2020 KTM 200 Duke: First Ride Review
Eight years on, the 200 Duke, finally gets its long due update. But is that enough to demand a Rs 10K hike?
This has been coming for a long time. Ever since its introduction in 2012, the KTM 200 Duke has been only subjected to minor cosmetic updates. Despite carrying the same design all these years, the 200 Duke remained the top-selling KTM…until the 125 Duke arrived and stole the show. Now finally, after eight years, the Austrian crotch rocket that started the orange revolution gets its first major update.
Check out our Youtube video review of the 2020 KTM 200 & 390 Duke
What’s new for 2020?
Instead of just slapping new graphics, this time, KTM has given the 200 Duke a proper overhaul. The bike gets the split steel-trellis frame from the 250 Duke. Now the 200 Duke even shares the bodywork, including the halogen headlamp with integrated LED DRL. The upside of using the 250’s underpinnings is that the tank capacity has gone from the measly 10.5 litres to 13.5litres, there’s a roomier seat and a commanding riding posture. However, on the flipside, the kerb weight has shot up by 11kg and the seat height now is 835mm. The new frame along with the new exhaust has dropped the ground clearance by a massive 20mm, and now stands at 155mm, which could spell disaster on our colossal speed breakers.
The hardware has seen some minor changes as well. To suit the new chassis and engine, the suspension has been tweaked, and now the WP USDs offer 142mm of travel (same as 250 Duke). The 10 step monoshock remains the same, offering the 60mm travel. Though the braking hardware remains the same, the 200 Duke now flaunts dual-channel ABS.
The new 200 Duke continues to be powered by the same liquid-cooled, single-cylinder 199.5cc engine and in spite of the BS6 trickery, KTM has managed to retain the performance figures from the BS4 model. But with 11kg more to lug around, has the 200 Duke lost its charm? Let’s find out.
Read the first ride review of the 2020 390 Duke here
Once a hooligan, always a hooligan
The moment you swing your leg over, you’ll find the riding position to be a tad more engaging than the outgoing model. The very familiar (and now dated) digital display welcomes you and the moment you fire it up, you’ll notice the difference.
The new, re-routed exhausted along with the BS6 trickery has resulted in an exhaust note that’s a lot mellower compared to the outgoing model. The engine retains its frantic nature, coming to life only after 6k rpm but now is noticeably more refined. The vibrations have dropped down drastically, creeping in only around redline. However, with the 11kg flab, the bike felt a tad slower on the track, compared to the older model. Don’t get me wrong, the 200 Duke is still a fun bike to hoon around and the short gearing only adds to the engaging experience.
When attacking corners, the story is different though. Though the length of the bike has increased by 79mm, the wheelbase remains the same at 1357mm and the bike is stable in the corners. The frontend, however, is very twitchy and the MRF REVZ don’t inspire as much confidence as the Metzelers.
Nothing much has changed on the braking front. The 2020 KTM 200 Duke retains the same 300mm/230mm brake setup offering adequate stopping power. I would have loved a bit more feedback, especially from the front but the ABS has been calibrated really well. Even at the rear.
Should you go for the 2020 KTM 200 Duke?
The 200 Duke has always been a tempting proposition in this class, and now with more refinement, a more capable chassis, better quality and fresh styling, the 200 Duke is back in the game. At Rs 1.72 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the bike demands a premium of over Rs 10,000, but despite that, it continues to be a great value-for-money proposition in my opinion. So if you are in the market for a spirited 200cc motorcycle, look no further!