KTM Thinking On A Sub-200cc Duke For India? 180cc Duke?

KTM hit the headlines whenever it comes out with any news. This time, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer revealed in an interview that KTM is thinking about offering a sub-200cc Duke in the Indian market. The sub-200cc model will help KTM to expand its volumes and help KTM to have a wider reach of its products among different kinds of motorcycle buyers. However, if you are getting the idea that KTM will be bringing the Duke 125 (which is currently assembled at the Bajaj Auto factory and exported to European countries) to India, there is no such thing going to happen. Such a thing is practically not feasible since it will be difficult to meet emission norms with the Duke 125 and moreover will be coming at a price point close to the Duke 200.
In fact, what KTM means by a sub-200cc model is that they will be introducing a Duke 180 in the market. The Duke 180 will however, not borrow the engine from the Pulsar 180 but it will be based on the 200cc engine of the Duke 200. The 180cc Duke is still in the contemplation stages and no concrete plans have been chalked out yet. For KTM to make the Duke 180 successful in the Indian market, they have to be very strategic with its pricing. Making the engine smaller alone will not help the company to gain some advantage. Certain other things like the fuel injection system (offering a carburettor in place of  fuel injector), mix of analog and digital console (as opposed to the all digital console of the Duke 200), re-calibrated ECU to help improve the fuel economy and so on.

In my opinion, it will be difficult to make changes to the existing chassis and thus any play with the rim sizes or tread width will compromise on the best-in-class handling performance of the Duke 200. However, what KTM can do is consider some alternative materials for the chassis construction. Moreover, with the Duke 180 sharing the same chassis as the Duke 200, it will help KTM to bring costs down.