KTM 200 Duke Review: First Ride

By Jared Solomon | on March 8, 2020

It took KTM eight years to give its best-selling model the update that it deserves!

When KTM came to India, it caused an upheaval of sorts in the Indian two-wheeler market. And why not? It offered products that were never before seen in the Indian market and made, for the first time ever, high-performance motorcycles accessible and affordable. So, in just a few years, KTM acquired cult status here. 

The popularity of KTM can simply be understood by the fact that, even in the current state of our economy, KTM is selling its products in decent numbers. Over the years, KTM has broadened its product line-up, which includes the RC line-up, the Dukes, including the 790, and now the 390 Adventure. 

Its best-selling motorcycle, however, is the Duke 200. But, wait, what’s interesting, or rather puzzling, is that this bike was never updated since it was launched in 2012. But, now, the entire range has been upgraded to be BS-VI compliant, and, finally, the 200 Duke has been given the update that it needed. So, we spent some time with the 200 and the 390 Dukes at the Bajaj test facility in Chakan, and here’s what we found out.

Ktm 200 Duke Rear

200 Duke
The KTM bestseller has been completely revamped! The entire bike is now different, and it now follows the design philosophy of the bigger 250 and 390 Dukes. Taking its inspiration from the Super Duke, the 200 is now sharper around the edges and gets a new headlight & a bigger fuel tank with a 13.5-litre capacity – all these changes make the bike look a bit bigger than before.

It now has a lightweight split trellis frame, and the suspension travel of the WP forks have been increased by 2mm, which has improved the bike’s performance in the city. It now also gets dual-channel ABS. 

Light as a feather, the 200 Duke is incredibly nimble. Anyone looking to experience true sportiness on a small, affordable motorcycle need not look anywhere else! The 200’s handling is the most enjoyable in the segment. What’s more, it’s a wonderful engine and offers the highest power figures in the segment – 25bhp and 19Nm of torque. 

The bike’s acceleration is very fast, which is also aided by the throttle response. However, the engine doesn’t feel very refined, but, frankly, you won’t really have time to notice any of that because you’d be too busy having so much fun throwing it around corners. 

Ktm 200 Duke Headlamp

The new dual channel ABS works fine, but I did encounter an error message on the dash and the ABS was disabled for a while – I must have been braking to hard too many times. But it started working again after I gave the bike a little rest. The 200 is still the most enjoyable to ride in the segment, and the good news is that it looks better than before. The new price tag is still justified, for the simple reason that there’s nothing else like it in the market. 

Ktm 200 Duke Front View

390 Duke
Nothing has changed here! The Duke 390 is still one of the best motorcycles you can buy in India. The riding experience of the 390 is still superb. And now it even comes with a quick shifter, which really makes a world of a difference if you like to ride aggressively or if you have access to a track. It certainly adds extra sportiness to the already sporty 390 Duke. 

There are no other changes, except for new graphics and some new colour options on all the models. Still, in terms of performance, looks, and accessibility, the Duke models are still the ultimate motorcycles in India in their respective segments.  


New Ktm 390 Duke Specs

There are no major changes in the 2020 390 Duke, but it does get new colours and a quick shifter.

  • KTM 200 Duke
  • KTM 390 Duke

Engine: 199cc / Single-cylinder

Transmission: 6-Speed MT

Power: 25bhp @ 9000rpm

Torque: 19.3Nm @ 7000rpm

Price: ₹1.73 Lakh (Ex-showroom)

X-factor: Simply the best entry-level sports bike below 250cc.

Pros           
• Engine
• Handling
Cons
• Expensive
• Cramped riding position

Engine: 373cc / Single-cylinder / DOHC

Transmission: 6-speed MT

Power: 43bhp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 37Nm @ 7,000rpm

Price: ₹2.53 Lakh (Ex-showroom)

Also read - KTM 390 Adventure Review

KTM 390 Adventure: Expectation vs Reality

Tags: KTM 200 Duke KTM 390 Duke KTM

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