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Bajaj is going all out with the KTM 250 Duke’s platform bringing in the Bajaj Dominar 250 after the launch of Husqvarna 250s. Let’s see how they all fare against the competition
On the menu today we have the 250cc segment motorcycles which comprise of the recently launched Bajaj Dominar 250 and the Husqvarna Svartpilen/Vitpilen 250 along with the KTM 250 Duke, Yamaha FZ25, Benelli Leoncino 250 and Suzuki Gixxer 250. Let’s take a look at how these 250s perform in terms of various aspects including powertrain, chassis, features and pricing. To begin with, let’s start with the most queried section – the powertrain.
When it comes to motors, the Bajaj siblings – Dominar, Husqvarnas and Duke 250, share the single-cylinder, liquid-cooled 249cc motor. The power outputs of the three motorcycles also remain close. The Dominar 250 delivers 27bhp, 250 Duke delivers 1.6bhp more at 28.6bhp and the Husqvarnas churn out 0.4bhp more than the Duke at 29bhp. On the other hand, the Gixxer also gets a 249cc, oil-cooled motor delivering 26bhp. Yamaha FZ25 here makes the least at 20.8bhp (air-cooled, SOHC) while the Leoncino 250 produces a 25.8bhp with the same sized 249cc motor. All the motorcycles come mated to a 6-speed manual transmission except the FZ25 which is only available with a 5-speed. The Dominar 250 produces 27bhp, but with a weight of 180kg, it certainly is on the heavier side. The Husky, on the other end, not only benefits from the KTM engine, but with the a weight of 154kg, it is lighter than its Orange cousin by 15kg, which should ideally translate to easier handling both, on and off the road, given the Svartpilen is Husqvarna’s idea of a Scrambler motorcycle. The FZ25 substantially lags on certain terms as it has the least power output of 20.8bhp moreover is a 2-valve engine that definitely leads to lesser airflow compared to a 4-valve engine resulting in less power and efficiency. FZ25 is also air-cooled, while the Gixxer 250 that produces 26bhp and though Suzuki has opted for an oil cooler, we have seen on the Gixxer 250 SF as well. Undoubtedly for us the Svartpilen stands tall in terms of the performance at least on paper, delivering the best in class better power/weight ratio.
On the Dominar 250, we get a beam type perimeter frame which makes it heavier and stronger while the Husqvarnas get a Steel Trellis frame and the Duke gets a split steel trellis frame whereas the Gixxer gets a strong tubular frame which gives it a rigid support structure. The FZ25 gets a diamond frame which is lighter and cheap and the Leoncino 250 is based on the aluminium trellis frame. Amongst the six bikes on the list the Dominar 250 and the Leoncino 250 get a telescopic USD fork in the front while the rear gets the multi-step adjustable and Preload adjustable suspensions.The FZ25 gets a telescopic suspension in the front and monoshock at the rear. Simillary, the Huskies and the 250 Duke get the WP USD open cartridge suspension and WP upside down in the front and WP-monoshock at the rear which have advantages of their own. Also the Dominar has the largest wheelbase of around 1453mm which should ideally make it the most stable stable followed by the Leoncino 250 with 1380mm and FZ25 with 1360mm. Next is the seat height of these bikes which makes them ideal for the Indian riders with FZ25 having the lowest seat height of 795mm and Husqvarnas and 250 Duke having the highest at 835mm.
When it comes to features, all the motorcycles are loaded to T with many features being in common among the Dominar, 250 Duke, Svartpilen,Leoncino 250 and Gixxer 250 including dual-channel ABS and a TFT digital console. FZ25 also has a digital console but is available only with a single-channel ABS. All the motorcycles also get a full set of LED tail-lamps and signal-lamps with a leveraging fact that the Gixxer gets a maintenance-free battery kit also. All the bikes come equipped with LED headlamps except the 250 Duke that gets a halogen headlamp.
When we talk about the pricing these motorcycles do have a huge difference in their prices although despite offering something not too different when it comes to the cee cees. The Leoncino 250 is the priciest on the list with a sticker of Rs 2.50 lakh, followed by the 250 Duke which is priced at Rs 2 lakh. Next up are the Husqvarnas priced identically at at Rs 1.80 lakh. T Dominar 250 and Gixxer 250 are priced identically at Rs 1.60 lakh. The FZ25 is the most affordable of the lot priced at Rs 1.40 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom). The Yamaha is quite dated when it comes to the mechanicals and is positioned as a performance commuter unlike the others. When it comes to VFM prospect, the Dominar 250 is the bike to beat but if you’re in the market for a performance machine, the 250 Duke still makes for the best 250cc motorcycle out there in the market.