Recent rumours that KTM is readying to launch the KTM 125 Duke in India, makes us sceptical of it will be Austrian bike maker's right decision. As the 200, 250 and 390 Dukes are already on sale in India. we kept all doubts aside when we got to know that the brand is indeed serious about launching KTM 125 Duke. Well, as per opinions, it would really be struggling for the model to strengthen in the Indian market. For learners, a 125cc segment is a sensible approach as the churned power is manageable and bikes barebones USD forks, liquid-cooled engine, ABS, etc. The riders who are seeking to get A1 licence primarily go for the bikes like the 125 Duke.
The A1 licence is issued in Europe for the young or first time riders ageing between 16-17 years to opt for motorcycle/scooters up to 125cc, using up to 11kW (15PS) of power. The Premium European 125cc bikes like the Duke comes packed with a complicated powertrain and underpinnings which conveys the riding experience of much bigger bikes and sustain rider under licencing norms. Investing in such premium motorcycles make the riders ponder of powerful variants of the same brand post getting licenced for the entry-level bikes. As per the sayings, these bikes played a vital role in collecting a major chunk of revenue for manufacturers in developed markets. Consequently, these small bikes are a sensible decision in the company’s portfolios.
Whereas, the Indian market shares a radically different story. The 125cc premium motorcycles here are like a step-up from basic commuter bikes and scooters. The performance motorcycles, on the other hand, are positioned at higher displacement with a costlier price tag. The situation here is pretty dangerous for the European 125cc premium motorcycles if not get tagged aggressively with the 200cc bikes in the country. Here price and displacement are two interconnected units. If paying a premium pricing bike should be packed with a higher displacement powertrain. Our audience sees the 125 Duke is not like a good proportion of price and displacement, leaving a few. That’s why the current European 125 Duke won’t turn in Austrian bike maker’s favour in India.
The bike which possesses the KTM 390 Duke styling, aggressive bodywork, full-colour TFT screen, ABS, cartridge forks, among others would be priced higher than the ongoing 200 Duke. The 200 Duke is on sale in India at INR 1.51 lakh ex-Delhi pricing.
Why the suggested price tag is a matter of question for the 125 Duke buyers?. It packs a 124.7cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled mill which develops 15PS of power and 12Nm of torque from a mated six-speed gearbox. The churned power is 0.2PS more than the rival Suzuki Gixxer in India which uses a better torque output of 14Nm. At the same time, the Gixxer’s air-cooled engine is simple and pocket-friendly in lieu of regular maintenance than the sophisticated liquid-cooled power plant of the 125 Duke. The factor that pulls audience towards the Gixxer is its price tag of INR 87,871 (ex-showroom Delhi), with a rider’s aid of single-channel ABS considerably cheaper than the 125 Duke.
What KTM Hopes for the 125 Duke?
In India, the KTM India considered that the newly introduced 5-year insurance would work in brand’s favour in a way, the 200 Duke’s on-road pricing touching nearly Rs 2 lakh in some cities. Also, the required ABS inclusion from April onwards would price the 200 Duke above INR 2 lakh on-road. Consequently, the KTM would go out of INR 1-2 lakh zone where it generates major volume in India. To bridge that gap, the 125 would be a good option. Also, there are a small number of customers available in the Indian market who would love to join the KTM bandwagon when a 200 Duke is a costlier option considering power.
As per the rumours around, KTM 125 Duke that is expected soon will feature the 200 Duke’s body language, especially for India-bound model. The India-spec model is less probable to be an expensive offering than the International-spec model. Connectivity, it would result in the 200 Duke’s price cut by around INR 35,000 - 40,000. For the 125 Duke, the asking price would be around INR 1.20 lakh, ex-showroom that is accepted for a few with the presence of a dual-channel ABS. in clear views, the 125 Duke is not a perfect value bike for India against the 200 used to be. Albeit it would create a fun entry-level segment for a lot of new riders.