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View Poll Results: Which one should my friend choose?
HONDA CBR250R ABS 47 33.33%
KTM DUKE 200 94 66.67%
Voters: 141. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 25th January 2012, 00:28   #1
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Default Honda CBR250R ABS vs KTM Duke 200. EDIT : The CBR it is!

Given the specs the comparison is inevitable...NO?

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Guys, I have a friend who is in college who is buying his first bike, he is acquainted with gear-less scooters and has ridden the Karizma occasionally...

He was looking out for the CBR250R ABS initially, but the price and risk of biking was a deterrent.

Somehow, he has booked the DUKE but his dad now wants him to go for the CBR250R given the added safety of ABS and Honda being more reliable...

He initially liked the CBR but now has his heart set on the DUKE, His dad however wants him to get the CBR ABS even if the price is around 75-80k higher!

So do you guys have any advice for him? Please mention valid reasons when voting for any of the above bikes.

I have told him to go for the DUKE!

Last edited by Furebo : 25th January 2012 at 00:54. Reason: Adding Pics
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Old 25th January 2012, 00:46   #2
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

It all depends on how experienced a rider your friend is. Remember, the duke is a short geared bike and is lightweight thus I guess it can be a handful if ridden roughly by a new rider. But if he has a few years biking experience then it would be definitely ok.

Either bike can push the limits on Indian roads, hence irrespective of the safety features he needs to be careful. Like the ceat advertisement says, the road is full of idiots.

I would suggest him to go for the duke, since it has a very youthful image, is absolutely VFM and its styling is bold and modern.
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Old 25th January 2012, 00:53   #3
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

IMHO, the CBR and the Duke cater to 2 different segments and cannot be compared. If my priority is touring, I'd go for a CBR. If I would want a pocket rocket, it would be the Duke (mind you, I haven't TD'ed it yet, it's purely based on the bhp per ton ratio). Ask your friend to TD them both and then pick the one he likes or else he will always have, 'why-did-I-not-buy-that' feeling! If I'd be having that moolah, I would have gone for the CBR for the primary reason being that it has ABS.

Last edited by prateekm : 25th January 2012 at 00:57.
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Old 25th January 2012, 01:23   #4
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furebo View Post
Somehow, he has booked the DUKE
Booked the Duke? How? I guess bookings open only by Feb 1 - Is there a backdoor booking facility available??

BTW - Two different categories of bikes are being compared here each one having their own plus but the minus of the Duke is yet to come out.
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Old 25th January 2012, 01:31   #5
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubz View Post
Booked the Duke? How? I guess bookings open only by Feb 1 - Is there a backdoor booking facility available??
What I meant was that he has decided on the same...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubz View Post
BTW - Two different categories of bikes are being compared here each one having their own plus but the minus of the Duke is yet to come out.
Can you elaborate?
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Old 25th January 2012, 01:46   #6
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furebo View Post
What I meant was that he has decided on the same...
That makes me feel better!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Furebo View Post
Can you elaborate?
What I meant was - CBR250 has been out here for a while and we have many folks who own it and know the good's and the bad's of the bike. Secondly its a different category of bike - 250 cc, fully faired, tourer/commuter etc etc

While the Duke is yet to hit the roads, people know of its specs and about its performance only from forums here but do not know what it has in store once out on the roads. Plus add - it is a naked street bike, different riding position, peppy, raw power, commuter first than a tourer etc.

So it depends on what your friend likes. Either way he can use both the bikes for both the purposes with a little effort.

Hope I have not instigated a brand war here.
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Old 25th January 2012, 01:53   #7
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

My advice?

Wait.

The Duke is new. People don't know what it's like. I'm sure N_Aditya or Mason would review it sooner or later, and that should help you in your decision. But being Bajaj, I expect the service-backup to be reasonably good. It's the bike in question that needs a review.

