If you’ve never seen a sidecar race, you’d be amazed at how different it is from motorcycle racing. Not only do you have some entirely different physics at work with the third wheel, you also have a passenger sprawled over the chassis behind the rider, sticking his body out to either side at lean angles […]
KTM Developing Faired and Touring Versions of 390 Duke
KTM has carved out a niche recently in the small-displacement streetbike market with its Duke lineup of naked motorcycles. First came the 125 Duke, then the 200 Duke, and more recently unveiled at EICMA, the 390 Duke, which we hope will be the first in the family to make it to the U.S. All three little Dukes have similar chassis and streetfighter styling, with the engine displacement being the main difference between them.
The Austrian manufacturer isn’t done with the small-displacement segment however. Speaking with India’s CNBC-TV18, KTM Chief Executive Officer Stefan Pierer said the company may develop new 200cc, 190cc and 180cc models for the Indian market, as well as a a fully-faired and touring versions of the 390 within the next 12-18 months.
“We expect additional displacements, the 390cc is coming which is a full faired version and the so called tour purpose version,” says Pierer. “By the end, we have a full model range where we can settle in all these and especially the Asian markets.”
Pierer’s comments refer specifically to the Indian market, home of Bajaj which owns a 47% stake in KTM, though Pierer also discusses plans to expand into Thailand and Malaysia.
For North America, however, KTM has yet to announce any streetbikes smaller than its 450 SMR supermoto. Neither the 125 or 200 Duke models were brought over to these shores as they were designed primarily to meet European youth motorcycle license requirements.
The 390 Duke may be a better fit to the North American market, as revealed in a leaked Powerpoint slide from a KTM dealer meeting in 2011. The slide listed a 350 Duke for the 2013 model year, which may actually refer to the 390 Duke which has an engine displacement of 375cc. The slide also mentions a curiously-named “Moto3 350” and an “Enduro 350” for 2014, which matches up with Pierer’s 12-18 month outline.
It’s likely the Moto3 will actually be this fully-faired 390, possibly with similar styling to KTM’s Moto3 race bike (pictured above). The “tour purpose version” Pierer mentions may be this Enduro 350, suggesting it would be a small displacement adventure touring bike rather than a straight-up 390 Duke with luggage.
[Source: CNBC-TV18, photo by Schedl R.]