KTM Duke 200 First Impression : Naked doesn’t get any better


If there was a color dictionary, Orange would have been definitely the one referring the adventure bike specialist from Mattighofen in Austria, KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG. The not-so-big bike maker has a very popular image of making rides for the performance enthusiasts all over.

They boast of a big Orange family and believe in Ready-to-Race philosophy with their rides. KTM bikes have always looked non similar to the ones made by the competition. The Supersports RC8 looks as if our friends from the Future have sent us a gift. On normal roads, if you are seen with one they will splash your name with a UFO spotted tag.

Small and powerful addition to the Orangy KTM collection was the 125 Duke. The bike is a big success in Europe. Powered by a single cylinder 125cc water cooled engine is raking in a lot of attention internationally.

Bajaj Auto had bought stakes in KTM and had announced the plans of making 125-250cc bikes at its Chakan plant in Pune. This initiative had many sides like Bajaj getting info on more advanced technology than the one used by them as well as exporting KTM bikes to Europe, South-East Asian markets etc.

KTM Duke 200

The KTM Duke 200 looks more of parkour kinds than the track runners. It doesn’t have even an ounce of extra flab on it. The Graffiti inspired paint job on it is impressive. Naked Street bike looks have been very well incorporated in this small monster.

Technical Specifications 2012 KTM Duke 200
Model KTM Duke 200
Displacement cc 199.5
Maximum Power bhp/rpm 25/10000
Maximum Torque Nm/rpm 19.2/8000
Transmission 6-speed

KTM 200 doesn’t look angry as such but it looks very athletic. One would instantly connect with owns hooligan spirits with the Duke 200. The Smallster (Small Monster) comes with inverted shocks whose outer tube diameter matches the one used in its elder and faster sibling, the RC8.

Though it has a pillion seat, which is more of a pseudo pillion arrangement. It looks like a rider centric model. The pillion won’t be at much of comfort behind the rider.

If to the pillion’s bad luck, the rider decides to pull out some fast ones on the Duke, he won’t be left with any options but to pray as the grab rails would prove to be of very less help.

Powering the KTM Duke is a 200cc Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled spark-ignition engine. The peak power of this mill is 25.48bhp @ 10000 rpm and it produces a torque on 19 Nm @ 8000 rpm.

It has a 6-Speed transmission metted to the unit. The overhead camshafts in the Duke 200 have a resemblance with the ones used in the KTM RC8.

Just for comparison sake the 2012 Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS comes with a 199.5 cc, singly cylinder triple spark engine, which produces a peak power of 23.52PS @ 9500 rpm and a torque of 18.3Nm @ 8000 rpm.

This one also comes with a 6-speed transmission. Interestingly, a lot of 2012 Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS draws its technicals from the KTM.

Coming to our Orange Smallster, even though it’s a small displacement bike specially compared to its bigger and powerful siblings, the engine layout doesn’t look pint sized at all. Etched with “Racing KTM” in orange in contrast to the grey treatment to the engine, the engine layout looks sporty.

The tubular frame, which cages the engine, also provides dynamic advantage to the handling of the bike.

Another first for an Indian bike is the underbody silencer. Snaking its way out of the single cylinder is the 3-chamber silencer, which has been centrally crafted, contributes in superb handling of the bike.

This has also found its way on the 2012 Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS, making it the second bike in India to have it ;)

Brakes on the Duke 200 come in the form of a Brembo radial four piston brake caliper 280mm disc (F) and 230 mm disc (R). This combination sounds decent to halt the hooligan completely.

Drawing inspiration in lots of bits from the higher displacement models, there is one more addition, the rear swingarm.

Using the same methodology as the 690 Duke, the die-cast swing arm has been designed to keep the weight of the bike extremely light. The swingarm also holds the Monoshock promising of a confident ride.

Wheel base of the KTM Duke is 1,361mm. This is comparatively less compared to the Pulsar series of bikes. Tyres used on the KTM Duke 200 are 110/70(F) and 150/60 (R) fitted on the 17-inch Alloys.

Normally the India RTO compelled Saree guard spoils the rear look but on the KTM 200, it adds to the overall profile of the Naked styling. The rear tyre hugger, which was seen some time back on Bajaj bikes is seen here too.

Rear profile of the bike with those wide profile rear tyres and the pint tail lights look sporty. The long travelling rear number plate gives a good rear profile.

Overall Razor edge styling done on the KTM will set a new trend in biking in India. The long handle and the wheelie friendly riding position won’t let you tour on this one for long.



The instrumentation cluster is lit in the traditional Orange background. I loved the climbing rough terrain type design for the fuel display. The in-line tachometer reading bars left to right when revved. However the adrenaline teaser moment is when you crank the key, you are greeted by the trademark “Ready- to-Race”.

2012 KTM Duke Rival Chart
Bikes KTM DUKE 200 Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS Yamaha R15 V2.0 Honda CBR150
Displacement cc 200 199.5 149.8 149.4
Maximum Power bhp/rpm 25/10000 23.52/9500 17/8500 17.6/10500
Maximum Torque Nm/rpm 19.2/8000 18.3/8000 15/7500 12.6/8500
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed 6-speed 6-speed
Wheelbase 1367mm 1363 mm 1345mm 1310mm
Price Rs.1,25,000 < Rs.1,00,000 Rs.1,19,600 Rs 1,20,000

Conclusion on the KTM 200 Duke

Bajaj guys have always been very aggressive on pricing bit and with the KTM 200; They have gone ahead with the same tradition.

Pitching this performance hungry good quality naked monster between the R15 and the CBR, they can very well be applauding themselves and rightly so.

The booking amount for the KTM 200, which has been recently dropped to Rs.20,000 is also one more feather.

KTM Head Stefan Pierer has already announced a 350cc Duke would be brought into production in 2013. It’s very obvious like the 200 NS, a 350cc Bajaj Pulsar would be the next big leap for the Bajaj guys.

As for the competition is concerned, they need to buckle up really fast else would just be caught in the dust left by the Bajaj-KTM Duo.

Check out what the Duke’s smaller version, the 125 does on streets ;)

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