Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Duke Of Austria - In Indian Shores

With a decade of  its Pulsar range of motorcycles in India, and a growing market for Kawasaki's 250cc and 650cc mid-muscle sports bikes, Bajaj Auto has once again proven what makes it the country's most formidable two-wheeler manufacturer and shrewd market player with the launch of the first ever KTM branded KTM Duke 200 at an introductory price of Rs 1.17 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi )

We’ve admired their trellis frames on posters and seen them dominate the sands in the world’s most grueling endurances races, but often wondered where that left us as KTM enthusiasts. Since establishing industrial ties with Bajaj Auto in India, the development of KTM branded lower capacity street fighters have been underway for a while now, and the country’s first tryst with the Big Orange brand of motorcycles is finally a reality with the official launch of the KTM Duke 200 here in India.

Technical Highlights and a lot of early ride impressions about this slim and spectacular, but nimble and extremely stable 200cc street naked was explored by our Team when they got their hands on the bike for the very first time at the Bajaj test track at Chakan in December last year.

Standing tall at 165 mm, the KTM  Duke 200 gets its thrust from a 199.50 cc DOHC 4V engine that produces 25PS of power @ 10,000 rpm and churns out 19Nm of torque @ 8,000 rpm. Although KTM’s decision to limit the red line on the 200 Duke at 135 km/h may disappoint some, the linear manner in which this power will be delivered all through the rev band will define its ultimate purpose for riders both in the city and on long distance runs.

Launched at an introductory price of Rs 1.17 Lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) the KTM 200 Duke will be available across KTM dealerships in India. Orange will be the colour to look out for as Bajaj Pro-Biking outlets have now been replaced with their KTM brand, and will be your one stop shop for bookings, test rides and purchase information about the  KTM Duke 200 

On the occasion of the launch Rajiv Bajaj, MD Bajaj Auto, said "The launch of the Duke 200 is one of the many steps in Bajaj Auto’s association with KTM over the last five years. Between the Bajaj Pulsar and the KTM Duke 200 we intend to further strengthen our dominant position in the sports motorcycle segment in India. The KTM  Duke 200 is meant for people who are young at heart and like to be different."

So what does the entry of this dazzling street fighter from the House of Orange mean for India, for bikers in the country and the future of Bajaj Auto? If strategies are anything to bank on in the two-wheeler market in India, then the Alliance’s decision to pursue a bottom-up product line-up for the Indian sporting masses should do the trick.

Further insights on ‘What The KTM DUKE 200 Really Means’ are manifold, but one thing that Bajaj has made clear is that this is only the beginning of KTM’s penetration into the minds of genuine sports bikes lovers in India, and in time bigger, better and higher capacity models will find a place in the hearts of Indian bikers. Frankly, we wouldn’t want it any other way!


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