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KTM 125 Duke 2020 Review - Prices, Specs, Variants, Features and Mileage

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Bike Reviews

By Tijo Tenson - Content Writer Jan 20 2020 Share this blog

KTM is known for their minimal bodywork and they blow our minds out with the amount of firepower hidden in that orange frame. The Duke 200 after its launch got many hooked for the adrenaline pump it came with. We Indians were not used to such explosive power.

2020 KTM 125 Duke top speed

Now, they are back at it in a smaller package! Meet the 2020 KTM Duke 125. Yes, it is a 125cc motorcycle. But don’t have the displacement figures fool you, as it is orange and KTM! It was initially released in 2019 and now gets updated to the latest norms. Now priced at Rs. 1.32 lakhs, this tiny orange monster picks on competitors in the higher segments like Yamaha MT15 and Bajaj Pulsar NS160.

Pros

  • Blistering 125cc experience

  • Premium list of features

  • A lot of “First in class”

  • Head-turning design( It's all in the Orange!)

Cons

  • Heavy for the performance figures

  • Not suitable for tall riders

What’s New

  • Price bump of Rs. 6,835

How energetic is this powerhouse?

How different is the performance-efficiency duo in this KTM?

You won’t expect soberness from a KTM. But the 125 Duke is different. It is explosive in a sober form. We know that it sounds stupid, but this Duke is not like its bigger brothers. It has a linear power and torque curve which can train newbies for the unprecedented explosives up in the KTM stable!

2020 ktm 125 duke engine

The engine is similar to the other dukes, high revving, high compression and madly energetic. But this one has a much smoother transition after 6000 RPM when things get fast. It revs up very quickly and you would be involved in shifting up those six gears.

Mileage figures are where this KTM is unlike any other. It provides an impressive 47 kmpl which is not much for a 125cc motorcycle but is very much for a KTM branded one! The toned-down power band is behind these figures. KTM could have improved on the efficiency front if not for the over-engineered bits. Eliminating these components would have drastically reduced the kerb weight.

Motorcycle

KTM Duke 125

Yamaha MT15

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 1,32,000

Rs. 1,36,000

Rs. 94,195

Engine 

124.71cc Liquid-cooled single-cylinder DOHC engine

155cc Liquid-cooled single-cylinder SOHC engine

160.3cc Oil cooled twin-spark SOHC single-cylinder engine

Power 

14.71 bhp

@ 9250 RPM

19.03 bhp

@ 10000 RPM

15.28 bhp

@ 8500 RPM

Torque

12 Nm

@ 8000 RPM

14.7Nm

@ 8500 RPM

14.6 Nm

@ 6500 RPM

Fueling

Fuel Injection

Fuel injection

Fuel injection

ARAI Mileage figure(kmpl)

46.92

48.75

45.0

Fuel tank capacity(Litres)

10.2

10.0

12.0

Despite the nimble nature of the engine, there is no uncontrolled heat dissipation as the oil cooling unit takes good care of it. You would at times forget that it is a humble 125cc pot, that's how pompous this engine is. There is enough firepower to back up this attitude and it gives performance machines from the higher segment a serious existential crisis! 


How mind-bending is the acceleration in the 125 Duke?

Acceleration is typical KTM, its mind-blowing! The precise short gearing and high compression engine treats you to a thrilling experience. It crosses the 60 kmph mark in under 6 seconds which is impressive. But this is not a top speed machine as the engine feels it's fatigue after 90 kmph.

2020 ktm 125 duke 0-60

It surely reaches close to 110 kmph but in a rather sluggish manner, which is not so KTM-ish. But when we fathom the fact that all of this is from a puny 125cc motor, there are no complaints. You still get that kick after 6000 RPM which is reminiscent of its big brothers but this one is a bit toned down.

Motorcycle

KTM Duke 125

Yamaha MT15

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Transmission

6-Speed

6-Speed

5-Speed

0-60 kmph

5.56 s

3.78 s

5.35 s

Top Speed(kmph)

107.36

118.06

111.17

This is by far the easiest 125cc offering that can pop wheelies! It competes with the performance offerings from a segment above and manages to make them stretch muscles. Top speed aligns with that of Bajaj Pulsar 160 and the Yamaha MT15 is chased madly by this orange monster.


How grippy are the brakes on this Duke?

KTM provides the Duke 125 with disc brakes at both ends, again a first in the 125cc segment. This setup is the same as the one found on the Duke 200 and offers impressive stopping power.

2020 ktm 125 duke disc brakes

But we feel that for a125cc offering of this calibre, the braking performance could have been a bit better. The bite is linear and not as grippy as its elders. A single-channel ABS unit supports braking and does a competent job of kicking in at the right time.

Motorcycle

KTM Duke 125

Yamaha MT15

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Front / Rear

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Front Rotor Size(mm)

300

282

260

Rear Rotor Size(mm)

230

220

230

80-0 kmph(m)

38.82

38.25

39.54

ABS (Single or Dual Channel)

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

KTM is rewriting history by slowly changing the orthodox nature of Indian motorcycling fraternity and redefining the definition of a 125cc motorcycle from “just a commuter” to “a thrilling performance offering”. Yamaha did the same in the 150cc segment with its R15 and now the MT15 and Bajaj in the 200cc bracket with the NS200.

How aggressive is the handling and comfort of this orange monster?

This KTM like every other is a hoon to ride. It is sharp in handling and eats corners for breakfast. The trellis frame and wider tyres help maintain stability at any given speed and the well-balanced suspension setup is well versed for the Indian roads.

