No matter how close or far a particular bike (or manufacturer too, in some cases) is to your heart, the monthly and year-to-date sales reports together form one big reason, especially in the context of premium motorcycles, that may either brutally cause you a heartache or bring great joy. So let me tell you right away to not read any further if you are a KTM hater (for any rhyme or reason) because you just might not be able to sleep tonight then.
I say that because the KTM 390s, both the faired RC and the naked Duke, have wheelied their way to success with a not-so-polite hand-gesture to their detractors. Up until the end of last month Bajaj had sold 3,077 KTM 390s in the current financial year (April to Oct 14). The previous best-seller of the segment, the Honda CBR 250R, of which 5,860 units were sold in the period of April-October 2013, could only find 784 buyers in the corresponding period this year!
The ‘expensive’ Ninja 300 found 272 homes in the same period (April-Oct.2014), but its interesting to note that in the corresponding months of 2013, 336 units of the bike were sold. In fact, 96 Ninja 300s were sold in October 2013, whereas the last month only saw a sale of 33 units. Yes, the KTM 390s are to be blamed for sure, of which 1015 units were sold in the last month.
I have been saying that the Ninja 650, though from a different segment altogether, is much better value as compared to the 300, and the sales figures confirm the same: 48 and 39 units of the bike were sold in October 2013 and October 2014, respectively. The less variance shows that sales are stable and would remain that way mostly irrespective of the availability of a cheaper alternative, unless, of course, the latter is better in other parameters too…Please note that the October 2014 figure for the 650 would also include a few units of ER-6Ns
Also, while Suzuki India could only sell 12 Inazumas last month, the Kawasaki Z250 did a quite respectable 24 units in comparison. And Hyosung has apparently shied away from sharing the numbers…
Yamaha obviously has nothing to offer here unfortunately, and while we can continue to dream of the YZF-R3 or even the R25, Bajaj will launch the Pulsar 400SS sometime this year which may better these figures…
Note: Figures for Ninjas are confusing as SIAM classifies them under two different companies Bajaj & Kawasaki and they report different numbers for the same period!