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MCN Fleet: 125 Duke v MT-125

Published: 21 August 2017

Updated: 18 August 2017

Earlier this month, I went on a 515-mile round trip to Wales on the 124.7cc KTM Duke, taking with me my fiancé and my Yamaha MT-125

Here are four comparisons I noticed on these new rider, good-for-the-city bikes:

Gearchange heaven

The KTM has a better gearbox. Finding neutral on the MT is a ball-ache. Paired with the lack of a gear indicator, the squidgy gear changes make it all too much of a guessing game. The KTM does have a gear indicator and the gearbox is a bit more positive and this means it feels a lot more reassuring for a new rider like myself.

Ergonomic wonder

The KTM has wider handlebars and is closer to the rider, which means you put slightly less weight on your wrists while riding. The MT feels a bit sportier, you’re slightly more leant forward, and is somewhat reminiscent of a proper super-naked road bike.


Sidestand hell

The Duke’s stand makes the bike sit far too upright, while the MT-125’s stand gives the bike a respectable lean without the fear of tipping. During my big Wales trip, I feared the most about leaving the 125 Duke on its stand.

Build quality pain

The MT has better build quality. The switchgear and overall controls feel more robust. A button on the Duke has already mysteriously cracked. You just can’t help but feel the KTM’s buttons are just a bit fragile.

Follow my entire 125 Duke journey here to find out what Doris and I have been getting up to. For any questions or queries you can also email me at,

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