New KTM 250 Duke vs Suzuki Gixxer vs Bajaj Pulsar N250: Which 250cc Should Be Your Pick?
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New KTM 250 Duke vs Suzuki Gixxer vs Bajaj Pulsar N250: Which 250cc Should Be Your Pick?

Reviews by Team Drivio | Sep 14, 2023

The bonkers new KTM 250 Duke takes on two well-established 250cc premium commuters – Suzuki Gixxer 250 and Bajaj Pulsar N250.

  • The KTM new Duke 250 has the most powerful engine here and is the only one here which is liquid-cooled.
  • The new Duke 250 is more of a sharp and agile streetfighter, with a more hardcore mechanical setup under the skin. 
  • The Suzuki Gixxer 250 and Bajaj Pulsar N250 are more premium commuters rather than outright acceleration and top-speed masters

KTM recently dropped an ‘orange bomb’ in the form of the all-new 250 Duke. Compared to the previous model, the new heavily-updated KTM 250 Duke gets sharper styling, more features and mechanical tweaks – all for just Rs 775 additional over the outgoing model.

With all these updates, the KTM 250 Duke looks an even sweeter deal on paper over the other two popular 250cc motorcycles – the Suzuki Gixxer 250 and Bajaj Pulsar N250. However, is it really that good to shift your focus towards it over the other two? And is it the motorcycle you should settle for? We have tried to find answers to these, and have come to a clearer conclusion with a step-by-step analysis of all these three 250cc motorcycles. 

New KTM 250 Duke vs Suzuki Gixxer 250 vs Bajaj Pulsar N250: Design & Features

If you are someone who prefers to stand out from the crowd with the shawl of distinctiveness, look no further over the new KTM 250 Duke. While the Suzuki Gixxer and Bajaj Pulsar N250 have decent muscular designs and look handsome and rightly proportioned, the KTM 250 Duke is the one which is the most attention-grabbing.

The sharper body panels, louder graphics, bold colour options and a more big-bike-like stance give the KTM 250 Duke an edge over the other two. In contrast, the Suzuki Gixxer 250 and Bajaj Pulsar N250 have slightly toned-down and less aggressive designs, which though will appeal more to those who love good-looking motorcycles which are not loud in their appearance.

The KTM 250 Duke also beats the Suzuki Gixxer 250 and Bajaj Pulsar N250 in terms of features. All three motorcycles here get LED headlamps (projector setup in Pulsar N250), LED tail lamps, USB chargers, alloy wheels, split seats, engine cowl and dual-channel ABS. The Pulsar N250 is the only one here which misses a fully digital instrument console, as it gets an analogue tachometer accompanying an LCD for other information.

Both the KTM 250 Duke and Suzuki Gixxer 250 get full-LCD instrument consoles with Bluetooth connectivity and turn-by-turn navigation. The 250 Duke, however, edges ahead with LED turn indicators, more information on display in the instrument console and backlit switchgear. Also, while the 250 Duke has an underbelly exhaust, the Gixxer 250 gets a more muscular-looking two-port single-sided exhaust.

New KTM 250 Duke vs Suzuki Gixxer 250 vs Bajaj Pulsar N250: Engines & Specs

SpecificationsKTM 250 DukeSuzuki Gixxer 250Bajaj Pulsar N250
EngineSingle-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 249.07ccSingle-cylinder, oil-cooled, 249ccSingle-cylinder, oil-cooled, 249.07cc
Maximum power31PS 26.5PS 24.5PS 
Maximum Torque25Nm22.2Nm21.5Nm
Transmission6-speed6-speed5-speed

Here also, the KTM 250 Duke is well-distinguished in character compared to the Suzuki Gixxer 250 and Bajaj Pulsar N250. All these three motorcycles come with single-cylinder 250cc engine configurations, but while the Gixxer 250 and Pulsar N250 have oil-cooling for their engines, the 250 Duke gets more advanced liquid-cooling.

