Yamaha YZF-R15 v3.0 vs KTM 125 Duke | Battle of Sporty Beginner Bikes | ZigWheels.com

Yamaha YZF-R15 v3.0 vs KTM 125 Duke | Battle of Sporty Beginner Bikes | ZigWheels.com


Ever since its launch almost a decade
back the R15 has been the benchmark performance bike for beginners in India
it offered a great balance of pricing performance and dynamic
additionally the super sports styling made a hit among youngsters KTM or the
other hand though knows quite a bit about performance but it doesn’t have a
big eaters friendly purse a motorcycle it is portfolio KTM wants to attain that
with the 125 Duke so can the R15 hold on to its crown or are we in for a surprise so let us start this comparo with
performance the R15 really has the advantage when it comes to numbers
it makes five ps move power has three and an extra toque and no to forget is six
kg lighter as well and as expected it’s quicker of the line as well in our road
test the R15 did the zero to sixty run two seconds quicker than the
KTM and the zero to hundred run wait for it was six seconds quicker and KTM as
expected the R15 wins the battle of performance but how are these bike in
the real-world conditions let’s find out the KTM has a very narrow power band
coming at the very top of its Reverend which means even in the city
you gotta rev the nuts of it to get a move-on
even overtakes it require pre-planning and you need to downshift a couple of
gears if you want to pass traffic in a hurry
the R15 used to have similarly peeky power delivery characteristics in the past
but in the v3 thanks to variable valve actuation Yamaha has been able to improve
not only the top-end performance but the bottom end too
so in the urban environment the r15 feels much easier to ride with adequate
torque on tap for quick overtakes on the highway the 125 Duke has no problems
cruising between 70 to 80 kmph but move the speeds into triple digit and the
motors lack of power really becomes apparent here again the R15 manages much better
cruise speeds on open roads you might believe there’s a smaller Duke motor
would be very refined and for the most part it is but at higher speed but tiny
motor has to work really hard and wipes can be felt at the foot pegs handlebars
and the tank the R15 is equally refined as a baby KTM but at the same
higher speeds it feels a lot smoother as engine is relatively stress-free when it
comes to fuel efficiency both the bike retain almost similar numbers in our
test cycle but it’s both the bikes will be ridden hard
we believe the r15 will come out on top speaking about handling the R15 has
always been the benchmark bike in its segment and the version three carries
forward that legacy the delta box frame though on the new motorcycle is similar
to the version two this isn’t a bad thing as the chassis is very
communicative and gives the rider a lot of confidence Yamaha engineers have me the
rake angle sharper on the new motorcycle this has made the front a bit too
reactive and this can get a bit scary for newer riders also the r15 has a
shorter wheelbase and it’s lighter than the KTM and this makes it more flickable
around back to back corners adding to the handling dynamics of the motorcycle
is the optional metal area tire as seen on a media bike the KTM 125 Dukes which is tariff free and better suspensions path feels as good as the r15 on the
twisting mountain roads the steering though did a bit more effort on a
positive note the KTM feels much more relaxed and tamer around corners than the
r15 in City the KTM feels the nimbler of the two and you can squeeze your way
past tight gaps in traffic easily the r15 also isn’t a slouch but the bride mirror means that it occupies more space on the road another aspect going against
r15 is its right turning radius especially while taking u turn with
respect to breaking the r15 has an upper hand as a braking hardware on the Yamaha
fields more progressive and precise while the Yamma we tested wasn’t
equipped with ABS Yamahas launched R 15 with a dual-channel ABS unit
and the rupees 12,000 premium should be worth it the 125 Duke
features a single channel ABS but we think they should have been a dual
channel unit from the get-go so talking about writing ergonomics I’m
five foot ten and the R15 definitely has a more aggressive riding
posture of the too the low set clip-on handlebars rear a set foot pegs mean
that you have a sporty and crouched riding posture now this is good on the
racetrack but on day to day use it will load up your wrists and your shoulder
and when you’re riding like this it also kind of puts a strain on your neck and
if you have a large waistline like Yosh Trudy then you should definitely stay
away from the r15 the flat and wide handlebar means that the KTM has a
proper street fighter stance and your upper body is much more upright and
relaxed however the foot pegs position could have been better because it’s
neither Center set or rear set also the saddle can be a bit cramped for hefty
riders and the seat cushioning itself is very hard which means touring on this
bike won’t be a comfortable proposition so as you can see both these motorcycles
aren’t good touring options if I had to pick one among the two I’ll go for the
KTM just because of its upright riding stance talking about pillion comfort
both this bike don’t score highly on this aspect the r15 pillion seat has
slightly more space but then again getting onto the bike takes effort
moving to its tall height also there’s no grab rail which makes life even more
difficult on the KTM the pillion request comparatively lesser effort to hop on
and it does even have the benefit of club racing but the small seat means
that the pillion might feel cramped and the seat is hard to which means sitting
at the back might just be a pain in the wrong place well the KTM a better
suspension hardware he does around a bit stiff the R15 comparison please
rush off and swim manages bad roads better styling is another pleased with
both this motorcycles differ drastically the 125 Dukes design has been around for
quite a while now yet it still managed to look quite attractive but there is no
denying the appeal of a fully fed sport bike here the r15 looks like a proper scale down r6 but the Yamaha does lose out on the quality the crude Wells Coast
finish on the handlebars and uneven panel gaps is very Yamaha it is even
more disappointing since the R15 was the benchmark for quality in its segment
the 125 Duke on the other hand looks much better put together
barring for a few visible fires both the bikes get a fully digital instrument
cluster and the r15 unit is less cluttered and it’s easier to read on the
move LED headlights on the R15 do offer a better spread than the 125 duke
but it lacks the intensity and reach of the KTM headlight making the 125 Duke
win this battle clearly the KTM 125 Duke is a better beginners
bike and it is also one of the most refined KTM on sale in India however
there is one big problem it doesn’t feel like a true-blue KTM or should I say a
true orange KTM it lacks the punch and ferocity that one associates the KTM
brand with yes it does make the KTM brand more accessible but there is a
high possibility that a new rider might out row the bike soon and this is fair
the r15 goes big time it has the power to think and the slightly edgy nature
means that it will keep the rider more engaged yes a newbie rider will take
some time to adjust to the nature of the bike but then again he or she will also
learn more from the bike as well so does the r15 justify its rupees
20,000 premium and the answer is an absolute yes and the r15 retains its
crown