KTM Duke 125 is not all plain sailling

With only 15bhp on tap, quick-think­ing is needed to stay safe on the 125 Duke

Motorcycle News (UK) - - News -

‘I end up with numb feet and have to do a bit of an on-bike jig’

Now I’m a full li­cence holder, I have to ad­mit I’m strug­gling a lit­tle to re­main sat­is­fied with the 15bhp on of­fer from the KTM. It’s not so much of an is­sue on twisty B-roads, but on mo­tor­ways – where I do most of my com­mut­ing miles – things can get a bit hairy.

When I want to do a sim­ple, clean over­take the bike stops ac­cel­er­at­ing at 65/68mph. This means I usu­ally have to bail out, drop back and plonk my­self be­hind the car in front (not too close) do­ing 60mph. What I also end up do­ing a lot – and I think this is a good tip for new rid­ers – is when I do man­age to do my slow-for-the­mo­tor­way over­tak­ing I’m con­stantly look­ing in my right mir­ror to en­sure there is space in the right lane. This is just in case the car driver on my left doesn’t spot me as I crawl past and comes into my lane. I can then es­cape into the lane next to me. I had to use this tac­tic re­cently when a driver on her phone didn’t see me!

While the Duke can’t be blamed for an ig­no­rant driver, it can be blamed for an­other an­noy­ance – bad vi­bra­tions. Af­ter a short break from rid­ing due to the head­light re­call (see story, right), I was re­ally pleased to get the Duke back and was raring to go. But I im­me­di­ately no­ticed just how vibey the foot­pegs are. On my 50-mile com­mute, I end up with numb feet and am forced to do a bit of an on-bike jig to re­lieve the pain. I’d got used to it pre­vi­ously and am sure I will again, but I am keen to re­duce the vi­bra­tions and with the bike’s first ser­vice im­mi­nent I will see what the dealer sug­gests.

The Duke is great on bendy back roads

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