28 Pictures


So technically up to date and also cool to look at, the little one blossomed into a bestseller ad hoc. But what do you notice after 25,000 km?


Undersized or badly hardened? Both gears in sixth gear show severe pitting and must be swapped.




Both exhaust valves show heavy carbon deposits and fire residues. Nevertheless, they are tight.


The exhaust valve guides are somewhat widened, but the values ​​are still within tolerance.


The heavy tracks in the camp were most likely caused by
Causes chips caused by gear pitting.


The connecting rod bearing is dimensionally accurate and could still be used.


The 25,000 km did not drive itself on the speedometer. Here the KTM 125 Duke with editor Manuel Fuchs on the prowl: Tour to Walchensee.


Exit to the Sudelfeld motorcycle meeting point: the Duke cuts a fine figure here.


Factory visit: Detour to Mattighofen.


On the autumn trip, the little one cavorted with the big ones.


Our readers are also impressed by the KTM 125 Duke. Selcuk Sari from Vienna:"We are two friends from Vienna who have been riding 125cc KTM Dukes for around a year. We are very satisfied with the machines. They offer a lot of motorcycles for little money. We can only recommend them."


Lucas Höer from Donzdorf: "What could be improved from the ground up: The standard tires from MRF must definitely be replaced with better ones. My KTM currently has 7000 km on the clock and has never let me down."


Nico Wittler from Bielefeld: "What motivates an East Westphalian to ride an Austrian motorcycle? The answer: Those at KTM have what it takes to give us 16-year-old beginners an affordable, maximum driving pleasure with the 125cc Duke!"


MOTORRAD put the two top sellers in Germany through a 25,000-kilometer long-term test.

The Yamaha YZF-R 125 unwound it in 21 months (2008-2010). Tea operating costs of 11.1 cents per kilometer (without loss of value) were slightly lower than the 125 Duke at 12.7 cents.


The KTM men Jens Borrusch, Alwin Otto and Norbert Zaha in conversation with the MOTORRAD team Christian Vetter, Gert Thöle and Gerry Wagner.


After the Duke had the 25,000 km under its belt and was dismantled, KTM commented on the shortcomings.


The remaining gears can still be used.


Steel residues have got caught in the sieve.


True to size and in very good condition: the cylinder still has the honing marks and can be used without hesitation.


Vibrated: at 20,600 kilometers the mirror simply broke off without any external interference.


Constructive faux pas: The clutch basket can only be dismantled if the timing chain is removed beforehand. Only two or three millimeters are missing here, which would make life easier for the mechanic.


The 125cc crankshaft rotates in two huge ball bearings – no wonder, the bearings are designed for the higher performance of the 200cc Duke.


Made great: Cooling oil reaches the valve train directly via spray nozzles.


The pressure at the beginning of the endurance test.


And the pressure after 25,000 km. The loss is only minor.


In the meantime, however, the KTm 125 Duke has developed into a top seller in Germany. Small and yet so big!

KTM 125 Duke in the long-term test

Final balance after 25,000 kilometers at full throttle

KTM has the small KTM Duke 125 manufactured in India by its investor Bajaj. How and whether the machine (mostly under full throttle) has proven itself over 25,000 kilometers in the endurance test, read here:

For the small Duke models, KTM relies on suppliers who are less known in this country. Example? Does ByBre mean something to you? This is an Indian manufacturer of brake systems that belongs to the Brembo Group. Hence the name: ByBre is the abbreviation for “By Brembo”. Since the Indian investor Bajaj got involved with the Austrians, they have had their entry-level Duke range produced in India, from 125 to 200 to 390 models. And not only the high number of units – around 23,500 Duke 125 models have been produced for the world market since the start of 2011 – but also the low-cost local production costs mean that the vehicle can be offered comparatively cheaply: for 4295 euros, tea KTM 125 Duke ABS currently available in Germany. In 2013 it was the first 125 cc to have ABS as standard.

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KTM 125 Duke in the long-term test
Final balance after 25,000 kilometers at full throttle

KTM again improved sales with 2,428 Dukes registered in Germany – also in first place. Success arouses curiosity.

