2017 KTM Duke 250 review, test ride

    After much debate on whether the 250 Duke would make it to India, it’s finally here. We ride it at Bajaj’s Chakan test track.

    Published on Feb 28, 2017 05:00:00 PM


    Make : KTM
    Model : Duke

    When the KTM Duke siblings launched in India, these were no ordinary motorcycles. They were razor sharp handlers, punched out more power than their counterparts, and were priced extremely competitively. Of course, refinement levels did leave something to be desired. Now for 2017, KTM has gone and given us yet another Duke sibling, the 250 Duke. Although KTM did not initially plan to bring the 250 to India, the new 2017 390 Duke has gotten more features and become more expensive in the process. This has created a bit of a vacuum in the pricing with the 200 and the 390 Dukes. And that’s where the 250 Duke comes in.

    While the sharp styling of the 250 Duke has been inspired by the 1290 Super Duke R, it shares most of its bodywork and frame with the new 2017 390. Both get the new two-part trellis frame with the exposed, bolt-on sub-frame and 13.5-litre tank. This new look for the bike appears a fair bit more aggressive than the older Duke design. And from a distance, the 390 and 250 Dukes look quite similar. What sets them apart besides the obvious numeric decals is the headlight. The 250 Duke misses out on the split LED headlight setup the 390 version gets. The 250’s headlight still retains that angular, forward jutting contour but is a single unit instead. It also gives the all-new TFT instrument console seen on the 2017 390 Duke a miss. Instead, it makes do with the same digital unit as the 200 Duke. Another point of differentiation is the blacked out wheels on the 250 Duke.

    The all-new metal tank on the 250 Duke is well chiselled, and really accentuates the aggressive styling of the rest of the motorcycle with those angular tank cowls. The key-switch is positioned at the fore-part of the tank and is no longer at the base of the speedometer console. The seat design has also changed, and the new, longer seat has a decent amount of padding for the rider as well as pillion. The 250 Duke shares its two-stage, side-slung exhaust with the 390 Duke. Although it retains that typically tinny KTM soundtrack, it has a decent amount of bass in its exhaust note once the revs start to climb.

    The exposed tubes of the bolt-on trellis sub-frame flow neatly into the rear side-panel and really add a kind of raw appeal to the bike. There’s another decal on the underside of this panel that denotes the 250cc of displacement. All of this culminates in a well-shaped, sharp-looking rear end that now houses a twin LED taillight.

    KTM Bikes

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