If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of Kiska designs, they are responsible for those bonkers KTM designs we’ve been witness to for the past eight years or so. Also, very few people know that the design firm has been working with the Austrian brand for the past 25 years to create one of a kind masterpieces. It all started with KISKA winning a design competition KTM had organised. Since then, there’s been no looking back. With Kiska’s design inputs and KTM’s technical know-how, the company, which sold just 6,000 units in the first year, catapulted itself to selling over 1.15 lakh motorcycles after the third quarter of 2014, a mind-boggling feat for any two-wheeler manufacturer!
In the beginning, KTM only dealt in two-stroke motocross bikes, an LC4 Enduro and the Duke, which was a street bike. But as time passed, and the two-cylinder format came in, both the manufacturer and Kiska were able to belt out more bikes with bigger displacements that took the two-wheeler industry by storm. The design firm is also responsible for KTM’s marketing strategy, bike display stands, KTM dealership design, website design and the company’s YouTube video production.
The entire campaign around the KTM 1290 Super Duke R was KISKA’s brainchild. Through some wild sketches and videography ideas, the firm was able to showcase the raw aggression from the bike’s V-twin engine and design. The Super Duke R basically cemented the company’s design language for years to come. Its current portfolio comprises of its Street Nakeds – the 125 Duke, 200 Duke, 390 Duke, Supersports like the RC 200, RC 390, Adventure Tourers, Enduros and the father of them all, the 1290 SuperDuke R. Aside from this, the “Ready to Race” philosophy drew in a younger generation of riders, which paved the way for KTM in the entry-level two-wheeler market.
And with the growing demand in developing countries, KTM intends to ramp up production and target new segments. It’s essentially why the brand plans on acquiring a major chunk of the Austrian design firm. Currently, only 40 per cent of KISKA’s design team is dedicated to KTM. With the brand aiming broaden its horizon, it would require a lot more attention from the design firm. Hence, KTM plans on investing and acquiring 50 per cent stake of the company.
Moreover, the Orange brand is currently more focused on European and Asian markets, as it doesn’t foresee itself doing so well in the American markets in terms of sales. To put things into perspective, KTM’s annual sales dropped by two per cent in the US and it projects further drop in 2019. On the other hand, it chalked a seven per cent increase in sales in the European market. Irrespective of KTM’s average performance in the US, it still is one of the biggest players in the market thanks to its wide portfolio of bikes. Zigwheels