The rugged hero has finally arrived after years of anticipation, Duke 200 from the stable of Bajaj and its Austrian’s partner KTM. Well, this seems to be a teaser and there is more to come from the country’s second largest bike maker in the coming years; Bajaj has announced huge plans of launching more powerful machines under their most successful brands, Pulsar and KTM. And this strategy is clearly to give the Japanese rivals a tough run for their money and of course to have a lion’s share in the market under premium segment of bikes. The introduction of KTM Duke 200 is just the beginning and watch out Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki for a tsunami is expected anytime!
You’ll be bowled out at the first look at the duke and hail this hottie for the sheer handsomeness he exudes in abundance, you are sure to lose your heart. It might sound exaggerated; but I will still go ahead and say it- the Duke is the Greek god who was conceptualized in Austria and born in our country. But after deifying this hunk I must say that Satan seems to have inflicted some meanness in the Duke and you get this deadly combination of good and evil in one bike, which is simply irresistible. An amateur biker or even layman can gauge the meticulousness involved in the making of the Duke. What astonishes me is the fact that a 200 cc gets such an impeccable detailing.
The first impression you derive from the Duke is the raw features that are very unique especially the way the headlamp is assembled; it signals you to take a bow at the Duke, in fact it represents the engineering skills used to chisel this rugged hero. The huge fuel tank extends to become the bikini fairing and the engine scoop seems to neatly join the tail end part of the bike. The wheelbase of the bike protrudes beyond the tail that gives a street bike look. The trellis frame is another eye-catching feature of the Duke.
The white mono shock is located exactly at the center and the second obvious thing one would look for is the rear mono shock and you might be surprised as to where the exhaust pipe is, well that is neatly packed under the engine and this piece of engineering truly calls for a round of applause. And hats off to the mass centralization factor; I must say it offers stupendous balance at the corners and curves.
Furthermore, the tyre hugger & the sari guard are incorporated without the seam and be it the seat, switch gear or the use of plastic for the bike display class and great quality. To cut a long story short, Duke is a fine combination of function & form, which is oh-so-wow for this 200cc bike.
Engine, performance and mileage
The KTM Duke comes with an engine displacement of 199.5 cc that delivers a power of 25 bhp at 10000 rpm and the maximum torque is 19.2 nm @ 8000 rpm. Check out the speedometer and it sure will touch top speed of 138 kmph with no baggage and probably you might not require a windscreen. If you guys don’t take me as exaggerating the gearshifts are butter smooth and of course damn precise. The lightweight factor is simply amazing and many a times I was tempted to try power wheelie but had to contain that excitement.
Talking of the handling and the comfort factors of KTM Duke, although this is quite an aggressive bike by looks, you wonder if it just offers a thrilling ride and forgets the comfort of the rider. And Boy, it indeed gives a comfortable ride. The tube handlebar offers great grip and less of thumb shifting for the controls with backlit feature are a big advantage. The digital console is big and enables easy reading and although the backseat looks small the bike can accommodate the pillion rider, thanks to the spilt-grab rail.
One factor that many of us would complain of is that there is no ABS option, although the conventional brakes work pretty sharp and good.
You don’t want to ride a KTM 200 for the mileage it offers for it scores poor with a fuel efficiency of 30kmpl.
At present the KTM Duke 200 is available in dual combination of black and orange but it is expected to come in other colors such as the white with orange and black with green shortly. But to me the black+orange looks so damn hot and eye candy, and I believe the younger lot too would give a big nod to this one for sure.
The Duke is a premium segment bike no doubt about that and most obviously the price might be a big concern for many riders. But if you have the money then you can vroom away to your college or on the highway with a group friends, Duke will not disappoint you to say the least. For middle-aged men the Duke is a refreshing change for sure, so don’t feel disheartened and think it is a bike for youngsters only, he is not. Did you ask if Duke is an adventurous tourer? I can answer that without thinking even for a second; he is an awesome tourer, you betcha. Now, many of you might be pondering over the thought, ‘don’t tell me the bike does not have any cons at all’, I am actually coming to that point and here goes the first one; price is one factor, second is the absence of ABS, noise emission is pretty mild and the pillion rider would not be very comfortable on long rides, as the raised seat at the back does not offer great support. If you consider these as negligible factors then make the Duke your long-term partner, he will not disappoint you for sure.