The presence of liquid cooling and a sportier tuning for outright acceleration makes the KTM 250 Duke the most powerful engine in this comparison, and that too by a significant margin. The Pulsar N250 is the least powerful motorcycle here, and also the only motorcycle here to get a 5-speed transmission and not a 6-speed gearbox like those in the other two.

KTM 250 Duke vs Suzuki Gixxer 250 vs Bajaj Pulsar N250: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsKTM 250 DukeSuzuki Gixxer 250Bajaj Pulsar N250
Front suspensionWP Apex 43mm upside-down telescopic forks41mm telescopic forks37mm telescopic forks
Rear suspensionWP Apex off-set mono-shockMono-shockMono-shock
Front tyre110/70 ZR17110/70 R17100/80-17
Rear tyres150/60 ZR17150/60 R17130/70-17
Front brake320mm disc300mm disc300mm disc
Rear brake240mm disc240mm disc230mm disc
ABSDual-channelDual-channelDual-channel

KTM has left no stone unturned to make the new 250 Duke a hardcore streetfighter, evident in its mechanical setup. It is much more sophisticated and high-quality than the conventional setups offered in the Gixxer 250 and Pulsar N250. Equipped with a trellis frame with a revised aluminum subframe, the 250 Duke is the only motorcycle with upside-down forks at the front and offset positioning for its rear mono-shock.

The 250 Duke, in addition, also gets the largest disc for the front brake setup and the sportiest set of high-performance tyres, further strengthening its positioning as an outright performance motorcycle over the two. The Pulsar N250 feels the most basic here, with the smallest diameter for the conventional front forks, the smallest rear disc brake and the thinnest tyres. 

KTM 250 Duke vs Suzuki Gixxer 250 vs Bajaj Pulsar N250: Dimensions

DimensionsKTM 250 DukeSuzuki Gixxer 250Bajaj Pulsar N250
Length-2010mm1989mm
Height-1035mm1050mm
Width-805mm743mm
Wheelbase1354mm1340mm1351mm
Ground clearance176mm165mm165mm
Kerb weight162.8 kg156 kg162 kg
Fuel tank capacity15 litres12 litres14 litres
Seat height800mm800mm795mm

KTM hasn’t revealed the length, width and height of the new 250 Duke, however, a single glance over it with the other two motorcycles in consideration is enough to let you know that it is the largest-sized motorcycle with the most big-bike appeal. Also, the 250 Duke has the highest kerb weight, largest fuel tank, longest wheelbase and tallest seat height while measuring the heaviest among the three here. 

KTM 250 Duke vs Suzuki Gixxer 250 vs Bajaj Pulsar N250: Price

Motorcycle NamePrice (Ex-showroom Delhi)
KTM 250 DukeRs 2,39,000
Suzuki Gixxer 250Rs 1,92,100 – Rs 2,05,501
Bajaj Pulsar N250Rs 1,49,978

It is where the Bajaj Pulsar N250 marks a clear win with the lowest asking price of Rs 1.50 lakh – almost Rs 42,000-55,500 less than the Gixxer 250 and Rs 89,000 less than the 250 Duke. However, for the least asking price, it is also offering the least amount of motorcycle as the other two offer much more performance, features and advanced mechanicals. The KTM 250 Duke has the highest asking price with a significant margin over the two, but the hardware and features it offers justify its premium.

Verdict 

To sum it up, the KTM 250 Duke is completely in a different league over the Suzuki Gixxer 250 and Bajaj Pulsar N250 with a clear differentiation in its character. It has the sportiest persona and design, has the most advanced mechanical hardware and has the longest equipment list here in this comparison. After this head-on comparison, the KTM 250 Duke is a clear winner, by being the most suitable option for those preferring outright sportiness, performance and value-for-money quotient.

However, there’s a twist. Not everyone prefers to have the levels of extremism offered by the 250 Duke in every sense. Some wish to have a more sedate and calmer riding experience, and it is only then the Suzuki Gixxer 250 and Bajaj Pulsar N250 start making more sense. Among the Gixxer 250 and Pulsar N250, it is the Gixxer 250 which feels more mature with a better and more refined engine, better-spec chassis components and relatively more features.