Cycle News

Cycle News 2019 Issue 42 October 22

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 118 of 147

KTM PRESIDENT/CEO STEFAN PIERER: PART 2 P118 Interview Click here if you missed part one of our interview with Pierer. BY ALAN CATHCART PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMANUEL TSCHANN H ow many KTMs have been built in India so far? Since we began in 2011, we so far built 515,000 bikes up to the end of 2018. Last year they built 100,000 units, and a bit more than half of that stays in India and Indonesia, with the rest distributed worldwide, from Austria to the USA, from Australia to wherever. It's a very successful cooperation, and Rajiv [Bajaj] and I each found the right partner! In 2006 when we met up, they were looking for a technology partner, and we were looking for a low-cost production partner in the biggest market of the world, which is India. We got introduced by an Austrian guy, a banker who worked with us on the first IPO in '96. We met for the first time in '07 at the Geneva Car Show where we presented our X-Bow for the first time, and the chemis- try worked immediately, so it all came from there. So far though, Bajaj has only made single- cylinder KTM products. Is there a capacity ceiling for such bikes, and will you only ever have singles made in India, or could there be twins, too? No, because we're jointly working on a 500cc twin, which will be 100 percent developed at the Bajaj R&D center in Pune, but which is supported by our R&D guys. It's a parallel twin similar to the format we have on the 790, only 500cc because that's the future premium class in emerging markets, as well as an A2 license bike. I believe we both have really state-of-the- art R&D operations in each company—we have 700 people on our side, and their counterpart in Pune has 1000 people. The two leading guys, Phillipp Habsburg Our in-depth one- on-one interview with KTM president Stefan Pierer continues. In part two of our two- part feature, we discuss E-bikes, a Husqvarna twins flat track team, cruisers and the possibility of building a manufacturing plant on U.S. soil. Could that actually happen? TALKING ALL THINGS KTM

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