This is KTM RC200 ownership review. Covering buying, ownership and maintenance experiences. Initial Thought:
After riding an Aviator for over 2 years I decided to upgrade to a bike. Since I was not that accustomed to riding a bike, practised for more than 6 months on a Bajaj Platina to tune my riding skills.
Thought about it for over a month as to which bike I should go for. I needed a bike which looks sporty and stands out( I'm a sucker for Sportsbikes). Mileage was not of the utmost essential yet it was a criteria. Has to be nimble in traffic as well.
In September, heard about the news that KTM was planning to release the RC series. The spy shots of the bike looked wicked and hooked me up onto the bike. When the bike was released, it looked stunning. What was even more stunning was the price at which the RC series were released! 1.6 lakhs for the RC200 immediately captured my mind and heart. The Contenders:
I had decided between 3 bikes.
1. CBR250R: Essentially the first bike of my choice was this. It has a good engine as well as the VFR styling suited for city riding. However, the pathetic Honda A.S.S was a downer. Also the bike was rumoured to be discontinued hence dropped the idea of buying this.
2. KTM Duke: I had ridden the duke plenty of times. With the same heart as the RC it was also one of the choice I had considered. Wasn't somewhat happy with the looks and the seating position.
3. KTM RC200: When the bike was released, the design was brilliant. I had loved the Duke engine, so a bike with a sporty look and the duke engine was the perfect combination. The 390 was more expensive as well as not suitable for city riding hence this was my only choice. Buying Experience:
The KTM showroom in my place ( KTM Banashankari ) had got the display bike which was a RC390. The bike was released on Sept 9th and I went to showroom only on 30th. In person it looked stunning! In this gap I was convincing my dad as to why this is the proper bike for me. After paying the booking amount of Rs.30,000/- the long wait started. It was a standard for the dealer to say a waiting period of 90 days. I was with the hope that I would recieve the bike by 1 month. Called the dealer every week to check whether deliveries had started. The RC390 deliveries were going on while there was some issue to get RTO approval for the 200.
Finally after 2 months of waiting I checked up with the dealer and found out that my bike was in transit. I was asked to make payment. After delays in payment by bank, my bike was delivered on December 10th. Final price was about 1.9 lakhs OTR.
Went at around 4 P.M to the showroom and was shown all the features of the bike. It looked gorgeous! The odo had shown 2kms. Did the standard PDI and found everything to be alright. The dealer had filled 3 litres of fuel. Dealer was very helpful right from the start. Overall experience with them would be a 9/10. Took the bike home and got the puja done. The next day filled up the tank full with normal petrol. The Bike:
The bikes looks unique with the Orange trellis frame. The colour combination of black and orange looks better than the RC390 combination of white, black and orange is what I feel. The stares you get when riding this bike is something special.
The twin projector headlamps light up the road efficiently and evenly. The LED Position lights stand out from the usual lights found in other bikes. The faring is covered in matte paint and the fuel tank is also protected in a plastic fairing. The clip on handle bars do take time getting used to as they can be painful on the arms while riding in city. Rider's seat is hard and the pillion seat is designed to look like a cowl. That's some brilliant piece of work done by KTM! Standard LED rear lights look cool at night with the centre strip acting as parking lights. Mirrors are 70% visible and the LED indicators on the mirror are bright enough.
The front windshield does get scratched and the dust gets into small crevices which are difficult to clean. The rear mud guard is of no use as mud is still flung all under the seat and sometimes on the rider.
The levers and switches are the same cheap looking bajaj ones. The grips are also of not that good quality but will do for the time being. The horn is loud but DOES NOT suit the bike.
Instrument Display is the same as Duke so will not go into the details.
Engine and Transmission:
The engine is exactly the same as the duke. Power delivery is linear and when required, it pulls on opening the throttle further. Slight changes in transmission now allow the rev band to be explored rather than quickly shifting up. Gear shifts were hard initially but after riding for more kms its more easy and precise. Since engine is running in, I've not gone beyond 6.5k rpm. (Manual recommends keeping below 7.5k rpm). I did find a slight difference in exhaust note or maybe I wanted a difference hence I assumed its different. Sometimes the gears get stuck in between while downshifting and the clutch has to be let out slightly in order to get into the lower gear. Finding neutral is easier from 2nd than from 1st. The radiator fan kicks in when the display shows 4 bars less than maximum and it sounds like a jet plane.
Suspension and handling:
Front suspension is the same WP suspension found in Dukes with less travel. Rear is the same monoshock as the duke. I haven't tweaked with the suspension settings as I find the stock setting comfortable. The ride is slightly hard and the handling is agile. Can easily slide through traffic without any worries.
Tyres and Brakes:
Tyres are the MRF Rev Z 110 at the front and 150 section at the rear. The alloys are supposed to be stronger now to handle the rough roads without breaking. The front brakes are bigger at 300mm and the rear is at 230mm with the front haning a four pot and the rear having a one pot calliper. Steel braided lines on the front and back as standard. Stopping power is more than sufficient. The tyres are grippy enough but in wet conditions I did not feel that confident to open the throttle.
3. Attention Grabber.
4. Power- The engine pulls real hard and the rear passenger can easily fall off.
5. Exhaust note- I've always been a huge fan of the Engine sound of dukes.
1. Hard Clutch: In normal riding its not much of a deal but in heavy traffic its painful to the palm.
2. Heat - The fan does kick in quite a lot in traffic and without appropriate clothing you will feel the heat but its not unbearable like the 390.
3. Keeping it clean is one hell of a task with all those small crevices and difficult to access location. Conclusion:
For this price point, this is one of the best bikes out there in the segment. With its sharp and edgy design and the proper engine, I feel like its the best decision I've made in my life. Modifications Planned:
1. Bar end Sliders - KTM should have provided bar end Sliders. Even the Bajaj Discover and Pulsar have it.
2. Shorty Levers - With the clutch being hard, I'm hoping that adjustable shorty levers should provide some comfort.
Note: All views in this review are my personal ones. No offence to anyone is intended. This is my first review so please do forgive for poor planning and any mistakes.
Do let me know if you have any queries and feel free to ask me anything if I have missed out on some point.
Now let the pictures do the taking.