Duke 250 vs FZ 25 Comparison Review

Published on: Feb 24, 2017
Yamaha FZ25 vs KTM Duke 250 Comparison Review:

"Is the KTM Duke 250, worth the extra 60,000 Rs. over the Yamaha FZ25? Is it worth saving up a little more, and going for the Duke 250, rather than settling for the FZ 25? Lets find out in our Yamaha FZ 25 vs Duke 250 Comparison Review"

Pricing & Features Comparison:
The KTM Duke 250 retails for 1.92 Lakh Rs. on road Delhi, which is 58,000 Rs. more expensive than the FZ 25 costing 1.34 Lakh Rs. Both bikes are equipped with rear disc brakes but neither of them offers ABS, even as an option. However, the Duke 250 does get a slipper clutch, which is absent on the FZ.

Performance & Tractability Comparison:
Even though both bikes are 250cc, single cylinder machines, they are totally different animals on the road. Both these bikes have evolved on two seperate continents, in countries that are roughly on the exact opposite side of each other, on the face of this Earth. They personify the unique philosophies of their manufacturers. The Duke always feels high strung. Always feels like a puppy straining on its leash, ready to spring ahead at a slight twist of the throttle. It feels like 'having fun' is its no. 1 priority. Compared to the 200, KTM has tried to knock some sense into 250, by making the layout less oversquare and paying attention to the mid-range, making it more usable, slightly quieter, but we really wish they hadn't. It would have been more fun, if they had made it even more oversquare, angrier, louder and totally bonkers!

The Yammie is more subdued, more tractable, imacculately smooth and more tenacious. It is a more well-rounded package, which delivers reasonable performance, without compromising on either durability or refinement. It is far less demanding from the rider in terms of his throttle cortrol skills and ability to work the gearbox. But it sorely lacks that ability to plant a stupid, ear-to-ear grin, on the rider's face.

Power-to-Weight Ratio (PS/ton): FZ25 - 141, Duke 250 – 186 (difference 32%)
Torque-to-Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): FZ25 - 135, Duke 250 – 149

Power (PS@rpm): FZ25 – 20.9@8000, Duke 250 – 30@9000
Torque (Nm@rpm): FZ25 – 20@6000, Duke 250 – 24@7500
Kerb Weight (kg): FZ25 – 148, Duke 250 – 161

Displacement (cc):
 FZ25 – 249, Duke 250 – 249
Gearbox: FZ25 – 5 speed, Duke 250 – 6 speed

Reliability & After Sales Service Comparison:
Yamaha easily has an advantage over KTM, when it comes to the inherent reliability of their bikes. Firstly, Yamaha has been making motorcyles for several decades longer than KTM and have built a bulletproof reputation for reliability, all over the world, including India. Secondly, bikes like the FZ25 aren't really pushing the envelope of engineering, employ simpler technology, and are generally built with a higher factor of safety, compared to KTMs. KTM's bikes, have always tried to extract the last drop of performance from their machines, resulting in some well known teething troubles, and have proven to be much more demanding in terms of maintenance, than equivalent Yamahas.

Fuel Efficiency Comparison:
Thanks to the FZ's relaxed state of tune, stronger low-end and restrictive, fuel-efficiency friendly, 2-valve per cylinder layout, expect it to be roughly 4 to 5 kmpl more efficient, than the Duke 250 on road.

Estimated Mileage (kmpl): FZ25 – 41, Duke 250 - 38

Fuel Cost (for 60,000 km): FZ25 – 1.10 Lakh, Duke 250 – 1.25 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. FZ25's resale value on the other hand is bound to be more in line with R15s than FZ16s, which is around 65,000 Rs. Overall, the FZ25 works out to be 50,000 Rs. or 20% cheaper than the Duke 250, in terms of Total Cost of Ownership.

Resale Value (after 5 to 7 years):
FZ25 – 65,000 Rs.
Duke 250 – 90,000 Rs.

Total Cost of Ownership: (Price + Fuel Cost - Resale Value)
FZ25 – 1.80 Lakh
Duke 250 – 2.30 Lakh

Handling & Ride Quality Comparison:
No wonder Yamaha is known as a wizard when it comes to dynamics. In spite of the Duke being more stiffly sprung, the FZ almost matches it, in terms of handling, with a natural flickability, excellent grip and brilliant feedback from the surface below! What makes it even more impressive is that it does so without any of the fancy cycle parts like the Duke. It uses a conventional diamond frame unlike the Duke complicated trellis construction, a box section steel swingarm instead of Duke's intricate die-cast aluminium affair and conventional front forks as opposed to the much touted upside-down units on the Duke. Even its tyres are 10mm narrower than the Duke!

But that's not all! The Duke's hard-edged ride is simply no match to the unexpectedly pliant and comfortable ride quality of the FZ!  

Wheelbase (mm): FZ25 – 1360, Duke 250 – 1357+15.5

Ground Clearance (mm): FZ25 – 160, Duke 250 - 185

Tyre Size:
Front: FZ25 – 100/80R17, Duke 250 – 110/70R17
Rear: FZ25 – 140/70R17, Duke 250 – 150/60R17

Comfort & Ergonomics Comparison:
KTM has worked upon some valuable feedback on the 200's ergonomics and made a host of improvements on the Duke 250. The seats have been heavily reworked, with a wider and well cushoined seat squab, which is a big improvement over the 200's notoriously small and stone hard unit. Overall though, the FZ 25 feels a tad bit more ergonomic than the Duke. Both bikes have a slightly forward leaning riding position typical of the streetfighter segment, which gives them a commanding riding position, ideal for slicing through traffic around city streets, but can get a bit tiring on longer rides. As for the pillion seat, Duke 250's seat is definitely an improvement over the 200's but it is still not as generous as the FZ 25's.

Seat height (mm): FZ25 – 795, Duke 250 - 830

Frankly, you just can't go wrong with either of these bikes. They are the best alternatives available in the market for their respective price points. Chosing between the two of them essentially boils down to what you, as a rider, expect from your motorcycle. If you expect years of trouble-free, stress-free riding, be it for daily commuting, or inter-state touring, with enough performance to do triple digit speeds on the Highways, without compromising much on fuel economy, the FZ 25 will do it all!

But if you want a toy, which will keep you entertained, from the moment you thumb the starter, to the moment to press the kill switch, you better save up that extra bit of dough, for the Duke! To us the effervescent nature of the Duke bristling with feel, the telepathic throttle response, the eagerness with which it invites the rider along on every ride, tilts the judgement firmly in its favour, making it the indubitable winner of this comparison!

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