Bajaj cracks down on Facebook users maligning KTM Duke, gets instant apology

Added in: Bajaj Auto

Fake KTM Post

The image which started the whole episode

What started off as a malicious post by a bunch of guys who didn’t have anything better to do, was taken seriously by the honchos at Bajaj. The Pune based two-wheeler maker has  come down hard on Facebook users who created a meme with ill-intents, questioning the safety of the KTM Duke. The meme comprised of an image of the RC200 on Facebook stating “Did you know? 50% people who have bought Duke is no longer with us.” Apart from some serious grammatical mistakes, the post indirectly claimed that motorcycles from the Austrian origin bikemaker were not safe to ride, thus doing its bit to malign the Bajaj-KTM’s brand name.

While the connotations of the statement can be different for different people, we are told that this specific creative was meant to hint at the accidents faced by and demise of the users of the model specified. For someone who doesn’t take the statement too seriously, though, it may also mean that half the original Duke buyers have now moved on to an RC series KTM or some other model / make. The statement cannot be favourable for the brand in question, whichever way you look at it, though.

Bajaj was quick to issue a warning notice but that’s not the end of the two-wheeler maker’s wrath. Bajaj Auto filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Police, Pune for “Cyber Crime and Criminal Act of Defamation”, mentioning the names and Facebook links of the profiles who shared the image. Bajaj also threatened further legal action at the cost and consequence of the offenders.

A statement, along with the scanned copies of the complaint, were released on KTM India’s official social networking page. The statement read, “Further to the issue brought to our notice on 17th Aug 2015 we have filed a police complaint against perpetrators of baseless and misleading rumors about KTM. Unless these baseless and misleading posts are removed we would be initiating further legal proceedings at cost and consequences to the offenders. We would like to thank KTM fans and customers who have done their part in dismissing these baseless and misleading rumors.”

Here are the images of the complaint letter which Bajaj Auto filed:

Bajaj Issues Notice for KTM FB Post - 1 Bajaj Issues Notice for KTM FB Post - 2

One of the channels which shared the malicious post has already apologized and all the posts with the image have been taken down. A Facebook page named The BACK Benchers stated, “On behalf of ‘The Back Benchers’ we hereby apologize to KTM – Ready to Race India for spreading baseless and misleading news about KTM motorcycles without having knowledge of the subject. We have already deleted the offending post and are sorry to have caused damage to the reputation of KTM and hurting the sentiments of millions of KTM fans.”

While having a sense of humour is a good thing, sometimes, when ill-willed activities, which may have been instigated by rival brands threatens to malign a brand, corporates have to take stern action. We are fully with Bajaj-KTM on this issue. We may not be entirely right, though. So do let us know if you have a counter view or anything more to add to the story. Do give us a shoutout in the comments section or on one of our social networking channels. We’re always listening.

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  • Arnab says:

    A very good article but then I would say we should also ask Bajaj not to give those stupid taglines that they did for RS200, Leave track racing to amateurs. What they wanted to convey through that? That people, buy RS200 and start racing on the roads endangering all the others. What a bad move from a leading and responsible two-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj. Instead Baja along with others should ask the govt. to enforce two-wheeler licensing system like Europe, based on categories. So that any person with a lot of his dad's money and loads of irresponsibility will not be able to buy the super bikes just because he has got a license. Those bikes, are beauties and ask for respect, which any person can't give. Recently a teenager duo got into accident riding a ZX 14R without any riding gear, just because they wanted to impress their GFs. I mean what the hell? Is that bike meant to be ridden like that. And because of that irresponsibility, look what happened, they killed an innocent cyclist and got themselves admitted to ICU. Today's parents have enough money to buy their kids, overgrown kids I must say, big bikes, RC390 maybe the least. But even handling a RC390 in Indian roads need special skills, let alone those more powerful. And those kids ride their RCs with no respect to the machine, without helmet even. I mean don't these parents love their children? I think it's time to introduce category based two-wheeler licensing system in India.

  • KTMfan says:

    The meme implies that many of the buyers of those powerful bikes can’t handle the power and hence have crashed. It (the meme) most certainly does not imply that the Duke and RC series of motorcycles are unsafe. Don’t create unnecessary scandal by saying these posts are made by rival companies or whatever, and stop saying “its one of the safest bikes…” etc NOBODY’s saying they’re unsafe
    man so stupid

  • Gaurav Chandra says:

    I absolutely adore my Duke ThreeNiner.. I am guessing the posts made by these guys are so lame in nature, it is definitely provoked by rival companies.. Very well known fact being pricing/specification ratio of the Duke/RC series is impossible for rivals to match (although, I fail to understand why!, just Make In India!!) hence probably rivals are stooping to new lows! 😀

  • CA. Rajiv Singh says:

    I own an RC 390 and can say confidently that it is one of the best and safest bike on sale in India with immaculate handling and braking prowess. I have ridden the Dukes as well and they too are of A1 quality. Such rumour mongers must be taken to task.

  • Ryan Go says:

    that’s the educated way to handle it. if someone maligned you, wouldn’t you want to take them to court? the post was obviously malicious in nature.