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Old 15th March 2015, 18:29   #1
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Default Review: KTM Duke 200

Background

I am 5’5” tall and weigh 57 kilos. As mentioned in the thread title I am 33 years old and never owned a motorcycle. And never rode one properly. My two younger brothers both owned a Hero Honda Karizma ZMA which I ride occasionally for small errands in less than 1 km destinations. That too, when I was a lot younger. I somehow didn’t feel the love I had for cars for these bikes. I find it cumbersome and tiring to ride, park and manoeuvre these heavy machines.

The Apprehension

I am an Orthopaedic Surgeon by profession. And I have seen my share of broken bones and fixed a good number of them in the operation theatres. And I used to think I will never ride these heavy machines. I somehow hated 2 wheelers after seeing so many broken bones due to Road Traffic Accidents. And I will say, more than 70% of these Road Traffic Accident victims are on 2 wheelers.

The Itch

My initial work place was hardly 4 kilometres from my home which I used to commute daily in a car, the 2011 Ford Fiesta Classic Sxi. I got shifted in another hospital which is 20 kms from my home. Daily commute on a car incurs heavy expense on the fuel bills. Plus the long drives on our curveous hilly roads somehow give me motion sickness at times. Not to mention the long traffic jams while returning from work. The itch for an alternative mode of transport started to crept in before I knew. My mind was confused. I hated 2 wheelers, but practicality tells me I need to get one. Plus the non availability of Ford dealership and After Sales Service Centre at my place(Aizawl, Mizoram) somehow make it difficult to used my car without the fear of a mishap. Because I have to procure spare parts from either Kolkata or Delhi through acquaintances there. If you undergo through my ownership report on my car, you will know what I mean.

The Inspiration

While my mind was still undecided on whether to buy a bike or not, I came across the thread on CS Santosh and he being the first Indian to participate in Dakar Rally on this very website. And the video of Powerdrift Specials on CS Santosh on the very same thread. The video was inspirational and somehow emotional. I am almost decided on getting a bike after seeing this video.

The Decision

During this whole time I used to casually ride just a few metres in the parking lot on my brothers’ bike(the Karizmas), my friend’s bike(Yamaha FZ S) and my brother-in-law’s bike(KTM Duke 200). All these bikes are very good bikes in their own rights, but somehow the KTM Duke 200 impressed me the most. I think it is the ease with which even a beginner can ride without stalling the engine(torquey engine), the light weight and the short dimension(total length) of the bike which makes me feel at home with the bike, given my short and lean stature. And after much research I found out it is one of the lightest bike in the category or even below (smaller capacity engines). I decided if ever I am going to buy a bike, it is going to be the KTM Duke 200. My brother-in-law’s bike was a black colour with decals stripped off and I thought I will also get a black one and stripped off the decals on the day of purchase.

The Motivation

After deciding on buying the bike, I went through a lot of ownership report on both the KTMs- the 200 and the 390. Most of them are all praise about the bike, although there are some displeased owners too. sriramv.iyer’s ownership report on KTM Duke 390 and KTM RC 390 was informative. So is Added-flavour’s ownership report of KTM Duke 390, ebonho’s ownership report of KTM Duke 200, theexperthand’s ownership report of KTM Duke 200. But what motivated me the most was nanduchitnis’ ownership report of KTM Duke 200. Especially his ‘My Ride with The Dukes of Pune’ and his blog on The Bajaj Avenger(the whole unexplainable thrilling experience of biking). And seeing abhayshanu’s post made me change my decision on the colour of the bike from all black to black and white combination. And the youtube videos on KTM 200 Review by Power to the Rider, Duke 200 vs Pulsar NS by PowerDrift and the KTM 390 Review by PowerDrift contributed too in my buying decision.