Although they are entirely different bikes, the comparison is inevitable, because it falls in the same price-bracket. And the KTM doesn't have any 'direct' competitors, and neither does the CBR. At least, not for now.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 26th January 2012 at 23:31. Reason: corrected a typo
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Old 25th January 2012, 01:58   #8
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubz View Post

Secondly its a different category of bike - 250 cc, fully faired, tourer/commuter etc etc

Plus add - it is a naked street bike, different riding position, peppy, raw power, commuter first than a tourer etc.

So it depends on what your friend likes. Either way he can use both the bikes for both the purposes with a little effort.

Hope I have not instigated a brand war here.
I agree with everything you said. I would like to add though that KTM 200 would be a good tourer too especially in LEH/Ladakh region owing to its adjustable suspension, off road pedigree, power and upgradeable tank with more fuel capacity. Also, the riding position is more relaxed on ktm so it would be good to tour as it won't cause fatigue. Problem will come when riding with a pillon as it won't be comfortable for pillon over long distance. But that can always be solved with a tea/pee break occasionally.

I am sure many would cross shop ktm with r15, cbr250 for sure. the only thing needed to see is its reliability and availability of spares and how they price the spares since accessories are on higher side.

While the OP hasn't mentioned his friend's likes/dislikes about touring and commuting, i suppose that most of the time it will be used in city, going to college and roaming around. For that KTM 200 will solve its purpose purrrfectly while giving the required looks, savings up front(75k - for fuel and services is huge), performance and personality to match. Since his previous bike didn't have ABS and he is used to power of zma, i don't think he will miss it that much if he is a good rider. But its a boon to have it. Wish KTM had thought about it. YMMV

Last edited by chevelle : 25th January 2012 at 02:01.
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Old 25th January 2012, 09:42   #9
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

At a price difference of 70+ K (the KTM will be approx. 1.3 Lacs OTR in Pune), similar specs or not (as of now just the peak power is the same on paper), these two bikes are not in the same purchase consideration set at all.

You can actually buy another very competent 150+ cc machine in the price difference.

The closest comparison would be with an R15, and the Duke should beat that on most if not all counts.

That said, nothing is actually known of how the Duke would perform in real life conditions yet. I for one would be extremely disappointed if its still as under geared and rev-controlled as it was when the journos got to ride it.

Anything less than a 145-150 kmph top end for this machine with its power to weight advantage would be seriously playing into the hands of the competition.

The small tank is another downer. Yes, after market tanks are provided by KTM worldwide - but they are seriously expensive (market strategy?!!!) and more often than not require a simultaneous change of the seat base as well (further expense).

As an indication, Acerbis, one of the leading global makers of after-market tanks for dual purpose/enduro style bikes, retails their larger capacity tanks for upwards of 400 USD. KTM Power Parts will NOT be cheaper! Then there is the seat .... you get the idea?

But if your friend is a first time biker in college, the KTM is the obvious choice. Less moolah for papa to buy as well as shell out when he drops it. And the looks are something any college kid would drool over (the CBR is butt ugly IMHO).

Last edited by ebonho : 25th January 2012 at 10:00.
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Old 25th January 2012, 10:55   #10
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

I think, like many have already mentioned above, it is an apples to oranges comparison (literally if you compare the color ).

I personally ride a CBR250R and most of the initial glitches in both riding and comfort have all been solved post 2nd service (including replacement of rusting nuts/bolts for free). The CBR is a great touring machine and quite a looker (subjective) if you are seeking faired bikes.

Duke is on the other end of the spectrum being a naked light weight bike (hence more power to weight ratio). The Duke is in the same position CBR was in Jan 2011 (only booking announced with display models) - no one has yet owned or test ridden a Duke. So while you know all the negatives of the Honda already, we are not yet sure of the problems one might face with the KTM.

Another known problem which all saw during CBR launch was the crazy waiting period (IMHO it will be the same for duke in the first 6-9 months). I personally know a list of buyers, who have postponed their CBR or New Pulsar OR R15 buying decisions for the Duke launch, and now owing to the sweet introductory price - they are all queuing up for the bookings. My friend was told a 90 day wait if booked on day 1 of bookings, and it just goes up if you book on days after that. Please remember that even the Ninja650 bookings had to be halted due to higher demand, imagine what this sub 1.4 lakh bike can fetch in terms of potential buyers !

