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Old 13th November 2020, 15:55   #1
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Default Review: My KTM Duke 125

I had posted here my initial ownership review of the Honda Fight hawk in Singapore. For various reasons, I decided to sell the bike early. None was due to any specific fault of the bike. In fact it did exactly what I laid out as my priorities before buying it.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motor...fighthawk.html (Obtaining a Singapore driving license and buying a pre-owned motorcycle (Honda CBF 190X Fighthawk))


Once I sold it, I did miss the convenience of having a bike for some parts of my daily travel where the walk from the nearest bus stop was becoming a pain.

This time I decided to shop for a bike with a bit more pep and maybe more compact. I narrowed down on 3 bikes.

1. Honda CB 150R exmotion
2. KTM Duke 200
3. KTM Duke 125

All 3 bikes were relatively light for the class with decent power outputs. Approximately the Honda puts out 20bhp, Duke 200 -26bhp and the Duke 125 - 15bhp.

The Honda almost looks the part along side the KTMs but not in the same league. Here is a sample image from the internet. I did see some websites which claimed that Honda might bring this bike to India - which it should given the performance on tap - it could easily slot well between the 2 entry Dukes.
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Review: My KTM Duke 125-6a0e3805528442d1addd146c0ba2bdde.jpeg  


Last edited by narayan : 13th November 2020 at 15:56.
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Old 13th November 2020, 16:25   #2
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Default re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Bike search process was again using the same portals I had mentioned in my earlier thread. I opted for a budget below what I got from selling my previous bike. Clearly, I didn’t want to put more money than required. So I was prepared to compromise on model year a bit.

Initial search gave me the below insights

1. 2019-18 Honda’s were listed in the range of 9-10k. Mileage of anywhere from 5-40k. Yes many people put in a lot of mileage here - as high as 25-40k per annum sometimes. Could be if they commute from one end of the city to other every day or mostly if they are food delivery drivers. I wanted to avoid high mileage bikes. So narrowed down on a few 2018 and 2019 bikes for viewing

2. Duke 200 - there were very few 2018-19 bikes listed and they were put up at crazy prices - 10-12k. Hence I avoided these. There were a few Low mileage 2016 models which I shortlisted.

3. Duke 125 - just 2 listings could be found. A 2017 - which the owner was expecting too much. And a 2018 - 6.5k run bike listed at a mouth watering price - well below my budget.

Key point to note is that Dukes are more expensive than Honda’s here and also cost a bit more to maintain. Also, dukes are rarely the preferred bikes for food delivery drivers. Hence the mileage is inline with typical private use.

I was keen to finalise one of the 2016 Duke 200s. Saw the first bike - run around 8k. This was the first time I’m seeing a Duke up close. The riding position, especially back set foot pegs, overwhelmed me initially. I also had some concerns if my son would sit behind me for our daily school rides. The price quoted was fair but before I could address my own concerns, the bike got sold off. The next 2016 Duke 200 I saw was just 9k run and was even more well maintained than the previous one. But the asking was significantly higher than the bike I missed out on. I had a frank chat with the seller and told him that his listed price is just too high and about where I saw the market to be. He didn’t respond favourably initially but soon revised his listing price to a bit more closer to my expectation. Not quite there though. We were in good touch and he was keen to sell me the bike since I was paying outright rather than some buyers who might have to arrange a loan. I was particular he bring down the price to where I saw the other 2016 bike get sold for. It was a small gap but both of us weren’t budging. Eventually he found a buyer at a price point slightly more that what I offered. Again a miss out for me but at the end of the day, it’s just a bike. So I didn’t fret too much over it.

My energies were now focussed on a few Honda’s and the 2018 Duke 125. The latter had a very unresponsive owner and hence it was extremely difficult to communicate and coordinate with him for viewing the bike. Also he lived quite far from where I was. Hence the focus was more on the Honda’s. The best of the lot was a absolutely stunning almost brand new red 2019 Honda run just 5k. Price quoted was quite fair but my Indian brain tempted me to negotiate. Actually the seller was also an Indian. eventually we couldn’t agree on a price. But it was a really good bike at a good price - just that I didn’t clinch the deal.

