The Duke 125 definitely offers more than your average learner legal 125, in fact it’s a machine that will also appeal to more experienced riders who fancy a fun to ride small capacity naked bike. Introduced back in 2011, the smallest Duke featured an entirely new single cylinder 4-stroke DOHC engine with fuel injection and a 6-speed gearbox. With only 15bhp on tap due to UK learner regulations, performance isn’t exactly blistering but that’s not the point. Restricted to just shy of 80mph at the top end, the Duke is surprisingly torquey and what it lacks in outright power it more than makes up for in outright rideability. It has the ‘fun factor’ in spades.
It might be the smallest bike in their range but KTM chose to equip the Duke 125 with quality componentry. The tubular steel trellis frame is fitted with WP supplied 43mm forks and adjustable monoshock, the single front disc (more than adequate on a bike of this weight) is a 280mm item and has a radial 4 piston caliper apparently developed in conjunction with Brembo. As you’d expect there is an electric starter, lights are LED’s and the dash is a digital item which is not only stylish but very comprehensively equipped too. If the standard bike isn’t ‘bling’ enough for you there are plenty of accessory parts available in the KTM Powerparts catalogue ranging from graphics kits to performance exhausts and silencer end cans, adjustable levers, tail tidies, anodised add-ons and much more.
KTM clearly researched the market carefully when they were developing the 125 Duke and owner reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. In fact the only common criticism is the price when new which (at the time of writing) is just less than £4,000 – positioning it firmly towards the top end of the new 125cc market. That said, re-sale values have been strong and a well looked after KTM Duke 125 should be easy to sell when the time comes to move on to a bigger bike.
A used KTM Duke 125 could be a great buy. Build quality is good and reliability seems to have been excellent. As with any other bike purchase, check it over carefully first paying particular attention to crash damage and ask to see evidence of a KTM main dealer service history. There are plenty of Duke 125’s for sale so feel free to check out a few before you part with your cash!