Duking It Out
The RC200 and RC390 models from KTM are easily two of the best full-fairing sports bikes in the market today. The design alone is enough to turn heads anywhere you go, while the fine-tuned performance helps provide credibility that is hard to deny.
Now the RC series is getting another variant, targeted specifically towards the people that are new to the sports segment and don’t have the skills and/or money to go for the bigger siblings just yet. This new variant is called the RC 125. As you can guess, the bike features the same engine as the regular Duke 125, while the body and suspension are lifted from the RC200. Even though the body kit adds around 12kg to the bike, it still feels as fast as ever, thanks to new gear ratios that smoothen out the power delivery.
The engine is tuned to produce 14.3 BHP at 9,250 RPM, with 12 NM of peak torque at around 8,000 RPM. This helps the bike achieve a top speed of 124 KMPH, even though the sweet spot is still between 80-90, just like most motorcycles with this engine capacity. Unfortunately, this doesn’t translate to being as much fun in the real world as its naked sibling, the Duke 125, since the power delivery is quite linear and you always miss the extra oomph of the bigger engine. The good thing is that once you get used to how the bike is set up, you will have very few complaints, since the high build quality ensures that the bike is always stable and planted, with few vibrations to distract you.
Considering a starting price of Rs 1.47 lakhs, this model does more than enough to justify its place in the increasingly crowded full-faired sports bike segment.
Same In Class
Yamaha YZF R15 V3.0
The R15 is an established name in this segment, with a reliable 155cc engine that produces more power and torque in a body which is smaller and lighter. This makes it a lot more fun to ride and handle. It is also cheaper than the RC125 and comes with premium features such as dual-channel ABS and variable valve actuation.
Bajaj Pulsar RS200
The RS200, as the name suggests, features an even bigger 200cc engine, which is derived from the KTM RC200 itself. This makes it even more powerful than the R15, even though they cost about the same. The design is quite striking, though the build quality is not as great as the competition.