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Old 6th March 2012, 16:43   #76
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

Since Praveen wanted to stay back in Goa one more night to attend to something of import, we were undecided as to when we should head back to Pune. The attractions of Goa were pulling in one direction, the party planned in Pune was pulling in the other. Finally we made a compromise and decided to ride as far as possible late night on Friday after wrapping things up, ride till we could, find a place to crash, and ride back to Pune the remainder of the way the next morning.

So we start off around 10:30 from Anjuna where we were shacked up, bid adieu to Goa one more year, and race out towards Sawantwadi. We make good time and soon we are climbing Amboli. Some chai and tp later we are off again. The Duke and the Bull dicing with each other up the twisties. In all this fun we lose the plot and take a wrong road somewhere where we find ourselves heading towards Sankeshwar instead of Nippani which is shorter and more direct.

Find a cut off somewhere, take it, find a car doing the right speed, and attach ourselves in convoy on its tail for the next 60 odd kms. It is bitterly cold - funny for March, but apparently the locals tell us that the last two days the weather has suddenly changed. Well .... it is 2012, and the end of the world is near. So we might as well ride while it all lasts, and so we do.

We hit NH4 and for the umpteenth time our man has neglected his fuel indicator bars, and it is all white, and soon he pulls alongside pointing down to his tank. Some way back we have stopped for a nice late dinner of chicken thali and an oil top up for Doppie as well.

It is is really cold, it is late, there is no pump in sight, forget premium fuel. We gingerly move on and reach Kolhapur. There under a flyover bypass there are two pumps, one on each side. Both have only normal fuel. We tank up both bikes at the better/bigger/more lighted looking one. The KTM gets its first dose of many more to come of standard aam junta petrol.

Fingers crossed, we move on. Praveen is feeling sleepy. A truck slowed down in the right lane causes him to miscalculate the approach speed/distance. We decide to call it a night. We turn back towards Kolhapur and find a room on the bypass. Park the bikes, unload Doppie, go up to the room, rehydrate ourselves, and crash out.

To be contd. ....

Last edited by ebonho : 6th March 2012 at 16:58.
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Old 6th March 2012, 18:10   #77
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

Morning comes, breakfast, bikes loaded and warmed up, we move off. Praveen does a few fly pasts to test post service top end. Bike feels more peppy, sounds nice, but the top end is stuck at 135-136. Oh well. Maybe a bigger rear sprocket is what he feels contrary to poplar opinion here. Maybe even a power commander somewhere down the line if we keep this one to go with the 350 and don't swap this one and get two 350s a year down the line. A straight through exhaust, slightly wider stickier rear tyre, tank grips and pad, and a throttle with a bigger 90 degree pulley, are all on his wish list. Better lights and horn are on mine, a smaller rear sprocket eventually, with maybe the KTM bark busters thrown in as well.

We take the Wai turnoff to Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar and test the bikes as well as our hanging off poser attempts on Pasarni. Some strawberries and cream, lunch and chilled masala cola later we are heading down back to Pune. We wash up on reaching home and unload. Head to coffee house for some refreshment and to jot down our notes for the evening meeting organized by Bajaj. The pluses way outweigh what we do not see as minuses but more as areas of improvement for what is already a great product.

The big pluses -

1) The engine - which we could not break.

2) The chassis - which we could not break.

3) The brakes - which took all we threw at them at any speed, any terrain.

Bottom line, as grudgingly admitted by praveen to the assembled team of foster fathers swarming all over Baby Duke 222 taking photos - we tried to break her, but she did not.

The little bike with the big heart has left us seriously impressed.

KITNA DETI HAI - No matter how we thrashed her, tankful to tankful (2 consecutive tankfuls on the way back - one with premium fuel and one normal fuel) she returned mileage figures of 34 (the computer showed 37 at the pump at standstill) and 33 (the computer actually showed 32 at the pump at standstill.

As a comparison, in the first 250 odd kms, at speeds of around 100 max, the computer was regularly showing values of 39-41 kmpl. I must admit I have never seen the fancy 50+ figures being reported by others.

These are real values calculated by distance covered from last tankful to this tankful (brim to brim) divided by amount of fuel going in to bring level back to brim. First tankful was ghats and back-roads nighttime, second tankful was NH4 daytime.

