2017 KTM Duke 200 Track Ride Review

28 February 2017, 10:25 PM Ninad Ambre

What is it?

2017 KTM Duke 200

A refreshed version of the stunning motorcycle that enthralled young bike enthusiasts in India in 2012. The KTM Duke 200 was appreciated for its compact size, chiseled looks and aggressive nature. Now, the 2017 iteration carries over the exact design of the model launched five years ago. This is a good thing because the design still calls for some ogling. But, if you know what upgrades the larger sibling Duke 390 has received, you might feel a bit let down. Nevertheless, there are new decals on the Duke 200, which still give the motorcycle a different appeal. Apart from the existing orange colour, the manufacturer has added two new black and white paint schemes. And unlike the earlier Duke 200 that had black alloy wheels, the new Duke rides on orange coloured wheels that add to the flair.

2017 KTM Duke 200

KTM 200 Duke

KTM 200 Duke

  • Displacement199.5 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)24.6 bhp
  • Kerb Weight159 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,74,527

A new feature that has been picked from the larger KTM siblings is the Automatic Headlamp On function. Other features have been carried over from the outgoing model. So the single unit trellis frame is black. It continues to sport 43mm upside down (USD) front forks and a rear monoshock from WP Suspension. The 17-inch alloy wheels have the same unique pattern and are shod with a 110 section MRF tyre up front and a 150 section MRF tyre at the rear. The 300mm front disc brake and the 230mm rear disc, both sourced from Bybre, continue to do the braking duties. KTM again hasn't provided ABS even as an option on the Duke 200. Plus, the absence of the side slung exhaust only means the bike still features an underbelly exhaust.

2017 KTM Duke 200

How does it ride?

2017 KTM Duke 200

The 200cc single cylinder liquid cooled engine is now BS-IV compliant. And that’s the only update in it. It continues to churn out 24.6bhp of power and 19.2Nm of torque at max 10,000rpm, good enough to push the 136kg bike around smartly. The mill comes mated to a six-speed gearbox with closely stacked ratios. The throttle response is amazing from the word go. Then, the short gearing in combination with a sharp throttle response will surely make errands a mad run. Such short sprints are even more fun post the 4,500rpm mark. While one can comfortably cruise at 5,000rpm, the engine wants you to get more out of it. And from 6,000-7,500rpm you will realise you are building up speeds very quickly without any vibes from the engine. The free revving nature of the mill makes you feel that there is a lot of power on tap and eventually lets you make progress briskly. The clutch isn't too hard and has a good bite and feel.

2017 KTM Duke 200

The sporty riding position makes for a comfortable ride, despite the tall handlebar and forward seating position with pulled back footrests. We managed to do a max indicated speed of 134kmph easily. But as the rev limiter started blinking in the sixth gear, it became difficult to push the bike further. I was left with an urge to go faster, especially with such impressive flat out performance. But then KTM has limited this speed keeping in mind safety. Furthermore, the bike also makes leaning into corners easy for a rider. With a kerb weight of 136kg, it’s a lightweight motorcycle making it even more flickable. The MRFs stick well to the tarmac inspiring a lot of confidence around bends. Besides, the disc brakes bite well even with a slight tap. In fact, the rear locks up showing how sharp it is. However, the front brake could have been a little sharper and we would have appreciated the inclusion of ABS.

2017 KTM Duke 200

Anything else I should know?

The firm ride on the Duke 200 makes it feel planted and natural to zip around corners. Its good maneuverability will continue to make it a good tool to ride around the city. But then, the enthusiastic motor makes it such a fun motorcycle to ride, that it will still be a struggle to achieve more than 40kmpl. Nonetheless, the MRF tyres are cheaper than the Metzelers seen on the larger sibling. Not as grippy, but not bad. And yes, affordable. So you don’t have to worry about incurring those high costs.

2017 KTM Duke 200

Should I buy one?

The new KTM Duke 200 has been launched at Rs 1.44 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi), which is almost the same price as the earlier model. And this is despite the cosmetic updates and upgraded BS-IV compliant powerplant. It's definitely a good package for buyers looking for an entry-level performance motorcycle. And then, even if it’s more expensive than its competitors, you get a product from KTM, whose brand value can command that premium here.

2017 KTM Duke 200

Where does it fit in?

The KTM Duke 200 didn't really have a potent competitor in India, unless you consider its other sibling the Bajaj Pulsar NS 200. But, now the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V and the Yamaha FZ25 lock horns with KTM's refreshed entry-level motorcycle. Though they are less powerful and less phenomenal, they are more affordable.

2017 KTM Duke 200

Pictures by Tilak Murdeshwar

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