• 2017 KTM Duke 250

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The quarter-litre naked segment gets a new zhar on the street.

When the first Duke hit the streets a few years ago, it was not here to make friends. The bike changed the game and re-wrote the rule books. A bold call to all to head to the straight narrow and embrace the life that lives at the very limit.

India got the first Duke 200 in 2013, and since then there has been no turning back for the Austrian Orange. Releasing the 390, they had completed the goal of leading the boards of the segment. But, looks like KTM had other things in mind for us.

Now in 2017 came a surprise from KTM when they launched the Duke 250 along with their updated 200 and the new phenomena called the 390 Duke. Although KTM had once rubbished news about the brand planning to get the Duke 250 to India, this launch has been a wild card. Meant only for Indonesia and Thailand, the 250 makes a scene on Indian roads too.

  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-1
  • Displacement:
    248.8 cc
  • Top Speed:
    99 mph
  • Price:
    INR 173500
  • Price:
  • Overall:
    8.8/10

STYLING

Coming to the Duke, there was hardly any fault in their previous designs and overall packaging by KTM and its approach towards performance-oriented segments of motorcycles. But, KTM believes in remaining at the top of the podium, which is why they gave all their Dukes a major visual update.

KTM has just used the sweet spot between the Duke 200 and Duke 390 by launching the Duke 250 in some of the international markets last year. It looks like, after the success of the Duke 200 and 390 models, KTM brought in a new sortie in the segment with the next generation of Duke Cousins running a 250cc motor under the belly.

Aesthetically it is an entirely new design that borrows cues from its eldest brother, the Super Duke R. It has the new streetfighter design philosophy seen on the new 390. The bodywork is more aggressive and mental than the outgoing model and includes sharp design language with tank spoilers and the newly uplifted tank design, all made to cut just through anything.

The powder-coated Chromium-Molybdenum-Steel trellis frame in black and orange is exposed to give that nakedness. Moreover, it is now a dual colour split frame with bolt on the subframe. The tail section is longer and is chiselled to expose more of the detachable subframe. The sharp design language is accentuated with new tank spoilers and a newly uplifted tank design that is similar to the 2017 Duke 390. The bike, however, gets the bar-end weights like the 390.

Like the 200, it will also not get split LED headlights. Instead, it still runs on a halogen but a new LED DRLs sport around the sides of the headlamp unit. It will, by default, now get the Automatic Headlamp On feature made mandatory by the government. Also, there won’t be a TFT screen on the dashboard like the 390 and will stick to the LCD screen seen on the previous models. The ignition key will be tank mounted, and the bike gets a newly redesigned seat, and RC styled grab rails. The bike gets a new UV resistant paint job that will keep your ride looking fresh every time.
Overall Dimension

Make Model 2017 KTM Duke 250 2017 Yamaha FZ25 Benelli TNT 25
Length 2002mm 2015mm 2080mm
Width 873mm 770mm 810mm
Height 1274mm 1075mm 1125mm
Wheelbase 1357mm 1360mm 1400mm
Seat height 830mm 795mm 825mm
Wet weight 153kg 148kg 159kg

POWERTRAIN

With the KTM Dukes’, it’s always been their cracker of an engine that keeps the leaderboard charts ticking with orange. The mechanical front is where you see all crackers bursting.

The power mill is where the differences between Duke 250 and the other two Dukes are the most prominent and for the records - the Duke 250 comes with a reworked form of the Duke 200’s engine. The Duke 250 runs on the bored out version of the Duke 200 – it is a four stroke, single cylinder, liquid cooled, 248.8cc engine, which pumps out 31 bhp of maximum power and 24 Nm of torque.

As the engine of the new Duke 390, the Duke 250’s engine too features forged piston, Nikasil-cylinder-coating, balancer shaft and forced feed lubrication; all give in for that 31 barking horses. The 6-speed gearbox to which the engine is mated has been lifted off from the Duke 390.

This rev loving engine now gets state-of-the-art tech and a few segment firsts that can make other contenders sweat in their pants. A new ride-by-wire system ensured excellent throttle response and smoother acceleration. It borrows the adjustable brake & clutch levers to suit every individual’s tastes. The motorcycle is now also equipped with new anti-hopping clutch/slipper clutch that prevents rear wheel stamping during sharp braking or accelerations.

There is an Evaporative Emission Control System ‘EVAP’ system that prevents fuel evaporation, a new Bosch fuel pump and a new CAN BUS system from the Moto3 WSBK with love. This engine has a contactless cranking mechanism to reduce wear and tear. A brand new side mounted exhaust unit replaces the underbelly configurations to meet Euro-lV and BS IV norms. This new exhaust sports a stainless steel underfloor pre-silencer and a rear aluminium absorption silencer that contains the catalytic converter.

Engine Specification

Make Model 2017 KTM Duke 250 2017 Yamaha FZ25 Benelli TNT 25
Capacity cc 248.8 249 249.2
Bore/ Stroke mm 72/61.1 74/58 72/61.2
Output 31 bhp @ 9000 rpm 21 bhp @ 10000 rpm 29 BHP @ 9800 rpm
Torque 24 Nm @ 7500 rpm 20 Nm @ 6200 rpm 22 Nm @ 8000 rpm
Type Single cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 4 valve, DOHC Air Cooled, 2-Valve, Fuel Injected, Single Cylinder, 2-valve In-line, single cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, 4 valve, DOHC
Clutch type Wet Multiple-disc with PASC anti-hopping clutch/ mechanically operated (Slipper Clutch) Wet- Multiplate Wet- Multiplate
Transmission 6-speed 5-speed 6-speed
Top Speed 160 kph 155 kph 160 kph

RIDE AND HANDLING

Getting to the juicy part of the motorcycle, this bike is meant for getting your knees rub against the tarmac. The main trellis frame remains the same while the front tucks in for that sharper steering angle of 660. The higher centre of gravity allows the rider to go from an upright riding to a ‘leant over kissing the apex’ in a jiffy.

