Turn four out from the pits at the Chakan test track is a tight left hander, almost a u-turn. It's after a series of tight left and right handers, and the KTM 200 Duke I'm astride drops into the corners effortlessly, and that u-turn is where my knee puck makes first contact with tarmac. It's a KTM after all, and the 200 Duke is taut, stable, and gives me the confidence to push it harder and faster around the corners. Out from the left handed curve at the far end of the track, I open up the throttle, and accelerate through the gears. The numbers on the digital screen hit 100, then 120, and over 130 kmph, before it's time to slow down to take the last left hander at the end of the loop.
Also Read: 2020 KTM 390 Duke First Ride Review
Watch the video review of the 2020 KTM 200 Duke and the 2020 KTM 390 Duke here:
The KTM 200 Duke started it all for KTM India back in 2012. It was the first KTM to be introduced in India, and in a way established the brand as a manufacturer of sporty and engaging street bikes. Now, in 2020, the 200 Duke gets updated, not just to meet the upcoming Bharat Stage VI (BS6) emission regulations, but also in the cosmetic and design department, to give it fresh appeal. So, how different is the updated KTM 200 Duke is, and does it justify its premium tag with the refreshed styling, and features? We spent a few laps at Bajaj-KTM's test track in Chakan to get a sense of the new KTM 200 Duke BS6.
Also Read: KTM 200 Duke - New Vs Old
What are the changes?
The biggest change in the updated KTM 200 Duke is the way it looks. The overall styling has been refreshed to bring it more in line with the Duke family, with the likes of the KTM 390 Duke as well as the KTM 250 Duke, with the styling inspired by the big daddy, the KTM 1290R Super Duke. So, now it has the same sharp and angular new headlight, along with the strip of LED daytime running light (DRL). The fuel tank is now bigger, with 13.5 litre capacity, and is metal, compared to the fibre shell of the outgoing KTM 200 Duke with 10.5-litre capacity. It definitely looks sharper, and bigger than the last generation 200 Duke.
The split-steel trellis frame is now borrowed from the 250 and 390 as well, and employs a bolt-on subframe. The front suspension, a 43 mm upside down fork from WP, now gets 2 mm more travel, totalling 142 mm suspension travel. Braking is handled by a four-piston radial fixed caliper gripping a 300 mm disc on the front wheel, and a single-piston floating caliper gripping a 230 mm disc on the rear wheel, but instead of the single-channel ABS on the outgoing model, the new 200 Duke now gets standard dual-channel ABS. The drive chain is X-ring type, compared to the O-ring type chain on the outgoing model.
The overall dimensions have also changed, and the new KTM 200 Duke is longer, wider and taller. Seat height has also increased from 818 mm to 823 mm on the new BS6 model. There's a bigger catalytic converter as well, to make the engine run cleaner, and meet the new emission regulations. But the exhaust is still the underbelly type, and not the side slung design, like the one on the KTM 250 Duke and KTM 390 Duke. But the bigger cat con come with the cost of ground clearance, which has now gone down to 155 mm from the 175 mm ground clearance of the outgoing model. And together with the new and bigger fuel-tank, larger dimensions, new frame and catalytic converter, the 2020 KTM 200 Duke has now put on some added mass, totalling to 11 kg over the outgoing model, with a 159 kg kerb weight.
How does it ride?
The engine remains the same, as does the output, which is a good thing, and outright performance has not been compromised in the effort to meet new emission regulations. The 199.5 cc single-cylinder, four-valve, DOHC, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected engine has the exact same figures, putting out maximum power of 24.7 bhp at 10,000 rpm, and 19.3 Nm of peak torque at 8,000 rpm. The engine runs smooth, and although outright performance isn't exactly back-slapping, the 200 Duke is capable of hitting triple digit speeds without much effort, although the engine does need to be spinned all the way to the redline as you accelerate through the gears to get it performing to its ability. It's the top end which is a tad lazy now, thanks to the added weight, and anything north of 120 kmph will need some real estate and patience.
But it's the corners where the 200 Duke makes its personality and intent amply clear. The wide handlebar allows very good leverage to tackle a series of corners, and the firm ride quality keeps the bike planted and it's 'oh-so-stable' when doing so, it's addictive and extremely entertaining. The MRF tyres offer enough grip for you to feel planted and secure, whether leaned over around a turn or under hard braking. And now, with dual-channel ABS, stopping power also has become more confident and certain. The extra absorption on the front fork also makes it that much better in terms of ride quality, so, the new 200 Duke is an improvement in almost all aspects, apart from the added weight, and the price, of course.
The final word
The KTM 200 Duke was always an engaging and fun motorcycle to ride, and with the styling and feature updates on the 2020 KTM 200 Duke, it does get fresh appeal. While it now feels more contemporary, with dimensions and styling comparable to the KTM 250 Duke and the KTM 390 Duke, it also gets dual-channel ABS now, and more suspension travel on the front fork, as well as a bigger fuel tank which will add to more range. But all those changes mean that the new KTM 200 Duke also gets the most price increase - a whopping ₹ 10,496 over the outgoing 200 Duke.
The 2020 KTM 200 Duke is now priced at ₹ 1,72,749 (Ex-showroom, Delhi), and while the price hike may look justified considering the long list of changes, the problem is sibling rivalry here. With less than ₹ 30,000 price difference between the KTM 200 Duke and the KTM 250 Duke, which is priced at ₹ 2 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi), it will boil down to how much a ₹ 30,000 difference will make in practical terms, or bragging rights, for a slightly bigger engine. But it's exactly that price difference, which makes the 250 now seem like a more tempting option. With a roughly 5 bhp and 5 Nm power increment, as well as more engine displacement, it's the 250 which could well become the 2020 KTM 200 Duke's biggest rival.
(Photography: Pawan Dagia)