The KTM Duke 200 and I


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How the idea came to my mind:

I was pretty much bored with my previous bike- The Generation one Unicorn. Not that it was bad in any way. But it sort of lacked the fun part that I enjoyed greatly in my early years of motorcycling back in the 90s with the RX100, the Shogun and the RX135 5 speed.

So I started thinking, What can I do to change that. I did some research and short listed three bikes to be considered next and after selling the Unicorn. They were the KTM Duke, the Hero Impulse and the Honda CBR 250R.

Now I have had a past where I was involved as a competitor in Motorsport in the two wheelers scene. I used to race and rally on motorcycles. And that is part the reason for me to put the above mentioned bikes as the final options.

Why the particular three for options:

The KTM I short listed for the rev happy motor and trellis frame. I also love the job done by KISKA - Designing Desire of Italy on the design part.

The Impulse for its off-roading capabilities and the suspension that can literally fly over craters or whatever that comes in its way. Was never keen on the looks part upfront with the funny looking headlight and the motor was sort of under-powered for my liking.

The CBR- I took that as an option cause it has great touring capabilities along with a refined engine along with great riding comfort.


Now I had posted a poll here on TAI to gather what you all think I should go for:http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...664-bike-go-replacement-my-honda-unicorn.html The votes were split between the Duke and the CBR equally. And then came Iron Rock's post which felt and hit me hard as if my soul itself was talking to me:http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...-replacement-my-honda-unicorn.html#post163933

I felt that I didn't need to look any further, The KTM Duke 200 it was.



Off to the Pro Biking Store to get myself a KTM:


Decision made I take a bus to the capital of Kerala at Thiruvanathapuram(formerly Trivandrum) where the only Bajaj Probiking Store in the state is situated. The showroom is at Vazhuthacaud, Its pretty neat and the people at the store are friendly and helpful.

There I see the Duke up close for the first time, It just blew my mind and I fell in love instantly. I ask for a test drive and they after seeing my licence and my signing an indemnity form(Its a big one with lines like, " I will not pull a wheelie or do a stoppie with the bike, I will not ride rash and negligently, I will adhere to all traffic laws, I will be solely responsible for any accident and third party injury including my own that may arise out of the test ride and Bajaj or KTM will not be held responsible for anything that happens out of my recklessness." You also will have to enter your licence number along with the validity details and issuing authority. Now this is not surprising as the ProBiking Store at Trivandrum already had their test ride Duke held and Confiscated by the Traffic Police for Reckless and Rash riding by people who came for test rides. The Store people had a hard time to get the bike released from the traffic authorities after two incidents in a row. Some folks also managed to crash the Test Ride Bike. And that explains the indemnity Form. Wise move on their part I must say.)

A salesman gives me the keys to the Test Drive Duke. He hops on the pillion as well. We ride through the city, I feel the suspension is set a little stiff and the seat was also on the stiffer side. I could not give it the stick as traffic was heavy. The salesman guides me onto a lonely street and there I give it a some throttle, Careful so as to not frighten the salesman. The bike just zoomed off and at the blink of an eye we were at a junction. Though I couldn't do a real performance test, I gathered that this motorcycle sure means business, Real Business.


I pay an advance booking amount of Rs.20,000/- and the showroom manager tells me that there were four bikes to choose from and were readily available then and there. I was not set to buy the Duke that day.(The showroom people had told me on the phone the previous week that there was a waiting period of two weeks after the advance payment for the booking and so I was unprepared.) I asked whether it was possible to choose one from the four and that if they could hold it for two days, I could be back for the bike.


I do the selection and leave for home. The next day, The Showroom manager calls and tells me that there was some mistake, The bike which I had selected was already selected by someone else. But he also said that he had another fresh consignment of six bikes on the way. So the very next day(28-05-2012) I leave for Trivandrum at 4:00 A.M(Trivandrum is some 235Kms away from where I live). I reach the store at 9:30 A.M, The six bikes were there(Two were sold by the time I reached there and in half an hour.) So I select from the remaining four, Things I looked for while making the selection were an exhaust pipe with little or no blemishes, overall symmetry and whether the bike was scratch free. I select one, Here's the video of my Duke at the Showroom:


My Baby Duke at the Probiking Store - YouTube


I sign all the documents and make the final payment, Its 1,32,000/- on the road. I was told that the bike will be ready by 4:00 P.M. I take a walk around the city, had lunch and came back to the store. The Temporary Registration and Insurance cover note were ready by 4:30 P.M. I was delivered the keys, documents along with the bike and by at 5:15 P.M I start my journey back home.


The journey home like I said before is a 235Kms trip. I top up the tank with Speed Petrol. It took in some 8 Litres which means that there was some two and a half litres of petrol in the tank. The fuel tank capacity is 10.5 litres approx.


