KTM 200 Duke 'Street Tracker' review, test ride
30th Mar 2015 6:05 pm
We ride a KTM 200 Duke that’s been modified to fit a more Scrambler-like guise.
KTM’s 200 Duke has set the bar high for motorcycling in India, providing enthusiasts that punchy performing engine at an affordable price. Yet, some would argue that there still exists a niche of enthusiasts who want to ride into the wild and make their Dukes do just a bit more than point, shoot and corner. That is, they want to experience the incomparable pleasure of rolling off the road to make your own path through unpaved dirt. Now, that dream is a big step closer.
Keyne Wilson is the proprietor of Café Nomads, a small but passionate firm that undertakes modification jobs on motorcycles and cars in Mumbai. As seen in the images, the KTM 200 Duke is Keyne’s first ever attempt at modifying a KTM 200 Duke. He first set about on this task when Ashish Panchal approached him with the unique request to 'transform' his Duke to a scrambler. The creation has been christened the Street Tracker.
The scrambler class includes motorcycles from various global brands such as Ducati, Moto Morini and Triumph; all the models even share the same name.
Café Nomad’s Street Tracker retains no design elements from the original KTM 200 Duke, but stays mechanically unchanged. The front mudguard has been taken off and there's a large, 18-inch on-off road tyre shod on a dual-tone spoked wheel. A black mesh grille protects the single headlight and the large orange turn indicators fit snug. The original instrument console is now mounted on the handle bar, giving the bike an old-school feel.
The handle grips are after-market accessories that feel smooth and soft to touch. The fuel tank has been fabricated from scratch and now has an extra litre's capacity. Keyne has even incorporated the fuel pump within a section of the tank. There's also a custom-sewed single saddle, which goes well with the rest of the motorcycle’s retro look. There is no rear panel here though, and instead, the tail-light and indicators are mounted onto the chassis itself. While the rear wheel size remains at the standard bike's 17 inches, it's shod with an off-road tyre.
Mechanically, the Street Tracker remains unchanged from the Duke and uses the proven 199.5cc engine. The four-stroke unit produces 24.7bhp at 10,000rpm and 1.9kgm of torque at 8,000rpm. The only after-market modification here is a paper element air-filter.
So, while the Street Tracker is stunning to look at, how does it feel when you get astride and thumb the ignition?
The Street Tracker's grippy, on-off road tyres contribute towards a confident ride, on the road and off it. Rough patches are handled well, the bike never losing grip, even when cornering at sharp angles. Even off the tarmac, it's very easy to actually carve out a ‘track’ on this bike, weaving through trees, chucking up mud.
The raised handlebars result in a more upright posture, quite different from the stock riding position of the Duke. The rider foot-pegs, however, remain the same, placed slightly to the rear. This is a comfortable motorcycle to ride because the seat provided here seems flat but really turns out to feel plush and cushion-like. Ground clearance has increased, thanks to the 18-inch rim up front and a plus-size tyre here too. The minor additions on the chassis and the stock engine's quick responses only serve to aid the bike's newfound off-road capability, perfect for a person who does not wish to limit his ride to the tarmac.
Keyne Wilson believes that modifications should be made so they enhance the rideability of a motorcycle, mostly by means of weight reduction. He also encourages clients to try and retain a bit of the motorcycle's original theme, such as the subtle orange and white paint scheme seen on Street Tracker, with an orange KTM logo onto it.
The modifications carried out on Café Nomad’s KTM 200 Duke cost anywhere between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh. It took just about 45 days to finally get the Street Tracker running on the road again.
If you want to get your ride modified by Cafe Nomads, get in touch with Keyne Wilson on 09004790280. Happy customising.