Endurance test over 25,000 km lasted almost 32 months

MOTORRAD wanted to know how Indian-Austrian technology would prove itself in the long run in everyday German life and subjected the KTM 125 Duke to a 25,000-kilometer test. It lasted almost 32 months, started on May 27, 2011 with zero kilometers and ended on January 13, 2014 at km 25,057. So the little one had to survive two and a half winters.

A look in the logbook confirms that the KTM 125 Duke rarely stood for more than three days, even in unreal temperatures and snow. There were many reasons. Above all, the nimble 125 was perceived by most drivers as a big city hopper. With its low weight of only 137 kilograms and the quite decent 15 hp power, it is almost predestined for piercing sheet metal snakes in order to always be on the pole. That makes them the perfect partner for commuters.


KTM 125 Duke in the 25,000 km endurance test

Interim balance of the 137-kilo flea

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Naked bikes: KTM Duke 125/200

KTM Duke 125 and 200 in the test

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KTM entry-level motorcycle (photo show and video)

Driving report: KTM 125 Duke

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Bad initial tires

Some riders, like online boss Manuel Fuchs, grabbed the KTM 125 Duke and even rode it across the Alps. Tours of over 1000 kilometers were the exception, but not a unique selling point. MOTORRAD employee Sebastian Schmidt puts the greatest mileage in a row at the very end: When looking for a used motorcycle, he covers around 2500 kilometers over four days. In December, mind you, at three degrees above zero. He collects his kilometers on the autobahn: Stuttgart – Landshut, on to Saarbrücken, then to Koblenz and again to Munich. His conclusion after more than 40 hours in the saddle: “Not that uncomfortable at all.” The output of 15 hp was easily enough for him to swim with the flow of traffic. "Even trucks can be easily overtaken", sums up Sebastian and puts the little girl back in the MOTORRAD underground car park with 25.057 kilometers. Done!

The way there was not without small stumbling blocks. Right from the start, comments about the Indian MRF tires pile up. There was talk of little grip in the wet and little confidence in an inclined position. KTM and MRF have also recognized the problems. Since 2012, the MRF have been manufactured in a new rubber compound that is intended to remedy these weaknesses. Unfortunately, this was not communicated and therefore MOTORRAD did not check it as part of the test. The KTM 125 Duke rolled on Michelin Pilot Power from 7052 km, and at 19,987 km it was given a set of Bridgestone S20s. From the first to the last meter, both tires were more convincing than those of the Indian OEM. Which does not mean that MOTORRAD has always kept the KTM 125 Duke on the back burner. Rather, the feedback from both pairings was more transparent and created a feeling of trust. In addition to its good all-round properties, the Michelin also shone with the least amount of wear and tear and is therefore the tip for those who drive a lot all year round.

Replacement of spark plug and ignition coil

Occasional cold start problems and annoying jerks during the warm-up phase were countered with a revised mapping that was installed free of charge as part of inspections. Indeed, the cold start behavior improved. The KTM 125 Duke still jerked slightly until the engine was up to temperature. The little one makes the only faux pas at kilometer 4120: After extreme starting problems, she drags the managing editor Harry Humke into the editorial office with constant misfires. The problem will be resolved after replacing the spark plug and ignition coil. And known to KTM: A different spark plug has been used since spring 2012.

When the KTM 125 Duke has unwound around 9,000 kilometers, a colleague notes: "The brake discs rub – it’s cruel if you want to gently apply the brake." Entries like this pile up. At 13,561 kilometers, the brake disc and pads are finally changed. From now on, a disk in the cool wave look from the KTM accessories rotates in the wheel. The same problems occur again 10,000 kilometers after the switch. The brake judder is back. KTM has no conclusive explanation for this and refers to external influences. The braking effect is not impaired by this phenomenon.

Further annoyances with the KTM 125 Duke are the sometimes quite jagged shifting and the locking of the gears – it happens repeatedly that they jump out. However, only a few drivers complained about it over the entire endurance test distance. In the forums, however, this phenomenon is a topic.

Severe pitting on sixth gear gears

As well as problems with the display of the KTM 125 Duke, which often fails or goes crazy. This is also an issue among customers on some websites. The endurance test machine was not spared either. Entries such as “The fuel level indicator goes to the moon, flickers back and forth” or “The display has failed for an hour” can be found every now and then. Problems of this kind are said to have been eliminated from model year 2012, because KTM has been diligently improving the electrical system. It wasn’t the flaw, but inadequate rubber sleeves and seals that are supposed to protect against moisture.


