KTM Duke 125 – 2011 | Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions

KTM Duke 125 – 2011

27 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on KTM Duke 125 – 2011
KTM 125 Duke

KTM Duke 125 – 2011

KTM is a motorcycle brand synonymous with Motocross and Enduro but not necessarily in the UK for road bikes for new and leaner riders, but this may be all about to change.

www.inter-bike.co.uk recently attended the UK press launch of KTM’s all new Duke 125 which KTM hope will transform their fortunes in this market sector, currently in the UK, KTM only has a 3% market share for street models.

KTM like other manufacturers have realised that due to the aging profile of current motorcycle riders that they need new customers, new younger riders who will get switched onto the KTM brand at an early age and then of course hopefully stay with the brand.

The KTM Duke 125 has been specifically developed to comply with the new European Driving Licence requirements which come into force in 2013 which attempt to standardise the current extremely complex and varied rules for riding 125cc motorcycles in the various countries of the EEC.

As such its maximum power out-put, minimum weight, top speed and thus power to weight ratio have been determined and set by this new legislation, however outside of this KTM have striven to design a 125cc that satisfies the very demanding requirements of the youth market sector.

KTM under took detailed market research including interviewing 90 youngsters to find out what they really want from a 125cc motorcycle. They said:-

“We want an adult motorcycle not a kid’s bike”

“We want to “finish” it ourselves” indicating a strong demand for individualisation

“We are looking for a motorcycle a brand”

Other requirements KTM identified included good handling, riding stability, use of quality components, wide range of use, lightweight, must be reliable, lots of pillion use, vey functional, user friendly and perhaps most importantly low cost both in terms of purchase prices, servicing and fuel costs.

So not a lot for new 125cc bike to live up to then!

So now to the bike, firstly the new Duke 125 is a naked model, weighing an extremely lightweight 118kg (without fuel) with a single cylinder, 4 stroke, 124.7 cc engine which produces a legislation set 11.3kW (15HP) @ 10,500/min and 12Nm of torque at 8,000/min.

This is an all new engine, with twin overhead camshafts for its four valves which allow the engine to rev well over 10, 000 rpm, but this is kept as smooth as possible with a balancer shaft. Fuelling is provided by state of the art electronic fuel injection from Bosch.

Of particularly note is the mid mounted, under belly stainless steel exhaust, which is placed between the swingarm and engine. KTM told us much development work went into the production of this which is a unique patented three chamber with catalytic converter, particularly in getting the exhaust note just right, more of this later.

Now with KTM’s off road prowess you would expect the frame and suspension to be top notch and in this respect KTM have delivered, with their “ready to Race” moto, the frame has been overdesigned to take even greater power and performance (perhaps larger capacity models are in the pipeline?) It has a lightweight steel tubular space frame similar to that on the much larger 690 Duke and this is twinned with a very attractive looking die-cast aluminium lattice work swingarm.

Suspension is top quality White Power, with the rear shock sporting a progressive spring. Whilst upfront are WP upside-down 43mm forks.

Are you seeing a theme here, a small bike that is equipped like the best large motorcycle, responding to the desire for an “adult motorcycle”.

The theme continues with in-house designed aluminium cast wheels which are sporting particularly wide tyres for a 125cc, being front 110/70 x 17” and rear 150/60 x 17” rear.

Brakes are top quality too being made by Bybre a Brembo subsidiary. The front is equipped with no less than radially mounted 4 piston callipers all topped off with steel braided hoses.

If it’s bling you want ( which we are sure will appeal to the youth market) then there are LED indicators, LED tail light, LED lit licence plate and a fully digital multifunction cockpit display which has a plethora of functions and information, including speedo, rev counter, clock, gear indicator, total kilometres travelled, journey time, two trip displays, fuel gauge, fuel consumption indicator and distance to next service.

Catering to the perceiving increased use as transport for a pillion the Duke 125 has a two piece seat and overall ergonomically it has been designed to comfortably accommodate a wide range of body sizes.

So what is the new Duke 125 like in the flesh. Well when we first set eyes on it, it immediately strikes you as looking like a big bike, a full size Duke. Infact it’s only the small 125 decal on the tank and the obviously smaller engine profile that gives away the fact it’s a 125cc Duke. For a 125cc model this bike has real presence.

In fact one could go as far to say as its looks very purposeful.

