Formed in the year 1992, KTM is a globally reputed motorcycle manufacturer based in Austria. It came to India in the year 2007 in partnership with the domestic automotive manufacturer – Bajaj Auto. KTM Duke 200 was the first bike released here which became an instant hit among the teens and the audacious population.
Duke 200 and Duke 390 are the ones seen in India. KTM motorcycles are more known for their styling. The Duke series looks sporty with their sleek design and comes packed with best-in-class safety features. KTM Dukes run on alloy wheels and tubeless wide tyres. They have a big fuel tank and stylish headlamps. The rear is also uniquely designed, which has LED tail lights incorporated with turn indicators.
The KTM Duke 200 is a naked sports motorcycle powered by a 199.5 cc, single cylinder 4 stroke liquid cooling engine that can produce a peak power of 25 bhp at 10,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 19.2 NM at 8,000 rpm. The motorcycle is equipped with a six speed manual transmission for massive performance. The top speed is 136 kmph and the mileage claimed is 28 kmpl in cities and 34 kmpl on highways.
On the other hand, Duke 390 is a more powerful 373.2 cc single cylinder, liquid cooled, smooth reviving unit that produces around 43 bhp of high power at 9,500 rpm and 35 Nm of peak torque at 7500 rpm. The engine is mated to a 6 speed gearbox. The tall gears simply mean less changing of gears which make it easy for city commuting. But the radiator, if overworked, becomes extremely hot and it becomes impossible to ride the bike comfortably. The top speed here is 140 kmph but the fuel efficiency is lesser. The figures point at 25 kmpl on an average.
The Duke 390 is slightly heavier than the former and enjoys a better power-to-weight ratio. Duke 390 also gets disc brakes, ABS, better tyres and a smoother suspension. Most other features are almost same in both the bikes. These bikes are specifically designed to run on rough terrain.
KTM bikes are seen only in vibrant orange colour. These bikes are quite expensive and KTM Duke 200 carries a minimum price tag of Rs 1 lakh while the Duke 390 comes at around Rs 2 lakhs. These are approximate prices exclusive of tax, registration, insurance and other related costs. Although it is thus true that such expensive super bikes have limited buyers in India, the scenario is slowly changing,thanks to overall prosperity and better standard of living. However, high maintenance cost, low spare parts availability and lack of trained repair persons are some of its other drawbacks.