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2011-08-08 08:24

MINI-DUKE: You could have a Cagiva Raptor, or this – KTM’s new, very daring, 125.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer KTM
Model DUKE 125
Engine 125cc single, four-stroke
Power 11kW @ 10 500rpm
Torque 15Nm @ 8 000rpm
Transmission Six-speed
Weight 127kg
If you have a teenager dead keen on bikes then he (or she) is bound to hound you with brochures of KTM South Africa’s latest release, the 125cc Duke.

As a naked street bike as opposed to a rugged motocross machine (KTM’s usual fare), the mini-Duke is simply a teenager's dream and probably the most desirable new motorcycle addition to the 125ccc class for quite some time. 

Debuted at Intermot show (in Cologne, Germany, iin October 2010), the mini-Duke is KTM’s first125cc street bike and quite a departure for the Austrian brand.


Why the switch to producing a small-capacity road bike? In essence: emerging market funding. KTM’s received a wad of cash from Indian investor Baja and some advice concerning the company’s product portfolio allegedly came as a package deal with the investment.

To this end the 125 Duke has been configured to be the ultimate urban runabout.

Housed in its chromoly trellis frame (with steel supports) is a 125cc liquid-cooled (and fuel-injected) engine producing only 11kW and 15Nm driving the rear wheel through a six-speed transmission.

Those output statistics may sound a trifle underwhelming yet the mini-Duke weighs a scant 127kg.


Suspension is by long-time KTM partner WP and includes an inverted 43mm fork up front, trailed by a rear shock. Both WP items allow 150mm of travel – perfect for those impromptu pavement-navigating detours.

The mini-Duke’s brakes are substantial enough to effortlessly decelerate its frame momentum, the obligatory Brembo rotors (front and rear) measure 280mm and 230mm in diameter.

With an easily accessible seat height of 81cm, 184mm of ground clearance a 1.35m wheelbase and 65-degree steering head angle, the mini-Duke’s configuration and dimensions are perfect for novice teenager rider or those seeking an easy to manoeuvre naked urban street bike.

With a rear pin-joint swingarm (mirroring the 690 Duke’s design) and similar outer tube fork diameter to KTM RC8 R superbike, the mini-Duke’s ride and handling characteristics should provide the best of both worlds – offering comfort and stability, whilst retaining an agility crucial to the appeal of 125cc naked bikes.

SENSIBLE STREETFIGHTER?: No matter the angle, KTM’s first 125cc streetbike is a looker…

The mini-Duke’s 11-litre tank, KTM claims (despite the lack of elaborate fairing aided aerodynamics), yields an operational range of 300km. That equates to an economical 3.6 litres/100km, rather important when you're 16-years old and on a budget…

With the spring/summer riding season approaching, expect to be confronted by a host of hints (and brochures) about KTM's new 125 by your teen to justify what a good investment it is at R38 999.

Inside Wheels24

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