The success of the KTM Duke 125 in the Indian market has spurred the Austrian brand to consider another small capacity yet high performance motorcycle for India – the RC125. The KTM RC125 will be th fully faired sibling of the Duke 125, and will be mechanically similar to the latter. KTM India is said to be planning a June 2019 launch for the RC125, according to BikeDekho sources.
Key changes will include styling and ergonomics. While the KTM Duke 125 has an upright riding position, the KTM RC 125 will have a much more aggressive and track-focused rider triangle. It’ll get a full fairing, clip-on handlebars, projector headlamps and a split seat design. The motorcycle is likely to be priced at about Rs. 1.4 lakhs, making it a cheaper rival to the highly successful Yamaha R15 sportsbike.
The Yamaha R15 is currently the best selling faired sportsbike in India, across segments. Despite its price of about Rs. 1.4 lakhs, bikers are lapping up the Yamaha R15, whose 3rd generation version was launched last year at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo.
The KTM RC125 will shares its engine and gearbox with the Duke 125. This means that it’ll use a 125cc, liquid cooled four stroke engine with a twin overhead camshafts running a 4 valve head. This liquid cooled, fuel injected motor will make 14.3 Bhp of peak power and 12 Nm of peak torque. A 6 speed manual gearbox will be standard with this engine.
Like the Duke 125, the KTM RC125 is expected to offer dual disc brakes with single channel ABS as standard. Suspension components will consist of upside down front forks and a monoshock rear shock absorber. The motorcycle is already being built for the export market at KTM’s Chakan factory, off Pune.
So, the introduction of the KTM RC125 will just be an exercise where Bajaj Auto and KTM will have to get the required regulatory approvals from ARAI, and simply produce more of the motorcycle for the Indian market. This was the case with the KTM Duke 125 as well, which was being exported from KTM’s Chakan factory to Europe and other export markets. Sales of the Duke 125, which was introduced in November 2018, has been exceedingly strong in India. The cheapest, entry level KTM has managed to clock an average of over 2,200 monthly units since launch, making it the Austrian brand’s best selling bike, and one that has outsold all other KTMs put together.
With the RC 125, KTM will be looking to achieve a similar level of success, but the numbers are likely to be slightly lower than that of the Duke 125 as the riding position of the former will mean that older buyers may not favour the bike. Even if the KTM RC125 manages to bring in 1,000 additional units of sales each month, it’ll give brand KTM a big boost in the Indian market by attracting younger buyers. The idea behind the Duke and RC125 is to get younger buyers into the KTM brand, and move them to the brand’s bigger bikes in the years to come.