New Bikes

KTM RC250 and Duke 250 revealed

Shrunken 390s for Japanese market

AS Visordown predicted, KTM has revealed 250cc versions of its Duke and RC models, joining a line-up that already includes the 125cc, 200cc and 375cc ‘390’ machines.

We revealed the new bikes’ existence last week, and many of you were a little surprised that the firm would opt to sleeve-down its bigger 375cc ‘390’ engine to create a 250 when there’s already a 200cc version based on the smaller 125cc engine in the single-cylinder range.

The answer lies in Japanese regulations. Over in Japan, bikes above 250cc need to take the viciously expensive shaken test every two years – the equivalent of our MoT but much tougher and costlier. That creates a significant market for bikes just under the 250cc mark, and it’s enough to justify the creation of the 250cc Duke and RC models despite the fact there’s already a 200 in the range.

It’s likely the 250 may also be offered in other countries where licence or tax regulations favour sub-250cc bikes, but don’t expect to see it sold in the UK.

The 250s make 31hp, 13hp less than the 390. The exact capacity is 248.8cc, with a bore and stroke of 72mm x 61mm. Despite having the same bore as the 200, the engine itself is based on the 390 motor, which has different castings. Presumably the 200, which is already based on the smaller 125, couldn’t be stretched to 250cc.

Capacity aside, the RC and Duke models are identical to the existing 390 in every way, with the same chassis and suspension.

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