The KTM 125 Duke was alone in his kingdom. But in 2015 the market saw the arrival of a French countess well to counter the Austrian duchess. With the MT-125, Yamaha hopes to recover his health in the segment of 125 upscale. Here the duel 125 roadster of the moment!
Since 2011, KTM has taken a step ahead of the market of 125 upscale. The Austrians had the nose as a hollow aluminum frame, producing the 125 Duke for both emerging markets – especially India – and for Europe.
Duchess against Countess
After some delays in the relocation of the assembly of motorcycles in India, among the partner Bajaj, KTM was able to offer a high-end roadster 125 cm3 on markets where supply was broadly. Commercial success was quick, with the move to KTM sales record.
And that was enough to give ideas to other manufacturers. Yamaha, which never drags when a strong tendency, in 2015 offers a true MT-125 in mind roadster house and, moreover, assembled in France in the Yamaha-MBK plant in Saint-Quentin.
They throw in!
First positive point: the two bikes throw in! The KTM Duke 125 has pleased a lot of writing, with its typical mug of the brand and a good overall quality for the engine, even if the connectors are still present around the engine. A look at her, you would not guess that it is not meeting at KTM in Austria, even if the plastics are thin and exotic devices, like the brake caliper Bybre).
Yamaha MT-125 is also a very nice 125. As for KTM, Yamaha was able to work the overall design and appearance of the engine casings that do not betray its displacement. Even better than the KTM, the engine of the Yamaha MT maintains further the illusion of cuber and more generally, the bigger bike MT fact that the Duke. The line is more typical Japanese roadster, but not very MT finally with a sharper light than those of MT-07 and MT-09.
The equipment is to match on both motorcycles: reinforced aluminum swingarms, big front brake discs … ABS is standard on KTM, while the optional Yamaha offers. And here, deliveries are currently performed at dropper.
In terms of ergonomics, there are many differences between the bikes. Broadly, the Yamaha MT-125 is higher and more liveable. Large immediately appreciate the space on board and the small decline legs. The handlebars are also impeccable and finally, only the firm and sloping saddle spoils very favorably for pilots of over 1.75 m.
If you measure 10 centimeters less, you will feel much more comfortable on the KTM 125 Duke and less high saddle (800 mm against 810 mm Yamaha), especially to ask a foot flat during stops in the city. The bust is straightened, but the footrests are very remote so that the arrangement of plates could place them slightly further. Damage: the ergonomics of the Duke brushed without fault. And KTM, it offers passenger handles.
Getting Started? Too easy!
With reasonable weight all full facts of the order of 140 kg checked, these two bikes easily take control. The controls are intuitive and engines quickly reach their operating temperature. However, we note an extremely stiff brake lever on the Yamaha MT-125. The dosage is gender ON / OFF and the absence of ABS sériene not make the obvious braking on wet ground. A real default.
Furthermore, the general height of the Yamaha is true here with a feeling of more control traffic at riding the KTM. However, this center of gravity high up the serve later. The handling of the Yamaha amid rows still remains impeccable and it fully uses its turning radius.
The KTM frankly plays both urban, with the bonus of the sweetest commands and feel of piloting a small ant that still turns shorter between the bumper as the Yamaha. But soon, a marked acceleration hollow is felt, particularly at low speeds and between 4 500 rev / min and 6500 r / min, very common regimes.
Indeed, the sharp starts backing out of the flow of traffic require more precision and concentration and finally pull on the engine more than the Yamaha, which shows well-stocked in low-end torque. And even if the transition to the bench reveals a hollow, it is less sensitive than the KTM.
Yamaha filled …
Our two 125 are very suitable for strolling along the boulevards. The KTM is more manageable as the Yamaha shines with its mechanical license. They will, after all, good urban companions throughout the year. On the road, other differences are revealed.
On expressways, the Yamaha does not take long to impose the general brilliance of his single cylinder, with times and more forceful acceleration. In addition, the dosage of the accelerator is sweeter and less exhaust sound choppy With its elongated, small KTM clings to Yamaha during acceleration or recovery tests, but it does not take the lead to much better because the Yamaha resumes all regimes almost.
Overall, the engine character of the Duke 125 is sportier: the marked hollow midrange invites to push the engine to its limits and then reveals his rage cylinder high-speed.
In terms of pure performance, the two motorcycles, which flirt with the regulatory limit of 15 horses stand in a handkerchief, clocking in at about 115 km / h on the flat real. Still, the engine of the Yamaha least gives the sensation of force and shows is unavailable between 80 and 120 km / h.
However, the KTM 125 Duke reserves other surprises. The cycle parts are generally out above that of the Yamaha MT-125. With a lower center of gravity and better damping, the KTM is poised to dominate the next debates handling. The Duke bows more easily and communicates more information to the driver when cornering estates.
Riding the Yamaha, dial with a front too keen, nervous on bumps, and feel that the sentence motorcycle to stand permanently in curve. The KTM appears more sedate, more stable cornering. Kilometers doing, you get used to less accurate and less playful behavior stroke Yamaha, but suffice it to resume riding the KTM to recognize the superiority of its chassis.
Besides, Ready To Race genes of the brand are noticeable at that time: the KTM 125 Duke makes the same very successful compromise between agility and stability in a straight line as a curve, as all road bikes in the range. Agile as a cat, the Austrian delights when it comes to darken curve and gradient coatings destabilize unless the Japanese.
For once, was expected better from the Yamaha MT-125 and its oversized components. The brakes, power devices is worth, but the braking feel is best on the KTM. The too hard brake lever Yamaha, already penalized in town, does not improve on the road.
Comparative Appraisal: Two 125 cm3 sexy, especially for driving license
Accessible to holders of B permits through mandatory training seven hours, these two beautiful 125 cm3 are real – Raw – motorcycles, with meaningful jigs and equipment worthy of higher displacement. They are joined in their market positioning.
In driving, the Yamaha MT-125 shows a slight superiority in terms of engine performance, but especially more mechanical licensing deal with the KTM 125 Duke. However, it makes up for illico thanks to the qualities of its cycle parts, which give more comfort and better handling.
The equipment also to the advantage of the Austro-Indian with welcome touches: passenger handles, instrument most complete edge backlit stalks. Comes the chapter of the price to close the debate.
Sold € 4,100 with ABS as standard, the KTM Duke 125 shows better placed than the Yamaha MT 125 proposed to € 4,299 and € 4,699 with ABS, which impacted the selling price too. A significant aspect that smiled at the KTM, even if it was hot against a Franco-Japanese competitor very successful anyway!