Perhaps our only gripe with the 2011 KTM 125 Duke (besides of course that it’s not coming to America), is the too small for American roads 125cc displacement. With no graduated licensing programs to be found, unlike our European brethren, the 125cc learner format just doesn’t seem to work in our “can travel anywhere by car” society here in the United States. Not to fret says KTM though, as a 250cc or even 300cc version of the orange pocket rocket is under development at the Austrian company.
We think 250cc/300cc would be an ideal size for blasting from stoplight to stoplight on city streets, both for new riders and veteran hooligans alike, and it won’t take much to place the outwardly similarly sized motor in the KTM 125 Duke frame. Thinking along those same veins, KTM says an 18 month trail time is expected from the 125 Duke launch to when we’ll see the next larger iteration.
Talking to Cycle News, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer said that a follow-up bike to the KTM 125 Duke is in the works, which will allow riders to graduate to a larger displacement machine as they get older and more experienced behind the handlebars. “We’re working on a 250cc up to 300 cc single-cylinder engine, also four valves with twin overhead camshafts,” confirmed Pierer. “This has more or less the same external dimensions so we can install it in the existing 125 Duke model platform, and thus be able to offer the next level up in the model ladder to our customer as he gains experience, but with the same type of motorcycle.”
Don’t expected KTM to rest just on the 250cc/300cc upgrade either. While the company plans on having the graduated version of the KTM 125 Duke ready in 18 months, other larger models are also on the drawing board. “The 250/300 will come around 18 months after the 125 Duke, and the same concept we are doing on the 125/250, I later want to do in the 400cc and 600cc categories, too, as our younger customers and those in emerging markets move up the displacement ladder,” finished Pierer.
KTM seems to have a clear path that they want to carve out for young riders, which is clearly intended to bring new riders into the fold for KTM, and keep them in the brand throughout their lifetime. Helping leverage this move is KTM’s involvement with Bajaj, who helped make the 125 Duke, and recently took a larger stake in the Austrian company. So far we’re digging how Bajaj has influenced KTM, and we’ll be itching to ride the baby Duke when it comes to the US.
2011 KTM 125 Duke:
Source: Cycle News