Rumour: Bajaj to build cruiser based on KTM 390 engine

An Indian news source claims Bajaj is about to debut a mid-sized cruiser, possibly powered by the same engine that’s found in the KTM Duke 390.

Bajaj is a brand on the rise. It’s recently announced a deal with Triumph, and it already owns a huge chunk of KTM that it allows to it to build KTMs and Husqvarnas in India. Bajaj is also planning to build a new factory to handle the expected huge increase in business in the near future (a model that’s already worked for Royal Enfield).

We’ve already seen a similar pattern happen with Royal Enfield, the only made-in-India motorcycle brand that most Canadians would recognize. But while Royal Enfield’s global domination has come with very little action in North America so far (that’s allegedly changing next year), it sounds as if Bajaj is planning to leverage its deal with Triumph to make some sort of impact in our market.

The only other Indian motorcycle manufacturer to make a serious attempt here was Hero; depending who you talk to, Hero was very close to entering our market in an arrangement with Erik Buell Racing. Of course, that deal will not be happening now, as the brands have split and EBR has been sold away in pieces.

Now, that might change. The rumblings in the Indian moto-press have Bajaj interested not just in expansion in India, but in following Royal Enfield in a global sales boom. And Bajaj sounds interested in bringing its machines to our market.

Will that include the new cruiser? It’s hard to say. For now, details are scarce; gossip has the bike powered by the same single-cylinder motor that KTM uses in the 390 series of machines. That would make sense, as Bajaj already builds a naked bike based on that platform, the Dominar 400. Will a feet-forward version come soon? We’ll see.

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