The heavy tracks in the connecting rod bearing were most likely caused by chips caused by the gear wheel pitting.

Shortly after halfway through the endurance test, the steering head bearing moves into the limelight, it engages, the KTM 125 Duke steers stiffly. After the bearing was changed to guarantee at 15,650 kilometers, everything is back to normal. The last stumbling block on the long-term test route is the leaky handbrake cylinder. It is also exchanged on guarantee. On the day of the slaughter festival, all skeptics are surprised that the KTM 125 Duke from India has done more valiantly than expected, but they stand with eagle eyes at the dismantled engine, eager to see how the drive made in India has fared. The design is surprising: for example, the rocker arm running surface is DLC-coated, the crankshaft bearings are extremely solid, and the valve train is lubricated by oil spray nozzles and is carried out using rocker arms and shims. The dimensions of all moving components are still within the tolerance range. No wonder – the machine ran superbly right up to the end, and there were no worrying background noises from the engine.

However, the two gear wheels of the sixth gear show severe pitting and the pairing has to be changed. There are heavy deposits on the piston crown and the plates of the outlet valves, but no increased oil consumption was recorded. A total of 203.32 euros are due for new parts if you want to have the engine of the long-term test KTM 125 Duke "ready to race" again. The sum includes sixth gear, a complete piston and all seals. The piston, which costs around 84 euros (including retaining rings, piston rings and bolts), is a purely precautionary measure based on the motto "When the engine is already on …". The effort and amount are therefore very manageable.

Like the entire running costs of the little Indian girl. Over 25,000 kilometers, the KTM 125 Duke consumed an average of just 2.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, which translates into 1180 euros per kilometer. The KTM dealer charged € 672.40 for the five inspections. This sum will probably decrease somewhat in the future. Because KTM has increased the inspection intervals from model year 2014 from 5000 to 7500 kilometers. The reason: restriction of tolerances, optimization of surfaces, higher quality materials. In India, too, you learn.

Compared to the endurance test YZF-R 125

In the MOTORRAD endurance test between 2008 and 2010: Yamaha YZF-R 125.

MOTORRAD put the two top sellers in Germany through a 25,000-kilometer long-term test. The Yamaha YZF-R 125 unwound it in 21 months (2008-2010). The operating costs of 11.1 cents per kilometer (without loss of value) were slightly lower than the 125 Duke at 12.7 cents. However, the fuel price, which has meanwhile increased, also plays a role in this sum. Comparable: Both bikes needed 2.9 l / 100 km. Also the loss in value of the then 3745 euro expensive Yamaha with 38.6 percent compared to the loss in value of the Duke with 44.6 percent was somewhat lower. Yamaha also charged less for wearing parts, such as chain sets (99 euros compared to 152.35 euros) or oil filters (6.17 euros compared to 16.41 euros).

Balance after 50,000 kilometers


Slightly worse: loss of pressure at the beginning and end

Cylinder head
All valves close tightly, the valve seats are hardly widened. The exhaust valve guides are slightly widened, but the valve stem clearance is still okay. The camshaft, which is mounted on roller and slide bearings, shows discreet tracks on the cams, a rocker arm has a slight scratch.


The wear and tear of the KTM 125 Duke.

Cylinder / piston
The compression has only decreased slightly, the piston shows normal running marks and heat discolouration, the piston clearance is okay. Oil carbon has deposited on the piston crown. The cylinder is in good condition, the honing marks can still be seen.

Crank drive
The roller bearings of the crankshaft are inconspicuous, the connecting rod bearing shows clearly visible tracks, but the radial play is okay. The piston pin and connecting rod eye are also OK.

Power transmission
There are harmless chatter marks on the clutch basket and hub. The sixth gear pair shows very strong pitting. The play of the shift shaft sliding plate is increased.

Frame / chassis
The coating of the engine, frame and swing arm makes a good impression, some screws and electrical connectors show signs of corrosion, the sides of the tank show signs of wear.



The performance measurement of the KTM 125 Duke.