The striking graphics, standard orange KTM colour offset against the black frame, black fork stanchions and particularly appealing lattice work swing arm is truly eye catching and is surely to appeal to wide cross section of today’s current and future motorcyclists.

As soon as you sit on the Duke 125 it has a large bike feel, this is no kid’s bike. The comfortable seat and deeply sculpted 11 litre tank accommodated this testers 6ft 3” large frame without issue. The 750mm wide handlebars are comfortably positioned and the LCD display easily falls to view.

The mirrors are slightly more fashion over function, but provide an adequate rear view.

Immediately you prod the starter button the bike continues with its big bike credentials, with a pleasingly deep exhaust note for such a small engine, a very pleasing contrast from many other bikes of this size which sound like agitated sewing machines.

As soon as you pull away, the ride-ability of this Duke shines through. The clutch action is light and sweet, the gear box selector action is positive whilst again light in action and aided by the digital gear indicator, a great aid to the novice motorcyclist.

The steering is easy, with minimal turning effort being required due to the wide bars. The engine is particularly free revving, with rapid progress being made through the gears. With maximum torque being achieved at 8,000 rpm and max power at an even higher 10,500 rpm, you need a free revving engine to keep the motor spinning above at least 7,000 rpm to get the real best out of it.

KTM 125 Duke

We found that up to the 10,000 rpm the engine was fairly smooth but push much beyond this and some vibration sets in and an angry red warning light flashes on the cockpit display to warn you that you are over revving the engine.

Sprightly progress can be made, given that the engine tops out with this tester on board at about 66 mph, a lighter, younger riders might touch 70 mph with luck. Therefore we found the bike suitable for town. A, B C roads but obviously on motorways and dual carriageways the limited top speed is a little lacking.

In town the bikes light weight, and light controls made manoeuvring and filtering in traffic very easy and the tight turning circle meant no feet down U turns were a breeze. We suspect this bike might spend a large proportion of its lifetime in urban environments and as such its easy ride ability will quickly find fans in the youth market.

However where we enjoyed riding this Duke the most was on twisty country back roads where KTM’s off road heritage comes into play. With the White Power suspension and lightweight frame the handling of this machine was remarkably good. The bike could be leaned at ludicrous angles on it’s Indian branded tyres and the firm suspension reduced any pitching about.

However as exciting as playing this Duke around the back lanes is you need to be confident it will stop just as effectively and again the quality of the components and the overall set up was evident, the brakes were very, very, positive, hauling the machine to stop with the minimum of fuss, with no discernable fork dive. All very important, when this bike will be ridden by new riders who will need the bike to respond safely and predictably in all situations, including emergency braking.

So we are happy to say KTM have delivered an adult bike, at no point does this feel like a kid’s bike. In fact other than the performance limit’s, this bike is most definitely a full size Duke.

So what of the demand for individualisation, well we re pleased to say KTM have got this covered off as well, with many customisation options, though due to the legislation driven power limitations, additional engine tuning is not available.

Custom options include, PowerParts sticker kits to transform the bikes appearance, wavy discs with orange anodised brackets, PowerParts rim stickers. PowerParts orange chain, stainless steel chain guard, Powerparts shortened licence plate holder, solo seat race style cover, PowerParts head light mask, but most surprising a lighting kit consisting of LED strips that can apparently be fitted anywhere on the Duke.

Now purchase cost and running cost are obviously of paramount importance, for parents who might be making the purchase for a son or daughter and for the son or daughter having to pay perhaps for petrol and servicing.

The purchase price in the UK is set to be £3,695 on the road with some form of free insurance and/or low rate finance also being offered when the model goes on sale shortly in UK dealers.

Fuel consumption should be in the range of 2.6 to 3.4 litres per 100 km which equates at best to over 100mpg. Very frugal! Servicing is required at the first 1000km (600 miles) and then every 5000km (3,100 miles).

So the Duke 125 has all the credentials to be a street success and hopefully propel the KTM brand forward in this very important market sector. In fact for all of us who are motorcyclists past, present and future we need manufacturers such as KTM to offer exciting, credible and affordable motorcycles such as the Duke 125 to the youth of today, so that motorcycling as a form of transport and a pastime has a long term future going forward.

Note all performance figures, weights and technical specifications are as claimed by the manufacturer


New price *: £3,695

Engine: Single cylinder 4-stroke

KTM 125 Duke
KTM 125 Duke
KTM 125 Duke
KTM 125 Duke
KTM 125 Duke

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