KTM 125 Duke review | KTM’s best-selling A1-legal bike gets a complete revamp for 2024 to stay ahead of the competition


  • Brand new engine
  • Angle-responsive ABS
  • Completely revised chassis

At a glance

Power: 15 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.5 in / 800 mm)
Weight: Low (340 lbs / 154 kg)


New £4,889
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

It is stunning not just how many features you get on the new KTM 125 Duke learner-legal naked but also its overall impression of quality and enormous visual appeal. It blows the socks off all its rivals and A1-licence-owning teenagers will be battering down KTM dealers’ doors.

With A1-legal 125s, power is much of a muchness so instead what is important is that they need to stand out and with its inverted forks, brash styling, cool tech and potential knee-down handling, the 125 Duke is leagues ahead in this category.

And to keep worried parents happy, it even has some cutting-edge safety assists including angle-responsive ABS  – which you can turn off to do skids where they aren’t around to impress your mates!

2024 KTM 125 Duke static shot from right side

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Dukes are sporty nakeds and the 125 is no exception. Incredibly light, with its all-new chassis and swingarm the mini-Duke whips through bends with the lightest of touches and feels assured once lent over thanks to wide wheels and quality Michelin Road 5 tyres.

Effortless in town, it’s very easy-going and its new 30mm lower seat height (KTM sell 20mm risers if it’s too low) will be reassuring to newer riders. Happily, despite its new chassis, the Duke still has a ‘big bike’ feel, meaning taller riders won’t find it cramped. And the new braking set-up is excellent.

With angle-responsive ABS is now standard (a world first for a 125cc bike), which is mated to a larger diameter front brake disc, braided line and new four-piston radial caliper, the Duke has bags of stopping power – certainly more than enough for its 154kg weight.

2024 KTM 125 Duke ridden on UK roads

However despite this fairly ferocious-looking set-up, the Duke’s brakes have enough feel to ensure they never intimidate and the ABS is excellent. Ram them on at slower speeds and you can do a little stoppie but generally they behave much more amicably.

Happily, you can still select ‘Supermoto ABS’, which deactivates the rear ABS and allows you to do skids. Why shouldn’t new riders also be able to play the fool?


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The LC4c engine has been completely redesigned and although it shares virtually the same dimensions as before (technically 0.1mm more bore and an extra 0.2cc), the four-valve cylinder head is now a SOHC instead of the previous model’s DOHC. Losing a camshaft has allowed KTM to make the head more compact and efficient while still producing the same A1-legal peak power of 14.8bhp with 8.5ft.lb of torque. But is it as frisky? That’s debatable.

Quite flat-feeling in its low and mid-range, the new motor needs to be above 6000rpm to drive the bike forward and although it will hold 60mph, quite often this involves working it hard in fifth rather than changing up and letting the revs drop. Keep the engine spinning and it is brisk up to 50mph but soon runs out of puff above 60mph, especially on an incline. During a day of revving it hard, it recorded 71mpg equating to a tank range of around 250 miles.

2024 KTM 125 Duke LC4c engine

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 125 Duke (and all of KTM’s small-capacity singles) are built by Bajaj but despite its competitive price tag, no corners seem to have been cut and as the last decade has proven, being Indian-built certainly hasn’t harmed the KTM’s sales.

Details such as the quality Michelin Road 5 tyres, adjustable-span brake and clutch levers, bar end mirrors and well-fitting bodywork all make the Duke appear a quality product and there is nothing to suggest the new engine will have any major issues. That said, KTM’s bigger-capacity bikes are far from bulletproof and owners do report a fair few irritations...

2024 KTM 125 Duke panel decal

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Costing £4889 the 125 Duke is priced at the higher end of the A1-legal market but considering its impressive spec level, the KTM looks excellent value. The Honda CB125R is £4249, Kawasaki Z125 £4378, Suzuki GSX-S125 £4999, Yamaha MT-125 £5102 and the Aprilia Tuono 125 £4400 (reduced from £4650). And as if that wasn’t tempting enough, KTM are running 3.9% APR rates on HP or 4.9% on PCP.

2024 KTM 125 Duke racing tuck on the road


5 out of 5 (5/5)

In addition to the new 5in TFT dash with connectivity, the Duke has two power modes, a speed restrictor, lap timer, USB port and self-cancelling indicators as standard and an up/down quickshifter as a £225.61 optional extra. KTM’s PowerParts list of add-ons includes a wave-style front disc, various exhaust options, CNC-machined parts, luggage, screens and more. There’s loads to blow your pocket money on!


Engine size 124cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4v, SOHC, single
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 154kg
Front suspension Single WP Apex rear shock, adjustable preload
Rear suspension Single WP Apex rear shock, adjustable preload
Front brake 1 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial caliper. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 240mm single disc with two-piston caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 110/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 150/60 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 71 mpg
Annual road tax £25
Annual service cost -
New price £4,889
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 15 bhp
Max torque 8.5 ft-lb
Top speed 80 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 250 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2011: KTM 125 Duke – Built in India by Bajaj, the all-new 125 Duke is launched.
  • 2017: KTM 125 Duke – A fairly major upgrade see the 125 Duke gain a TFT dash with connectivity, engine tweaks and a new chassis with a more aggressive look.

Other versions

There are Duke models for all levels of rider and all licence types. Above the learner-legal 125 is the A2-friendly KTM 390 Duke. The KTM 790 Duke is a budget-friendly version of the full-licence middleweight built in China. The range-topping middleweight in the range is now the KTM 990 Duke. Finally at the top of the family tree is the latest KTM 1390 Super Duke R.

Despite the models listing here having very little in common in terms of the engines, power, categories etc. there is a very obvious design DNA that runs through the entire family.

MCN Long term test reports

MCN Fleet: It’s so-long to KTM’s pint-sized Duke

MCN Fleet: It’s so-long to KTM’s pint-sized Duke

It’s a bittersweet ending with KTM’s 125 Duke. Our time together has seen me develop my riding and enjoy most of what biking has on offer. We’ve even conquered the A1M on our daily commute and her 15bhp-self has been super economical, even though I’ve revved the hell out of her. Above all, we well a

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