KTM Duke 125 is not all plain sailling
With only 15bhp on tap, quick-thinking is needed to stay safe on the 125 Duke
‘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.