I ride through rush hour. Traffic was as crazy as it could get, People trying to get back home like its the end of the world. Some cut into my lane, One guy in a WagonR almost hit me from the right. I dont know how I managed to get away from him, The Duke just went in the direction I pointed and was sure footed even after my locking the rear wheel while swerving left hard to avoid the dim wit at the same time.


I leave the city and the Duke starts to stretch its legs a bit, I make sure I keep the revs under 6000Rpm and without lugging the motor as well. The bike's motor is restricted to 7500Rpm till the running in is over. The restriction will be taken away at first service and then the bike will be good to cross 10,000Rpm and show its true colours.


I stop and fill premium fuel 91 octane every 60Kms or so as 91 octane fuel, recommended by KTM is not available in my area, More or so after the recent petrol price hike and cause there aren't many takers for premium fuel nowadays.


I make a stop at Changanassery, Tank up the bike, sip a can of Red bull myself to keep my alert. (I was starting to feel tired having slept some 5 hours the previous night and waking up at 3:00 A.M the same day.) From there I take a slight deviation to my brother's place to pick up my nephew as he was dying to join me on my ride home. I freshen up with some snacks and coffee after travelling 140Kms and leave my brother's place at 9:45 P.M.


Back on the road I pass a Ritz, But soon it catches up with us, flashes its lights and honks. I move over and flash the indicators to let it pass. The Ritz stays parallel for a sec and the driver asks me, "Jalex?" I said, "Yes?" He replies, "Its sbtajesh!" He pulls over to the side and so do I. We chat for a while, share experiences and say Good night. We both were equally surprised with the co-incidence of bumping into each other and seeing each other for the very first time.


Further, as I get nearer to my home, I pass a group of four bikes all with pillion. They were from my village and they wave me to halt for a sec to take a look. I pull over for them, They were all amazed to see the Duke. Some of them asked me if they could come to my place to see the bike in daylight and said they'll be coming next sunday. We reach home after midnight at 12:15 A.M., take a hot shower and hit the sack.


I woke up early the next day, Gave the bike a wash. It wasn't much dirt after the long haul as there were no rains on the way. Lucky me. It had rained every time before when I got a new bike. I never got the bike home neat and clean ever before. Maybe the KTM is turning out to be lucky for me.


I took the bike out for a spin, Took it to my old mechanic, He's the person that did the work on my race bikes. And he's the only one that I might allow to have a go. He was amazed to see the bike and was mighty impressed with the features and design.



Exteriors and Design:

Compared to the CBR250R the KTM feels more sharp on all fronts. Its looks and feels more aggressive and precise. The Ninja might be better on most counts except maybe the looks here, But then it costs more than double the KTM.


Special Features:

The Duke has a comprehensive LCD instrument and tell tale cluster(On board computer) It shows and indicates things like the
Speed
Engine Rpm
Distance to empty
Oil Pressure Warning
Coolant temperature
Clock
Fuel economy
Average speed
Time spent on the road in a trip(The trip info is auto reset once the bike is switched off for more than 60minutes)
Shift indicator

The headlight is direct from the battery and the park light and head light can be kept on even if the engine is not running

And it also has got the rest of the usual things commonly seen on most bikes.
 

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Thread Starter #2
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Engine and Performance:

The Motor is a rev happy one. I still haven't started to give it the stick as it needs to be run in properly. The Engine is also restricted to 7500Rpm till the first service is done.

The Engine is not as refined as say a Honda or the Ninja. Its quite coarse. But its very responsive and you have to be a little careful with the throttle. Acceleration is great and it will do 0-100Kmph in some 9 secs. Top speeds people have hit and speedo indicated is close to 140Kmph. But this bike is not all about top speed, Its below 100Kmph where the bike is at its happiest.

The exhaust note is pretty awesome. I love the way it sounds when you pull up the revs. There is a bolt on Akrapovic in the KTM power parts bin, It comes at a premium and is illegal for street use, But it can make those people happy who think the stock exhaust is not enough.

The gears are well sorted out and closely set and the clutch feels great. The bike just zooms off in flash from start without any hesitation when you let it through it paces. It reminds me of an RD350 LT. Gear shifts though are a little tight and not buttery smooth, But then the bike needs to be run in still and a can and a half of Motul 7100 or for better 300V can change things is what I've heard.


Lighting and other electricals:


Lighting is simply brilliant. The Duke comes fitted with a 60/55W halogen as standard for the headlights. The beam spread and throw is great and motorists coming opposite tend to think that you are a car with one headlight busted, They give enough room to pass and overtake due to the same reason.

The switch gear is also back lit and looks great at night.

The tail lights and Indicators all are LEDs .

