It would be a gross understatement to say
that these two have taken India by storm.. and the raging debate to decipher which is
more bad ass of the two has been at the root of most of the drunken brawls in pubs all
across India. So in the matter of public interest we decided
to take this issue in our own hands. These are hands down the best looking naked
street fighters available in India right now. So either way you can’t go wrong.
The Duke stands out mainly because of its offbeat supermoto inspired design. It is chiseled,
razor sharp and flaming orange. So you won’t just stand out in a crowd, you will be grabbing
those eyeballs. The NS is more understated in comparison but
is no less of a looker. I mean, it resembles a brute with its sculpts, the naked frame
and the fat rear tyre. It has been designed to tell the world that it means business.
But as far as attention to detail is concerned, the Duke is the clear winner here. The Duke has been built for a purpose and
comfort didn’t rank very high on that plan.
The suspension is a little on the stiffer side, the pilot seat is hard and the pillion
one, almost non-existent. This is where the NS shines through. The riding
position is sporty but not overly aggressive. The seats are well padded and designed for
comfort. the suspension too is a bit on the softer side. So if comfort is what you are
looking for, for your city and long rides, the NS is definitely the way to go. Both these bikes share very similar engine configuration, both are 200cc, both are liquid
cooled, make pretty much the same amount of power and both feature 4 valves.
Even though the KTM is fuel injected with a single spark plug where as the NS is carbureted
with three spark plugs for efficient combustion. But it is the way the power is delivered on
these two bikes which really sets them apart. The Duke accelerates almost like a 2 stroke
because of its short gearing and kerb weight of just 136 kgs. And the double overhead camshafts
ensure quick revs with minimum vibrations. The power delivery on the NS is more linear
and its taller gearing means you accelerate hard but it’s not as exaggerated as the Duke.
Also the SOHC setup means you can feel the engine stress more on high rpms as compared
to the Duke. So head-on the Duke does accelerate a shade
faster than the NS. In the braking department the NS features
a 280mm front disc and normal brake lines as compared to the Duke with 300mm front disc
and steel braided lines. But it provides just as good stopping power as the KTM although
the feedback on the latter is a bit better. Both these bikes are neck to neck as far as
the handling is concerned. The upright handlebars on both bikes make
it very easy for a rider to tip the bike into corners and both feel planted all the way
through. Although, it is a little easier for the rider
to anchor on the KTM Duke because of the rear set footpegs and sculpted tank design.
On the NS it takes more effort to lock your knee but once you find the sweet spot on the
tank and footpegs, the Pulsar provides a great body position to attack corners as well.
Also the linear power delivery and taller gearing and on the NS makes it a lot easier
for new riders to ride the bike around corners especially when compared to the spurty power
delivery on the Duke which requires much better throttle control.
Experienced riders though will love the Duke for this very reason. So that brings us to the verdict now.. or
does it? So we obviously cannot have this review without
that! I mean stunting is such an important part of both KTM as well as Bajaj cause that’s
what made them the brands they are today. But when we talk about stunting we had to get a professional. And who better than India’s rising stunting star – Hrishikesh Mandke So after riding these bikes though what was
the difference that you found between these
two bikes? Is there any difference from a stunting point of view?
Yeah! There is a difference between the forks. If you see the KTM forks are upside down and
NS has stock forks. So you are basically saying that even though
this has better equipment in terms of upside down forks, they are a little on the heavier
side whereas because this has stock forks they are lighter and easier to pull wheelies.
Right. Ok ok also the handlebars are different. Does
that make any difference at all? Yeah if you use single handlebar, it is very
easy to pull wheelies on single handlebar as compared to a two piece handlebar.
So again there the KTM has an advantage because of its single one piece handlebar.
Balance, it was very good on the NS as compared to the KTM just because of the brakes system.
I like the peddle compared to the KTM. If you see the KTM peddle, it’s very short and
round. So there are more chances to your leg getting slipped while doing stunt riding or
free styling. And lastly what do you think of the power
delivery. The KTM is very aggressive as compared to
the NS and NS is very smooth as compared to the KTM. So if you want to do fastest wheelie
this is best and if you want to do slow wheelies and free styling, this bike is best.
So, overall, I know you like both the bikes, but if you had to choose for any stunt show,
what would be your first option? NS! NS it is. Ok thank you so much. It was
great having you and seeing you pull off those awesome wheelies. Now that we have ridden these bikes extensively,
having ridden them back to back to see how
they do, what are your impressions? Choosing between these two street fighters
is simply a matter of mind and heart. Yeah that’s definitely a good way of putting
it because my heart would definitely go for the Duke because of its spunky power delivery
which makes even normal city commutes seem like a lip smacking proposal.
But if you sit down and listen to your mind, the NS makes a whole lot of sense. It is comfortable,
versatile, its good on looks and is evenly matched on power.
Yeah that’s true and another thing is it got the vote of our professional stunter who said
that this one was a better choice because it was more comfortable making it a lot easier
to stunt on. And not to forget it is a good 45 thousand cheaper than the Duke.
So I think that’s all there is from our side cause we are done with the testing and we
have put the ball in your court now because it is up to you to decide to go for the heart
or to go for your mind.