Hanz Trunkenpolz was waiting for the World War II to end to set in motion his dream motorbike. The Austrian engineer and his modest automobile showroom had survived the war to create history.
Trunkenpolz rolled out the prototype in 1951 and commercially produced the Model R 100 from a factory of 20 workers in 1953.
KTM produced an array of two-wheelers from Mecky the moped to the race bikes which helped it secure the first racing title in 1954. KTM was the Austrian champ in the 125 cc category. The legacy is kept alive by raging bulls such as Racing Street, Naked, Super, Moto Cross, Enduro, Cross Country and Free Ride.
The Austrian great has an Indian connection. Bajaj bought a 14.5 percent stake in KTM’s power sports division in 2007 and brought the brand to India. Now, KTM is a ‘Make in India’ story.
Duke 250 is a surprise entry from the stables of KTM. Bajaj could roll out the hunk earlier than expected. The stimulus was the price difference between Duke 390 and Duke 200.
Duke has become synonymous with speed in India. If you want to have a good look at the sports bike, do it when it is parked. Once revved up, it is a haze.
Duke 250 is a healthy combination of Duke 200 and Duke 390. The tyre, engine and electronic meter console resembles Duke 200, while the suspension, body, and tank are a straight lift from Duke 390. The sharp edge design gives it a compact look.
Duke 250 can even bring to mind 1290 Duke R, the super sports model. The combination of white, orange, and black gives it a vibrant look. KTM’s trademark orange is limited to the rear sub frame.
Underbelly exhausts were a hallmark of the KTM models. Duke 250 is slightly different in this aspect. The powerful silencer designer, radiator grill and belly pan (Engine scoop) and foot peg are unique features.
Duke 250 is 30 millimeters taller than Duke 200. The 248.70 cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine ensures 31 bhp power and 24 Nm torque. The new model is more refined in torque delivery than Duke 200. It has open cartridge forks in front and mono shock in the rear, allowing it to glide over small gutters and bumps.
The Duke 250 counts Honda CBR and Kawazaki Ninja as its rivals yet sells at an attractive prize. KTM prize is around Rs 1.75 lakh.