Duke 250 vs Duke 200 Comparison Review

Published on: Feb 26, 2017
KTM 250 Duke vs 200 Duke Comparison Review:

"Both Dukes are very closely matched to each other in terms of performance. The 250 is slightly more powerful, but the 200 is significantly lighter. Both bikes have those unmistakable KTM genes. And even with a blindfold on, you wouldn't mistake them for anything but a KTM"

Pricing & Features Comparison:
The KTM Duke 250 retails for 1.92 Lakh Rs. on road Delhi, which is 32,000 Rs. more expensive than the Duke 200, costing 1.6 Lakh Rs. Both bikes are equipped with rear disc brakes, but the 250 gets an extra slipper clutch, which is absent on the 200, but that is because the 200, simply doesn't need one, just like it doesn't need bar end weights, that are also present on the 250.

Performance & Tractability Comparison:
Both Dukes are very closely matched to each other, in terms of performance. The 250 is slightly more powerful, but the 200 is significantly lighter. Both bikes have those unmistakable KTM genes. Even with a blindfold on, you wouldn't mistake them for anything but a KTM. Mind you, the same cannot be said for motorcycles from some leading brands, because thats how generic they make them. But at the same time, even with the blindfold still on, you could easily distinguish between a 200, and a 250!

 The 200 has a hyper over-square layout, which means a big bore and a short stroke. The 250 on the other hand, is still oversquare, but the bore : stroke ratio, is much lesser than the 200's. This gives the 250 better tractability at lower rpm, than the 200. But then, it misses out on the high pitched shriek, of the Duke 200s exhaust note, instead, it gets a more low-pitched sound, which is still quite good, just not as special, as the 200's.

Instead of using a bored out 200 block on the 250, KTM re-sleeved the 390's block to fit it under the 250cc licence category in western countries.

Power-to-Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Duke 200 - 181, Duke 250 – 186 (difference 3%)
Torque-to-Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Duke 200 - 141, Duke 250 – 149 (difference 6%)

Power (PS@rpm): Duke 200 – 25@10000, Duke 250 – 30@9000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Duke 200 – 19.2@8000, Duke 250 – 24@7500
Kerb Weight (kg): Duke 200 – 136, Duke 250 – 161

Displacement (cc):
 Duke 200 – 199.5, Duke 250 – 249
Gearbox: Duke 200 – 6 speed, Duke 250 – 6 speed

Reliability & After Sales Service Comparison:
Truth be told, KTM has so far had a quite disappointing track record for Reliability and Service Support in our country. Although it does fare better compared to other exotic bike makers from Europe, like Ducati and Aprilia! In most cases the issues are just minor niggles and not really serious deal-breakers. However, KTMs Service centres are mostly run by the same folks who own the local Bajaj dealership, which leaves a lot to be desired about the quality of workmanship and ability to diagnose the faults. What makes it worse is that device and repair cost is also on the higher side, making the premium customers of the brand feeling a bit shortchanged.

Fuel Efficiency Comparison:
The Duke 250 is heavier and has a 50cc bigger engine than the Duke 200, but it produces its power lower in the rev range, requiring less throttle inputs than the 200. Overall, expect the 200 to be just over 1 kmpl more efficient than the 250, in real-world conditions.

Estimated Mileage (kmpl): Duke 200 – 39, Duke 250 - 38

Fuel Cost (for 60,000 km): Duke 200 – 1.20 Lakh, Duke 250 – 1.20 Lakh

Resale & Cost of Ownership Comparison:
5 year old Duke 200s retail for around 85,000 Rs. in the used bike market today. The Duke 250 is expected to hold marginally better resale value than that, 5 to 7 years down the line, while the 200 is expected to depreciate slightly faster. Overall the Duke 250 works out to be around 50,000 Rs. more expensive than the 200 in terms of Overall Ownership Cost.

Resale Value (after 5 to 7 years):
Duke 200 – 80,000 Rs.
Duke 250 – 95,000 Rs.

Total Cost of Ownership: (Price + Fuel Cost - Resale Value)
Duke 200 – 1.85 Lakh
Duke 250 – 2.35 Lakh

Handling & Ride Quality Comparison:
The Duke 250 is slightly heavier, which has taken away some of its flickability, compared to the Duke 200. Don't get us wrong, the Duke 250 is still one of the most agile bikes on the market. However, KTM has tried to compensate by shortening the 250's wheelbase a bit, but it still feels noticeably less flickable than the 200. Apart from that, both Dukes ride on the ultra wide and decently sticky MRF Revz tyres and get the same front USD, rear monoshock suspension setup as well as identical disc brakes at both ends.

The Dukes are a an absolute delight around twisty roads, but have a fairly harsh ride quality and can get tiresome if ridden on broken tarmac for longer duration.

Wheelbase (mm): Duke 200 – 1367+15, Duke 250 – 1357+15.5

Ground Clearance (mm): Duke 200 – 178, Duke 250 - 185

Tyre Size:
Front: Duke 200 – 110/70R17, Duke 250 – 110/70R17
Rear: Duke 200 – 150/60R17, Duke 250 – 150/60R17

Comfort & Ergonomics Comparison:
The Duke 250 is a noticeable improvement over the 200. The seat is bigger and has marginally softer foam, as well. The tank is taller, but the riding position is still the same. Duke 250 mirrors have been made wider, which is great as you no longer have to see just your elbows in the mirrors. Even the pilion seat is slightly bigger than the 200's, although less said about the pillion seat the better.

Seat height (mm): Duke 200 – 810, Duke 250 - 830

Choosing the better bike among these two, has been the toughest decision, we've had to make, among all the comparisons that we have done, till date. Both of them are extremely seductive motorcycles. KTM has succeeded big time, in making them feel 'alive' in the rider's hands. The sheer immediacy, of their engine and chassis responses to the rider's inputs, needs to be experienced, to be believed in.

The Dukes, would be the kind of bikes, that would be made in a post utopian future! Here's some food for thought. Over the past century, the Japanese big-4 Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki, came to dominate the motorcycle industry, by proving that machines that are fast as hell, can also be reliable enough, to last decades. As technology and engineering in the automotive industry progresses, one day in the not so distant future, all manufacturers, even those from Italy and Milwaukee, may start making reliable bikes. In such a world, what would you buy then? Would you buy a silent, linear, jack of all trade motorcycles? Or would you then shift your focus, from reliability and after sales service, to the finer aspects of riding, like throttle response, brake feel, chassis feedback, sporty exhaust note etc. which are actually responsible, for a pleasurable riding experience? These two Dukes feel like they have time travelled from exactly such a future timeline.

On one hand you have the Duke 250, which is easier to ride, more tractable, requires lesser gearshifts and makes that beautiful baritone sound, while at it. But on the other hand, you have the Duke 200. It has a weak low-end, which means you have to always keep it on the boil. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, on the 200 it is actually quite enjoyable! Because when you rev it, it emmits a wonderfully sonorous exhaust note, which goads you on to revving it right up to the redline, in every gear, which is actually doable on the 200, even in the Indian road scenario. Even after revving it to your hearts content, day-in and day-out, treating yourself to that sweetly talkative exhaust sound, you still end up commuting at sensible speeds. The fact that it feels like you are travelling at boy-racer speeds while doing so, is an added bonus.

There is no doubt in our minds, that the Duke 200 is the clear winner of this test. In fact, to us it is the best thing money can buy, this side of a Triumph Street Triple!

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