The horn can be best compared to an Arnold Schwarzenegger with a Chipmunk's voice. Its a pipsqueak and its funny and weird for a bike like this. And you find it hard to ask others to let you pass on the Highways, They just dont hear you or think you're some moped trying to do a crazy suicide maneuver on the road. You also cant get a decent pair of Roots as they will make the warranty void.[confused]



Braking and Handling:

Braking and handling is precise and you feel like its on par with a super car. It stops without any hiccups or drama and you sometimes stop sooner than you think you will. The factory MRF rubber is simply great on dry roads, But things change when its wet. I had some side ways action when there were fresh rains here.

The ride is a bit on the stiffer side and sporty, Good on well paved roads, But jumpy on a badly paved one. You feel like you're riding a Gypsy on two wheels while on bumpy roads. The seat is also stiff, But you get great feedback. The handle bars are set wide a la a motocross bike and the rider foot pegs are pulled back slightly. Its an aggressive stance and you are perched like a racer on top. The pilion seat is not very accommodating if the pillion is anything larger than a Miss universe[:D]. My wife complains that its quite a task for her to get on the pillion seat as its too high. I have to tilt the bike to its side slightly for her to get on.

The rider seat is also set pretty high, I'm 5 ft 7'', I cant place both my legs on the ground at the same time and I can just about tippy toe while on the pillion. But once you are in the saddle and the bike starts moving, It feels great. Same's the case in the pillion seat. I wasn't too tired after riding all the way back home from the dealer after delivery.


The Good and the Bad:

The Duke sure is an attention seeker,It sort of makes you an overnight celebrity. But at times, you feel its too much. People just stick their eyes on the bike when you're at a traffic light. They ask a lot of questions like, 'Whats KTM?', 'Doook?', 'Only 200cc?', 'Mileage?', 'Where do you live?', 'What do you do?' I dont have any problem to speak with people, But when its like one person every ten minutes or so in traffic, It just becomes a glorious pain. Some youngsters riding on bikes also can become a serious problem when they try to chase you or ride keeping their eyes on the Duke instead of the road ahead.

I also had times where people were literally all over the bike like a bunch of baboons when I left it unattended for 2 minutes on the street. One guy was on the saddle and another was about to get on the pillion, I had to raise my voice to get them off. Now this sure worries me, I'm wondering what will happen to the bike when I take it to my wife's school to drop her off. The bike is the first ever one in my district.

There are some more things I need to worry about while owning the Duke. In the event of a puncture it will be hard to remove the wheels as there is no centre stand. If the bike ever breaks down, I will have to carry it in a pick-up all the 235Kms to Trivandrum to get help as no other mechanic or workshop can address an issue that may crop up.


Fuel recommended is 91 octane or higher (BP Speed/ IOC Xtra Premium/ HP Power). At the moment its unavailable in my district and I could not source it at Cochin even.

At times like these I wish I lived in a metro, I would never have to deal with these kind of issues.




List of modifications planned in future:

1. KTM original Rim Stickers
2. KTM original Hand Guards
3. KTM Original Tank Pads
4. A GPS device for the bike.
5. Saddle bags for touring.
6. Set of Roots horns maybe.
7. A set of wet weather tyres


I request everyone to bear with any glitches in the review, Its my first ever. I also couldn't get any great pictures as its been raining here and lighting was not favorable.
 

TSIVipul

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Let me be the first to congrat you buddy..
Congoz for the bike...[clap]

Should I congrat Iron Rock too?

Right now I am in love with that rear wheel,in fact its the part of the bike which is automatically catching my attention.

The review was simply complete.The only thing that was disliked by me was:This bike also has BYBRE disc brake calipers,same as on my 220.Couldn't they give something like Brembos etc?

Rest,I still have 20cc advantage over you!!!!:stupid:
 
Thread Starter #4
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Let me be the first to congrat you buddy..
Congoz for the bike...[clap]

Should I congrat Iron Rock too?

Right now I am in love with that rear wheel,in fact its the part of the bike which is automatically catching my attention.

The review was simply complete.The only thing that was disliked by me was:This bike also has BYBRE disc brake calipers,same as on my 220.Couldn't they give something like Brembos etc?

Rest,I still have 20cc advantage over you!!!!:stupid:
Thank you Vipul[:)]

Hahaha, Yup it was Iron Rock who started the fire.

The Bybre is not that bad, If they had Brembos, The Duke's price would have possibly gone through the roof.

And CCs dont matter nowadays, Its the Bhps that count along with the Power to weight ratio and the Duke is almost nuclear with a power to weight ratio of 184 PS/Ton. Just compare that to the 130 PS/Ton of the Yamaha R15 and the 155 PS/Ton of the Honda CBR250R and you'll know what I mean[;)].

