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 KTM  which was still a Keen To Meet 😀

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;  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 –  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 –  has a tinnish sound and the purr of the exhaust is typical KTM. I loved it , although the neighbors may not 😛
  • 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 😛
  • Dissapointed that the drive chain ISN’T an O-Ring Chain
  • Finding the Neutral was a pain 😛
  • 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 😦

Orange Blur – Smitten by the KTM Duke 200

There are some things in life which ‘Just Appeal’.  You have that instant connection; no conditions, no reasons, no expectations – just sheer attraction.

It is this ‘Instant Connection’ which the KTM 200 gets out of me. Its like this motorcycle is designed for ME !!

Just look at the Duke 200, it exudes a sense of sanity and aggression. The technical specs give wet dreams to any 200cc enthusiast .

KTM Duke 200

The gorgeous KTM Duke 200

The KTM Duke 200 is the perfect balance of  ‘The Saint and the Sinner’.

The last time I was so kicked up about a motorcycle launch was back in 2007 when Yamaha brought their flagship model, the YZF-R1 to India.

My world has turned ‘Orange‘, all I see is an ‘Orange Blur‘.

KTM for me is no longer Keen To Meet but Keep Touring More !!!