Every country has its own set of rules and manufacturers have to modify their machines around these rules if they want to sell their machines there. Japan is one those countries that has a very comprehensive rulebook when it comes to emissions and other quality checks for vehicles introduced in their country. One of these rules is a strict and costly test for any motorcycle/vehicle above the 250cc category. KTM in order to enter the Japanese market have strategically converted their super fun 390 engines (373.2cc) to 248.8cc ones so that they can sell in the country without having to come under these strict rules. The new KTM RC 250 and Duke 250 essentially are downgraded versions of the 390 series with different gearing. Rest of the bike is essentially the same, no changes in chassis, no changes in the looks and it retains the double channel ABS. The KTM 250 engine now produces 31 HP at 9,000 RPM and 24 Nm of torque at 7,250 RPM. With the changes being very minimal and within the engine, there are no change in the dry weights either. The RC 250 still weighs as much as the RC 390 at 147 kgs and the Duke 250 as much as the Duke 390 at 139 kgs. Mind you, for a 250cc motorcycle, these still are quite impressive numbers both power wise and weight wise. The engine of course just like the other 390’s has 4 valves, are liquid cooled, come with double overhead cams, forged pistons and the cylinders are coated with Nikasil for enhanced life and reduced friction. Seems like another fun and involving motorcycle from KTM.
Now these motorcycles will be of made in India and taken to Japan. Which brings us to the question to whether they will be sold here as well. We honestly think that the 390 and 200 series are already priced competitively and not too far apart to include another version of these in between. It would really be a mess actually. What would be nice is if the 200 versions were replaced by the 250 ones, but that seems highly unlikely as of now. The Duke 200 and RC 200 already have a strong market and with their price point really are selling good. Our guess is that these 250cc versions of RC and the Duke will definitely be just for Japan and maybe even for the Indonesian market and not for India. But with Bajaj in the picture you never can really know what is in the pipeline.