Saturday, October 26, 2013

KTM Duke 200 - Adrenalin rush guaranteed !!

Switch on the ignition. Watch the display console. Gear number display and tachometer display comes and goes, speed display starts to count 0,1,2,3,... all the way upto 199 and their it goes down to 0. Some more lights comes and goes off. Here it comes "READY TO RACE" .

But this ain't a race track, we are on Indian two lane roads. Sane speeds is utmost important for us to reach the intended destination else we will be history. The display changes to another mode. Look at that.

"Side Stand Down" is indicated. Its a gentle reminder. Release the side stand. The display changes status.

Some nice stats included. Slip to first gear. Gear number appears on the display console. Gently apply the throttle. We are off. That too quickly. The sound is soothing. No fuss. Rev up the throttle. A growl starts as the chetaah starts to prowl. The growl makes us rev even more hard. The growl becomes a roar. As the RPM rose, the sound reminded of the magnificient TVS suzuki shogun. Even though in a little more subdued way.
The shift indicator light starts to flash. Time to shift the gear. A gentle press on the clutch followed by a gentle tap of the leg. A precise shift. Release the clutch in no time. The sound again diminishes. But rev up the throttle, the growl resurfaces. Repeat this routine till the gear display shows 6. yes 6 gears . We are on a gliding territory.
The seating position akin to sports bikes and we ain't turning the handles for negotiating curves, but swaying. The tyres makes us confidently lean more. They are gripping the road. No fuss. . The power on tap is amazing.
A few minutes ago I was in standing right next to a lean mean machine. The recent genre of sports bike releases in India all had a similar look. Bulleteers call them plastic crap. This one is no plastic crap. Looks different too. It's a naked bike.
Thanks to Bajaj for bringing this machine to India.
The KTM DUKE 200.
 My brother had acquired one recently. Here I am standing near it ready to take a ride.

This is drool maal. The orange revels. The black tone shows a mean character.

The tag line is " Paint the roads orange". Will the tag line be justified. Lets just walk around, take a look and then take this out for a spin. The headlight design jells with the overall theme. An alien ready to prounce.

Look closely. The park light is at the bottom

The park light has a wonderful glow.

The front view is quite aesthetic. The number plate is the only sore point. But we have to live with it. Tried to imagine the plates at different positions. The conventional position under the headlight does not match. The best option is to do away with it. But then we can't ride it in roads. So let it be there.

The front tyre is sleek. No big threads. Only some small slits. Curved ones. Looks cool. Will this be enough for the grip.

The brakes are disc. That too big. Will come in handy in hard breaking situations.

Just behind the front tyre is something which aids in cooling the heart of this machine. The radiator. This is a liquid cooled engine, something which is common for high powered bikes.

But wait, see the position of this radiator. Mud and muck friendly. Add to that the fins of the radiator. Long hours guaranteed spending time with duke to make it dirt free. Wonder whether any radiator guards are available. If yes, will it hamper the normal functioning of the set up. Has to find out.

The engine compartment is safely enclosed in a frame. Truly racing stuff. Looks solid too. Lack of fins in the engine gives it a finished look.

Another "racing" logo. Now in the gear box. This bike for sure has a racing DNA. No wonder this will soon be the heartthrob of the youth.

The clutch cable can be replaced from the outside itself, without opening the gear box. It can be a Do it yourself thing. Watch the shifter. A sporty little one. No pedal on the back. Only upfront. Something which personally I like. Reminds me of the old Yezdi.

See the pic again. The footpeg has a nut at the right extreme. At the underneath. Not sure why this is there. But one thing is sure. The foot peg scrapping will now result in some sparkles. I used to enjoy the smell of burnt rubber after a twisty ghat section. It will be missed here. But footpeg rubber will last long. The brakes looks like a twin of shifter. The pedal is little short for my liking. Am used to those rectangular pedals as brakes.

The nut at the end of footpeg is present here too. Look closely at the engine section. There is no bent pipe. The silencer is no where to be seen. It is neatly hidden on the under body. Something which is unique.

Its a short bottle silencer. Honda unicorn introduced the mono shocks to Indian bikers. The comfort offered by Unicorn is well known. This machine also features mono shocks.

The shock adjuster sits right on top of the shocks. A 3 point adjustment. Adjust this according to your weight and also depending on whether there will be load at the back. The highest position will ensure that, the shocks will not bottom out with a heavy load.

See the funky rear side.

A dog could easily jump through the space between the rear tyre and the frame. Monoshocks and short bottle silencer means no frame is present at the rear. Adds to the naked and mean look of the bike. The rear tyres are really big. The rear mud guard is small. Not a looker. But might serve the purpose. The wide gap is sure to through some muck around. Not only to the passengers, but to the passerby folks too. Disc brakes are featured at the rear too. The brakes are by Bybre. Prominently marked on the brakes

This bike gets regular chains. Needs to be lubricated periodically.

The back seats are wide. But definitely this bike is not pillion friendly. Especially if the pillion is greater than 5 and half feet. Sit in the pillion seat and put your legs on the footrest, you will instantly feel as if you are sitting on an Indian closet. The pillion seat is more higher than the front seats. Hence difficult to climb up too. Once up there you get a clear view of the front over the riders head, even if you are a good 6 inch shorter than the rider.

There is a small but useful storage space underneath the pillion seat The tools, manuals, warranty booklets etc neatly tucked in its place.

I am still in 6th gear.
The early morning traffic is sparse. Hence could glide along in 6th and occassionally in 5th for that extra power. The seating position makes the rider lean towards the front. Try and find out the optimum seating position. Else pain will start in the elbow. Finding the best seating position is not an issue.

The engine is feeling quite refined. No clatter from the front. Occassionally the radiator comes on and off. Bajaj has a sure shot winner on their hands. If the power on tap in a Duke 200 amazes me ( I am bulletter) then what about the new Duke 390. Mouthwatering.

One word of caution though.

These bikes are fast. Ride RESPONSIBLY !!

Always do defensive riding.

Some more shots of this hottie.

1 comment:

Arun Mohan K said...

Super like, useful stuff for bike passionates

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