KTM Introduces 250 Duke and RC250 at the Tokyo Motor Show

KTM 250 Duke and RC250 1 photo
Photo: KTM
KTM introduced two more small-displacement models at the Tokyo Motor Show this weekend, so get ready for the 250 Duke and RC250. Superfluous additions, some might say, but it looks like Mattighofen is really doing what CEO Stefan Pierer told during an interview last year: expanding the model range in such a way so that finding an excuse not to own a KTM becomes hard.
The Austrian manufacturer showed the two bikes at Tokyo and it looks like having each model in naked and fully-faired versions is becoming one of the signature features for KTM. In the small-displacement class, KTM already has 125cc, 200cc and 375cc bikes (the 390 Duke), and adding even one more may seem like a weird idea. In reality, given how many markets KTM is present in, the move makes some sense. However, you will see the big picture when the Japanese market comes into discussion.

The dreaded shaken test

200cc may be too small an engine for those in search of an authentic quarter-liter bike. Still, if they live in Japan, any motorized vehicle with a displacement bigger than 250cc must pass the dreaded Shaken test. Performed for motorcycles once every two years, the shaken technical inspection can be a tricky business because of the very strict regulations which must be met and… the high price of the whole process.

Vehicles with an engine displacement under 250cc (15 cui) are exempted from the shaken test, and this might be the main reason behind the release of the new bikes, visordown reports. Eliminating the need to pass the shaken test is making these bikes more accessible to young customers in Japan and offers them yet another choice in the segment.

250 Duke and RC250 are based on the 390 models, not on the 200

While some might believe that the new quarter-liter bikes are based on the 200cc model, we have to tell you that KTM actually modified a 390 model engine. The 72mm bore of the 250 and the 200 may be misleading, but the new machines are using different castings for the 390 engine, most likely because the 200cc version, itself a modified version of the 125cc.

Even more, the new 250 models, which by the way have a 248.8cc displacement, are identical to the 390 ones, as far as frames and suspensions go. The 31 hp peak power of the engine will make the quarter-liter bikes less nimble than their 390 siblings, but still pretty neat machines for the new riders. No news on whether they will also make it into the European and North American markets.
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