Surprise! It's the KTM Duke 250 and RC250

28 March 2015 - 12:16

Surprise! It's the KTM Duke 250 and RC250

Bet you didn't see this one coming: the Tokyo Motorcycle Show is under way, and KTM's just taken the wraps off the newest Duke/RC cousins. Say hello, everyone, to the 250 Duke and RC250.

These, as their names tell you, are proper quarter-litre motorcycles. Power comes from a 250cc single-cylinder motor, which, surprisingly, is a downsized version of the 373.2cc engine seen on the 390s, and not a bored-out 200 mill. Peak power is rated at 31bhp, and torque stands at 24Nm, an improvement of 6bhp and 5Nm over the 200. That said, the 250s are just as heavy as the 390s: the RC weighs in at 147kg dry, while the Duke is 139kg.

The rest, as you'd expect, stays the same. Six-speed gearbox, upside-down front forks by WP, WP monoshock, steel trellis frame, they're all there. The only visual differentiator is the 250 tag. What's also standard on these bikes is ABS and a slipper clutch.

Why would KTM bother with something like this, you ask. Well, there are a few reasons for it to do that. Firstly, its rivals are coming in with their own 250cc offerings - Kawasaki with the Ninja 250SL and the Z250SL, and Yamaha with the R25 - so the Austrian manufacturer would do well to have all bases covered. There is a bit of a gap between the 200 and the 390, which will cease to exist with the arrival of the 250. And, when its Moto3 machines displace 250cc, why shouldn't its track-bikes-for-the-road have equally-as-big hearts?

It doesn't look like the 250s will only be made for a specific market. KTM's put in some effort to come up with these, and with the bikes being manufactured in our land, we won't be surprised to see them being launched here as well. They'd cost a tad more than the 200s, but that'd be okay, because KTM must also distance itself from the more affordable, similarly-sized Pulsars in terms of performance, as well as price.

What do you think, dotcommers?


TAGS // ktm, duke, 250 duke, rc250

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