The Purchase:

Delearship: Standard Motor Works, Zarkawt, Aizawl, Mizoram.
Model: KTM Duke 200.
Colour: Black and White.
VIN:VBKJUC4K3FCO31545.
Engine no: 590607488.
Payment: 100% cash down payment.
Price Breakdown: Ex showroom- Rs. 1,47,420/-,
Insurance (Oriental Insurance)- Rs. 3240/-,
Road Tax(Lifetime)- Rs. 3000/-,
Issue of New Registration mark- Rs.60/-,
Smart card fee- Rs. 200/-,
New Registration fee- Rs.95/-,
High Security Number Plate- Rs.668/-.
Total- Rs.1,54,683/-.

The bike

As fellow BHPian nanduchitnis put it, the bike looked STRANGE. “It looked like a cartoon bike straight out of an animated movie”. The naked bike looks with the sculpted tank, the meaty upside down front suspension forks, the white coloured rear monoshock, the raised handle bars, the raised rear mud guards, the sporting decals on the tank and the tail, the exposed steel Trellis frame, the underbelly exhaust, the LED tail lights, the meaty tyres, the all black alloy wheels and the steel braided brake lines with their massive disc brakes all contribute to the looks of the bike. If you don’t love the looks, at least you will be amused by it. It might as well looked STRANGE to you.

The Ride

It’s been just 1 month since I bought the bike. The odometer reading shows 878 kms. 5 kms was the initial reading when I bought the bike.

What I like

Powerful engine: The KTM Duke 200 has a single cylinder, liquid cooled 4 stroke engine. Thumb the starter and you will be greeted with a low pitched purr of the engine, which gets throaty when rev the accelerator harder. Contrast to many report, the clutch didn't feel that hard, slot in first gear, the bike pulls easily from any position, be it a straight levelled road, or an uphill climb. As mentioned in many reviews, the bike pulls hard in every gear with ease. Both my younger brothers complained the bike pulls too hard even after downshifting when attacking corners. They thought this could be dangerous for a beginner like me. I have no problems so far, though.

Performance: Mad, mad acceleration. Especially on straights. The bike always seems to beg for more, begging you to rev the accelerator harder. I haven't reached the triple digit on the speed o meter. But the way it accelerates from 3rd gear to 5th is fast. As they said, the 6th gear is great for cruising. If you want to keep the engine boiling, 3rd, 4th and 5th gears are the one you are going to use often. The short gear ratio, the strong pick up, slick gear box and the powerful engine all contribute to good performance. Even for a novice like me. But it is always good to maintain speed at which one can gain control of braking.

Braking: The 280 mm disc brake at the front and the 230 mm disc brake at the rear from Bybre are confidence inspiring. I have experienced emergency braking on 2 separate occasions. I did get the rear wheel locked and let the tail sway out a bit.. This could be due to my inexperience in riding a 2 wheeler. Due to the habit of emergency hard braking with the foot in a car, it is difficult to apply the ideal braking technique in bike, where one apply both the front and the rear brakes simultaneously. I have improved a lot over the past many days though.

Easy maneuverability : The short dimension(total length), light weight(in comparison to bikes of the same category), taut suspension set up, meaty tyres and the balanced chassis of the bike makes it very easy to push the bike around while parking, and also riding slowly in congested traffic even for a beginner like me. These very same features make the bike feel very stable even at high speeds, both in straights as well as in corners.
Combination Instrument display: Lots of information on the combination instrument display.
Fit and finish: I used to clean the bike myself. On running my hands through all the crevices and corners of the bike, I love the build, the fit and the finish of the bike. The bike seemed to last many years.

What I don’t like but can live with it

Exhaust sound: The exhaust sound sounds like that of a scooty, to say the least. But I am no fan of loud exhaust. I hate loud exhaust with no performance to complement it. So, the scooty sounding exhaust of the Duke is not a deal breaker for me.

Hard seats: The seat is hard. I already knew that after reading so many reviews. I have ridden more than 800 kms in the last month. And my daily ride is 40 kms+. The seat is hard, but I can live with it.

Issues with some owners but I can live with them

The rear view mirrors: I have read some owners complaining about them, too small and mounted too low/ too high. I have no issues with them at all. I am using them just fine.

