Mid-size KTM motorcycles could be more affordable soon, especially for Filipinos. KTM is handing over worldwide production of its mid-size motorcycles (690-790cc) to CF Moto, beginning in 2021.
This is the result of the long-time collaboration between KTM and CF Moto. It is no secret that a big chunk of the current 799cc LC8 engines that power most mid-size KTM motorcycles are made in CF Moto's Hangzhou factory in China. In fact, the collaboration between these 2 brands dates back to 2014, when the Austrian brand shifted production of its 125, 200 and 390cc engines to China.
It seems that KTM is very satisfied with CF Moto's production of 799cc LC8 engines. As a result, all KTM mid-size motorcycles (690-790cc) will be builty by CF Moto. Though CF Moto currently produces 50,000 motorcycles a year, KTM is confident it can expand production capacity.
In addition, motorcycle assembly will also be done by Bajaj in India and numerous plants in South America.
This new arrangement will be particularly beneficial to countries like that Philippines. Currently, KTM Philippines produces the KTM Duke and RC 200 and 390 locally, while larger models are sourced from Austria with high import duties and shipping costs.
Once China starts producing the mid-size KTM models, KTM Philippines can source them from China directly and benefit from the current free trade agreement with the country, with lower tariffs, and inevitably, lower prices.
The Philippines is not the only one as several countries here in the Asian region have free trade agreements with China. These countries can source units from China to avoid high markups and shipping costs associated with motorcycles produced in Europe.
In exchange, KTM has sold the 990 LC8 engine platform to CF Moto, which the latter will then use to create its own large-displacement motorcycle in the future.
That future model could very much be the V.02 NK concept motorcycle that is currently in the development stage. It will be powered by the LC8 V-twin engine, while the rest of the motorcycle is designed by Kiska, a global firm that specializes in designing products for a wide variety of clients. The model is built from state-of-the-art components like carbon-ceramic disc brakes and a a radiator mounted under the seat.
As of now, we will have to wait and see the outcome of this collaboration. Soon enough, a KTM-based CF Moto literbike could be coming to the showrooms and the streets.