Bajaj likely to launch KTM 890 Adventure with 890 Duke this year

Bajaj has announced plans to introduce several flagship motorcycles from KTM in the Indian market this year. Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director of Bajaj Auto, confirmed this development during an investor call, marking the company’s first public statement regarding the introduction of KTM’s larger bikes in India.

While Bajaj briefly offered the 790 Duke in 2019, it was discontinued due to the implementation of BS6 emission norms, as the company lacked compliant engines. However, it appears that Bajaj is now poised to enter the big bike segment more earnestly.

While specifics regarding the KTM models were not disclosed by the company’s leadership, industry speculations suggest that Bajaj may introduce the 890cc range in India, encompassing the 890 Duke and 890 Adventure models. However, the limited-edition RC 8C model is unlikely to be part of the Indian launch. These new flagship motorcycles are expected to be available in select cities upon launch.

Sources indicate that Bajaj, headquartered in Pune, has been contemplating the introduction of KTM’s larger motorcycles for some time. However, compliance with E20 regulations has posed a significant hurdle for many big bike launches. According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH), motorcycles above 700cc must comply with E20 standards, requiring an 80% petrol and 20% ethanol blend. While certain brands like Honda and Suzuki have adapted their big bike engines to meet these requirements, several European brands are yet to do so. Bajaj is reportedly working towards obtaining certification for its larger KTM bikes this year, with a potential launch anticipated before year-end.