So if your friend wants a faired bike with known glitches on an urgent basis, he should go for CBR. If he wants a naked bike with an unknown waiting period and unknown number of problems (or benefits) - go for the Duke.

For me personally, I already have one CBR250 and plan to buy a Duke as well by early next year (will retain both as I want one faired and one street bike in my repertoire)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Anything less than a 145-150 kmph top end for this machine with its power to weight advantage would be seriously playing into the hands of the competition.
- KTM Duke's speed is limited for the Indian version to 135kmph.

- Power to Weight Ratio is 180nm per KG for Duke, 155nm per KG for CBR, 130nm per KG for R15 v2.0

Last edited by salunkhe.vizz : 25th January 2012 at 11:00.
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Old 25th January 2012, 11:42   #11
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

Two different bikes eyeing two different riders. Personally i would pick up the KTM simply because its a new product in the market and not to miss it looks very attractive. Also i think the CBR specially in red is a hideous looking bike. The black looks much better. Obviously , how the KTM fares will eventually depend upon what the ownership experience of the prospective owners.
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Old 25th January 2012, 11:57   #12
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

Here are my two cents.

The KTM is a street/city bike and can also participate in some off road activities. Our roads are perfect grounds for bikes like these.

That said the CBR is a sports tourer and a mile muncher... a very economical mile muncher.

Buying a bike is only one small part of the story. Maintenance and repairs also needs to be accounted for.

Going by what i have observed the Honda is the clear winner here since the cost of spares is very reasonable. The only grouse is the quality of service from Honda dealers which seems to be improving by the day.

I can safely say that KTM will command a premium when it comes to pricing of their spares and accessories.

In the long run, it will be a LOT cheaper to own, run and maintain the CBR compared to the KTM. The fun factor exists with both these bikes in their own way. IMO, the CBR will deliver better FE than the KTM. I expect the KTM to deliver an FE in the area of 25-28 kmpl on an average.

So if your friend can afford a bike that could be expensive to maintain, then its the KTM or it is the CBR for its one of the best VFM bikes in today's market.
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Old 25th January 2012, 12:18   #13
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

It's a little difficult to comment until we have ridden the KTM. On paper and test reports that it's a great package. What is the intended use of the bike will dictate which to go for, as of now many members have had a taste of CBR's touring capability and it excels at that, in the city the CBR is a handful to ride due to the non existent low end.

Coming to the KTM, we have no idea of the KTM's touring ability. But looking at the package it is safe to say it's would be a great weapon on our city roads. With 25bhp on tap it will not be a slouch on the touring front either. The KTM may not have the advantage on wind protection , but may make up for the lack of it with a more touring friendly riding posture.
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Old 25th January 2012, 12:32   #14
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
I expect the KTM to deliver an FE in the area of 25-28 kmpl on an average.
That was the mileage of my Karizma when i sold her
But on a serious note I would go with the Honda also since you mentioned that your friend does not have enough big bike riding experience and more of gearless scooter, I would be vary of the KTM as aditya mentioned spares might be higher prices than a Honda.

Last edited by Amartya : 26th January 2012 at 02:20. Reason: Minor typo and grammar edits. Cheers.
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Old 25th January 2012, 13:40   #15
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Default Re: CBR250R ABS vs KTM DUKE 200: The better choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by salunkhe.vizz View Post
- KTM Duke's speed is limited for the Indian version to 135kmph.
Do you say this based on what we know of the journo first rides recently, or do you have confirmed information that it would be the same for the commercial production bikes as well?

There are all sorts of rumors doing the rounds of re-gearing, and upping the rev limit to 12000 rpm, with a top end in the region of 145-150 kmph, based on initial disappointed feedback, so needed to ask.
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