kTM 200 Duke: FIRST RIDE

Alan Cathcart | February 2, 2012

Nothing succeeds like success and KTM‘s 125 Duke and its sales of 9370 units in its first six months is a success. The four-stroke, entry level single manufactured in India by KTM’s partner (and 39.30 percent shareholder), Bajaj Auto, has proven that the shrewd gamble made by KTM president Stefan Pierer and his colleague Rajiv Bajaj in developing such a bike is paying off. Big time.

For the duo’s dare in producing a range of cool, affordable, entry-level bikes that they help will attract the next generation of riders to choose motorcycling over other forms of leisure pursuit – from wakeboarding to mountain bikes, digital entertainment to rock-climbing – has so far proved a smart move.

Creating the 125 Duke has successfully addressed that objective in terms of KTM’s most youthful entry-level target group, which has developed as a result of the new EU regulations that allow 16 year olds to ride 125cc bikes with a maximum horsepower of 15 horsepower. But it’s interesting that KTM dealer statistics show an even 50/50 split in 125 Duke buyers between 16-18 year-olds, and 18-plus customers. This shows the concept works for older riders, too – perhaps including returnees to two wheels, or car drivers who want something cooler and more fun than a scooter to convert to.

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