The chain sound: I knew this too before buying. The open chain is going to get dry fast and all you need is a good chain lubrication every once in a while. That’s what the service center personnel were telling me. And I did just that. One chain lubrication and adjustment in 878 kms.

The engine heat& the radiator fan sound: We live in a tropical region, so our automobiles are going to get heated up faster than those who live in the temperate regions. I have experienced the engine heat every once in a while, mostly while going in a bumper to bumper traffic which last for more than 15 minutes. The radiator fan will start automatically to cool the engine down. This can be irritating at times. But I can still live with it.

Vibrations: I have read somewhere someone complaining of engine vibrations at high speed. I somehow, failed to notice that so far. May be I have not reached the speed in which vibrations start to occur. I noticed some sort of vibration, chain sound and quirky gearshift. These complaints all vanished when I get the chain slackness adjusted and get the chain lubrication done.

What I wish for

The gearshift lever and rear brake lever: I wish they were a bit longer and a bit wider. In emergency braking, it is difficult to step immediately on them due to their small sizes. On first free service at 1000 kms, I am planning to put some add ons, provided it is available at the dealership.
The foot pegs: The foot pegs are located a little bit behind the usual position as in other bikes. This position may be good for track racing, but I tend to get mild ache in the knee after 20 minutes of hard riding. I wish they position the foot pegs a little ahead.

The coolant reservoir cap: The coolant reservoir cap is plastic and not air tight sealed. On riding the bike in rough patches, minimal amount of coolant reservoir spilled at times. I wish the cap is a bit more air tight than this.

Bigger fuel tank : The fuel tank capacity is 10.5 Litres. The low fuel warning lamp lighted up when the fuel reaches the fuel reserve, which is 1.5/2 Litres. So effectively, I am using about 8/9 Litres every tankful before the low fuel warning lamp lighted up. I wish the fuel tank is a bit bigger.

Accessories and add ons

Front mud flaps: I have ridden the bike in the rain once. Mud and slush was splashing all over the radiator. I got the mud flaps fitted on the front mud guard. Hope this helps to some extent in the coming monsoon.

THE ULTIMATE AVERAGE KITNA DETI HEIN QUESTION?

Mileage: My average daily ride is 40 kms+. Of which 30 kms is highway ride and 10 kms+ is city traffic. The average real time mileage indicator usually gives around 41 kms/Litre to 46 kms/Litre on the combination instrument display. But on calculating from tankful to tankful, the average mileage is about 36 kms/Litre.

REQUEST FOR MODERATORS ON TEAM BHP

While browsing through a lot of ownership report on this website, I was searching for team-bhp’s official review on the bike. I didn’t find one. There are very few official reviews on any bike. Kawasaki Ninja 650R & Harley Davidson Street 750, to name a few. Being a 2011 Ford Fiesta Classic SXi owner, I must mention very few cars (especially the sub-Rs.10 lakhs car) of today interest me. So why not start a few official bike review on team- bhp?

Last edited by GTO : 23rd March 2015 at 16:25. Reason: Spacing :)
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Old 15th March 2015, 19:09   #2
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Default re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Let me take the opportunity to congratulate you! You picked a terrific bike!

I have been riding bikes for a long time (I am a couple of years older) and Duke 200 puts a smile in my face like no other bike. I am also glad that my reviews were useful to you.

Some quick points:
1. You'll get used to the riding position - It is different from every other bike. I am reminded of the Kiba Dachi stance in Karate (It is one of the worst positions to take in a fight - If you google it, you'll know why - But it is a terrific position to practice your punches and kicks). It somehow makes you go faster than what you'd normally do. You'll begin to love the position.

2. Longer foot pegs and brake levers will scrape the ground when you are trying to carve corners. As you said, it is more useful in tracks, but given your description of your ride, I can't imagine how much fun you can have if you push the vehicle.

3. And you've got terrific FE! (Both my 390s return 22-23 kmpl and GT650N would return ~15-18 kmpl)

4. I still go by my claim that 200 is more fun than 390 (as mentioned in most of my comments) unless you hit the highway too often.

