KTM Duke 200 : Test Ride Report

It started with an early morning call from Sukesh about an exclusive test ride for the ‘Born Riders’ group and I couldnt help grinning at the thought of riding the KTMΒ  which was still a Keen To Meet πŸ˜€

Cutting back the background talk and moving on to the test ride.

Test Ride Conditions:

  • Dry tarmac
  • Dash of city traffic
  • No twisties
  • No long straights to test the top-speed

Test Ride Parameters:

  • Riding Posture: The first time I sat on the Duke, I was dissapointed with the leg room (I am 5 ‘ 10) i.e, the distance between my crotch and the fuel tank. When I actually rode the motorcycle all of this vanished, the upright stance (which in this case is like a hybrid between a motocross and a touring motorcycle) which is well very suited to navigate in the urban traffic
  • Braking: Phenomenal, having ridden litre-class supersports; the kind of braking the Duke 200 offers is mind-boggling. The braking is bloody precise and so is the handling/reaction of the motorcycle under hard braking (wish I could check its performance in the wet)
  • Power: It accelerates like a pocket rocket and gear shifts above 6000rpm are an absolute delight
  • Handling: A wonderful motorcycle to squeeze through the urban choas;Β  yet to test its ability on twisties and on a highway
  • Suspension: Now I understand why KTMs are considered to have the ‘Best Suspension’. Suspension is very plush and they never complained about the potholes on the road
  • Build- Quality: I still cant believe that this is churned out from the Chakan plant –Β  awesome build quality; Kudos to Bajaj Engineers for this one
  • Gear-Box: I found it hard to shift gears (which the KTM guys attributed it to the run-in period), not as hard as the usual Bajaj motorcycle gearboxes, but not as smooth as the R15s or the CBR250s
  • Exhaust Note: It is unlike any Indian motorcycle –Β  has a tinnish sound and the purr of the exhaust is typical KTM. I loved it , although the neighbors may not πŸ˜›
  • Road Presence: You cannot miss it on the road

FLIP-SIDE of the KTM 200:

  • There was hardly any distance between my crotch and the fuel tank, which meant no front-and-back movement for the rider, something which helps under hard braking
  • Rear seat is made for a SIZE-ZERO FIGURE, safe bet would be to ride solo πŸ˜›
  • Dissapointed that the drive chain ISN’T an O-Ring Chain
  • Finding the Neutral was a pain πŸ˜›
  • Fuel tank capacity

Images from the test ride

OVERALL VERDICT:

The perfect tool for the city commute. A trip to the twisties and to the highway shall reveal the touring/ cruising ability of the KTM 200.

If not anything, it made me smile every-time I whacked the throttle.

PS: KTM Indirangar, Bangalore is offering test rides only to the riders who have booked it and NOT TO EVERYONE 😦

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6 thoughts on “KTM Duke 200 : Test Ride Report

  1. Excellent ride report, good one Ajay πŸ™‚ sounds like no pillion trouble with this one ha ha:-) I too found fuel capacity a little low first time … but we don’t make a everyday trip to Leh do we ? (if this is the most talked about neg factor ) πŸ™‚ Good to know the suspensions are plush πŸ™‚

    Do understand you were riding inside city speed limits.. silly question : how fast could you take ? and how are the wind blasts ? I read about the gear ratios and found interesting … how did you find them/experience it ? How light in weight it is from the motor cycles you have ridden .. i fantasize a Yamaha – Rx with this Duke 200 while reading the tech specs

    KTM-Kool Touring Machine…. I wanna share some funny things that i heard from one of my friend who happen to visit KTM showroom last Saturday … apart from usual “kitna deti hai” here are some …… What colors do you have ? Does it have different stickers ? hee hee

    Keep writing πŸ™‚ found it very informational πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Thanks Pradeep πŸ™‚

      Yes, the fuel tank capacity is something which bothers, but as you have said we dont do Leh every year πŸ˜›

      I touched about 60kmph and I think even a TVS Super XL wont complain about 60kmph πŸ˜›
      Jokes apart, I cant say anything on the windblast, but I suspect the KTM to lose steam after 100kmph since much of the powerband is shifted to the low and mid rev range.
      Well, 2 strokes are way different in the power delivery, if you have ridden an RD350 you know what I am talking, I mean you dont know when the revs hit the power band πŸ™‚

      The RX and the Duke are very different motorcycles from the power and handling aspect, dont expect the ‘Cheap Thrills’ of a 2 stroke on the Duke 200.
      But the Duke 200 will bring a smile when you ride πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. Pingback: KTM Duke 200 - Specs are out! - Page 46

  3. short & crisp report Ajay.
    KTM website mentions the chain to be a 0-ring type, the bike didnt have one?

    Like

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