KTM Duke 125 Test Ride Review By Team BikeBD
Ever since Facebook got popular in Bangladesh since 2014 and R15 & CBR were the crown jewel in the sports bike segment, we used to see pictures of KTM Duke125 & wondered what if this comes in Bangladesh & make the sports bike segment a bit more affordable to us, finally last year in India they launched the baby Duke and today in our 50th Test Ride Review of BikeBD we will talk about the Test Ride Review of KTM Duke 125 with ABS.
KTM Duke 125 with ABS is just a copy of the old KTM Duke 200 in terms of looks & many technical aspects. The bike is completely manufactured in India. It’s a naked sports bike with a narrow compact headlight with no wind shield, orange speedometer, rod handle bar for an upright seating position.
The seat is flat and split, the seat is a bit hard and can be uncomfortable for long-distance ride due to the road conditions in Bangladesh, there is an LED tail light, LED indicator. The bike isn’t tiny given it is a 125cc segment not a 150 cc, in some way it looks more muscular with many 150cc counterparts. The engine gets under belly exhaust and also under belly cowl.
The fit & finish of the motorcycle is fantastic, so is the paint quality, it does give the premium feeling of the 3,45,000 BDT price tag it carries. KTM Duke Series is a pure naked street fighter. The core purpose of the bike is to support the tough situations of the street and highways & sometimes the off-road territory of Bangladesh.
The machine is designed for upright ergonomics to support street fighter riding posture; it is comfortable & also good for long-distance traveling.
KTM Duke comes with trellis frame which is exposed; they didn’t bother adding any extra cowling or cover to hide anything under the seat, so to access the battery you have to open the seats to get access to it. The swing arm is a reinforced unit that linked with the rear mono-shock WP shock absorbers.
On the front here are two 43 mm USD telescopic fork suspensions. You can lower down the suspension by 25mm suiting your riding style. There are 10 spoke alloy wheels where in front you have a 110 section tyre and on the rear, get this a whopping 150 section. That’s a lot for a 125cc bike.
Now coming to this bike’s party piece, in the front, they have added 300 mm hydraulic disc brake with 4 pistons radial calipers, attach to that is a Bosch single-channel ABS. On the rear, there is a 230 mm hydraulic disc with single-piston caliper. The bike also has an anti-lift system which will stop the rear of the bike to lift up under heavy braking.
So what about the heart of the bike? The engine has water cooling and EFI, it also has single cylinder & 4 valves with DOHC valve train. With all these, the 125 cc motorcycle produces 14.76 BHP & 12 NM of Torque which is delivered on the rear wheel through a 6-speed gearbox. The drive of the bike has X Ring chain which is good & reliable.
According to KTM the camshafts of the engine are reinforced with a carbon coating which will increase the long-lasting of the engine. The bike’s radiator is fitted with a radiator guard which will help to save the radiators from stones from the road.
KTM Duke 125 Review – Ride Experience
Sitting on the bike you will feel that you are really sitting on something premium, then there is the orange speedometer which has many features. One of the features is that if the side stand of the bike is ON then the bike’s engine will shut down in gears. The speedometer has a small rev counter & added to that an on board computer to tell you everything you need to know including your average speed and mileage figure but there won’t be any clock.
Out of the box, the gear shift is smooth, the engine isn’t refined and the under belly exhaust doesn’t produce a smooth sound but that’s the point of KTM Duke, it wants to be wild. There is no ready pickup in the bike and the torque kicks in not until 6500 RPM, from there you can easily reach the 9500 RPM rev limiter quickly. When the torque kicks in the engine vibration also start.
In the city riding condition if you ride smoothly then you can get mileage feedback of 32-35 km/l while on the highway the figure goes around 40 km. During our testing with a 78 kg meat, the top speed we managed to get was 112 kmph which is slightly disappointing.
Some people will enjoy the dirty noise of the engine, and it gets even louder once you rev up. Because of the rear tire and the chassis you can easily change direction whenever you want easily.
The rear 150 section tyre helps in high-speed cornering & under breaking it does it works well. The front wheel’s ABS always keep the bike stable under braking even on a wet track but the rear MRF tyres locks up and slides around if you put too much pressure on wet tarmac. Best solutions, if you are riding alone keep minimum tyre pressure on the rear.
The suspensions feedback is good especially the rear suspension, even with a heavy pillion we have seen a good amount of movement & right from the start it was on the softer side. The front USD suspension works in tandems & especially on off-roading they really make the money count. This could have been a good off-road motorcycle if the tyre grips were a bit better.
It is a really fun bike to ride in the city all day long and if you want to enjoy the outskirt of the city then you can take it down the river as well. Given the powerful headlight of this motorcycle night riding shouldn’t be an issue. One of the issues you might feel is the riding seat a bit hard but again as this is not a commuting motorcycle you have to get used to it.
The rear mud guard does little to save the pillion’s back from mud during rainy weather, I think they should have pulled the mud guard more downward instead of adding an extra tyre guard.
KTM Duke 125 Review – PROS
- Build quality & finishing of the bike
- Comfortable ride both in the city & on the highway
- Good cornering ability
- Although single-channel ABS but it works
- Powerful halogen headlight.
KTM Duke 125 Review – CONS
- The top speed is a bit disappointing given the performance figure.
- No ready pickup on this bike.
- As a 125 cc bike, the mileage is low too.
- The price is too high.
- Spare parts & service are hard to find outside Dhaka.
KTM Duke 125 Review – Final Verdict
This bike is for people who want a flavor of a premium naked sports bike but at the same time don’t want something made by Japanese manufacturer. I think the bike would be still better if they did not fit a 150 section rear tyre, that would have made this motorcycle faster, made more efficient and a bit more WILD.