The distance covered when you really push it in terms of stretching the tank (like Praveen did) is around 276-284 kms, which I would say is the pushing-it tank range.

A picture of the Bajaj team (Service, R&D, QA, Engineering) who listened closely to what we had to say, kindly felicitated us with flowers, and who left impressed and happy and who left us impressed as well. The meeting was one of bike enthusiasts who understand bikes, and not of customers and corporate honchos. The mood and tone was open, free, honest, and positive, and that is what one really enjoys.

Mr. Pingle who was heading the show and yet a most affable and easy going guy, Mr. Rahul Havaldar from Service who was taking things in quietly and efficiently, Mr. Ravikumar from QA whose eyes missed nothing (QA guys are always the most popular in most companies, followed closely by HR! ), young turks Praveen and Praveen from R&D who had keen minds and who missed nothing, and Mr. Brijesh Pandey who has been tirelessly organizing and laising for us throughout on all technical as well as organizational/logistical issues.

Thank you all! -

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Last edited by ebonho : 6th March 2012 at 18:39.
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Old 6th March 2012, 18:36   #78
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

@ebonho - let me join the party late to congratulate you on your new acquisition. I recently test rode the bike and loved the acceleration. Only problem was the size of the rear brake lever and shift lever, but I am sure one will get accustomed with them over time. I rode the Ninja 250 and Duke side by side and found the acceleration on the duke to be more exhilerating. Wish you many many miles of happiness.
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Old 7th March 2012, 06:53   #79
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

Today I saw a friends Duke up close for the first time and I noticed something that even superbikes don't come with. Steel braided brake lines!! Its funny that none of the owners have noticed that yet, including my friend until I showed him.
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Old 7th March 2012, 07:29   #80
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

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Today I saw a friends Duke up close for the first time and I noticed something that even superbikes don't come with. Steel braided brake lines!! Its funny that none of the owners have noticed that yet, including my friend until I showed him.
ermmm the pulsar 220f has been coming with it since more than 2 years. Strangely, only the rear brake line on a RTR180ABS is steel braided.
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Old 7th March 2012, 10:03   #81
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

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Today I saw a friends Duke up close for the first time and I noticed something that even superbikes don't come with. Steel braided brake lines!! Its funny that none of the owners have noticed that yet, including my friend until I showed him.
Bro all owners, prospective owners, competitor owners, as well as other bike owners wanting to upgrade their own lines have known of this before anyone actually saw the bike in the flesh.
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Old 7th March 2012, 10:46   #82
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

First of all,my heartiest congratulations to you sir.It is a cracker of a machine!Hope you keep this thread alive with timely updates.

I am in a great dilemma and wish to seek your opinion.I currently own a ZMR and i do a lot of highway riding over the weekends with minimal trips around the city.The ZMR is tailor made for me but i wish to upgrade now.The obvious choice would be and i agree,the CBR (Well,a Ninja250 would have been the ideal and an obvious choice if i had the finances!!).But this KTM thingy has been bothering me with its style,madness and the "ready to race" attitude so much that i'm not able to decide between the two!!!Head says CBR but my heart's set on the KTM!!

Could you please elaborate on its highway characteristics as to how practical a buy it is,over the CBR along with the fact that this will be the first bike of my dream garage???
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Old 7th March 2012, 11:36   #83
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

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Originally Posted by Porschefire View Post
First of all,my heartiest congratulations to you sir.It is a cracker of a machine!Hope you keep this thread alive with timely updates.

I am in a great dilemma and wish to seek your opinion.I currently own a ZMR and i do a lot of highway riding over the weekends with minimal trips around the city.The ZMR is tailor made for me but i wish to upgrade now.The obvious choice would be and i agree,the CBR (Well,a Ninja250 would have been the ideal and an obvious choice if i had the finances!!).But this KTM thingy has been bothering me with its style,madness and the "ready to race" attitude so much that i'm not able to decide between the two!!!Head says CBR but my heart's set on the KTM!!

Could you please elaborate on its highway characteristics as to how practical a buy it is,over the CBR along with the fact that this will be the first bike of my dream garage???
Thanks buddy. And yes, I do intend to make this "the" definitive KTM thread as time and the bike develops, though I am sure there will be many more as well as the bikes start hitting our roads and orange flows in the streets.

