KTM 200 Duke : Road Test
While the motor sounds angry and ready to brawl, ironically the handling dynamics of the 200 Duke are just as friendly and forthcoming. It has just right mix of street and race genes to appeal to every kind of biker out there. More importantly, it is the grace with which it brings out the beast in you without sounding any alarms at any given time, credit for which must be given to the brilliant lightweight trellis frame and the gorgeously carved aluminium cast swingarm which takes the responsibility for the rock solid stability and neutral handling on the 200 Duke. Further aiding the handling are the inverted telescopic front forks which boast excellent damping abilities and hugely help in providing solid feedback from the front-end. The single monoshock on the rear finished in white too has been excellently setup to suit Indian roads providing fabulous balance between ride and handing to the 200 Duke.
Apart from the high-end suspension bits, the other equipment level on the KTM 200 Duke too is top-notch, for instance, the rather tiny digital console upfront that displays truckloads of information that is not found on any other motorcycle in its class. Apart from showing the usual speed, rpm and fuel quantity details, the multifunction unit boasts a gear indicator, clock, fuel consumption figure and remaining tank range. Turn on the ignition and the bright orange backlit display comes to life with the KTM motto, ‘Ready to Race’ proudly flashing there while a swift engine check runs in the background. Thumb the starter and the motor comes to life with the under-belly exhaust giving out a mind-blowing growl that is unknown and unheard of in the Indian sphere till date. The trademark KTM sound hinting at the maker’s expertise at single cylinder engines serving its illustrious off-road range of motorcycles and super-motards, the exhaust note supplements the 200 Duke’s rowdy character.
What these tech-bits mean for the road and the end-user is excellent handling prowess that is suited for our roads to have fun on. The 200 Duke tips into corners with absolute surety and composure presenting the rider with a rewarding experience that is synonymous to the KTM brand. It is indeed a delight to be straddling the KTM 200 Duke and is certainly money well spent with all the world class equipment that it is loaded with. To top it all, the impressive fuel consumption figure of 33kmpl under mixed riding conditions in the city as well as the highway means the KTM 200 Duke is ready to replace whatever motorcycle you are currently riding without having to really worry about escalating fuel bills. And thanks to Bajaj Auto’s efforts and foresight to localize the 200 Duke instead of adopting the CBU route as done by several other bike makers in the country, this has helped in achieving an extremely competitive price tag of Rs 1.17 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the 200 Duke.
There is certainly no other bike like the KTM 200 Duke that has graced the Indian roads till date but there are more reasons why the general biking junta has been so enamoured with this particular motorcycle. It is the charm with which the 200 Duke takes over your heart and head in a splitting moment. Sitting pretty in trademark KTM orange, the Duke brand has been a dream machine across the globe and for such a product to make to India at a fitting time when the Indian motorcycle industry is readying to explode as the fastest growing two-wheeler market in the world means the benefits will be plenty as it will stir up the competition which has, quite frankly speaking, left in dust by the 200 Duke, on road and on paper. And not the one to rest on its laurels and knowing the greed for horsepower and speed is insatiable, Bajaj Auto is already hard at work on developing a 350 Duke which will make its international debut soon and will hit the Indian roads by 2013. With such gusto and zest amongst bike makers, the scene for performance motorcycling in India is soon going to hit its all-time high and the KTM 200 Duke has already set the ball rolling. Cheer on bikers!
KTM 200 Duke Test Data
0-60 – 3.34s
0-100 – 9.01s
Topspeed – 136km/h (Restricted)
Braking 80-0 – 31.01metres / 2.69secs
Braking 60-0 – 15.87metres / 1.87sec
3rd (30-70) – 3.5s
4th (30-70) – 5.21s
5th (30-70) – 8.14s
6th – (30-70) – 9.54s
Fuel Tank: 10.5litres