First ride: 'KTM has made a 125 to lust after'

Published: 11 April 2017

Like the 390 the new 125 Duke gets a major makeover. The original 2011 model didn’t exactly have quality written through it like a stick of rock, but this one does. It has the 390’s full colour dash, illuminated switchgear buttons, LED headlight, new exhaust, revised chassis, larger fuel tank, nonadjustable WP suspension, four-piston radial caliper (with 300mm discs), fat 17in tyres (Metzeler Sportec M5) and a breathed-on (non-ride-by-wire) Euro4 spec engine that has a wider spread of power.

Unlike many 125s the Duke is solid, crisp and has the same roomy, big bike feel as the 390. The gearbox is slick, the brakes strong and the new WP suspension is nice and sporty - not the usual budget wet mush mixture of cooking-oil-damping and biro-spring support you get on your average 125. It’s nippy through town and weighing just 137kg dry the 15bhp single cylinder has enough performance to keep up with, and stay ahead of, traffic.

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The hugely-improved 125 Duke is easy to ride and will make you grin every time you turn the key and see that colour display flicker into life. Decades after the demise of L-plated hooligans, like the RD125LC, KMX125, RS125 and MBX125, the KTM has made a 125 to lust after. It’s a tad over £4k which is a lot for a 125, but it’s £200 less than a Yamaha MT-125.

KTM 125 Duke - The Facts

Price £4099
Engine 124.7cc 4v single
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Seat height 830mm
Suspension WP 43mm forks and single rear shock. Non adjustable.
Front brake 300mm disc. Radial four-piston calipers.
Colours Orange, white.
Available Now 
Power 15bhp@10,000rpm
Torque 9ftlb@7500rpm
Dry weight 137kg
Tank capacity 13.4-litres

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