The KTM Duke has been one bike we all have been eagerly waiting for in the Indian market and now BS Motoring has ridden it and shared their initial riding impressions. The wait has been long but was worth it though to see the magnificent light sports machine develop to where it is today. The first wraps were taken off the bike at the EICMA Motor Show when we got to see the bike in flesh and blood (in pictures though). The KTM Duke 125 and the 200 were both built simultaneously to cater to the Indian and the European markets. All the R&D work took plae at the 165 acre state-of-the art R&D facility of Bajaj Auto at Akurdi in Pune under the guidance of KTM engineers.

“From the beginning it was clear that the 200 Duke would be made for the Indian and other developing markets, where the 125 is not so interesting, because there isn’t the low-power legislation that we have in Europe. So we developed both models in tandem with each other using a common platform, so that the chassis and almost all the running gear are shared by both bikes, and the engine is essentially the same, except for the cylinder head, valves, piston and crankshaft assembly, and throttle body. But, without the restrictions imposed by the EU regulations, this has allowed us to produce a bike with 73% more engine performance, but weighing exactly the same as the 125. I think this makes it 100% more fun!” Andreas Wimmer, 37, KTM’s project leader for all street singles, up to and including the 690 model range.

The Indian version of the KTM Duke (apparently to be called the KTM Duke 200) is powered by a liquid cooled, 4 stroke, 199.5 cc engine having a Bore X Stroke of 72mm X 49mm and 4 valves. The engine is a redesigned version of the 125cc motor powering the European Duke. The engine delivers a power output of 26 BHP @ 10,000 RPM and about 19.5 Nm of torque at similar rev ranges. Other engine parts like the crankcase, 6 speed transmission, radiator, air filter and exhaust silencer are shared with the 125cc Duke. The bike is indeed a new breed of light sports with a kerb weight of 122 kg. The 6 speed gearbox is very smooth and precise in shifts. In terms of mileage the bike doesn’t disappoint either! According to Mr. Wimmer, the Duke 200 is expected to return a mileage of about 30 kmpl. The bike is fitted with 43 mm inverted telescopic forks supplied by the Indian suspension components manufacture, Endurance. The wheel travel has been kept to about 150mm at both ends keeping in mind the Indian road conditions.

KTM Duke 200 Speedometer

The braking is provided by 300mm ByBre steel disc at the front and 230mm at the rear. The bike is really light and provides exceptional handling capability. The bike rides on 17 inch wheels fitted to 110/70 R17 at the front and thick 150/60 R17 at the rear. This is the first Indian bike to sport radial tires at the front. The tires have been jointly developed with MRF exclusively for the Duke. With a wheelbase of 1350mm, the bike doesn’t feel too long yet a full grown motorcycle. The manufacturing facility of Bajaj is already manufacturing the 125cc Duke and exporting to the European countries. The production for the 200 Duke is supposed to start in January 2012. The bike is rumoured to be priced at a killer pricing of Rs. 1.25 lakhs!

KTM claims a 0 – 60 kmph time of 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 134 kmph.

Source – BS Motoring