The bike gets adjustable brake and clutch levers, giving a far more superior control for the rider and boost his accuracy levels. The pillion seat is now even more comfortable with 12 mm thicker cushion. A steel fuel tank is contoured to perfectly match the supersport style and provide the rider with a tucked in confident feel.

Like the overall design language and engine, the rest of the mechanical hardware of the Duke 250 too has been lifted off from the 390. At the front, the Duke comes fitted with open cartridge adjustable 43mm inverted hydraulic telescopic forks, while at the rear, it comes with a fully adjustable hydraulic mono shock with rear aluminium swingarm, both of which are sourced from WP.

In development with Brembo, KTM has developed a powerful and excellently adjustable brake system. This means that the driver always has his Duke fully under control. The pads are now sintered and at the front, the bike gets a 320 mm disc instead of the 300 mm previously used and a 230 mm unit at the rear. The ABS is missing on this 250. Meaty 17 tyres sport on the orange alloys.

Chassis Specifications

Make Model 2017 KTM Duke 250 2017 Yamaha FZ25 Benelli TNT 25
Suspension / Front 43mmTelescopic Upside Down Forks WP Suspension 41mm Telescopic Fork Inverted telescopic forks
Suspension / Rear Monoshock, Alloy Swingarm WP Suspension Monoshock Monoshock
Brakes / Front 300 mm Disc brake with four-pot brake calliper 282mm Single disc with 2 pot callipers 282mm Single disc with 2 pot callipers
Brakes / Rear 230 mm Disc brake with one-pot brake calliper, floating brake discs 220mm Single disc with 1-pot calliper 230 mm Disc brake with one-pot brake calliper
Tyres / Front 110/70 R17 100/80-17M/C 52P 110/70 R17
Tyres / Rear 150/60 R17 140/70-17M/C 66P 150/60 R17

PRICE

This Duke will fetch you a cool ₹173500 (ex-showroom), and you can get them in two colour options: Orange and White.

So people who are looking at a little more, extending their budget more than the Duke 200 will serve them rightly.

COMPETITION

There is just one another quarter- litre motorcycle built in the country that was all feeling good about itself before this Duke came. The Yamaha FZ25. Then comes one from Italy, the DSK Benelli TNT-25.

Yamaha FZ25

It all started when Yamaha India launched the naked version of their quarter-litre Fazer motorcycle last month. Doing so, they have officially entered the segment of quarter-litres in India, surpassing the Yamaha R15.

Yamaha needed a brand new design to express a new breed of FZ that imparts striking new power. Countless designing hours lead to the formation of muscles similar to athletes who train to attain new heights of performance. Chiselled and contoured to perfection. All LED treatment, AHO, LCD instrument panel and muscular stance defines this look.

Similar to the Brazilian Fazer 250, powering the FZ25 is a 249 cc air and oil-cooled, 2-valve, fuel injected, single cylinder engine that can produce 21bhp @ 8000rpm, which is not jaw dropping awesome, but manages this disappointment with the torque delivery of 20Nm peak @ 6000rpm. This power is taken to the rear via a 5-speed gearbox and chain linkage, and the engine carries the Blue Core technology keeping the right amount of balance between performance and efficiency meeting BS IV efficiency norms.

The FZ25 bike is priced at a mouth-watering ₹1.19 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) officially making it the most affordable quarter-litre, and the deliveries are to commence from February.

Benelli TNT 25

The TNT 25 carries a lot of essence of the former, but in a scaled down package. The motorcycle promises to be one pocket rocket, which not only intends to establish Benelli in the mass market segment but also aims to become the first proper competitor to the Duke 250.

It manages to appear as a best of both worlds, carrying both the aggressive as well as understated design language together effectively - something which will definitely appeal to a mature set of motorcyclists.

Unlike the twin-cylinder 302cc engine on the TNT 300, Benelli has equipped the TNT 25 with a lesser powerful liquid-cooled, single cylinder 251cc engine. But losing out on one cylinder doesn’t make the TNT 25 any lesser animal-ish, the engine is healthy enough to pump out 24.5 bhp of power and 21 Nm of torque. The engine is coupled to a six-speed gearbox with shorter throws for instantaneous acceleration. Tipping the weighing scales at 150 kgs, the TNT 25 promises to deliver some impressive performance numbers on the go.

The TNT 25 is at price tag in the range of ₹ 1.6-1.8 lakh. The motorcycle will be launched only in one variant sans the ABS.

VERDICT

Launching this Duke, KTM made a bold call to all to head to the straight narrow and embrace the life that lives at the very limit. This Duke 250 is here just to do that and to munch apexes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It is THE right tool for anyone new and old to get into motorcycling. For the price, you get a slipper clutch, UV-resistant paint, USD forks, bigger brake discs and a few others more than the FZ25. Moreover, don’t forget the cracker power mill making 10 bhp and 4 Nm more than that of the FZ along with one extra gear. So does the price now justify??? Depends on what kind of a person you are. One living the straight life or the life at the limit.

Buying a KTM will also give you a lot of perks that Yamaha doesn’t. Once you get your hands on either of the KTM bikes, you get access to KTM’s customer program that will let you get a taste of some orange. KTM track days to learn some sleek tricks on your bike, attend the brand’s official Orange-cup, stunt shows, short rides and long tours.

" With KTM, life always begins beyond the straight and the narrow."

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