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KTM Duke 200 review




Why the name ‘Duke’?

As answered by Thomas Kuttruf, KTM Press Manager

“It was already end of 1993 in preparation of the first real KTM street sportbike. It was presented in Cologne in 1994, but there was no name! Project leader Wolfgang Felber wrote 20 different names on a paper and showed it to former Sales and Marketing Boss Mr. Calman Cseh. He ran with his finger down the list, stopped at “DUKE” and said: This one I like!”. From those days the “Duke” became a key word for the thinking of a pure KTM street motorcycle - and it remains until today!”

So the street sportsbike range name has percolated from the marketing room to the 990, 690, 125 and now the Duke 200.

Prologue

I rode through to Slovenia from the open and single manned border post at the Austria-Slovenia border on the Adventure 990. A couple of hundred kilometres later I was standing inside the small town of Radenci. The home of Rok Bagoros, an upcoming stunter sponsored by KTM. The first time I had a look at the KTM 125, which he stunts on, I could not believe it was, well, a 125. Instantly I knew that this bike would be a hit in India, but only if it was just a tad more powerful and affordable…

(You can buy the single copy of the xBhp Magazine Aug-Sept 2011 Issue from mag.xBhp.com, this was a KTM special issue).

Present

I held my breath as I sat pillion, hunched under the weight of all the cameras on my back in the rucksack, over my Alpinestars jacket. This was no mean feat considering that none other than our very own flamboyant Gourab (MG) was maneuvering hard through the Pune traffic and inching closer to Chakan, the place where Bajaj would finally showcase us the KTM 200.

Thanks, both to my luck and to Gourab’s riding skills, we finally arrived at the destination without testing our riding gear.

First Impression: The Looks of it

Three bikes were shod with red cloth on a red carpet against a couple of big orange KTM boards. It was anybody’s guess what was beneath them. Finally after years, not months, of speculation, hunting down KTMs on Pune highway and putting up with all kind of rumors, the time had come for the Indian bikers to swing there leg over for the First Duke of India.

Soon enough, without any more drama, the covers were slid off the bikes and there they were – three Duke 200s, orange, naked and handsome.
The bike looks like a Greek god, conceived in Austria but born in India. Need say anything more?

Curiously organic, resembling an insect crouched and ready for action. Place a headlight assembly like this on any other bike and it would look downright ugly, but here it was a piece of art – mated with the right proportions with the rest of the bike. The wide tank also doubles up as a bikini fairing, the under-engine scoop which perfectly rejoins the visual line with the rear tail assembly. The wheelbase extends beyond the tail end of the bike, giving it a true street-fighter look. The white mono also attracts the eyes to where they should be – exactly where the center of gravity is located. Just when your eyes travel to the rear monoshock, they notice something is amiss – where is the exhaust? Look closely, its tucked away below the engine neatly. This is some serious mass centralization that, as we later experienced, would result in some fantastic corner carving. It is unprecedented to see such level of attention to detail in both function and form in such a small capacity bike targeted within such a price bracket and that too in India.

The rear tyre hugger actually makes the bike look even better, and bigger! 

***Prices tentative, may change later

Power Parts:
• Sticker Kit: Rs. 4500 – 5500
• Tank Cap : Rs. 1500 -2000
• Tank Pad: Rs. 1500-2000
• Seat Cowl: Rs. 10,000 – 11,000
• Alarm System: Rs. 18,000
• Illumination set: Rs. 7000-8000
• Sprocket: Rs. 3500-4500
• Chain: Rs. 6000-7000
• Handle Guard: Rs. 4000-5000

Power Wear:
Orange Tee: Rs. 1500-2000
Black Tee: Rs. 1500-2000
Vented Jacket: Rs. 14,000 – 15,000
R Boots: Rs. 20,000 -22,0000




For who is this bike suitable for?

If this is your first motorcycle?

Yes, if you have the money. Most learner legal motorcycles in the west have a 33 bhp limit and this is lower than that. However, when I say your first ‘motorcycle’ I don’t mean your first two wheeler. This bike is so light and forgiving on the wallet (if it falls) that learning on it and then making it your primary bike for the next many years would be easy than buying a new bike altogether after learning on something else. But its bigger dimensions will get you acquainted with bigger capacity bikes that you might own in the years to come.

If I am a student or in college?

Is that even a question? If this bike was available when I was your age and I had the money I would not think twice before buying it. But I would definitely think if I had bullies in my college…

If I am over 40 and have a farm house and a big bike and am well settled?

This must be change for you then, the monetary kind. On a serious note, as a second bike which you can take to any terrain across the country while looking good and going fairly fast, this one fits the bill. And you will not find it a problem sharing with your counterparts in the west that you ride a small KTM, and not a desi sounding something…

Just make sure you are not too fat though.


If I like to tour a lot, and abuse my bikes?



I am not sure on how you abuse your bikes, but I hope it’s not the gross type. On a serious note I feel that the bike can be an amazing tourer, its light and fast and so much fun around corners. PLUS the ground clearance is a massive 165mm, 15m more than the Karizma! Getting Lehd on this would never be the same.


If I am a narcissist?

Then you should not get this one. It will make you look outdated, unless you are a Transformer or a Robocop.


If I am a cop?

Definitely Not. It’s engine shuts down as soon as it detects a cop is sitting on it.

A Thug?

If you are in India, even a CD100 would do, but if you plan to make a getaway on the autobahn then perhaps the SuperDuke 990 would be better.


If I was going to buy a CBR250 or a Ninja 250 or any bike around the 1 lakh mark?

Look, I don’t want to spoil my relations with other manufacturers here, you know…So take the hint pls!



KTM 200 Duke Specifications

The Standard Crap

No. of Cylinders 1
Cubic Capacity 199.50
Bore x Stroke (mm) 72 x 49
Compression Ratio 11.3:1
Valve and Cooling DOHC 4V, Liquid Cooled, Fuel Injection
Power (Bhp/RPM) 25 Ps @ 10000rpm
Torque (Nm/RPM) 19 Nm @ 8000 rpm
Transmission 6 Speed, claw shifted
Cooling System Liquid
Front Tyre Size 110/70 x 17
Rear Tyre Size 150/60 x 17
Wheelbase (mm) 1367
Front Brake 280 mm disc
Rear Brake 230 mm disc
Fuel Capacity (liters) 10.5
Seat Height (mm) 810
Kerb Weight (kg) 136
Front suspension USD, Telescopic fork, 43mm dia
Rear Suspension Monoshock
Front fork travel (mm)140mm
Real wheel travel(mm)150mm
Headlamp 12V 60/55W H4
Battery 12V 8AH VRLA

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