The lower friction in the engine and a slightly higher compression due to carbon deposits give the KTM 125 Duke a small increase in performance at the end of the 25,000 kilometers. This is also noticeable in the driving performance, which is a little better than at the beginning.


Measurement according to 1,175 km 24,879 km
0-50 km / h
0-80 km / h
0-100 km / h
50-80 km / h
50-100 km / h
Average consumption over 50,000 km
Fuel (super) l / 100 km
Fuel (super) l / 100 km

Costs and maintenance


The exhaust valve guides are somewhat widened, but the values ​​are still within tolerance.

Operating costs over 50,000 kilometers

7.5 liters of oil at 14.27 euros € 107.03
5 oil filters at 16.41 euros € 82.05
4 air filters at 18.47 euros € 73.88
4 spark plugs at 16.46 euros each € 65.84
1 chain set € 152.35
1 brake disc (wave design) € 197.35
brake fluid € 8.63
Small parts, lubricants € 14.29
Seals € 51.91
Inspections and repairs € 672.40
Tires (including assembly, balancing and disposal)  € 574.00
fuel € 1180.49
total cost € 3180.21
acquisition cost 4245.00 €
Depreciation 1895.00 €
Estimated Price (Dealer Selling Price) € 2350.00
Costs per kilometer (without loss of value) 12.7 cents
Costs per kilometer (with depreciation) 20.3 cents

Maintenance and repairs

Rear tire repaired 1165
Ignition coil and spark plugs renewed 4120
Front and rear tires renewed, Michelin Pilot Power 7052
Brake disc rubs 9439
Chain set and guide bar renewed 10761
Front brake disc renewed
(Wave washer from KTM accessories)
Steering head bearing renewed (guarantee) 15650
Front and rear tires renewed, Bridgestone S20 19987
Left mirror renewed after vibration break (guarantee)  20430
Hand brake cylinder renewed (guarantee) 20622

Reader experiences


Nico Wittler from Bielefeld on his KTM 125 Duke.

Thomas Pirzer, Schwandorf: I’ve been driving the Duke since July. Compared to the Yamaha YZF 125 that I rode before, the Duke is handier and more lively from the stand. However, it does not reach the top speed of the Yamaha. I am fully convinced of the workmanship and reliability of the KTM. The ABS on my Duke is also perfectly tailored to personal sensitivity when driving on wet roads.

Selcuk Sari, Vienna: We are two friends from Vienna who have been riding 125cc KTM Dukes for around a year. We are very satisfied with the machines. They offer a lot of motorcycles for little money. We can only recommend them.

Lucas Höer, Donzdorf: Hello, I also have a KTM 125 Duke, the 2013 model with ABS, and I am very enthusiastic about the technology. What could be improved from the ground up: The standard tires from MRF must definitely be replaced with better ones. My KTM currently has 7000 km on the clock and has never let me down. I have changed my Duke: the short license plate holder, tank pad, aluminum handguards and the Raceline decor. Now all you have to do is fit other tires, then it’s perfect!

Hendrik Preisner, Bad Schwalbach: I’ve been driving a KTM 125 Duke since May of last year and for the most part I am very satisfied! It drives great, is not that lame and looks great. Up until now I had a breakdown, a sealing ring for the coolant broke when it was cold, and the little one has lost coolant. But that was fixed by KTM’s goodwill. Overall a top motorcycle!

Nico Wittler, Bielefeld: What motivates an East Westphalian to ride an Austrian motorcycle? The answer: Those at KTM have what it takes to give us 16-year-old beginners an affordable, maximum driving pleasure with the 125cc Duke! At 80 km / h at the beginning I couldn’t enjoy everything the Duke can do, but “open” we can hardly be stopped. Now that the original tires have been replaced by Michelin Pilot Power with better grip, the little Duke is a first-class corner robber. Many a great motorcyclist has wondered how much is possible with just 15 hp in the Weserbergland. It’s great when you have a lot of horsepower, but the secret lies in the ability to perfect your motorcycle’s performance and driving skills, so that you can feel the appreciative looks of "old bikers" on your back. After a curve training session on the Harz-Ring, I am trained to recognize the safe and optimal route, and I find the simultaneous enjoyment and success “just awesome”. The KTM also makes things easy for the rider, as it is a fully-fledged motorcycle. That made our family motorcycle vacation in the Alps a lot of fun. With a few handguards and a short rear end, the moped is also a blast visually. It is always reliable, and apart from a chain kit and oil change, there was nothing to screw up. Refuel and drive is the motto. This is how the Duke bacillus infected me, and from summer it will be a 690-
Duke to replace the 125cc.


