Bajaj Auto and KTM have launched the trendy, radically styled KTM 200 Duke at a mouthwatering, introductory price tag of Rs 1.17 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). This exciting and top drawer technology streetbike is sure to fire up the premium bike segment in India, with bookings set to open from February 1. Butch, lean and aggressive, the striking 200 Duke proudly shows off KTM genes, every part visibly pared down to the minimum, allowing the 200 to respect KTM’s ‘ready to race’ tag as its tips the scales at just 136kg.
The dinky digital instrument cluster is a little fussy, with only speed prominently displayed and easily read. The 200 Duke however comes with top class, Bajaj typical illuminated switchgear that works with crisp clicks, dimpled palm grips, a comfortable set of levers and good mirrors. The 10.5litre fuel-tank offers deeply recessed, snug thigh supports. A stand-down warning system is standard. Overall quality, as well as the turnout of rubber and plastic parts is as good as expected on the KTM 200 Duke.
You couldn’t ask for a more tech-rich engine on an Indian motorcycle. The new KTM deploys a shortstroke, four-stroke and single-cylinder, 199.5cc powerplant. No compromise engineering ensuring you receive fuel-injection, liquid-cooling, a twin camshaft driven quartet of valves and a six-speed gearbox. The smooth engine delivers a wide power band with excellent midrange and top end muscle.
The KTM 200 Duke outputs a delightful, deep exhaust rumble that makes this India’s best sounding small capacity motorcycle. The 200 Duke enjoys an addictive surge of smoothly delivered power—of which it makes a prodigious 25bhp at 10000rpm—kicking in strongly from 4500rpm-7000rpm, transforming into manic mode over 7000rpm as it rushes to crash into its 11000rpm redline.
See KTM 200 Duke image gallery
The 200 Duke makes 1.94kgm of peak torque at 8000rpm. Its clutch is well weighted and progressive.Bajaj claims a 0-60kph time of 3.3 seconds, and 0-100kph in 9.2secs. We can confirm an indicated top speed of 136kph on the speedometer. Fifth gear is good for an indicated 122kph. The gear ratios are close packed, short in nature and nicely spaced.
The 200 Duke deploys a rigid, steel trellis frame and chunky 43mm diameter front upside down forks with 140mm travel developed by suspension specialist WP. There’s a cast alloy swingarm supporting the 150mm travel monoshock. The 200 Duke uses single disc brake systems By Brembo (ByBre) front (280mm) and rear (230mm), a radial mounted, four piston caliper biting the front, and both controlled by steel-braided hydraulic lines that contribute with a sharp, solid feel.
The riding position is upright, comfortable and good for daily use with the wide handlebars providing excellent leverage. The KTM 200 Duke handles with a light, nimble feel, always steering with neutral manners and MRF radial front and rear tyres provide terrific grip. We expect the KTM 200 Duke to return close to 30kpl.
Bajaj will offer a variety of KTM merchandise as optional with this bike, these including a pair of tasteful knuckle guards. The KTM 200 Duke marks a major milestone in Indian biking history. Yes, KTM and Bajaj have certainly struck the bullseye. Indians can now proudly proclaim; we jointly make what is today a world best-in-class 200cc street motorcycle.
The 200 Duke will sell in India through the existing network of Pro-Biking stores spread over 30 Indian cities and 32 dealers.
Full story in Autocar India January 2012 issue.