The only aspect that differentiates the 125 Duke from the 200 is its motor. It is a 124.7cc liquid-cooled DOHC unit that registers 14.3bhp of max power and 12Nm of peak torque. Now, for the kind of frisky acceleration that is common with riding KTMs, it’s a bit different with the 125 Duke. Different because, until 6000rpm you will feel that the motor is probably in limp mode as there is not much engagement from the bike as expected. But past that comes the realisation that this is not a sloppy bike after all. The motor feels all alive and is notably eager to hit the rev limiter as you’ll open the throttle.
Initially, this experience can be annoying if you’ve already ridden a KTM. However, after spending more time on the saddle, you will realise the 125 Duke lets the rider enjoy the best of both worlds. You can ride the bike calm when needed and also enjoy its true KTM character by riding it at higher revs. Top speed achieved was 116kph, which frankly, is a good number for a 125cc motorcycle. Now, KTMs have been known to run hot when mostly riding in the city. Remarkably, with the 125 Duke, although the temperature gauge was filling up, there wasn’t much heat felt between the feet at any point.
Regarding the other aspects of the bike, the 125 Duke aces in the handling part just like the 200 Duke. The setup is simply perfect for any budding motorcyclist. The brakes have a strong bite with good progression. The MRF Revz tyres offer ample grip allowing the ABS to intervene only when required.