Tested yesterday the new offering from the Bajaj and KTM the Duke 200, and below is my friends an honest review of the motorcycle that I have been waiting to ride for so long. The sheer looks of this orange beauty will make your heart beat soaring. The muscles and curves coupled with the naked body of the motorbike is perfect blend of beauty with an attitude and power.
Engine and Performance
Its houses a 200cc Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition power plant that is liquid-cooled and churns out a huge torque of 19.2 Nm at 8000 rpm and a peak power of massive 25 Bhp at 10,000 rpm.
It comes with a six speed transmission and the massive amount of power it generates can put many 250cc motorcycles to shame. The power is very well distributed throughout the rpm and you will never run short of the power no matter what gear you ride in. The motorcycle has a good bottom end torque and the short stroke along with 4 valves and Double Over Head Cam Shafts make it a rocket as bike revs really good and sharply.
The smooth 6 speed transmission is a treat. The fuel economy can be an issue. As per my reading the motorcycles may not deliver more than 25 kmpl in the city and around 35 kmpl in the highway driving conditions. It all depends which gear you ride in as the mileage can also vary according to your riding style and the gear you ride in. In city conditions I realize that it’s not possible to ride in very often in 6th gear that can assist in getting better mileage.
Styling, Design, Handling and Build Quality
It’s a STUNNER to look at, a treat to the eyes. You can gaze at it for hours. The blend of muscularity and curves make it a true beauty to ride. The front of the motorcycle is very muscular and the rear is slim. The rear fender incorporated to give its rear some bulk is a job well done and blends well with the overall ergonomics of the KTM Duke 200. The headlamps are simply awesome and give the motorcycle a distinct look.
The overall design is very much different than what we have seen in India till today. To give it a true naked look the engine is beautifully caged and gives KTM Duke 200 a rugged and tough look. The exhaust is hidden under the engine and a large 10 step adjustable monoshock give the motorcycle an attitude. I feel that the exhaust hidden under the engine is too close to the road and can pose problems in monsoons.
The riding stance is good for those who are riding the R15, FZ, Pulsar and the Apache. But it takes a few minutes to adapt to the riding position. Those riding motorcycles like Royal Enfield or other conventional kind of bikes will find it a little uncomfortable initially till they get use to it. Also I personally felt that the bike is good for those who are less than 6 ft tall.
I find it a very capable off-roader. I would rather say KTM Duke 200 is a great street bike and also a capable offroader (The 165 mm of ground clearance is good enough for your off-road escapades), but its definitely not a combination of a street bike and a commuter. The WP monoshock suspension does a brilliant job and absorb almost all the shock and jerks that road throws at you. Its light in weight (kerb weight of just 126kgs) and the tires offer great grip on the road.
The motorcycle comes with Bybre brakes that offer a good control on braking at high speeds. It comes with a 280 mm disc with 4 piston radially mounted caliper at the front and 230 mm disc with a single piston, floating caliper at the rear. Front brakes are simply impressive and confidence inducing. The biggest drawback is the seating of the motorcycle and I will rather call it a shortcoming that has to be looked into right-away.
The seats are small and there is hardly any space for pillion rider as the pillion seat is tiny. The pillion seat is very uncomfortable and keeps the pillion rider constantly looking for some more space. But the LED indicators and taillights look top end and posh. Don’t try touring on this motorcycle as there is a small fuel tank that is capable of just 10.5 liters and very little space for your saddle bags and coupled with a small pillion seat touring can be a difficult affair.
I am writing about the Digital Console separately because it deserves a standing ovation and can put the Digital Consoles of some cars to shame. It’s loaded with features and you will get surprised with the amount of information it offers to the rider. I am listing below some of the most striking features of the Digital Console of the KTM DUKE200.
1. Speed can be displayed both in kmph and mph.
2. Two user-resettable trip meters.
3. Trip meter starts automatically when the fuel level drops to reserve.
4. Engine temperature bar graph.
5. Average speed
6. Riding time in minutes.
7. Average fuel efficiency in kmpl.
8. Side stand down warning (the motorcycle won’t move if the side stand is down).
9. Low battery, High coolant temperature, Low oil pressure, Low fuel level warning.
10. Distance to empty.
11. Time for next service due.
12. Shift up indicator that can be programmed to flash between any rpm range.
13. Engine diagnosis warning lamp.
14. Shift warning lights.
KTM DUKE 200 is mainly targeted at young college going students who want powerful street bike with aggressive styling. It’s definitely not for those who are tall (6ft and above). I am 5’11 and felt a little cramped in the front. It’s a genuine, pure and great street motorcycle and a very capable offroader (not the so called offroader like the Impulse). It’s a must have motorcycle for those who want a combination of performance with power and styling.
Engine: 200cc Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine, liquid-cooled
Bore: 72 mm
Stroke: 49 mm
Torque: 19.2 at 8000 RPM
Power: 25 Bhp at 10,000 RPM
Start: Electric starter
Transmission: 6-speed, claw shifted
Lubrication: Forced oil lubrication with 1 rotor pump
Cooling: Liquid cooling, continuous circulation of coolant with water pump
Ignition: Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital
ignition timing adjustment
Frame: Tubular space frame made from steel tubes, powder-coated
Fork: WP Suspension 4357
Shock absorber: WP Suspension 4618 EM
Front Brake: Disc brake with two-pot brake caliper
Rear Brake: Disc brake with one-pot brake caliper, floating brake discs
Chain: 5/8 x 1/4” (520) O‑Ring
Wheel base: 1,361±15 mm
Ground clearance (unloaded): 170 mm
Seat height (unloaded): 810 mm
Fuel tank: 10.5 l
Weight without fuel: 125 kg
Battery: 12 Volt 8 Amp maintenance free
Head lights: 12V 60/55 W
Engine Oil Grade: 20W50
The on road price of the KTM Duke 200 in Ludhiana is around 1.28 lakhs which brings is quite close to the price of the CBR 250R (1.60 lakhs) and when compared to the price of R15 (1.20 lakhs for the WGP limited edition) it looks very competitive. R15 and CBR 250R though are different motorcycles, but given little choice in 200-250cc segment in India, the price of KTM Duke 200 is dangerously close to that of CBR 250R but can beat the price of R15, any day.
Special thanks to Dada Motors, Ludhiana and Mr. Ajay Kumar (Showroom Manager, Bajaj Probiking)
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