When it comes to bikes, for me, it is ALWAYS heart over head. Listening to the head is always like trying to rationalize something that goes against the inner fiber of your being. Praveen coined a nice term for it, one of the take-homes of this trip - its called "attributional bias."

Ride both and buy the one you are drawn to. Simple.

Its not as fast as the CBR. Maybe not as frugal as well. I have not ridden the CBR so I cannot really comment on it as a machine, the fun factor, dynamics, performance, etc. in comparison to the KTM. The CBR has too much plastic for my taste. The CBR also does not appeal to me aesthetically. The CBR is also half a lac more on road.

But if in spite of all of the above, if you still like the CBR more, then the CBR is what you should buy.
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Old 7th March 2012, 13:07   #84
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

Congratulations! not just for the bike but for the best real world bike thread on TBHP.

I started reading and got engaged. I a bike enthusiast as well and you bikes ignite the fire that my wife douses real quick. "Lets relocate to US and then you can bike around to your heart's content" she says. I am not willing to relocate but a bike will come sooner or later.

Cheers!
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Old 7th March 2012, 13:56   #85
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

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When it comes to bikes, for me, it is ALWAYS heart over head. Listening to the head is always like trying to rationalize something that goes against the inner fiber of your being. Praveen coined a nice term for it, one of the take-homes of this trip - its called "attributional bias."
Ride both and buy the one you are drawn to. Simple.
Its not as fast as the CBR. Maybe not as frugal as well. I have not ridden the CBR so I cannot really comment on it as a machine, the fun factor, dynamics, performance, etc. in comparison to the KTM. The CBR has too much plastic for my taste. The CBR also does not appeal to me aesthetically. The CBR is also half a lac more on road.
But if in spite of all of the above, if you still like the CBR more, then the CBR is what you should buy.
"Attributional Bias" is what it is!!!!So delicately put!!!

I actually have ridden both the bikes.Well in the case of Duke,it was in the city for a couple of Kms.I had my friend's CBR with me for a couple of days and i was impressed with the rideability.On the highway,it was a sheer bliss as it revved freely and could hover around 120-130kmph the whole time!!

But as you rightly said,even i'm not sure if that is the bike that i want to own!!!It does everything right but lacks a bit in the character.

I just want to know if the KTM is liveable on the highway with its upward seating position,lack of a fairing and its rather not too large dimensions.I do not mind the the top speed nor the mileage figures of 25-35!!!

To sum up my question,
Is it practical and fun on the highways aswell???
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Old 7th March 2012, 14:17   #86
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

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"Attributional Bias" is what it is!!!!So delicately put!!!
Copyright belongs to my friend ..... am merely the messenger!

Quote:
I actually have ridden both the bikes.Well in the case of Duke,it was in the city for a couple of Kms.I had my friend's CBR with me for a couple of days and i was impressed with the rideability.On the highway,it was a sheer bliss as it revved freely and could hover around 120-130kmph the whole time!!
The baby can keep 120-125 all day as well, with blips to 135 thrown in whenever you want. With very little fuss, and not much road. But she stops there.

We Indians do have a "top speed" fixation, which as per Praveen is only a number. What's more important is how the bike gets there and what it does within that envelope. Just giving you the perspective of someone who regularly rides much bigger bikes on much better roads with much better traffic. Me? I'd like another 10 kmph more, thank you very much!

Quote:
I just want to know if the KTM is liveable on the highway with its upward seating position,lack of a fairing and its rather not too large dimensions.I do not mind the the top speed nor the mileage figures of 25-35!!!

To sum up my question,
Is it practical and fun on the highways aswell???
The mileage is 33-34 ridden very hard. The onboard computer is very accurate. The mileage should improve further as the bike beds in. Maybe fully synthetic at the next change will help as well. Either way, 30+ for this bike exceeds my expectations, so wanting more is just being greedy.

Where I have a gripe touring-wise is the small tank and luggage carrying ability. A 15-16 liter tank would have been perfect. I don't think that should have been much of an issue underneath the big outer plastic tank cowl. One also needs a simple easy detachable fix for mounting saddlebags or anchoring bungees.