Wishing you many many more years and miles of fun with your 200!
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Old 17th March 2015, 18:02   #3
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Default

Review: KTM Duke 200-1.jpg

Review: KTM Duke 200-2.jpg

Review: KTM Duke 200-3.jpg

Review: KTM Duke 200-4.jpg

Review: KTM Duke 200-5.jpg

Review: KTM Duke 200-6.jpg

Review: KTM Duke 200-7.jpg

Review: KTM Duke 200-8.jpg

Review: KTM Duke 200-9.jpg

Review: KTM Duke 200-10.jpg
the exposed Trellis frame
Review: KTM Duke 200-11.jpg

Review: KTM Duke 200-12.jpg
the inverted front suspension forks

Review: KTM Duke 200-13.jpg
the adjustable rear monoshock

Review: KTM Duke 200-14.jpg
the 280 mm front brake disc

Review: KTM Duke 200-15.jpg
the 230 mm rear brake disc

Review: KTM Duke 200-16.jpg
the underbelly exhaust

Review: KTM Duke 200-17.jpg
the coded key

Review: KTM Duke 200-18.jpg
the 'ready to race' display on switching the ignition on

Review: KTM Duke 200-19.jpg
with the other ride- 2011 Ford Fiesta Classic SXi

Last edited by GTO : 23rd March 2015 at 16:21. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 23rd March 2015, 12:44   #4
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd March 2015, 17:29   #5
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Thanks for the share and congratulations on the purchase. A lot of people are in two minds about buying motorcycles and reasonably so. In fact, if it weren't for my father's approval, my mother would probably never let me buy one. This line-
Quote:
It’s been just 1 month since I bought the bike. The odometer reading shows 878 kms. 5 kms was the initial reading when I bought the bike.
-has me convinced that the biker bug has hit you.

You have a great bike there. Long distance riding may not be its forte, but the performance is quite impressive. Once you've had more time with the bike and start heading out on weekend rides, hit any nearby ghats to enjoy the cornering ability.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 19:14   #6
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Many congratulations and wish you a lot of happy kilometres. Awesome choice of colour, that! (My personal favourite)

As for the hard seat, you might want to check out the strap on gel seats that are pretty comfortable.

Ride safe! Do share photos and travelogues of your rides.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 20:09   #7
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Congrats on your ride mate. Looks good in white. Very detailed review and pics as well. I have one in black for the past year and done around 6000kms only. Awesome experience so far. You will have a blast in the hills with it. The hard seats are something you will get used over a short period of time.

Enjoy your ride and wish you many many happy miles with it!!
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Old 24th March 2015, 08:51   #8
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Congratulations Doctor! Very well written review. The best thing I liked is the fact that your's is a very well informed, well researched and purely need based purchase. I'm glad you stuck to fulfilling your needs and did not go for the Duke 390 just because it seems VFM with the ABS et all.

Yes, the D200 is manic and can get even the most sedate of us addicted to aggressive riding and raw performance. Although you have already munched a lot of miles, I suggest give some more time for yourself and the bike to understand each other before you go flat out, yes the D200 is almost impossible to ride sedately.

I assume, after having seen so many broken bones, you understand the need for safety better than a lot of us and have invested on good safety gear. Do provide the details of your gear.

Wishing you many more miles of happy riding!
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Old 24th March 2015, 20:53   #9
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Congratulations Doctor. Wishing you many miles with smiles. Do post about your riding gear as it is essential. Happy Riding.
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Old 5th April 2015, 20:39   #10
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

1st free service update

The scheduled first free service was at 1000 kms or 45 days, whichever was earlier. I got it done on the 35th day, with 1025 kms on the odometer. The service was swift as I was the first customer of the day. The engine oil was drained, new engine oil filled and oil filter replaced. The chain slackness was checked, adjusted and lubrication done. The total cost of the first service was Rs.1385/-.

