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Old 23rd March 2013, 06:53   #1
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Default KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report

REVIEW KTM DUKE AND MUCH MORE


THE MADNESS

I got the Duke on an impulsive mad decision that I made for no good reason I can think of.

One Duke was parked in our building lobby, I loved the naked look of the bike. Maybe that was in my sub conscious mind.

I am no techno geek, never was except for Marine Engines of my Ship. They are 30,000 bhp engines and the design is very simple, largely unchanged for decades.

Motor bikes are different.

Madness and me have gone hand in hand for ages. At age 62 that madness refuses to leave me despite visit to Sai Baba as early as last month.

One day I called up Venkat Shyam, a mentor to many in Motor Biking, and he said DUKE 200 will be the bike for me. Venkat was supported by Deepak Kulkarni, good friend from my Photography Club days. He too has a Duke 200.

All my bikes the Avenger, the 220 and the Duke did well for me. The Avvy took my wife and me to Ladakh flawlessly

COMPARSIONS

At best I can compare this Duke to my earlier bike the Bajaj Pulsar 220, Direct Fuel Injected bike, model 2007, which I still have. Both have similar behavior patterns to a point.

Both bikes have amazing response to the throttle. But the Duke flashes forward much more quickly than the 220. I guess it is a lighter bike than the 220 and has a better power to weight ratio.

In 2007/8, for most buyers of the Pulsar 220, the bike was a technical disaster.
My 220 survived. May be I was riding her like Cinderella’s Glass Carriage. Who knows who cares. I have taken the 220 to max speed of 121 kmph with over heated engine and solid orgasmic vibrations. The ZMA went to 131 without me even realizing it ! Is the Duke the same? It has a car like radiator which I recently noticed.

Of course the 220 console was and is a joke. The Duke’s console has information that helps me a lot. Six gears is a treat. In the 6th gear the Duke cruises nicely at low speeds of 40 kmph. No knocking of the engine. The top speed in the 6th gear is 90 kmph with the limiter set to 5000 rpm.

My 220 has 3 Regn numbers. Doc Arnob Gupta, knows why.

Is the ZMA a better bike than these two hooligans? I have yet to take the Duke beyond 90 kmph as the running in is not yet done. The limiter is still set to 5000 rpm.

THE SABBATICAL FROM MOTOBIKING

For 5 years, age 55 to 59, I was on the saddle of the Avenger and the Pulsar 220 DTFI.
I wanted to buy a Yamaha R15 to race on tracks at Chennai, I was inspired by the Rubber Smokin Angels riders in Pune. That idea was vetoed by the family.

For the next 3 years I quit Motobiking and gave my P-220 to my nephew Anish who was then a College graduate student. He is 6 ft 3 inches tall!

I had finally started to behave my age, like a Grand Father should. I was living a nice retired life, going for morning walks, reading newspapers and spending time on the net. I had a great time playing with my grand daughter Anika.

Anish is now 2 years into a good job and booked a Bullet Classic 350. He returned my bike some 3 weeks ago. Then an idea struck me “Hey I need a new bike too!”

This time I kept the family out side the loop and got the Duke 200.

FIRST OBSERVATION

The first time that I started to take a hard look at the Duke, was after the Bike came home post registration.
To say the least the bike looked STRANGE to me. It looked like a cartoon bike straight from an animated movie delivered to me by FATE.

RIDING THE DUKE

For 2 days, I rode the Duke and steered it like a car. I had forgotten steering and counter steering, weaving and weight shifting. I was scared stiff in traffic. The bike would jerk, fire off like a rocket, engine would cut off because I was lazy with the clutch. I did not know what switch did what. I just stopped riding the Duke.

I remembered the e book Sports Riding Techniques presented to me by an RSA rider, Priyadarshani Bawikar way back 2008.

SWITCHES AND RIDING

I learned that as per the book on a stationary bike. I practiced that with eyes closed.
Once I had control of the switches, I slowly worked on practicing on empty roads early morning 0500 hrs. Weaving and weight shifting, quick change of gears, varying the rpm in all gears, banking, in fact the very BASICS.

Once I had that done, I started to ride in traffic again. I gained confidence and took my wife Medini for a ride. She loved it. I took a picture of her with the Duke.