The KTM 125 Duke from Lucas Höer from Donzdorf.

Marco, by email: The tires from India are a huge problem, they need at least 30 degrees asphalt temperature, otherwise nothing works.

Peter von Reimitzer, Vienna: My KTM Duke was registered in June 2012. Current. Mileage: 3113. So far it has been driving without any problems and to my complete satisfaction. So far only the front brake light switch from India was broken. After dismantling it and pressing it several times – squeezing it all the way – and then greasing the rubber cone with silicone grease, it worked again. My Duke always parks outside on the street, a so-called lantern garage! Otherwise she had no further problems. I’ve only had positive experiences. As an alternative to the built-in Indian VR5NC spark plug from BOSCH (standard), I can also highly recommend the high-quality Japanese Iridium spark plug LKAR8-9 from NGK or the colder LKAR9BI-9. However, only after the guarantee or warranty period has expired.

KTM takes a stand


The KTM men Jens Borrusch, Alwin Otto and Norbert Zaha in conversation with the MOTORRAD team Christian Vetter, Gert Thöle and Gerry Wagner.

… to the defective ignition coil
In 2011, the ignition coil of some 125cc Dukes was exchanged under warranty, but mostly the ignition coil was not the problem, but rather the spark plug. With the market launch of the 200 Duke (model year 2012), a different spark plug was used for it, which has since been used on the 125 Duke. From then on there were no more problems with the ignition coil and / or spark plug.

… for pitting on both gears of the sixth gear
We are not yet aware of anything in this regard. Although many vehicles have now achieved a significantly higher mileage, we are not aware of such damage.

… about the problems with switching
In general, we are not aware of any problems when shifting the 125 Duke. In each individual case, it must be clarified under which circumstances these problems occur. Experience (also with other models) has shown that an unfavorable lever setting is often the cause of shifting problems. It would have to be checked whether the gear lever was optimally positioned for the respective driver. Based on anatomical requirements (e.g. driver and shoe size), type of shoes / boots used, seating position, etc., the shift lever should be set individually. Difficulties in upshifting can usually be resolved by lowering the shift lever.

… for rubbing brake discs
At KTM, there were only a few complaints about brake disc rubbing (with 125/200 Duke less than 0.2%). In most cases, damage to the pane (due to external influences) can be identified. In the case of Dukes of the 2013 model year, not a single case is known worldwide. Independently of this, the brake disc diameter was increased from 280 to 300 mm with the introduction of ABS (from model 2013).

… to replace the handbrake cylinder
In the present case, the cause was a corroded hand brake cylinder. Due to the resulting stiffness, the spring force of the return spring was no longer sufficient to reset the brake piston accordingly, causing the pressure point to move. Presumably a damaged or incorrectly fitting cuff, which allowed moisture and dirt to enter, was the cause. This is not an issue on the market, there are only a few individual cases known from very early series (for 125/200 Duke less than 0.2%).

… to replace the steering head bearing
Material problems with the steering head bearing are not known. The number of complaints related to the steering head bearing is extremely low and completely normal: a total of 65 cases worldwide (125 and 200 Duke), the majority of course at higher mileages (over 10,000 km).

… for corrosion in the field of electrics
Right from the start, the 125 Duke had sealed plugs, and there were hardly any problems. Nevertheless, improvements to the wiring harness were made early on (2012). Among other things, the KTM 125 Duke now has greased plugs.

Used KTM 125 Duke in Germany

1000PS marketplace app

Many used KTM 125 Duke are already equipped with PowerParts.

As the top dog among A1 naked bikes, the KTM 125 Duke is a very popular motorcycle on the used market. The availability is good, but the prices are also considered stable. Many 125 Duke are already equipped with accessories or PowerParts. Here is a current market overview: used KTM 125 Duke in Germany.

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