KTM 125 Duke Review: Costly And A Bit Confusing!
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KTM 125 Duke Review: Costly And A Bit Confusing!

Reviews by Team Drivio | May 17, 2023

The 125 Duke is KTM’s foray into the entry-level motorcycle segment. 

  • The liquid-cooled 125cc engine makes 14.5PS and 12Nm. 
  • There’s an inverted fork at the front, something that’s a first in its segment. 
  • Styling is taken care of from the old-generation Dukes. 

After several years, KTM has finally harmonised the style across the entire Duke line in India. With this update, KTM has replaced the out-of-date first-generation Duke design that made its debut in 2012 with the aesthetics of the 390 for the 125. This 125 edition, however, adds a few practical advancements as well, so it's not only a cosmetic change. 

But before we go any further, KTM deserves praise for this slick aesthetic, which made its debut on the 390 Duke and is still in style four years after it was first introduced. 

KTM 125 Duke: Design & Features

The KTM 1290 Super Duke is the direct design inspiration for the 125 Duke. It shares a sharp, mass-forward design with the KTM 200 Duke and appears to be quite comparable to it. It has a sharp-looking headlight, and the large rear tyre complements the elegant tail end. The motorcycle has a black exhaust tip on its underbelly exhaust. The engine's belly pan also receives a black finish. The bike boasts a split-seat configuration and an exposed chassis, giving it an athletic appearance.

The KTM Duke 125 is equipped with a completely digital, LCD instrument console that displays the standard metrics like speed, engine RPM, fuel level, tripmeter/odometer readings, distance to empty, real-time mileage, average speed, and a clock. In spite of this, Bluetooth connectivity is still lacking. It has a halogen headlamp with LED DRLs that resemble fangs above it. Both the tail lamp and the indicators are made of LEDs. In terms of security, the 125 Duke has a standard Bosch single-channel ABS.

KTM 125 Duke: Engine Specs

SpecificationsKTM 125 Duke
Engine124.7cc liquid-cooled engine
Maximum power14.5PS
Maximum torque12Nm
Transmission6-speed

The mill itself has been around for a while, but the 125 Duke's 124.7cc single-cylinder, 4-valve liquid-cooled motor is brand-new for India. Since it basically comes from the previous version of the European 125 Duke, it lacks the ride-by-wire throttle found on the current-generation 125. 

Because the 200 is a bored-out version of the 125cc block, this engine really externally resembles the 200's motor. This 125 motor is slower to build revs than the 200 Duke because it has a smaller diameter (58mm vs. 72mm) and a somewhat shorter stroke (47.2mm vs. 49mm).

Naturally, performance isn't spectacular either. It is more on par with 150cc motorcycles like the Suzuki Gixxer and Bajaj Pulsar 150 with 14.5PS of available power. But in this case, the torque is substantially lower—just 12Nm. But to be honest, you can't really expect much more from a little engine. 

Here, power delivery is quite linear and simple to control. At about 7000 rpm, there is a slight increase in torque, and the bike pulls smoothly all the way up to its redline of just over 10,000 rpm. But until you compete against bikes with similar cubic capacities, don't expect you'll be winning any drag races here.

KTM 125 Duke: Chassis

SpecificationsKTM 125 Duke
Front suspensionInverted Fork
Rear suspensionMonoshock
Front tyre110/70-17
Rear tyre150/60-17
Front brake300mm Disc
Rear brake230mm Disc
ABSSingle-channel

Maintaining momentum is essential, which fortunately, this chassis is more than capable of doing. The 125 Duke also receives the 43mm USD fork and monoshock, 150-section rear tyre and a 300mm disc brake up front thanks to parts sharing. This essentially implies that you can ride the 125 Duke to its utmost without experiencing any tension. The suspension is pretty stiff but not uncomfortable, and it provides excellent input, just like the other Dukes. 

The wide MRFs on this motorcycle are more than enough and give you nothing but confidence. Although you only receive single-channel ABS, there is more than enough stopping power available, and at this price you would expect a dual-channel system.

KTM 125 Duke: Dimensions

DimensionsKTM 125 Duke
Wheelbase1366mm
Seat height822mm
Ground clearance155mm
Kerb weight159kg
Fuel tank capacity13.4-litres

The 125 Duke is a fairly nimble bike and you feel the same when riding it. That said, the 159kg kerb weight is on the higher side and you can feel it when moving the bike around at lower speeds, especially in parking lots.

KTM 125 Duke: Variants & Price

There are two paint jobs available for the one variant of the KTM 125 Duke. The Electronic Orange version has black alloy wheels and an orange-black frame, while the Ceramic White version has orange rims and a black-white frame. Its price, meanwhile, stands at Rs 1,78,892 (ex-showroom Delhi). 

Verdict

That begs the question if the KTM 125 Duke is even worth the asking price. Now, while it’s a lot of fun to ride and feels just as luxurious as any of its other brothers, it doesn't really meet the criteria for a fantastic deal in terms of performance. But as a beginner KTM, we believe it does!