I renamed the bike “The Duke and Duchess of Wellington” after seeing my wife Medini (the Duchess) and the Duke.

So far I have 300 kms on the Odo. Still have 700 kms to go before the first servicing is done.

With the help of the e book and riding with old friends from BikeNomads and RSA, I know I will be able to ride the Duke competently.

WHAT I LIKE

1. Light bike, easy to maneuver.
2. Throaty grunty noise like my P-220.
3. Very quick off the blocks.
4. The naked looks.
5. The console has just the right information for the rider. Limiter shows up > 5000 rpm.
6. RVM: Very good visibility. Excellent.
7. Very easy to handle in traffic and weave with weight shift.
8. Response in the 2 to 6 gear is quick. The 3rd gear is the power and control gear for me.

WHAT I DO NOT LIKE

1. Hard seats. Modifications not recommended by existing Dukers.
2. Pillion seat is too small.
3. Can this bike be toured? Can it take riding gear? Have to figure that out.
4. I like linear acceleration, like the Karizma. The Duke shoots like a bullet from a shot gun in gears 1 to 3 !

I will have to ride a few thousand kms to add to the above lists

MOTIVATION

Very recently I started teaching at a Nautical University. I have this habit of mixing up my lectures with my photography. Ofcourse most are related to "Life at Sea" and a few to Mobiking.

This mix and match goes well with the Cadets. Often they clap !

They had seen my Duke pics on Facebook and insisted that I ride in the bike to the University.

Now Hadapsar Solapur Road is dangerous for beginner on a new unfamiliar roguish bike. But with dedicated practice over the last few days, I did ride the Duke to the University yesterday (22 March) and in half the time that my Honda City does on that route.

No doubt I rode SAFE

When the Duke arrived the Cadets were waiting with their cell phone cams to shoot the Professor !

I am just posting a few pics of the 3 Bikes I rode. With more rides, I will post many more of the "Duke and Duchess of Wellington".
Attached Thumbnails
KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report-bhp1.jpg  

KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report-bhp-2.jpg  

KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report-bhp3.jpg  

KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report-bhp-1.jpg  

KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report-bhp2.jpg  


Last edited by nanduchitnis : 23rd March 2013 at 13:57.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 08:26   #2
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Default Re: Ktm Duke

Great write up Nandu, Many kms of happy and safe riding on your Duke. I too had a break from mobikes from my Yezdi days since 1986 and now have got back to riding. tried Ninja 250, duke and even a Ducati monster, but for sheer riding pleasure, it is the Duke for me. Waiting for the Duke 390. BTW why did you not wait a few months for the more powerful version?
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Old 23rd March 2013, 10:21   #3
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Inspiring writeup sir!

Once in a rare while I wonder if the time has come to stop riding so much and make the switch to being trapped in a cage (car) full-time. But that would be too boring! Thanks for your writeup, now I know that I will continue biking for ever!

Am also looking for a fun bike that can capture some part of the excitement I had when I got my first bike, way back in college. Some potentially interesting bike launches coming up, and as of now it looks like the Duke 390 it will be.

Ride safe sir and keep riding!
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Old 23rd March 2013, 10:40   #4
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Default Re: Ktm Duke

5 stars for the sheer novelty of your way of writing!

Also a salute to you for taking up something like biking back again at this age, and persevering with it. May we all see another Ladakh travelogue on your Duke.

A small query: You mentioned the top speed in the 6th gear is only 90kmph. I assume this is only during the running in period, right?
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Old 23rd March 2013, 20:07   #5
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Default re: KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report

@ Goan Dude> Duke 390? At age 62 I don't need that kind of Power. I could have even got the Ninja 650, but I know I must ride within MY LIMITS. I can never ride like the RSA and top gear BikeNomads youngsters. The Duke 200 perhaps is more than I can handle.

@Honeybee> Yes the limiter is set at 5000 RPM and does not allow the bike to go beyond 90 kmph in the 6th Gear.
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Old 24th March 2013, 08:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
Inspiring writeup sir!

Thanks for your write up, now I know that I will continue biking for ever!

Am also looking for a fun bike that can capture some part of the excitement I had when I got my first bike, way back in college. Some potentially interesting bike launches coming up, and as of now it looks like the Duke 390 it will be.

