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From 125 to 790 — a KTM for every kind of biker

Murali Gopalan | Updated on December 12, 2019

Often, customers come for an entry-level bike, but drive away a 200 or 250

It is now a year since the KTM 125 Duke debuted and it has managed to draw a younger group of buyers into its fold.

According to Sumeet Narang, these include people from smaller towns who have always aspired for a KTM. It is finding favour with a lot of 18-year-olds, whose parents are open to buying this as a first two-wheeler brand for their kids.

Yet, there are other customers, who come into KTM showrooms for a 125 Duke and end up buying a 200 or a 250.

“We ensure that they are offered test rides of the product they come for as well as the more powerful option,” said Narang in an earlier interview during the launch of the 790 Duke. What the 125 Duke has done is “to give us a fantastic entry-level strategy into the KTM brand”, while with the 790, it is the top-of-the pyramid. At the end of the day, he said, KTM bikes have their own riding character. “For us, we don’t want to lose the customer,” he explained which means there is a model for each category of buyer, right from the 18-year-old to the passionate rider, who will opt for more powerful versions going up to the 790 Duke. “There are different usage patterns emerging and if you identify a large enough pool and launch the right product, you can grow the space,” reasoned Narang.

‘No compromise’

The 125 Duke throws open a mass market for KTM and there has been “no compromise” on its features in terms of stripping it down. “Consumers are smart and need to see value in what they buy. What makes KTM special is its agility and the 125 should be as much as KTM as its 790 sibling,” said Narang.

According to him, Bajaj Auto is “mindful of what we are selling in the premium space” and the idea is to lift customers’ brand experiences “as we go along”. The 790 Duke, on the other end of the spectrum, marks a significant jump over the 390 not only in engine capacity but in electronics, technology etc.

“This bike is ideal for the high-performance seeker,” said Narang. As he puts it, there is something about riding and nothing can replace this experience for a passionate biker. Owning a superbike, however, is not easy and KTM tries to ease this out through its large network and ability to source parts faster.

Published on December 12, 2019

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