Picture a road. Is it wide, smooth and empty? Is it busy with traffic? Does it take you from ‘A to B’ or is it open and inviting? Do you pass mountains and amazing landscapes? Or are you gliding past buildings and urbanity with ease and freedom? We all have a vision of our journey, but what to ride?
We reckon the spellbinding array of 2021 KTM naked bikes and the famous KTM DUKE family is a passport to excitement and mobility.
The KTM 125 DUKE is power in a small, well-directed punch. Young riders or new riders will relish that distinctive sense of identity that all bikers enjoy. Cruising the city, escaping for the day or even daring to drag a knee, the KTM 125 DUKE harnesses all the style and performance guidelines of its senior brothers to fantastic effect. It truly is THE SPAWN OF THE BEAST.
The fuel-injected, light, compact motor – now Euro5 ready – pumps out A1-applicable 15Hp (11kw) thanks to state-of-the-art injection electronics. Fuel consumption is as efficient (a 300km reach) as the handling is sharp. The flighty behaviour comes courtesy of the agile chassis and low centralisation. WP Suspension upside-down forks, and a shock with an adjustable preload – take any luggage or passenger you want – complement other specs like the BYBRE brakes with a 300mm front disc and 230mm rear, dual channel ABS, 17” cast alloy wheels and a range of juicy KTM PowerParts upgrades in order to really embrace the KTM DUKE vibe.
For 2021 the bike is arguably more aesthetic than ever with two different colour schemes. In one example a classy gray is offset by the striking orange trellis frame and the sporty profile of the silencer. It’s fetching and minimal but functional and instantly appealing. Bystanders will have to look twice to differentiate the KTM 125 DUKE from its larger siblings.
Those with more mileage in their right hands or seeking a potent corner rocket will satisfy their quest with the KTM 390 DUKE. The bike is a deft touch. The glide from street, dual carriageways to country lanes and rapid blasts of fun has never felt simpler. It’s a dream for an A2 licence holder or even for those who want to wear a grin with their daily commuting grind.
The KTM 390 DUKE brings enviable power-to-weight performance to the market. The Euro5-compatible motor churns out 44Hp (32kw) at a dry weight of less than 150kg. Ride-by-wire, 46mm throttle bodies and a slipper clutch administer the output, and a 13.4l tank ensures the glee is sustained over distance. An optional Quickshifter+ for 2021 is a must. ABS is fed through the BYBRE brake package and riders will be able to clearly tell if Supermoto mode is engaged thanks to the wide TFT dash display. The view will be steady and reassuring thanks to the WP Suspension forks with open-cartridge tech and the 150mm adjustable shock.
We also reckon the 2021 gray and white colour options are mouth-watering. Try and spot the difference between the KTM 390 DUKE and the other bigger members of the range. The blend of shades from the tank, frame and subframe as well as front mask and LED headlight and finely integrated pillion seat will stir the soul. Riders will love the playfulness of the KTM 390 DUKE, but will also get a kick out of their appearance on the highway.
There are simply no boundaries in 2021. Picture a road. Are you there yet?
Adriaan Sinke, Head of KTM Product Management, told us: “We have a lot of pride in the KTM DUKE range because we know the motorcycles can offer so much performance and pleasure for fantastic value. There is a bike to suit whatever taste or preference or principal use. We believe the KTM 125 DUKE is an absolute reference in the category and young riders won’t find a more exciting buzz on two wheels. The KTM 390 DUKE could be considered a step up, and corners like a dream. The technical specifications speak for themselves. Updating the look and style of the KTM DUKEs was an important move for us and we feel we’ve hit the mark for 2021.”
- Main image | KTM 125 DUKE