For 2017, KTM has set the cat among the pigeons in the rapidly growing 200-250 cc motorcycle segment by launching the 2017 KTM 250 Duke. With the 250 Duke, KTM now has three models in its India line-up - the 200 Duke, 390 Duke and the all-new 250 Duke. Clearly, KTM is betting big on the 200-250 cc segment, which has seen phenomenal growth in the Indian two wheeler market over the past year, accounting for over 50 per cent growth year-on-year. Click here to read our specification comparison of the KTM 390 Duke and its rivals.
2017 KTM 250 Duke First Look:
So, KTM now has two offerings in this segment - the 200 Duke as well as the all-new 250 Duke. The 250 Duke gets more displacement, more power, slipper clutch, better suspension and a split trellis frame chassis. It's the newest in this segment and priced competitively to take on established rivals. And there are a host of offerings from other two-wheeler manufacturers in this segment too. So, what does the KTM 250 Duke offer to the discerning Indian buyer against the likes of competition like the Honda CBR250R, Benelli TNT25 and the recently launched Yamaha FZ25? We take a quick look.
Design and Features
The new KTM 250 Duke borrows its dimensions and styling from the 2017 KTM 390 Duke. The only visual differentiators are the black alloy wheels on the 250, while the headlight is a conventional halogen unit unlike full LED headlight on the 390. The suspension and wheels are also shared with the 390 - gets a hi-quality, open cartridge, upside down fork from WP Suspension and a preload adjustable monoshock at the rear. The chassis is the same as the 390 Duke's - a lightweight, steel trellis frame. Braking is handled by dual discs, but the front disc is smaller than the 390's at 300mm and anti-lock brakes (ABS) is not available, at least on the India-spec model.
The newest bike in this comparison after the Duke 250 is the Yamaha, and without a doubt the Yamaha FZ25 looks quite appealing. Muscular stance, chiselled fuel tank and sharp lines really work well for the streetfighter look. The design overall is in line with Yamaha's FZ series, but the FZ25 certainly stands out among the smaller Yamahas. Features-wise, the bike offers full LED headlamps and a modern digital instrument cluster but ABS isn't offered on the Yamaha as well to keep pricing competitive.
The Benelli TNT25 boasts of Italian pedigree, at least in the name, but it's the bike which will face the most heat from the new KTM. Styling is more conventional on the Benelli TNT25, but it does get modern components like a USD fork, and come with a dual disc brake set-up like the KTM, but again, ABS isn't offered. The Honda CBR250R may look a little dated in comparison but it is the only bike here with a fairing and is well-equipped too. Some of the components like the part-digital, part-analog instrument console may seem a little too old school for some, but it still finds appeal despite its age and the Honda also gets modern bits like optional combi-ABS system, which none of the others offer.
Engines and Transmission
All four bikes here offer around 250 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled motors, but the Yamaha's engine is air-cooled with an oil cooler. In terms of power output, it's the KTM 250 Duke which trumps all the others. At just short of 29.6 bhp, the KTM is more powerful than all the others, and it's also the only bike which gets a slipper clutch. The Honda CBR250R trails behind in the power figure comparison with 25.15 bhp and the Benelli TNT25 with 24.1 bhp. The Yamaha is the least powerful here, with the FZ25 making 20.5 bhp.
|Parameters||KTM 250 Duke||DSK Benelli TNT 25||Yamaha FZ25||Honda CBR250R|
|Max Power||29.6 bhp@9,000rpm||29 bhp@9,800rpm||20 bhp@8,000rpm||26 bhp@8,500rpm|
|Max Torque||24 Nm@7,500rpm||21.6 Nm@8,000rpm||20 Nm@6,000rpm||23 Nm@7,000rpm|
|Front Brake||300mm disc||280mm disc||282mm disc||296mm disc|
|Rear Brake||230mm disc||240mm disc||220mm disc||220mm disc|
|Price (Ex-showroom, Delhi)||₹ 1.73 lakh|| ₹ 1.68 lakh*
|₹ 1.19 lakh|| ₹ 1.60 lakh*
In terms of pulling power too, it's the KTM 250 Duke which has more torque than the rest - with 24 Nm kicking in at 7,500 rpm. The CBR250R makes 22.9 Nm at 7000 rpm, while the Benelli makes 20.6 Nm at 7,000 rpm. In comparison, the Yamaha FZ25 makes just 20 Nm, but clearly it's tuned for better city riding, since peak torque kicks in at 6,000 rpm. In terms of transmission, all bikes here get a six-speed transmission, with the exception of the Yamaha FZ25 which comes paired with a five-speed gearbox.
The Honda CBR250R is the oldest of the bikes compared here and comes at a price of Rs 1.6 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The Benelli TNT 25 is priced at Rs 1.68 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the variant with MRF tyres (the one with Metzeler tyres is for Rs 1.75 lakh). The Yamaha FZ25 may be the least powerful bike here, and without liquid-cooling for the engine, but it's also priced the best - at a very attractive Rs 1.19 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). So, for those on a tight budget looking for a quarter-litre motorcycle, the Yamaha FZ25 suddenly looks very attractive.
Apples to apples, the KTM 250 Duke then offers the best bang for your buck at Rs 1.73 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). And if you're spending that much, the question that will probably bother a lot of buyers is whether to spend Rs 50,000 more and go for the 2017 KTM 390 Duke - more power, more features and more displacement. But then, Rs 50,000 is a lot of money for the discerning buyer, and the 250 promises to offer better fuel efficiency than the 390. And that could well be the deciding factor that could influence sales volumes for KTM.