The KTM 125 Duke has caused quite a sensation with its price and specifications. Let’s look at which other bikes you can buy for the baby Duke’s price.
When it was launched in 2012, the KTM 200 Duke offered an amazing list of features and insane performance. To top it all, it retailed at an accessible price tag as well. However, inflation meant that the 200 Duke moved to a higher price bracket, thus leaving the space for an entry-level performance-oriented motorcycle empty. With the launch of the 125 Duke (Rs 1.18 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi), KTM has addressed this gap to a large extent. Except for the engine and a few stickering bits, the 125 shares its underpinnings with the 200 Duke. This should make it an excellent way of experiencing the signature Duke performance without burning a hole in your pocket. But are there bikes in this price range that should merit your attention? Read on to find out.
TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Race Edition 2.0
The Apache RTR 200 4V is one of the most value-for-money bikes that you can buy in India. It is powered by a 198cc air- and oil-cooled engine that churns out 20.5PS in its carburetted form and 21PS in its fuel-injected avatar. Torque output remains the same for both at 18.1Nm. These numbers are significantly better than the 125 Duke and should put the Apache ahead in terms of outright performance. And although the Apache is one of the best handling bikes in India, the 125 Duke is likely to run it close or even out-handle it. However, the Apache does offer a dual-channel ABS variant, while the KTM makes do with single-channel ABS. Prices for the Apache RTR 200 4V range between Rs 97,005 – 1.10 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) depending upon the variant you choose.
Bajaj Pulsar NS 200
The NS 200 represented a radical change of direction for the Pulsar brand back when it was launched in 2012. Qualities that made it popular back then, like sharp street-fighter styling, a rev-happy engine and a generous feature list, continue to be the NS 200’s strong points today. It is powered by a 199.5cc liquid-cooled engine that produces 23.5PS of power and 18.3Nm of torque. While the 125 Duke does offer a longer list of features, the NS 200 should be a better performer. And like the 125 Duke, the NS 200 too gets a 6-speed transmission and single-channel ABS (as an option). Prices for the Bajaj Pulsar NS 200 start at Rs 1 lakh and go up to 1.12 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Yamaha YZF R15S
The R15S continues to soldier on even after the introduction of the R15 V3. Essentially a more comfort-biased version of the now discontinued R15 V2, the R15S is still quite a looker. The bike sports a 149cc SOHC liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that is good for 16.5PS of power and 15Nm of torque. Transmission duties are handled by a 6-speed smooth-shifting unit. The R15S and the 125 Duke are stacked quite closely in terms of engine and transmission. Performance-wise too, both bikes should be similar although you can expect the Duke to be the sharper of the two. However, the Duke smokes the R15S when it comes to features offered and more importantly, ABS. The Yamaha doesn’t even get the life-saving feature as an option. The Yamaha R15S is priced Rs 1.16 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The FZ 25 is the cheapest 250cc motorcycle that you can currently buy in India. The FZ 25’s 249cc engine produces 20.9PS of power and 20Nm of torque. Yamaha’s trademark Blue Core technology enables the FZ 25 to offer a claimed mileage figure of 43 kmpl, which is excellent for a quarter-litre motorcycle. The FZ 25 is a strong performer with an excellent mid-range that makes it perfect for city runabouts and short highway bursts. The 125 Duke, on the other hand, is expected to offer better highway performance owing to its 6-speed gearbox and rev-happy motor. Feature-wise too, the Duke steals a march over the FZ 25. While it doesn’t offer ABS as of now (even as an option), Yamaha is expected to launch an updated version in keeping with the change in government regulations. The Yamaha FZ 25 is priced Rs 1.19 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Royal Enfield Bullet 350
The oldest bike from Royal Enfield’s range to be still in production, the Bullet 350 is the least feature-packed of the motorcycles featured here. It is powered by a 346cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine that pushes out 20.07PS of power and 28Nm of torque. As with most Royal Enfields, most of that torque is usable early in the rev range. Compared to the 125 Duke, there is very little to speak of when it comes to the Bullet 350’s feature list. For instance, it even misses out on disc brakes and gets drum brakes at both ends, which is an anomaly in this day and age. However, what the Bullet does offer is oodles of old-world charm that none of the other bikes listed here can match. If that sounds like a deal-winner to you, the Royal Enfield Bullet 350 can be yours for Rs 1.16 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).