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UPDATED! Meta Review: KTM 125 Duke



The UK and European press are in Torino, Italy this week putting the new, KTM 125 Duke through its paces.

As usual, we’re keeping an eye on the social media output from the various publications and outlets to get an idea of their first thoughts and reactions.

5th April 2017


And here are Visordown from the UK, with their first thoughts.

First up is the general feel of the machine.

‘This is a 125 that feels truly premium, desirable, competent and exciting’.

Premium sounds good. The KTM Duke has always aimed to be a little more upmarket than many others, so that’s good to hear. Although, later on VD do appear to contradict themselves slightly on the premium label by saying that the grips are a little ‘plasticky’.

But that’s nothing that can’t be quickly fixed.

And what about the ride?

‘It needs to be revved hard, and although that’s sometimes a pain, it also gives the 125 a character that draws you in.’

Everything is looking positive.


French site Moto-Station are live with their quick, first impressions – although they’ve called them ‘premières sensations’ which sounds far more exciting.

But we digress… Here are some choice quotes from their day of riding the new KTM 125 Duke,

‘On the cobbled streets of Torino, in poor conditions, braking provides great feedback, as does the new suspension.’

‘The new Euro4 engine appears nice and manageable and has retained its share of sportiness.’

So that all sounds promising.



Even journalists need to refuel. Is there nothing KTM won’t happily stick their brand on?

This is a great little walkaround from the Italian side of the journalist camp.


And someone is having way too much fun!



Looks like someone is having some fun…



Now this is cool. We’ve just found this tweet from Fast Bikes Magazine from the UK, and it looks as if the test track for today’s riding is going to be quite special.


It’s early morning and the riders seem unnaturally excited for riding around the city streets on a 125cc motorcycle.

Why? Probably because the KTM 125 Duke has been pretty much universally regarded as the cream of the ‘little bike’ crop for the past few years, and there’s nothing more fun than riding a small bike, quickly through the streets whilst reminding yourself of your youth.

That’s just a guess on our part of course. It could be that they’re just happy to be out of the office.


4th April





  • DESIGN: 1-cylinder, 4-stroke engine
  • DISPLACEMENT: 124.7 cm³
  • BORE: 58 mm
  • STROKE: 47.2 mm
  • POWER IN KW: 11 kW
  • STARTER: Electric starter
  • LUBRICATION: Wet sump
  • TRANSMISSION: 6-speed
  • PRIMARY DRIVE: 22:72
  • COOLING: Liquid cooled
  • CLUTCH: Wet multi-disc clutch, mechanically actuated
  • EMS: Bosch EMS


  • FRAME DESIGN: Steel trellis frame, powder coated
  • FRONT SUSPENSION: WP upside-down Ø 43 mm
  • REAR SUSPENSION: WP monoshock
  • FRONT BRAKE: Four-piston radial fixed calliper, brake disc
  • REAR BRAKE: Single-piston floating calliper, brake disc
  • ABS: Bosch 9MB two-channel ABS
  • CHAIN: X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4″
  • WHEELBASE: 1357 ± 15.5 mm
  • SEAT HEIGHT: 830 mm
  • DRY WEIGHT: 137 kg


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Custom of the Week: Yamaha SR500 ‘Scrambler’ by Daniel Peter




SCRAMBLERS ARE A HOT TOPIC. Build one, and you’re sure to be judged solely by how well equipped it is for hardcore off-piste use.

But that’s not all that scramblers are about. Daniel Peter compares his latest build to his childhood BMX—and it’s pretty much how we feel about modern-day scramblers too.

“When I was four years old, my BMX bike became my life,” he explains. “It was so simple, yet so fun. Just wheels, pedals and brakes. I’d ride it to the beach, jump a few curbs along the way, race my friends. Those were the good days.”

“30 years later, I set out to build a motorcycle based on the same principles. There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.”

Daniel works as a photographer in Chicago, but wrenches during the winter to keep his passion for riding alive. He keeps a workshop in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, outfitted with a tool cabinet, a welder, and a 1940s South Bend lathe.

This 1978-model Yamaha SR500 is the fourth Yamaha 500 he’s built to date. “It’s the most simple, yet the most thorough, of the bunch,” he says.

The motor’s been bumped to 540 cc, with a grocery list of go-fast bits that includes a lighter XT500 crank, a new piston from JE and a Megacycle cam for better torque down low.

R&D valve springs with titanium caps, a Powerdynamo ignition and a high-flow oil pump from Kedo round out the package.

Hoos Racing refreshed the crank and cut new valve seats for Daniel, but he tackled the rest of the rebuild himself. Every single bearing and seal was replaced along the way too. As for the carb, it’s been swapped out for a 39 mm Keihin FCR flatslide number, fed by a fat K&N filter.

The exhaust system is a combination of a custom made stainless steel header, and a Cone Engineering muffler.

The SR rolls on 17” supermoto wheels, borrowed from a KTM (front) and a Honda CRF450 (rear). They’re wrapped in Pirelli MT60 Corsa tread; a 120 up front, and a chunky 160 on the 5” rear rim. (“It juuust fits,” says Daniel.)

The brakes have been upgraded with a mix of Brembo and Beringer parts, with an RCS 14 radial master cylinder up front.

On top is an aluminum Yamaha XT500 fuel tank, wrapped in a paint scheme “inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja.” Just behind it is a new saddle from MotoLanna, with a new kicked-up subframe loop.

It’s just about spring in Chicago, so Daniel must be itching to rack up the miles on his SR500. And we’re betting it’s going to be impossible to get him off it.

A version of this article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with permission.

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Icon claim back the streets in their latest, epic video



Street’s Not Dead.

Regular readers will know that we eagerly await anything released from the US streetwear firm Icon Motorsports. So the moment that a video drops from the Portland firm we’re bound to pay attention.

That’s an interest piqued double when they post it alongside what is essentially a call to arms…

“Street’s not dead. If you think it went away, you’d be wrong. Street’s still here undermining pompous authority, rejecting standards, and bucking the status quo..”

And they’re not kidding either. With the Icon clad rider thrashing their Kawasaki ZX-10R through city streets, car parks and even a public fountain at one point, there’s a lot to take in.

Couple that with their usual loud, Icon style and you’ve certainly got a statement of intent.

(Don’t try this at home kids).



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