Never one to sit and rest on its laurels, Bajaj Auto has big plans for the Indian bike market in the next 2 years. The second largest bike manufacturer and largest exporter from India, Bajaj continues to dominate a large share of the Indian bike scene. Their Pulsar range has been hugely successful for the better part of a decade and their recent alliance with KTM also paid-off as the Duke and RC have runaway hits with Indian bikers. Their latest offering, the Avenger Street and Avenger Cruise have also seen sales much beyond what even Bajaj had hoped for. Bajaj sold 31,000 units of their new Avenger models in a month which surpassed their aim of 9,000 units by a huge margin.
To capitalise on this momentum, the brand has announced that a new(er) Bajaj Avenger 400 is scheduled for a launch later this year. This latest iteration of the Avenger brand will feature the bonkers engine that is used by the KTM Duke and RC 390. The 373.2 cc single-cylinder engine which develops 43.5 PS and 35 Nm of torque will be a huge addition to the long range touring capabilities of the Avenger. The Bajaj Avenger 400 is expected to have a price tag of Rs 1.5 lakhs which will pit it in a direct competition against India’s go-to cruiser motorcycle maker – Royal Enfield. A Bajaj Avenger powered by the powerful KTM engine will undoubtedly be faster than Royal Enfield’s Classic and Thunderbird 350 models and with a similar price tag, it could definitely eat into the segment that RE has dominated unopposed for the past few years.
That’s not all though. It looks like Bajaj has plans to release a few more bikes powered by KTM engines. The Bajaj Pulsar CS400 which was unveiled at the Auto Expo 2016 is also expected to feature the same engine as the Duke/RC 390. There is also apparently a new adventure/tourer in the pipeline which might feature the KTM badge and not the Bajaj one. This bike will be looking to the challenge the newly launched and very well-received Royal Enfield Himalayan. It looks like Bajaj Auto have zeroed in on RE as their chief competitor and are launching an all-out offensive to capture the massive fan base that RE enjoy in India.
Going by all these rumours and announcements, it looks like 2016-2017 is going to be a very interesting year for the bike market in India. Do you think Bajaj will be able to take on Royal Enfield in the cruiser/tourer segment, or will they retain their place at the top? Let us know in the comments below.