Minor issues

The headlight will not come on automatically after switching off the engine and the switch it on again
This particular issue was also mentioned in theexperthand's ownership thread. The service center personnel were already aware of this problem from other owners. They never the less took time to open the headlight assembly, checked the wire relays, cleaned them and refitted them back, as there seems to be no loose wiring in the headlight assembly and wire relays. I was told to press the high beam flasher button once or twice if the headlight does not come on on its own. This seems to do the trick so far. And there are times when the headlight will not come on on its own even today. This issue needs to be addressed properly from the factory settings itself, I guess.

Engine diagnosis warning light on after riding on low fuel
The engine diagnosis warning light will come on when the fuel level reaches the reserve, with "low fuel level" on the information display. I rode close to 20 kms after the low fuel level comes on display, with occasional high revving in the twisty mountain roads. After topping up the fuel, the warning light was still on. I rushed to the service center, where diagnosis kit was used. There seems to be problem in the throttle body. The throttle body was opened and the stepper motor seems to be the culprit. The stepper motor was disengaged from the throttle body assembly and thoroughly cleaned, and refitted back. The engine diagnosis warning lamp disappeared, to my relief. I was told never to ride on low fuel again. And to always top up fuel when the fuel gauge shows 2 bars, way before the low fuel level display comes on.
So far, I have been following their advice, and have no other issues. Today is the 50th day, and I have covered 1523 kms so far. And hoping to cover more kilometers.
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Old 5th April 2015, 20:46   #11
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Quote:
Originally Posted by Added_flavor View Post
I assume, after having seen so many broken bones, you understand the need for safety better than a lot of us and have invested on good safety gear. Do provide the details of your gear.

Wishing you many more miles of happy riding!
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillram View Post
Congratulations Doctor. Wishing you many miles with smiles. Do post about your riding gear as it is essential. Happy Riding.
So far, I have just the basic, a full faced helmet and a riding gloves. I am planning to buy a rider jacket soon. I am planning to travel to Delhi this month. Will somebody please tell me where in Delhi can I get a good bike riding gear?
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Old 5th April 2015, 20:52   #12
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Quote:
Originally Posted by Added_flavor View Post
Yes, the D200 is manic and can get even the most sedate of us addicted to aggressive riding and raw performance. Although you have already munched a lot of miles, I suggest give some more time for yourself and the bike to understand each other before you go flat out, yes the D200 is almost impossible to ride sedately. :
I think its the other way round. We love fast rides, that's why we bought the Dukes. My other ride is a 2011 Ford Fiesta Classic SXi, which is also a fast rev-loving machine and a sweet handler. And I see a lot of fellow team-bhpians owning these two lovely machines.
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Old 8th April 2015, 23:19   #13
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Hey doc

The thought process behind this purchase has been neatly penned down. I'm currently in the same boat ('test-rides & confusion' phase) but have 1 question for you - Is the 6th gear ok to just cruise along on the highways? And by ok, I mean is it less crazy than gears 1,2 or 3? I didn't get a chance to try out the 6th during my city test ride. Your answer would be much appreciated.
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Old 9th April 2015, 11:22   #14
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMachine View Post
Is the 6th gear ok to just cruise along on the highways? And by ok, I mean is it less crazy than gears 1,2 or 3? I didn't get a chance to try out the 6th during my city test ride. Your answer would be much appreciated.
As a KTM owner, I'd like to answer your query here.

The 6th gear is meant for highway cruising. It's the only tall gear on the Duke brothers, and needs pretty high figures on the console for you to shift from 5th to 6th. From what I reckon, the overall characteristic of the bike changes in the 6th gear. It simply becomes more calm and sedate. It's only meant for highway cruising where you don't need to downshift for many kilometres to come, although you might have to use 5th more often to overtake.
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Old 9th April 2015, 13:58   #15
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Default Re: Review: KTM Duke 200

Congratulations doc! Good to see an enthusiastic rider from Mizoram. Know quite a few friends who love the Enfields there.

Good luck and wish you many kilometers of happy riding!
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