2017 KTM Duke 200
The new and updated 2017 Duke 200 with more features and a new exterior styling
2012 was a landmark year for the Indian two wheeler market, as in this year, KTM put its best possible shot in the Duke 200, which redefined the entry level performance oriented motorcycling, which was once confined to only the 150cc commuter segment initiated by the likes of Bajaj Pulsar, Hero Honda CBZ and Yamaha FZ.
The Duke 200 brought in many firsts for the segment, like upside down telescopic forks, alumimium swingarm, trellis frame and many more features, which looked as if you if it’s a big motorcycle scaled down to a smaller package with no compromises (except the omission of ABS). This very particular trait of the Duke 200 not only made it immensely popular and best seller in its segment, but also paved the path of oncoming models like the Duke 390 and the duo of RC 200 and RC 390, all of which are selling well.
Now, after a period of whole four years, KTM has decided to give the Duke 200 its first ever proper facelift, which not only has enhanced its design and made it looks even edgier than before, but also comes with comes comprehensive changes under its skin. Here’s our quick review on the all new Duke 200, and what all changes it has got over its predecessor:-
The new generation smaller Dukes have evolved brilliantly, and while the previous generation Duke 200 looked a bit disproportionate to some people, KTM has made its best attempts to make it look even more appealing than before. The overall design, inspired from that of the Duke 390, is a lot sharper and edgier. However, unlike the previous pair of Duke 200 and Duke 390, which looked totally similar to each other by sharing all the panels and features with each other, there are a lot of subtle differences between the new Duke 200 and new Duke 390.
First of all, the new Duke 200 comes with a new face, which is more angular and sharper than the outgoing one. The overall silhouette has been inspired from the face of the Duke 390, however the headlamp assembly is different on both the motorcycles. While the Duke 390 comes with split pattern headlamps, the new Duke 200 comes with a different looking non-split full LED headlamps which are characterized by two boomerang shaped daytime running LEDs at the upper corners. In our opinion, this headlamp assembly looks more eye pleasing and less dramatic than that of the new Duke 390. The front visor above the headlamp, which was there on the previous Duke 200, has been given a miss. The new front fender, which looks as if it is inspired from that of the RC 390, has been lifted off from the new Duke 390 on the Duke 200 as well.
The side profile of the new Duke 200, however, looks purely identical to that of the new Duke 390, save for the fact that the main frame and wheels are painted in black here, unlike the orange colored ones on the Duke 390. However, this time, the subframe comes finished in orange, thus adding some character to the side profile. The fuel tank is a steel unit this time, and comes with larger and pointier tank extensions, and has different set of body decals which differentiate it from the Duke 390. Like on the Duke 390, the Duke 200 misses out on side body panels, which exposes the trellis frame completely, and comes with a new tail section which is broader than before, and ends up in a new clear lens vertical LED tail lamp. The seats are also new and are wider and more comfortable than before. The rear fender on the new Duke 200 too is inspired from the RC series, and is slimmer than that of the previous generation Duke 200.
Unlike the Duke 390 which gets an all new TFT instrument console and switchgear, the new Duke 200 comes with the same tiny fully digital instrument console and backlit switchgear of the previous generation Duke 200. Apart from the small fonts which are unreadable at some times, there is nothing wrong with the instrument console, which displays everything from main data like speedometer and tachometer to small ones like distance to empty, distance remaining for next service and gear indicator. The rear view mirrors, handlebar and palm grips too have been retained from the previous generation model.
Overall, as compared to the new Duke 390, the new Duke 200 is less dramatic, but still, is a great wave of change over the previous generation Duke 200, with an entirely new design making it look more aggressive than what it was before.
KTM has decided to retain the four stroke, single cylinder, liquid cooled, fuel injected, 199.2cc motor of the previous generation Duke 200. Like the engine of the new Duke 390, the Duke 200’s engine too features a new balancer shaft and cylinder head, which makes it slightly more powerful and eager.
The engine now produces 26 PS of power and 19 Nm of torque, almost 1 PS and 1 Nm more than the previous generation model. As before, this is a mill which loves to be revved, with a meaty mid-range and top-end grunt. Sadly, this engine misses out on the ride by wire and slipper clutch features which have made their debut on the Duke 390. As before, this engine comes mated to a 6-speed gearbox, which has slick gearshifts to complement with the rev-hungry nature of the engine.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Apart from the basic design, this is one more aspect where the changes to the Duke 200 are more comprehensive than what it looks. Under the all new skin, there is a new trellis frame as well as rear subframe, which is sturdier than before. At the front, the new Duke 200 employs an all new 48mm front open-cartridge type telescopic forks, while the monoshock unit of the previous generation Duke 200 is the same as before on the new bike as well. The ride quality, like before, is still on a stiffer side, but then, the Duke 200 is still razor-sharp on the front of riding dynamics and is a sharp handler. The seat height has risen to 830mm, which might be a bit troublesome for shorter riders.
In terms of stopping power, the new Duke 200 comes with a larger 320mm front disc brake (20mm larger than before), while the 230mm rear disc brake is same as before. The absence of ABS was a saddening part on the previous generation Duke 200, though KTM may surprise by providing an optional ABS this time for the new Duke 200.
PRICE AND COLOURS
The Duke 200 has received a much comprehensive change this time, with an all new design and major changes to the chassis. Such changes do command a substantial price rise, and while the new Duke 200 is yet to be launched officially in India, we expect KTM to increase its price by almost Rs 12000-15000, making it available in the range of Rs. 1.60-1.65 lakh. For now, the new Duke 200 will be available in a single paint shade of orange, which may get expanded with white and black later on.
Currently, the most direct competitor to the KTM Duke 200 happens to be the Benelli TNT 25, which will continue to be the rival for the new Duke 200 as well. In comparison, the design of the new Duke 200 feels sharper and more modern than that of the Duke 200, which looks understated when viewed side by side. Also, the list of features on the Duke 200 is much longer than that of the TNT 25, with the former providing backlit switchgear, fully digital meters, fatter front forks and bigger brakes.
Compared to the 199.5cc engine, the TNT 25 is powered by a four stroke, single cylinder, liquid cooled, 250cc engine, which produces almost same performance numbers – 25 PS of maximum power and 19 Nm of maximum torque. However, in comparison, the TNT 25 is heavier, which affects its power to weight ratio, thus making the lighter-in-weight Duke 200 a bit more agile performer. Also, with new changes to frame, suspension and brakes, the overall riding dynamics of the Duke 200 have improved much and are better than that of the TNT 25.
The Duke 200 has always remained a perfect motorcycle for those who wanted to enhance their riding skills while upgrading from a 125cc/150cc premium commuter, with its friendly performance, ergonomics and big bike feel in its design. All these aspects, thankfully, have been improved in an even better manner in the new Duke 200 – it looks fresher and snazzier than before. The performance hasn’t improved drastically, however, since there was nothing much to complain about it, it still continues to be the best in this category. And finally, the major changes carried out on the new frame, front suspension and front brake, the new Duke 200 feels even more planted and sure-footed to ride than before. Overall, the new Duke 200 has got a worthy change, and it is a fantastic one which will create new benchmarks and take it to newer heights.
- * Enhanced design
- * riding dynamics
- * better front suspension and front brake
- * Small fonts of instrument console aren’t too legible
- * limited changes to powertrain
- * stiff ride