Bajaj Auto’s throttle has been in the idling position for quite some time now. Apart from the Kawasaki Ninja 650R the company hasn’t created any ripples in the Indian bike market this year. Bajaj Auto, which leads the 150 / 180 / 220 cc market in India has been rather inactive on its flagship Pulsar brand for far too long, much to its fans and followers surprise. We were (and still are!) expecting Bajaj to delight us with the news of the next-gen Pulsar on the brand’s 10th anniversary this October, but no word from the company as yet. Bajaj Auto, however, is planning to reveal the highly anticipated KTM 200 in October. The KTM 200, which has been spotted several times testing on our roads and is being eagerly awaited by thousands of fans will most likely be introduced to the Indian market this month. And why is Bajaj launching the KTM200 now when the Expo is just a few weeks away? We’ll tell you why!
Bajaj Auto, from what we have come to know is not planning to have an exhibit for its bikes at the Expo this year, a stage where you usually expect big launches. The company plans to focus more on its fledgling four-wheeler business which will see its first ‘real-world’ product in the form of the company’s first small commercial vehicle. There may be some more rabbits which Bajaj Auto may pull out from its 4-wheeler bag at the Expo, but ‘no bikes’ is almost a certainty. Bajaj doesn’t want important Indian launches like the KTM 200 and probably the new Pulsar to lose the limelight in the Expo where dozens of other important launches will happen simultaneously.
So, to grab more attention of the media and fans, the company will launch the 200 Duke this month. The deliveries, however will take about two to three months. As we have told you earlier as well, the power output for the KTM 200 Duke is expected to be slightly less than the Honda CBR 250R, and is expected to be somewhere around 23PS. The torque too would be healthy, further helping the rev needle climb up without a whimper from low and mid revs.
Also, unlike the Pulsar 220, which had issues with its FI, Bajaj-KTM have worked extra hard this time around to make sure that the injection system works flawlessly for super smoothness and super responsiveness for every twist of the wrist. The KTM 200, however, won’t have top-end performance as its USP. It would instead, boast of an extremely meaty mid-range which would help the riders pull away with great reassurance even in low and mid-revs, a boon to cut through traffic and for overtaking. It won’t thus be an out-and-out track tool but more of a real-world performer, with a great advantage within the city traffic owing to its healthy mid-range performance.
We are as excited about the KTM200 as all of you are. With fancy stuff like inverted forks, we don’t expect the price of the new KTM to undercut the CBR250R by much, but we also understand that the new product will have to be priced sensibly if it has to stand a fighting chance against the extremely alluring CBR250R. So what do you think should be a good price for the KTM 200 Duke upon its launch?