Design & Styling
Starting with looks, both these street fighters are similar in styling. Like an old saying, “first impression is the best impression”, without any doubts or further thinking, it is very much true for Duke 200. Many of the Duke's styling seems pretty new to the Indian bike community and this uniqueness has made the bike an instant hit shortly after the official launch. Like Yamaha FZ, this naked looking bike has a premium touch, which was absent in the Yamaha model. Smashed in head lamps without visors, short seat and high rear fenders gives an aggressive look for the Duke. Rear portion comprises of a very sporty mudguard and they have kept tail light very simple and small.
When it comes to TNT, the red trellis frame seeks all the attention. The white and black paint scheme along with this red frame are pleasing for the eyes. Sculpted tank, split seats, multi-spoke alloy and side slung silencers are some of the attractive features of this bike. The tail portion of TNT looks similar to the Duke 200.
Benelli's Italian design and styling has made TNT 250, one step ahead of the Duke 200. It looks more premium than the KTM.
The instrument cluster on Benelli appears a bit outdated. The larger analogue-digital console looks so basic. The LCD screen on the console shows gear position, time, odometer, trip time and fuel level and the analogue tachometer indicates the engine rpm. Not only that, TNT lacks backlit switchgear but gets an adjustable brake lever.
Duke has rather a better full digital console with orange colored back light. It features everything from gear indication to average speed and fuel economy. It is technically rich, as compared to TNT.
Engine & Gearbox
Duke's 200cc liquid cooled, 4-stroke DOHC engine is capable of producing staggering 25bhp and 19.2Nm torque. The way engine responds to the throttling is quiet amazing and it has made them huge fan followers everywhere. This bike is equipped with 6 speed manual gear box with universal gear shift pattern.
Benelli's 249 cc engine produces a 28.16bhp which is more than what Duke offers. But these figures doesn't have the exciting character that duke offers with their 200 cc engine. Not only that, shift quality of gearbox is very poor. Engine vibrations can be felt on the handle bars, foot pegs and even on seats. So, the 250 cc engine is rather disappointing and boring.
Performance & Handling
The feather weighted Duke easily allows one to go pass 135 kmph. The torque production is satisfactory, and it reduces frequent gear shifting. The light weight and responsive engine has made them to attain higher speeds at a minimal time and suitable for cruising on highways at a higher speed. With an ABS on play, the braking of Duke is smooth and drama free. The dynamics of the vehicle is superb with a proficient cornering experience.
Benelli does have higher top speed of 140kmph than Duke. But it is rather disappointing in areas of handling and performance. It is not as quick as Orange Duke but it does have a good ride quality. Stability of Benelli is very good and braking is excellent even without ABS.
Benelli TNT is better on fuel efficiency than the Duke. Even with a larger fuel tank, TNT can cover more kilometers on a full tank. The Duke's fuel efficiency also depends on how hard you ride this motorcycle.
Benelli TNT 25 is priced at Rs 2.02 lakh with 24,000 km or 2 years of warranty. The much cheaper KTM offers 30,000 km road assurance. Duke 200 is priced at Rs 1.62 lakh on road price.
Both these motorcycles are very well engineered from their respective brands. The Austrian origin Indian built Duke is one step ahead of the Italian TNT in many aspect. The agile, quicker, dynamic and sporty Duke is better on both road and papers. Due to the huge number of fan followers, the number of Duke on Indian roads are too many. Still there are some people desire of buying a different and unique motorcycle from the common widespread bikes and there lies the only chance for TNT 25 to take over KTM's place. But TNT has to remap or polish some of their features in order to provide a tight competition for the market leader Duke 200. As their slogan says KTM is always, “Ready To Race” with their super kid Duke 200.