Ride safe sir and keep riding!
Yes I do agree with "Continue biking for ever".

Some one said,

"4 wheels moves the body, 2 wheels moves the SOUL!"

Last edited by nanduchitnis : 24th March 2013 at 08:38.
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Old 24th March 2013, 09:54   #7
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Default re: KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report

Great writeup Sir!!!

The Duke200 is a brilliant machine in itself and i'm sure that it'll keep you happy for the years to come!!! I own a Ninja250 and have ridden almost all the bikes below its price range and i've to admit that it was a Duke which made me grin from ear to ear every time i redlined it!!!

PS: I can only hope that by the time i'm at your age,i can still keep the passion fr riding alive,let alone being physically able to own a motorcycle!!!
Respect!!!
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Old 25th March 2013, 06:23   #8
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Default re: KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefire View Post
Great writeup Sir!!!

The Duke200 is a brilliant machine in itself and i'm sure that it'll keep you happy for the years to come!!!

PS: I can only hope that by the time I am at your age,i can still keep the passion for riding alive,let alone being physically able to own a motorcycle!!!
Respect
!!!
Thanks for the compliments. Regarding age, it is just a number, according to my friend Navendu Singh.

Caution: You have to MAD to do what I do !

Last edited by nanduchitnis : 25th March 2013 at 06:39.
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Old 25th March 2013, 11:03   #9
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Default re: KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report

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Originally Posted by nanduchitnis View Post
@Honeybee> Yes the limiter is set at 5000 RPM and does not allow the bike to go beyond 90 kmph in the 6th Gear.
Congrats on the Duke sir. There is no 5000 rpm limiter on your bike. You can take it to redline if you wish. In any gear.
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Old 25th March 2013, 11:05   #10
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Default re: KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Congrats on the Duke sir. There is no 5000 rpm limiter on your bike. You can take it to redline if you wish. In any gear.
But I was told NOT to do so as warning red light comes on. The running in is NOT yet done Doc.
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Old 25th March 2013, 11:16   #11
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Default re: KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report

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But I was told NOT to do so as warning red light comes on. The running in is NOT yet done Doc.
Ya but that warning light does not limit your bike's rpm. Its just a rider programmable signal for you to limit your right wrist. But should you choose not to heed its blinking signal, you will find your engine most eager and able to bounce off the non-rider-programmable redline, where the real limiter does kick in like a spoilsport. Enjoy!

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Old 25th March 2013, 21:49   #12
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Default re: KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Ya but that warning light does not limit your bike's rpm. Its just a rider programmable signal for you to limit your right wrist. But should you choose not to heed its blinking signal, you will find your engine most eager and able to bounce off the non-rider-programmable redline, where the real limiter does kick in like a spoilsport. Enjoy!
So can I go past the red warning light without damaging the engine?
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Old 26th March 2013, 00:23   #13
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Default re: KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report

^^ yes you can go past and I am very much sure it won't damage the engine. As modern engines does not require run in as it used to. But I would suggest you to stick to the run in procedure as mentioned in the user manual. I had tried to keep the bike under 3k rpm for first few hundred Kms and then to 5k till 1000kms, with occasional higher rpms when you just can't resist on a bike like duke
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Old 26th March 2013, 09:29   #14
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Last year , A friend of my mine did 120 kmph on his new duke while he was coming home from the showroom . He didn't bother to go through any run in period and rides like his pants are on fire always . But his bike runs just fine and smooth except he gets an average mileage of 25kmpl and never more than that .
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Old 26th March 2013, 10:24   #15
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Default re: KTM Duke 200 - Initial Ownership Report

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Originally Posted by nanduchitnis View Post
So can I go past the red warning light without damaging the engine?
I cannot answer that question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhilash95 View Post
Last year , A friend of my mine did 120 kmph on his new duke while he was coming home from the showroom . He didn't bother to go through any run in period and rides like his pants are on fire always . But his bike runs just fine and smooth except he gets an average mileage of 25kmpl and never more than that .
That has nothing to do with running in IMHO. In the city if you ride a Duke like your pants are on fire, then 25 kmpl (4.0 L per 100 km) and even less is very normal.

Last edited by ebonho : 26th March 2013 at 10:27.
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