In the meantime, the Duke 125 owner finally responded to my messages and shared his mobile number also. This was the same bike that was at a mouth watering price. On a Friday evening, I headed to his place - good 1.25 hour bus ride and the moment I reached near his house, a massive thunder storm broke out. And I hadn’t taken my umbrella. I waited for half hour at the bus stop but there was no sign of the rain stopping. His house was a short 700m walk away. Finally, decided to make a quick dash and found some sheltered waking spaces and managed to reach his parking lot slightly drenched at around 9pm. Saw the bike. It was just 6.5k run and the owner was hardly using it. He had changed the battery a week back since it had drained off due to non use. Since the price quoted was already mouth watering, I should have ideally done the deal then and there. But I still thought it fair to negotiate

Finally, we agreed for a price $200 below what he quoted and a unused helmet thrown in (that saves me $50). Completed the ownership transfer and payment and started my long ride back home by around 9:45pm.

The bike came with tiny bar end mirrors only and mirrors are super important in a lane obsessed country. So my ride back home was extremely cautious. But I totally loved the compact dimensions, peppiness and kind of deep exhaust note of the Duke 125. To top it, the foot peg position that I originally was apprehensive about was something I really enjoyed. It elevated my mental feeling from an ordinary commuter to a Motogp rider. LOL.

A picture of the bike with the bar end mirrors.

This is the most recent 2017 model variant which I think hasn’t been offered in India yet because this one comes with the TFT display like the Duke 390. The previous owner had removed all the 125 decals possibly to make it appear as a 390.
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Last edited by narayan : 13th November 2020 at 16:27.
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Old 13th November 2020, 17:21   #3
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Default re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Some of the things I’ve done after purchasing the bike are

1. Got the engine oil and filter changed
2. Replaced the bar end mirrors with regular mirror. That’s when I realised that some KTMs come with LH rotation thread on the accelerator side. So had to buy an adaptor nut to fit the mirror. The original KTM mirrors were too expensive
3. Rear luggage box was essential for me since I carry around the pillion helmet too. Also need it to keep shopping bags or my sons school bag etc. KTMs rarely have luggage boxes out here because the boxes spoil the sleek look and commuters rarely bike KTMs. Hence finding a good rack to hold the box was a bit difficult. Finally found one from GIVI Italy and fixed it. A Kappa 39litre box was also purchased to go on top. These 2 in total cost me $190 which is not bad. But the box is a plastic one and not a premium aluminium box like I had in my previous bike
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Review: My KTM Duke 125-7454e648d4fc45cca91b76a437875018.jpeg  

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Old 13th November 2020, 19:13   #4
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Default re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Initial driving impressions:

1. The Duke feels compact between your legs and the handle bar position is quite nice - a good mix of sportiness or upright stance - whichever one chooses on any given day. It totally belies its 137kg kerb weight

2. Progress through the gears is brisk and I find this bike making faster progress than my earlier 190cc air cooled Honda ( understandably so - it made a similar power figure but around 15kgs heavier )

3. The engine begs for the throttle to always be fired up. On any gear, once you release the thrills, the engine braking is noticeable.

4. Noticeable heat felt on the left side, lower leg even on short rides. This isn’t very disturbing but I would have preferred if it didn’t exist at all.

5. Manoeuvrability is very good given the good leverage from the handle bars, shorter wheel base and good weight distribution.

6. The TFT display is quite nifty. You get all the essential info and more. I need to still explore some of the settings but I don’t think it has a whole lot of features like the 390 has. It has a nice colour change feature to adjust to the ambient light

7. The DRL and Low beam lights up as you fire up the engine. Once you finish your drive and kill the engine, the Low beam goes off as your speed reaches zero. Saves you the trouble of having to switch off the Low beam. The DRL switches off with the ignition key

8. Switch gear feels sturdy but the Honda I had earlier was slightly better

9. The stock levers are adjustable.

10. There is a tiny lockable space under the seat where you can find a comprehensive tool box next to the battery. That’s a nice touch in comparison with most bikes that probably make do with just a basic tool kit.

11. I have done some sedate driving and seen 53kmpl which is good to know. But mostly it should hover around 46+ levels.
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Old 14th November 2020, 14:53   #5
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Default re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

As with most other modern bikes, the centre stand is not standard on the Duke 125. Good thing is that the bike I purchased has an extended base for the side stand making the stance more stable. It also has both front and rear bobbins along with swing arm bobbins in case I need to use a paddock stand. I need to decide if I need a paddock stand though - if there is an extended non-usage period, maybe I need to use one. I am not too sure if it’s ok to leave the bike on the side stand for a few weeks at a stretch ?

