Duke vs Impulse vs R15
However, the Duke is another ballgame altogether. The Bajaj-made KTM is pretty much the coolest thing to land in India since the Ice Age (not the movie, okay?). It comes wearing a body that is the two-wheeled equivalent of a two-piece bikini with the right proportions – busty at the front and skimpy at the rear, finished in traditional KTM orange.
From the tapered handlebars to the cast-alloy swingarm, the Duke simply reeks of class. Okay, so the wheels’ finish looks a bit cheap and the hand levers are straight off a Pulsar, but I don’t think a lot of people are going to mind that much. Also, I find the back-lit switchgear quite funny and I’m quite sure this Bajaj touch is a first in KTM’s gloriously mud-splattered history.
The trellis frame should have been made more conspicuous, though that robust-looking motor benefits from the chassis’ anonymity. Then there’s the more obvious stuff in the form of India’s first upside-down front forks, while the forged foot levers look great and make you wonder even more why Bajaj couldn’t install better levers on the ’bar! And those loud neo-graffiti decals take away from the origami effect of the tank, in my opinion.