2020 ktm 125 duke split seat

Comfort is not a strong point in this Duke. It is a very involving ride for sure but doesn’t pamper the rider in comfort. The seat is wide and flat and is on the harder side. Tall riders would find it difficult to feel at home, due to the intervention of tank shoulders. The rider is seated upright with rear-set footpegs to prepare you for take-off!

Motorcycle

KTM Duke 125

Yamaha MT15

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Chassis 

Steel trellis

Deltabox

Perimeter

Tyre-Wheel Size(Front)

110/70-17

100/80-17

90/90-17

Tyre-Wheel Size(Rear)

150/60-17

140/70-17

120/80-17

Front Suspension

WP upside-down forks

Telescopic forks

Telescopic forks with anti-friction bush

Rear Suspension

WP monoshock

Swingarm link suspension

Nitrox mono-shock absorber with canister

Seat height(mm)

818

810

805

Ground Clearance (mm)

175

155

177

Kerb Weight(kg)

148

138

148

Starting System

Self

Self

Kick/Self

The handlebar is wide and you are less predictable to strain on the wrist and shoulders. KTM could have toned down the 125 Duke in terms of kerb weight as it weighs in at a hefty 148 kg which is similar to the 160cc offerings. The WP suspension setup is insane and the likes of Yamaha MT15 and Bajaj Pulsar NS160 don’t stand a chance with the telescopic setup.

How eye-catchy are the looks on this Duke?

KTM 125 Duke uses a decade old design language but it still stands out in the crowd similar to its now old elder 200 Duke. The Austrian manufacturer created a design language that has aged like fine wine. Orange is the highlights colour which is predominant on the chassis and alloys. The Duke is also offered in a shade of black, but it is the KTM orange that aptly depicts the loud nature of these motorcycles.

2020 ktm 125 duke chiseled tank

The naked look is contradicting what the orange monster has to offer in performance. There is very little bodywork and so the 125cc pot is exposed in all its glory. The “Racing KTM” is etched on the engine and reminds you of what you are dealing with here!

Aesthetic Features

  • Exposed trellis frame

  • Split seat

  • LED tail lamp

  • Beefy forks

  • Alloy wheels

Motorcycle

KTM Duke 125

Yamaha MT15

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Length (mm)

1993

2020

2017

Width (mm)

789

800

803.5

Height(mm)

1083

1070

1060

Wheelbase(mm)

1366

1335

1370

We bet that there isn’t another motorcycle in this segment or the above that can flaunt such bright colours with such attitude. The new Yamaha MT15 might be Japan’s Dark side but KTM Duke 125 is the exact opposite and much more! Pulsar is the subtle one of this lot!

What are the safety and class-leading features in this baby Duke?

Duke 125 is equipped with a Single-channel ABS unit which is completely new in this segment. There isn’t another motorcycle in the 125cc slot with disc brakes on both ends, let alone an ABS unit. The ABS is efficient and kicks in at the right time.

2020 ktm 125 duke LCD instrument cluster

The LCD instrument cluster shows an array of information which the rider will be grateful for. Trellis frame and aluminium swingarm adds to the visual appeal of this monster along with amplifying the riding experience.

Motorcycle

KTM Duke 125

Yamaha MT15

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 1,32,000

Rs. 1,36,000

Rs. 94,195

Features

Trellis frame

Unique delta box chassis

High revving Twin-spark engine


Aluminium swingarm

Variable Valve Actuation(VVA)

Rear Nitrox mono-suspension


Multi-information instrument cluster

Assist and slipper clutch

Digital-analogue instrument cluster


Underbelly exhaust

LED headlamp

Petal disc rotors

Yamaha MT15 is the only competitor that can stand head to head in terms of the features on offer. Both these motorcycles are changing the face of Indian motorcycling and we cannot be more excited. It is now high time for our homegrown manufacturers to be serious and get back in the game.

Does the Competition stack up against the smallest KTM?

KTM 125 Duke vs Yamaha MT15

2020 Yamaha MT15

Yamaha had changed the Indian motorcycling scene way back in 2008 with the introduction of its fully-faired 150cc offering, R15. It still stays strong and now comes in a very attractive naked iteration, MT15. It looks the part and also performs, unlike any other 150cc motorcycle. KTM was the catalyst for this outcome. Now KTM plans to stir up the market just like Yamaha did for the 150cc but with an even smaller engine. But we would go for the MT15 as it costs the same and comes with a bump of 25cc and added performance. It looks new and unlike any other motorcycle as well.


KTM 125 Duke vs Bajaj Pulsar NS160

2020 Bajaj Pulsar NS160

 Bajaj tried the same concept of putting in a downsized engine on an over-engineered frame. It worked for KTM but the same cannot be said for Pulsar. It is a very ambitious offering but the smaller Duke provides more punch and is more involving to ride. If you are in a cash crunch and want the maximum for what you pay, then settled for the Pulsar makes sense. But if you are someone who enjoys even the smallest of things, then go ahead for the orange monster.

How can the 125 Duke help change the orthodox thinking?

KTM has worked its magic, yet again with the 125 Duke. It redefines how we look up motorcycles with a humble 125cc motor and thus provide the cheapest mode of adrenaline boost. It will take time to digest the Rs. 1 lakhs+ pricing of a 125cc offering but be assured that you will be content with the riding experience and this KTM will leave you craving for more!