2017 KTM Duke 250 Review
Bike Tested: 2017 KTM Duke 250; Road Test No. 868; Test Location: Chakan, Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 2,03,986/-
The Duke 250 sits between the energetic Duke 200 and the frantic Duke 390
Motorcycles are all about performance, especially those with a displacement of 200cc and above and as they say, there is no replacement for displacement. When we pitted the KTM Duke 200 against the Honda CBR250R in a quarter-mile drag race, to our surprise, the Japanese faired bike beat the Katoom. Now the Orange brand has launched the Duke 250 in Asia which is a stepping stone from the Duke 200 and also its long-term replacement, selling 586 units in September 2017. Priced at a Rs. 30,000/- premium over the Duke 200, the Duke 250 offers a whole lot more, or does it?
Motor Quest: Launch of the supermoto Duke 620, also known as the Duke I, marked the origin of the KTM Duke series in 1994. However, it was the partnership with Bajaj Auto in 2007 which entitled the Austrian manufacturer to dive deep into the sub-400cc segment worldwide. The made-in-Asia first-gen Duke 250 was not considered for Asia but two years down the line, KTM took our auto industry by surprise by bringing in the second-gen 2017 Duke 250.
Styling – Taking design inspiration from the fire-breathing 1290 Super Duke, the Duke 250 comes engulfed in the 2017 Duke 390 skin. Thanks to the superfluous design elements by quarter-litre motorcycle standards, this one will come across as an arresting proposition for posers also. From the burly metal tank to the sculpted tail section, the 2017 Duke 250 carries the persona of its elder sibling really well. All the new-age KTM elements – including the exposed Trellis frame, minimalistic graphics, side-swept exhaust, LED daytime running lights, revised rear-view mirrors, sleek LED indicators and angular tank shrouds – shoehorned into a striking street-fighter design make this motorcycle a masterpiece on our roads.
Unending similarities with the 2017 Duke 390 mean that it passes off as one in the eyes of a casual observer. There are a few differentiators, though. For starters, the headlight unit misses out on the split-design and makes do with a regular halogen lighting setup. The alloy wheels and main frame are finished in a mellowed down shade of black and the use of neon orange has been tastefully applied to the sub-frame and the body panels. Speaking of panels, we were amazed by their overall quality and exemplary fit and finish levels.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – Keeping in mind the elitism of fellow 2017 Duke 390 possessors, the company has employed a compact digital console on the Duke 250. This is the same orange-backlit unit we’ve been seeing all these years but comes with the addition of a ‘Kill Switch’ indicator and a real-time fuel efficiency counter. Displaying information is child’s play for this console as it throws out a magnitude of data from time, temperature and gear position to speed, distance to empty and service reminder. Quite aptly, they’ve provided a shift light also since the digital tachometer is pretty difficult to read. While this unit goes well with the theme of the motorcycle, the 5.0-inch TFT cluster from its elder sibling with connectivity options would have been a welcome inclusion. Backlit switchgear is also carried forward from the Duke 200 and we have no complaints with its quality or feel.