Feedback on both of the above has been passed forward to the team and I have been assured that each and every point made by us during the debrief has been routed to the correct people internally and will be worked upon.

The riding position upright-wise and lack of wind protection is not something new to me or something I miss. I am a Bullet rider. And this bike is set up stiffer and handles and stops at speed much better.

The legs placed backwards is the only thing I have yet to get used to - for long distances as well as cornering lean dynamics. Leaning forward slightly helps. Doing that for longer distances would need better core strength than what I currently have though.

NOTE for BAJAJ: If you ask me personally, and I hope Bajaj are reading this and will help out, the first and most important step to making this bike "highway liveable" is to provide 4 bungee anchoring points on the bikes - 2 on each side (2 front and 2 to the rear right and left). These can then be used to octopus a duffle bag to rear seat or cinch and secure saddlebags with their anchoring straps as well.

This would make the bike highway livable for 90% of riders and 90% of Indian touring terrain.

Last edited by ebonho : 7th March 2012 at 14:26.
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Old 7th March 2012, 16:24   #87
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

When they can have so called KTM power parts , they should also have touring parts .

Need 3 of them to fix touring part .

1.Is a decent fairing .
2.18 liter optional tank in swap of the stock one(which is already available in there list) , difference amount can be paid .
3.A wider and longer pillion seat and option to put saddle bags without scratching the rear panels.
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Old 7th March 2012, 22:34   #88
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

Need your advice doc. Could you please let me know how far can I ride non-stop if I take the Duke on a long ride, during run in? Is there any excessive heating over long distances or anything of the sorts? I think I won't go past the 7k mark. I will try not to
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Old 8th March 2012, 00:14   #89
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
One also needs a simple easy detachable fix for mounting saddlebags or anchoring bungees.

Feedback on both of the above has been passed forward to the team and I have been assured that each and every point made by us during the debrief has been routed to the correct people internally and will be worked upon.

......

NOTE for BAJAJ: If you ask me personally, and I hope Bajaj are reading this and will help out, the first and most important step to making this bike "highway liveable" is to provide 4 bungee anchoring points on the bikes - 2 on each side (2 front and 2 to the rear right and left). These can then be used to octopus a duffle bag to rear seat or cinch and secure saddlebags with their anchoring straps as well.

This would make the bike highway livable for 90% of riders and 90% of Indian touring terrain.
Excuse me for going offtopic, but I just couldn't resist.
Impulse has a flat rear seat cum loading platform with screw provision to fix a luggage box. Alternatively, it also has 2 bungee points on each of the pillion foot rests and about 2 notches( anchor points) on each of the grab rails (which are flat and wide too). I don't think it can get any better in lower priced bikes. I wonder if this kind of design would ever materialize if the bike is fully designed in India. Full marks to a well thought of Honda design. No, am not a Honda fan boy, but I respect their capabilities.
On the flip side, the bike lacks the grunt to eat highway miles.

Had they put in their 225 cc mill, the bike would have been a superb touring machine for our roads, I bet.


We have handling, power and comfort in baby duke but its rear is chopped off (for aesthetic purpose I think, what else could it be for). I bought my impulse just one day after the launch of duke, after carefully going about the design and my requirements. Undoubtedly, the duke is a fun machine, with adequate power, charisma and build for our roads. But my personal opinion is, it is still a city street fighter or short weekend getaway bike. Nope, not designed to be a tourer.
Since, lots of research might already have gone into its design, I would be shaken and stirred if "each and every point that is routed to the correct people will actually be worked on, atleast in next two years." I would not be surprised if all this feedback collection is to improve tits and bits on the 'duke look-a-like' pulsar 200NS.

Last edited by deetee : 8th March 2012 at 00:15.
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Old 8th March 2012, 19:54   #90
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Default Re: KTM Duke 200 : Baby Duke 222 unites with her new family!

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Need your advice doc. Could you please let me know how far can I ride non-stop if I take the Duke on a long ride, during run in? Is there any excessive heating over long distances or anything of the sorts? I think I won't go past the 7k mark. I will try not to
I dont think the bike heats up on the open highway. The toasty butt syndrome is more in city traffic. The bike pulls as strong at 3 pm (peak heat) as it does at 4 am (peak cold). How many kms have you logged on your bike by now?
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