I missed a few things in the review as well. One's that the radiator hoses(They could have provided stainless steel braiding like on the brake pipes.) and the radiator itself is vulnerable to damage, The radiator has no protective cover to stop stones that might be kicked back by the front wheel.

Another is that the front mudguard is too short at the rear which makes the spoiler beneath the engine dirty all the time, Its the same story with the radiator.

The other thing is that its a chore to wash the bike and keep it like new, I'm using a paint brush to clean the radiator and other hard to reach areas. There are different types of material used on the bike and you need special polishes and conditioners for each surface.
 
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Jalex that was a splendid cool review [glasses].

Looks like I should book one for me.

Hooking on to this thread for more of your riding experience.

The review was almost like an official one.
 
Thread Starter #6
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Some more features that I missed to mention:


Two Trip meters.

A separate trip meter that starts count down on its own when the fuel goes to reserve.

Speedometer can show both Mph and Kmph.

Tachometer, Engine Temperature and Fuel indicator are indicated by Bar Graphs.

Kmpl shown in Litres/100km as well as in Kmpl.

Side Stand Down Warning.

Low Battery Warning.

High Coolant Temperature Warning.

Low Fuel Warning.

Gear Indication.

Shift light that can be custom set to a particular Rpm range.

Distance to Next Service.
 
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TSIVipul

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The Bybre is not that bad, If they had Brembos, The Duke's price would have possibly gone through the roof.
Maybe 4-5k increase(per brake),but then brembo brakes would also have been a positive or say a thing to promote the bike.

And CCs dont matter nowadays, Its the Bhps that count along with the Power to weight ratio and the Duke is almost nuclear with a power to weight ratio of 184 PS/Ton. Just compare that to the 130 PS/Ton of the Yamaha R15 and the 155 PS/Ton of the Honda CBR250R and you'll know what I mean[;)].
Leave everything aside and if you don't want me to jump on you for arguments,then accept that i have 20cc advantage...:lol!::stupid:
 
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Ohh maannn..I am jealous. Whenver some one buys KTM Duke 200. I am jealous. I love this bike so much mannn... BTW, congratzz for the Acquasition of the beauty. :-)
 
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First, congrats Jalex for getting a Duke home![clap]

Engine and Performance:

The Good and the Bad:
There are some more things I need to worry about while owning the Duke. In the event of a puncture it will be hard to remove the wheels as there is no centre stand. If the bike ever breaks down, I will have to carry it in a pick-up all the 235Kms to Trivandrum to get help as no other mechanic or workshop can address an issue that may crop up.
The tyres should be tubless type and you can learn a DIY on fixing punctures, and if you can kit up your travel accessories with a electric air pump, then the flats is forgone. For replacement, i would suggest for all weather rubber.

For the breakdown issue, rarely the beast is going to quit. I think you must be familiar with bikes internals with all these years of riding and owning it so it should help you in ample amount and get in touch with your dealer and explain the situation, maybe they can give you some basic repairing tips and training for your Duke in specific.

All the best, happy biking! I know its a beast, but keep it safe![:)]
 
Thread Starter #13
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First, congrats Jalex for getting a Duke home![clap]



The tyres should be tubless type and you can learn a DIY on fixing punctures, and if you can kit up your travel accessories with a electric air pump, then the flats is forgone. For replacement, i would suggest for all weather rubber.

For the breakdown issue, rarely the beast is going to quit. I think you must be familiar with bikes internals with all these years of riding and owning it so it should help you in ample amount and get in touch with your dealer and explain the situation, maybe they can give you some basic repairing tips and training for your Duke in specific.

All the best, happy biking! I know its a beast, but keep it safe!
Thank you Ashok[:)].

The tyres are Tubeless Radials. I'm wondering of getting The Ride-OnIndia Tire Protection System for the tyres to be safe.

Even though we are familiar with motorcycles, The problem with Breakdowns on the Duke is that we wont be able to fix things easily as almost everything is new age and not old school as in yester year bikes. You need a KTM diagnostic tool to find out what's wrong if its something related to the fuel system or ECM.

And I sure will keep it safe, Its like the better half to people like us if you know what I mean[:D]
 
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Congrats on the Duke. It's true very few people know about KTM. Hope to see some bigger KTM's in the market soon. I myself am looking for a big bike. Had set my mind on a Ducati but there's no dealer in Goa.
 
Thread Starter #15
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Congrats on the Duke. It's true very few people know about KTM. Hope to see some bigger KTM's in the market soon. I myself am looking for a big bike. Had set my mind on a Ducati but there's no dealer in Goa.
Thank You Peter[:)], The folks at the Probiking store said KTM is bringing in the 690 Duke possibly by 2013.
 
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