The 2021 KTM 125 Duke has received a major cosmetic overhaul, getting a styling similar to its older siblings, the 200 and 250 Duke. So, it comes with aggressively styled bodywork as well as full-LED lighting for the tail lamp and turn indicators. The headlamp comes with an LED DRL.
For a 125cc motorcycle, the KTM 125 Duke is heavily packed with features like inverted front forks, LCD instrument cluster that offers multiple information as well as a single-channel ABS. Now, the overall build quality is decent and so is the paint and plastic quality. However, the 125 Duke could do with slightly better fitment in a few areas.
In true streetfighter style, the KTM 125 Duke offers a slightly aggressive riding position. The new model also offers a spacious seat that is comfortable over long rides. Furthermore, the bike’s ride quality is also plush for the most part. It does feel stiff at higher speeds, but it is never unsettling.
Weighing in at 159kg, the 125 Duke is heavy for a 125cc motorcycle. It is also heavier than its rival- the Yamaha MT15. Although, since it is well balanced, the 125 Duke is easy to move around in parking and while manoeuvring in city.
And underneath its new styling and split trellis frame the 2021 KTM 125 Duke is the same as the previous version. It comes with a 124cc, single-cylinder engine that produces 14.3bhp and 12Nm. While it seems to lack pull lower down the rev range, the 125 Duke feels lively from 5500-7000rpm.
Adding to the experience is a slick shifting six-speed transmission and a light clutch pull. Even the brakes that have been derived from the 200 Duke offer a good bite and feedback. Moreover, the single-channel ABS does a great job too and is not intrusive.
The main purpose of the 125 Duke is to cater to new riders and serve as a fast commuter. In that sense, it ticks all the right boxes. The bike has accessible power, good braking, manageable weight, a smooth transmission and incredible handling.
But in our opinion, the 2021 KTM 125 Duke does not offer value for money with a price tag of Rs 1.51 lakh. At a lesser price, the market offers much more powerful and feature-rich motorcycles like the Yamaha MT-15 and TVS Apache RTR 200 4V.