Automotive

KTM RC 200 VS Duke 200

If you are looking forward to buy a 200cc KTM sports bike, chances are you are undergoing the same confusion which is haunting many other potential buyers of KTM. The Bajaj-owned manufacturer has two bikes in this power segment – the RC 200 and Duke 200.

The KTM RC200 combines the brilliant 200cc engine from the Duke 200 with an undercarriage derived specifically from the KTM’s Moto3 racer motorcycles, and the outcome is remarkable. Just like the greater RC390, this bike too includes similar attributes that differentiates the RC from the standard Duke, specifically a taller sub-frame and a more extreme directing point notwithstanding the full fairing and level bars. However, which one suit you better completely depends on what your requirements are. Let’s dive into the specs of both the bike and see which one is made for you.

Design and Styling

The RC 200 is one beautiful bike. The brilliant looking headlights are not liked by everyone, still the motorcycle looks amazing, particularly in the combination of matte black, orange, and slight shade of white. You will be amazed at how much attention it will draw from others. The back seat that resembles a cowl is a perfect expansion to the outline. The all LED tail lights give the RC a touch of style at the back as well. On account of the expansion of the fairing and different parts, the RC200 is about 12kg heavier than the 200 Duke. On the negative side, the fairing has a couple of excessively numerous crevices which are hard to venture while cleaning.

On the other hand, the design and concept of the Duke 200 is relatively new for Indian customers. In the front, the bike carries short and sleek headlight, but lacks a visor, so the rider always feels the wind blast while riding fast. The short and stubby front mudguard with the combination of big upside down telescopic forks makes it looks macho. The back mudguard is extremely sporty alongside its fat tire; the motorcycle can hold your attention quite effectively.

Performance, Handling and Ride quality

In the engine front both the bikes are powered by an identical brilliant 200cc single-cylinder engine that can churn out 25.3bhp of maximum power at 9,500rpm and 19.2Nm of maximum torque at 8,000rpm. Both are coupled with 6-speed, close ratio gearbox for great performance. However,  the frame and fairing of the RC adds eight kilos to the package of the Duke 200, but it gives the RC an edge over its naked sibling in terms of aerodynamics. The performance has changed in the RC but up to a certain extent. While sprinting from 0kmph – 60kmph the naked Duke leads by 0.26 seconds, but the RC regains its lost ground once the aerodynamics kicks in, and it crosses the 100kmph under 9 seconds, which is faster than the Duke. In terms of fuel economy, both are evenly matched with similar – 29.85kmpl in the combined city and highway runs.

The term RC stands for ‘Race Competition’, and the nature of the motorcycle stays true to its name. The chassis is well laid out, which makes the motorcycle easy to turn when it comes to cornering and sudden direction changes. This confidant nature of the motorcycle inspires you to ride even faster.

On the other hand, Duke 200’s brilliantly tuned suspension, wide rear tyre and longer wheelbase gives the rider very stable and confident ride. Above all, the lightweight rear swing arm adds to the stability of this bike. The naked star handles brilliantly and it’s quite nimble in city traffic. The wide tyres keep the bike steady and inspire confidence in every road condition.

Braking and features

Stopping power in the RC 200 is provided by a set of discs on both the front and rear wheels. The front gets bigger 300mm four-piston caliper for better braking, while the rear gets a smaller 230mm single-piston disc unit. The setup is brilliant, and offers excellent braking, helping to halt the bike, with ease, even in wet conditions. However ABS is solely missed in the RC, which would have been a brilliant add on.

The Duke 200 also comes with a 300mm front disc brake and a smaller 230mm rear disc brake, which helps the bike to stop easily, even from triple digit speeds. Just like its RC variant the Duke 200 also misses out on ABS.

On the features front both are evenly matched, and are equipped with digital multifunction displays. The display shows speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge, side stand indicator, a gear indicator, an upshift light, and a clock. The RC additionally comes with projector headlights and DRLs.

Verdict

The KTM RC200 and the Duke 200 are brilliant bikes available in India for riding enthusiasts and track riding. Both offer uber cool style quotient that is guaranteed to turn heads. So if you are in the market for a 200cc motorcycle with a budget of around 1.5lakhs then these can be your options. If you like to visit race tracks quite often then the RC 200 should be a great choice, if you are in the market for a motorcycle that can handle day to day rides and highway rides easily then you should opt for the Duke 200.

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Stephen Woods

Stephen Woods