While every other bike maker is frightened someone might realize the products they push are fast and dangerous, it looks like KTM is busy embracing the fact that motorcycles are exciting. The 125 Duke is KTM’s attempt to bring Europe’s teenagers into their brand. Creative projects like this one that bring motorcycles together with the skate/action sports aesthetic in an exciting way make a ton of sense. A product like the 125 Duke is a logical next step in mobility beyond a skate board or bicycle, so speaking to photos like these speak to that crowd in a language they understand.
We aren’t going to get the KTM 125 Duke in the US, its 15bhp four-stroke engine is neutered for European license tiers which dictate that rider in their late teens (laws still vary a bit by country) start on smaller capacity, limited-performance bikes. But, KTM has confirmed that it’s developing a larger 250 to 300cc version that might make more sense in this market.
The exciting thing about the 125 Duke from a rider’s perspective is that it brings fancy components and a general real motorcycleness to an affordable €3,500 price point and licensable capacity. The exciting thing from a market perspective is that it does that by leveraging Indian manufacturing with western quality. Hopefully KTM can adapt that approach and this kind of marketing to the kind of products young US buyers will want to buy and hopefully it does that soon.