Some parting shots
Attached Thumbnails
Review: My KTM Duke 125-7213a18a2ad84888b5c424e756a24b0c.jpeg  

Review: My KTM Duke 125-fea933a2bd434f9c8343052848dd2be0.jpeg  

Review: My KTM Duke 125-ac83e04d55cd43aabcd42023b3124b1e.jpeg  

Review: My KTM Duke 125-677bdbdc7a2249028794160771a9d052.jpeg  

Review: My KTM Duke 125-6385bbac63e84073868cdc0cfe7ad6f6.jpeg  

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Old 15th November 2020, 17:08   #6
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Default Re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Is there no Yamaha MT-05 over there? I found it to be a better option than the Duke 125 here in India. Although I do still maintain that the Duke200 offers the best chassis-engine-gearbox combination out there.
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Old 15th November 2020, 18:15   #7
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Default Re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Is there no Yamaha MT-05 over there?
I am not aware of a MT-05 but there is a MT-15 that sells along side the Dukes. I personally donít like itís looks or itís sharper rear incline which might result in the pillion slipping forward. Duke 200 without a doubt is a better bike than the Duke 125 - thatís a no brainer.
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Old 16th November 2020, 13:52   #8
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Default Re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Really nice small bike you have there. What are the brand of tyres offered with the bike there ? Here they have MRF on the Dukes.
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Old 16th November 2020, 16:10   #9
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Default Re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Quote:
Originally Posted by aarnav_b View Post
Really nice small bike you have there. What are the brand of tyres offered with the bike there ? Here they have MRF on the Dukes.
Michelin pilot street as evidenced in some of the pictures
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Old 16th November 2020, 18:44   #10
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Default Re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Awesome review as well as a very beautiful bike. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
I am not too sure if itís ok to leave the bike on the side stand for a few weeks at a stretch ?
Any specific reason for not leaving the bike on side stand for long duration.
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Old 17th November 2020, 04:52   #11
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Default Re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryFurry View Post
Awesome review as well as a very beautiful bike. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Any specific reason for not leaving the bike on side stand for long duration.
Thanks 🙏🏽

I was wondering if a side stand is usually robust enough to hold the bike for long. No other concerns.
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Old 17th November 2020, 09:11   #12
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Default Re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Congrats on your ride. Duke 125 is certainly an eye-catcher with an all-round package. I was thinking of getting one but then realised Duke 125 is not really meant for highways as it gets stressed out easily. Coupled with the price range it is in, it really doesn't make much sense to opt for it here. And what a bummer, only the 390 variant gets the TFT display in India. Manufacturers always settle for the less in our country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
I was wondering if a side stand is usually robust enough to hold the bike for long.
It should be fine. It is not like the entire weight is on the stand. I'm sure it will be able to support the bike for long periods.
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Old 17th November 2020, 16:56   #13
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Default Re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalidiot View Post
Duke 125 is certainly an eye-catcher with an all-round package. I was thinking of getting one but then realised Duke 125 is not really meant for highways as it gets stressed out easily. Coupled with the price range it is in, it really doesn't make much sense to opt for it here. And what a bummer, only the 390 variant gets the TFT display in India. Manufacturers always settle for the less in our country.
.
You are correct - the D125 looks quite nice with that exhaust and TFT that resemble the D390. But in India, doesn't make sense, as you said. Surprisingly, here in Singapore, D125 and D200 sell at almost similar prices. I think the new 2020 D200 might probably be a bit more expensive because it comes with that new sleeker look.
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Old 22nd November 2020, 07:22   #14
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Default Re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

How does servicing the bike work in Singapore.Dealer or independent garage.

P.S It's nice that they allowed a double conversion on your Indian license to both car and 2b.

Last edited by shrjun : 22nd November 2020 at 07:24.
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Old 22nd November 2020, 10:25   #15
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Default Re: Review: My KTM Duke 125

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrjun View Post
How does servicing the bike work in Singapore.Dealer or independent garage.

P.S It's nice that they allowed a double conversion on your Indian license to both car and 2b.
Both dealer and independent options are available. So far Iíve been using an independent option due to proximity to my house.

If your Indian license mentions motorcycle and car, you will surely get a Singapore class 3 and class 2b license automatically.
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