‘KTM has made a 125 to lust after again’
Like the 390 the new 125 Duke gets a major makeover. The original 2011 model didn’t exactly have quality written through it like a stick of rock, but this one does. It has the 390’s full colour dash, illuminated switchgear buttons, LED headlight, new exhaust, revised chassis, larger fuel tank, non-adjustable WP suspension, four-piston radial caliper (with 300mm discs), fat 17in tyres (Metzeler Sportec M5) and a breathed-on (non-ride-by-wire) Euro4 spec engine that has a wider spread of power.
Unlike many 125s the Duke is solid, crisp and has the same roomy, big bike feel as the 390. The gearbox is slick, the brakes strong and the new WP suspension is nice and sporty - not the usual budget wet mush mixture of cooking-oil-damping and biro-spring support you get on your average 125. It’s nippy through town and weighing just 137kg dry the 15bhp single cylinder has enough performance to keep up with, and stay ahead of, traffic.
The hugely-improved 125 Duke is easy to ride and will make you grin every time you turn the key and see that colour display flicker into life. Decades after the demise of L-plated hooligans, like the RD125LC, KMX125, RS125 and MBX125, the KTM has made a 125 to lust after. It’s a tad over £4k which is a lot for a 125, but it’s £200 less than a Yamaha MT-125.
Light, nimble and nippy enough
Even the ‘split’ front looks ok on the 390
Funky dash can be linked to your phone
Headights mimic bigger KTMS
Scroll between the dash displays
Quite possibly the best 125 dash