KTM 250 Duke in 18 Months

12/06/2010 @ 9:06 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

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

  • BikePilot

    Seems a smart move to me. Maybe even one powered by a version of the RFS 530cc thumper motor wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable.

  • k-

    Let’s hope that these are not the graphics!

  • Ed Gray

    Let me get this clear this 125 is ok for countries with highways that have no speed limit but too small for our roads with a max speed of 65mph???? I think you are perpetuating our bigger is better US problem. There is really no honest excuse for anything over 600cc anywhere in the world, on public streets. As long as one has not been jaded by a more powerful bike any size seems great. There is a definite problem of getting jaded, however this is just a perceptual problem even a 125 is quicker than most cars off the line.

  • Matt

    Yes!! I just wish it wasn’t an 18 month wait. We need atleast a 250cc anything less is useless.

    I would love to have one of these to commute the streets of Hollywood, the big duc is torture.

    Btw I do like the color schemes. Don’t forget it’s aimed at younger audience.

  • monkeyfumi

    Stick the 300 two-stroke engine in it, then we’ll talk.

  • monkeyfumi, can you guys still register a two-stroke for street use down in Oz?

  • monkeyfumi

    Don’t know about new ones to be honest, the last Aprilia 125s and cagiva mitos definitely can. If they ever ban my rs250 there will be anarchy. Have certainly seen a couple of KTM 300 motards kicking about on the street.
    KTM have also said on a number of occasions that they would still pursue two-stroke engines.
    DI scooters and outboards have shown they can be cleaner than four strokes, so why not?

  • The technology is certainly there to make a cleaner two-stroke, the question however is whether the laws and incentives are there.

  • 76

    Jensen Beeler says:
    December 6, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    “The technology is certainly there to make a cleaner two-stroke, the question however is whether the laws and incentives are there.”

    Its already being made, E-tec from BRP which employs the technology in both the Evinrude boat engines and Rotax engines for Ski-doo snowmobiles which are 2 stroke, clean and high performance

  • Sean in Oz

    No probs registering 2 strokes in OZ. At least not in terms of being a 2 stroke.
    There is an issue with licensing for Learner and Provisional license holders due to power to weight for some 250 2 strokes.

  • BikePilot

    Honda had an ultra-clean two stroke desert race bike for a short while. If not for the AMA’s decision to favor four strokes heavily we might still have predominantly two-stroke (though cleaner) off road bikes. Fortunately the performance is not lacking on the new generation of four strokes, though they aren’t able to offer that performance for anywhere near the same cost or complexity which is a shame.

  • BikePilot

    Oh and there was the bimota v-due, which admittedly was mostly a failure, but came very close to achieving low-emissions two-stroke street bike nirvana. If undertaken by a company with a bit more capital or two stroke experience it could have been very successful I think. I still lust after one quite badly ;)

  • BBQdog

    Great, this is what I am waiting for for a long time. Ideal for the little backroads !!