Honda Motor Company is a Japanese multinational corporation producing automobiles, motorcycles and machinery. Honda bikes are generally passenger friendly guaranteeing safety, economy, durability, comfort and style. The KTM Sport motorcycle AG or simply KTM is a globally reputed motorcycle manufacturer based in Austria. KTM motorcycles are more known for their styling and off road capacity. Engine performance and fuel economy are also their highlighted features. Here is a review of their two entry level popular bikes seen nowadays – the CBR250R and the Duke 200 respectively.
In terms of styling, the CBR250R looks more cultured while KTM 200 is more modern and sharper. The CBR 250R is a fully faired, sporty looking motorcycle which has a racy design. On the other hand, KTM Duke 200 is a naked and aggressive looking bike with an urban styling. The visible difference is mainly the front fairing in the CBR which is not present in the Duke. The Honda bike has a comfortable sitting position while the KTM bike has a taller stance which may be uncomfortable during long rides. But the Duke is 20 kg lighter than CBR 250R.
Both the bikes are powered by a by a liquid cooled, four valve, DOHC engine though Honda bike has a higher displacement. CBR has a 249.6 cc displacement which is only 200 cc in KTM Duke. But this difference is not seen in the power and torque output. Both the motorcycles generate about 25 bhp of maximum power output and the torque figures are 22.9 Nm for CBR and 19 Nm for the Duke individually. The CBR 250R engine is smooth and refined with a long gearing. KTM Duke 200 is more aggressive with a shorter gearing.
The light weighted KTM Duke is no doubt easier to handle. Honda CBR 250R is heavier and also bigger in overall dimensions making it a difficult bike in city traffic. However the suspension in Honda bike is softer in CBR which is a blessing while riding over bumpy and potholed roads. The stiff suspension in the KTM bike is not a favourable one for Indian roads. And the overall ergonomics of the Duke 200 are not at all impressive because the foot pegs and the gear lever shifters are placed far away from each other unlike the CBR. Finally it can be said that KTM Duke is good only within the city boundaries, whereas Honda CBR 250R is a gentler motorcycle which can be used for long highway drives as well.
However Honda CBR 250R is dearer at a price tag of Rs 1.65 lakhs. KTM Duke 200 is relatively cheaper at Rs 1.37 lakhs.