While we know that a lot of you are waiting for an adventure machine based off the Duke platform, we have not so good news on that front. KTM has told us that the machines, originally expected next year, are not coming that quickly.
The explanation runs like this. KTM says that in design terms, a motorcycle consists of the five big items – frame, engine, airbox, fuel tank and exhaust. When the joint project began, the naked and the supersport were the two top priorities in order and the third item was anything else. The issue is that as the adventure development progressed it quickly became clear that the Duke platform would not lend itself to the levels of proficiency KTM expects from the adventure machine.
KTM says the Adventure project does still exist but will work on a new platform. No timelines have been revealed for this project but clearly 2015 launch for the machines in India is now off the table from all appearances. KTM clarifies that it might be possible to severely modify the Duke platform to create a functional enduro/adventure motorcycle but the cost of the bike in the showroom would be so much that it would not be a commercially viable product, hence the serious change of direction.
As an aside, KTM also says that in any case, in order of commercial viability, the nakeds and the sportsbikes were of top importance and the single-cylinder adventure segment (in the sense of adventure tourers, not off-road bikes) is considerably smaller and therefore of lower overall importance.
So the bad news is that you’ll get your adventure bike later than you thought. The good news is that KTM has not cancelled the plan, it has just changed the development parameters to ensure you get an effective and affordable machine at the end. Adventure bike fans, your wait times just became longer.