Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM did revolutionise the performance biking segment in India by offering 'affordable performance'. The Duke and RC range of motorcycles have proven to be very capable, in terms of performance, styling, pricing, and most importantly creating the desire element.
Now, KTM has decided to upgrade the motorcycles to keep up with latest trends and also meet emission norms globally. A lot has changed indeed, but the ‘Desire' factor remains unchanged. So what are the bits that have changed? Here's a detailed look.
The old, or the first generation KTM Dukes (200 and 390) featured sharp, angular design, with minimal body work. The exposed trellis frame added to the sportiness of the motorcycle. One design element that caught everybody's attention was the underbelly exhaust, which was something never seen before on any Indian motorcycle.
The design and body work was kept minimal, making use of only what was necessary and not an ounce of any unwanted metal or plastic.
The new motorcycles on the other hand has taken the sharp lines of the Duke a notch higher. The motorcycles feature longer tank panels and the headlight, along with the overall design resembles its larger sibling, the Super Duke R.
Paint and colour schemes have changed, but the motorcycle still makes use of just the necessary parts and nothing more. Another crucial change with the design is the exhaust - the new Dukes get a side mounted can instead of the underbelly system.
Engine Specification And Gearbox
The first generation KTM Duke 200 was powered by a 200cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine that produced 25bhp and 19Nm of peak torque. The 390 on the other hand came with a 373cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine that produced 44bhp and 35Nm of peak torque. Both engines came paired to 6-speed manual gearboxes, but with varied ratios to suit the power delivery.
The new range of Duke motorcycles come powered with same engines, as they have been the strongest factor in the motorcycle. The engines will not be tweaked for more power, but could be retuned to deliver power in a better way.
The Duke 200 and the 390 that are sold currently come with upside down front forks, monoshock at the rear, disc brakes at both ends, a digital meter console, and a side stand safety mechanism (engine cuts off if side stand is down). The 390 features dual channel ABS and a slipper clutch, that can be turned off, while the 200 misses out on both these features.
The 2017 model Dukes feature pretty much the same, apart from a few changes. The front forks are lighter compared to the current motorcycles and get a larger disc rotor up front. The new Dukes will carry forward the same suspension setup, while the 390 will come with standard ABS and slipper clutch.
The new bits however, is a multi-functional TFT display replacing the current instrument console that has smart phone connectivity, and adjustable brake and clutch levers. Also, the new generation motorcycles get a bigger fuel tank that can now hold 13-litres instead of the 11-litres. Also, the new bikes are 10kgs heavier than the current generation models.
KTM is well known for affordable performance, and the pricing of the Duke and RC range in India is a good example. The current generation Duke 200 is priced approximately at Rs 1.60 lakh on-road (Delhi) and the Duke 390 is priced around Rs 2.17 lakh on-road (Delhi). We can expect the 2017 models to be priced a little higher than the current price, but not so much to be termed ‘expensive'.
Is the new 2017 KTM Duke range worth it?
Ofcourse yes! KTM has proved time and again in India that one can never be wrong choosing a KTM motorcycle. The new range of Dukes are powerful, look better, pack more features, and have become more practical with a bigger fuel tank, without compromising any fun.