Dominar vs KTM Duke 200 Comparison Review

Published on: Feb 03, 2017
KTM 200 Duke vs Bajaj Dominar 400 Comparison:

Pricing & Features Comparison: 
The Dominar, 400 non-ABS retails for 1.53 Lakh Rs, on road Delhi, which is 7000 Rs. cheaper than the KTM Duke 200, costing 1.6 Lakh Rs. Dominar gets a slipper clutch over the Duke 200, mainly because it needs it, to avoid violent snatching at low revs, in higher gear. Dominar’s LED headlamp, is brighter than Duke’s bulb-type unit, but doesn’t have the spread of the Duke’s headlamp, while cornering in the dark. Dominar also lacks USD forks, a lightweight trellis frame and die-cast aluminum swing arm. However, Dominar 400 is available with ABS for an added 15,000 Rs. extra.

Pricing of Other Variants:

Dominar 400 ABS - 1.68 Lakh 

Performance & Tractability Comparison: 
Cubic capacity is a pointless metric, while judging a bike’s performance. The Duke 200 is a living proof of this fact. In spite of the Dominar having an 87% bigger displacement, the end result is that, it is not even a second quicker to 100 kmph than the Duke. However, due to the shorter gearing on the Duke, it does clock a 14 kmph lower top-speed, than the Dominar. But that’s not the whole story. Numbers are for bean counters, for riders, what matters is the feel. In that sense, the Duke, is nothing short of sensory overload.
 Thumb the starter and it settles into a high pitched buzz, at idle, resembling the high-strung buzz of a bumblebee, alert, and ready for action.

Wring the throttle, and as you progress through the rev-range, you can actually feel each consecutive harmonic frequency getting activated, at an interval of 1500-2000 revs, treating you to acoustic satisfaction, unmatched by anything costing less than those multi-cylinder exotics. Also, most bikers miss the point, that making use of the entire rev-range of a 200 cc bike, is way more enjoyable, than riding a litre-class bikes at the lower-end of their rev range. In contrast, the Dominar’s muted exhaust note, and hefty weight, coupled to an over-square bore-stroke, makes it feel like a big bike, powered by a 125cc engine, at lower revs. It is by no means even close to Duke 200 in terms of feel.

Acceleration (0-100 kmph): Duke 200 – 9.2 sec, Dominar 400 – 8.3 sec
Top-speed (kmph): Duke 200 – 135, Dominar 400 – 149

Power-to-Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Duke 200 - 184, Dominar 400 – 192 (difference 3%)
Torque-to-Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Duke 200 - 135, Dominar 400 – 192 (difference 30%)

Power (PS@rpm): Duke 200 – 25@10,000, Dominar 400 – 35@8000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Duke 200 – 19@8000, Dominar 400 – 35@6500
Kerb Weight (kg): Duke 200 – 136, Dominar 400 – 182

Displacement (cc): Duke 200 – 199.5, Dominar 400 – 373.3
Gearbox: Duke 200 – 6 speed, Dominar 400 – 6 speed

Reliability & After Sales Service Comparison: 
Neither KTM nor Bajaj, have a great track-record for Product Reliability or Service Support. On one hand, there’s the added risk of buying the Dominar, which sports an unproven, desi head fitted on to the Duke 390’s block. The Duke 200, has been around for over 5 years, and most of its teething troubles have been ironed out by now. But on the other hand, the Dominar has access to a wider reach of Bajaj’s regular touch points, as opposed to the Duke’s ‘probiking’ centres, which are available only in the metros. However, don’t be under the false impression, that all of Bajaj’s touch points, will be sufficiently trained to service a complex bike like the Dominar.

Fuel Efficiency Comparison: 
In our back-to-back tests, the Duke 200 was consistently over 8 kmpl more efficient than the Dominar 400.

Test Mileage (kmpl): Duke 200 – 39, Dominar 400 - 31

Fuel Cost (for 60,000 km): Duke 200 – 1.20 Lakh, Dominar 400 – 1.50 Lakh

Resale & Cost of Ownership Comparison: 
Both bikes are bound to fetch more or less similar resale value post a usage of 5 to 7 years. However, thanks to Duke’s fuel efficiency, it will save you around 40k over a usage of 60,000 kilometers compared to the Dominar, making it 35,000 Rs lighter on the pocket in terms of Overall Ownership Cost.

Resale Value (after 5 to 7 years):
Duke 200 – 75,000 Rs.
Dominar 400 (non-ABS) – 75,000 Rs.

Total Cost of Ownership: 
Duke 200 – 1.95 Lakh
Dominar 400 (non-ABS) – 2.30 Lakh

Handling & Ride Quality Comparison: 
The Dominar is a butcher’s knife, while the Duke is a surgeon’s scalpel. The Duke uses a lethal combination of a lightweight yet rigid trellis frame, fat upside-down front forks, and that deliciously intricate swing arm, to transmit unadulterated feel, from the surface beneath, best enjoyed on short sprints over a smooth ribbon of tarmac. However, its stiff suspension, though not as stiff as the 390’s, results in a jarring ride that can quickly get unbearable, on anything less than top-quality roadwork. The Dominar has a well-cushioned ride, courtesy of its soft suspension setup, and ultra-long wheelbase, but it lacks the agility around tight corners. The Dominar also feels quite a handful, while maneuvering around town, whereas the Duke, is just spot on for hunting the smallest of gaps in traffic, which is exactly what most riders use it for.

Ground Clearance (mm): Duke 200 – 178, Dominar 400 - 157

Tyre Size: 
Front: Duke 200 – 110/70R17, Dominar 400 – 110/70R17
Rear: Duke 200 – 150/60R17, Dominar 400 – 150/60R17

Wheelbase (mm): Duke 200 – 1367+/-15, Dominar 400 – 1435

Comfort & Ergonomics Comparison: 
The Duke has explicit, street-fighter riding position, with a wide & low handlebar, and moderately rear-set foot-pegs. It has a hard seat and even harder palm grips, making it a bit tiresome to ride, after spending a couple of hours in the saddle. Those who are out of shape, with pot bellies and stiff joints, can just forget about it. The Dominar has a far more relaxed riding position than the Duke, with a generous seat, giving it much better ergonomics for touring. Dominar’s big plastic tank and even bigger tank extensions, make it feel a bit intimidating at first and do take a while, to get used to.

Seat height (mm): Duke 200 – 810, Dominar 400 - 800

From a purely technical perspective, the Duke is a better motorcycle. Duke’s performance is almost as good as the Dominar'. But Dominar’s dynamics are nowhere even close to that of the Duke. In terms of value for money, the Duke is noticeably cheaper than the Dominar, in terms of Long Term ownership Costs, as well.

 As a toy, nothing else in the market even comes close to the Duke 200. Its telepathic throttle response, talkative exhaust note, and the immediacy of its reactions, makes it a two wheeled equivalent, of a go-kart. The Dominar on the other hand is not good at anything, in particular. It is too bulky for daily commuting, not sporty enough for racing, not tough enough for off-roading, and not practical enough for touring. Only thing it is really good at is posing. And a poser can only be a loser in our comparisons.