With Bajaj acquiring majority stake in the Austrian bikemaker KTM, it was a matter of time since the bikemaker made its foray into our market and Indian two-wheeler enthusiasts were waiting with bated breath. KTM didn’t disappoint as it rode in the 200 Duke which was its fir st offering for India. The bike was a step in the right direction as it was a good combination of performance, features and good pricing.
With its sharp and edgy lines in conjunction with brash styling meant that the bike was a huge hit among the youngsters who were blown away by its raw appeal. The sculpted fuel tank, split seats, petite tail section, under belly exhaust, exposed trellis frame and the lack of any bodywork made the 200 Duke stand apart from its rivals. The fact that it was introduced in a flashy shade of orange further hiked its appeal. The bike employs an all-digital instrument console that houses a plethora of information and is among the best in the segment. But the cluttered layout means that it isn’t easy to read on the go. Switch gear has been sourced from Bajaj vendors and is impressive. Fit and finish is decent overall but one expects better quality overall from a European bikemaker.
Powering the bike is a 199.5cc displacement motor belting out 26PS of power. Performance is among the highlights of the KTM 200 Duke as the 130kg kerb weight endows it with an impressive power-to-weight ratio. The motor is free revving and has a typical exhaust note and cruising speeds above 100kmph doesn’t take any effort barring for the wind blast. The powerplant is mated to a 6-speed gearbox that functions aptly while the gear ratios aren’t ideal for crawling city traffic. Handling of the bike is impressive as it tips into corner at the drop of a heart and thrashing the bike around twisties is a joy. The lively handling can be credited to the trellis frame. Ride quality is on the stiffer side as handling has been given preference over comfort and the upside down forks and monoshock unit have been stiffly sprung. Fuel efficiency isn’t the KTM 200 Duke’s forte as it returned us an overall mileage of 35kmpl which is not bad given the performance it has on tap. The KTM 200 Duke is a great option for someone who is looking for a commuter bike on weekdays and prefers to go bonkers on the race track in weekends. It is one of the few bikes that offer this dual purpose nature and has been priced at Rs. 1.41 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai. Read MoreRead Less
Ride quality, reliability
The Duke 200 is a buying proposition that's very hard to ignore. In its segment that includes the CBR 150R and the R15, it is superb value for money and the most fun to ride.