The most affordable pocket rocket is finally here and it’s more of a Duke 200. Save for the sticker work, everything’s similar. Even the engine’s block is the same and is only down on capacity, compared to first KTM which was launched in India. So just how good is the KTM Duke 125 around a track? Is it too beginner friendly? Or does it stay honest to its pocket rocket tag?
Well the motor might be down on power, but you get a proper trellis frame, USD front forks, and the same orange wheels from the 200 Duke, wrapped around by a nicely rounded tyre profile. With 14.5 PS @ 9,250 rpm and 12 Nm @ 8,000 rpm to play with, unlike any other 125 bike, this Austrian loves being revved. Hitting its red line at 9,500 rpm, it takes another 1,000 clicks for the limiter to cut in. And right till there, the engine feels smooth and vibration free, even at the limit.
Although one has six gears to play with, riding this motorcycle is a busy, but involving affair. The bike hits its 110 kph top speed in the 5th gear, where the sixth ratio is more of an overdrive. A 300 mm disc up front and a 230 mm disc at the rear haul the bike down in quick time. The addition of single channel ABS enhances safety and by KTM’s all-out standards, the suspension is still absorbent for our kind of streets. At nearly 42,000 less than the KTM Duke 200, you do get a motorcycle which looks premium, handles great, and in our opinion, if you have an ‘A’ bike for your serious rides, this one is an ideal ‘B’ for your within town commutes. Find a go-kart track and this motorcycle should feel right at home there. Until then, watch it go around Bajaj’s test track, just outside Pune.