Here’s how Yamaha’s latest baby retro stacks up against the most affordable Duke
Yamaha has delighted rookie riders in the European Union with the unveiling of the Yamaha XSR125. The motorcycle goes up directly against the KTM 125 Duke, so we couldn’t help but wonder how the two motorcycles perform, specification-wise. Let’s find out.
As you can see, both the Yamaha XSR125 and the KTM 125 Duke have identical power figures. However, when it comes to torque output, the KTM 125 Duke is slightly superior, which should theoretically help in better acceleration.
Having said that, the peppiness of the engine also depends on the weight of the motorcycle, and this is where the Yamaha shines. Its wet weight (including a full tank of fuel and engine oil) is just 1kg more than the dry weight (without fuel and oil) of the KTM 125 Duke. So, despite the slight deficiency of torque, the XSR125 may be a little more sprightly on the road thanks to its superior power-to-weight ratio. The Japanese bike also features Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) technology, which helps offer a balance of good low-end grunt and top-end drive. It is also more fuel efficient than the KTM, with a claimed mileage of 47.6kmpl against KTM 125 Duke’s 41.3kmpl.
The KTM 125 Duke comes with a slightly more advanced open-cartridge inverted front fork from WP, as opposed to the traditional inverted unit in the Yamaha XSR125. The 125 Duke also gets bigger brakes at both ends, and up front, it comes with a radial caliper, unlike the axial unit in the XSR 125. These should help in enhancing stopping power as well as brake feel.
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The fatter rear tyre in the KTM 125 Duke should help in cornering better, but this would also have a negative impact on the mileage. As the weight of the wheel increases, the engine has to exert a little more to get the bike rolling.
Dimensions And Features
The KTM 125 Duke’s greater ground clearance should help in going over bad roads unscathed. That said, it gets proper road-biased rubber, unlike the mild-offroad-friendly block-pattern units in the XSR125. Shorter riders will have to be wary of the fact that both bikes have fairly tall seats, over 800mm.
While the KTM 125 Duke gets an all-LED lighting system, the Yamaha XSR125 gets LED only for the headlamp and tail lamp. The stock bulb indicators can be replaced with LED ones as optional accessories, though. The two bikes get a full-LCD instrument cluster that shows all the necessary information, along with gear position and real-time mileage. And for optimal safety, they also get dual-channel ABS as standard.
Price & Verdict
Yamaha says deliveries will begin in Europe in the first week of June, so expect the Japanese brand to announce the prices soon. On the other hand, the KTM 125 Duke retails an equivalent of Rs 4.66 lakh, which is just around Rs 62,000 less than the KTM 390 Duke. If you’re looking for a tasteful-looking neo-retro to learn the basics of motorcycle riding, the Yamaha XSR125 is a great choice.
The KTM 125 Duke is a good option for those who prefer a performance-oriented hooligan. KTM already sells the 125 Duke in India at Rs 1,60,319 (ex-showroom Delhi), whereas Yamaha is unlikely to launch the XSR125 here. Instead, the Japanese brand is all set to launch the Yamaha FZ-X, which is based on the popular Yamaha FZ-FI platform. You can read all about it here.