re: KTM Twin (2) cylinder motorcycles to be made in India

Part 3 of the interview with Stefan Pierer is out. It can be viewed here :

https://www.motorcycle.com/features/...er-part-3.html

There is nothing mentioned that is relevant exclusively for India.

This is the final part of the interview.

Happy reading !
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