I own a duke 200. I’ve crashed it the 10th day I’ve got it. I’ve also used the same machine for 8 months after the accident. Peacefully for daily commuting and touring with out an incident. Guess that makes me qualified to talk about these machine’s huh. I’ll try to see that this post is not one of those hate filled rant about these machines or a fanboy’s perspective towards them. I know Duke 200 is the puny machine in the KTM’s lineup. In the country I live, it is also the most reachable bike for kids who dream about revving the hell out of motorcycles showing off. Also most other people usually use a 150CC or less motorcycles mostly used only for commuting and not touring or joy rides. Counting in the traffic we ride in and the common sense we have on roads, it is a big bike here.
What happens when you give a toddler a pair of skates? Pretty much the same with motorcycles too. Only the crash looks a bit more bloodier. The crash I was involved in was pretty bad, So bad that people were awestruck seeing me alive and walking. I was not wearing a helmet, I was trying to overtake from left! that too an auto which did not have rear view mirrors(For the not so Indian’s, Yes we drive to the left and yeah auto is the 3 tired marvel you might have probably seen in a Bollywood movie, if not do watch one). Anyways, To make the things even worse, I’m on a flyover! I was not even having the space which i can exploit to overtake, i was honking at the auto guy to give me some space for me to squeeze through. Usually, I’m a very sane guy, at least that’s what I think who I’m. The day I crashed was one of my cousins birthday and I’ve left my office early to catch up on with him. The hurry I’m in to meet him, the unexplored power at the disposal of a twist of the wrist, the inexperience with the machine and the lack of understanding I have about it, have all teamed up and over-weighed the common sense I should be having on a downhill section of a flyover, which eventually lead me to crash myself. And made me look like an idiot to myself. Just in case you want to see how an idiot’s motorcycle looks after him losing common sense, you are welcome to have an another look at the image on the top.
It is not the fault of KTM to give an incredibly powerful machine which accelerates at such a rate that first timers literally gets pulled away by the raw power of the machine. The flickability of the bike is something which comes as a byproduct of the corner craving design, the weight distribution and the suspension setups. I can blame both the factors as cause of my accident saying if the bike isn’t that way, I would’ve not tried to overtake in the first place, But it would be the same if the toddler blames the skates that they are a bad design. I can put forward many such meaningless analogies. “With great power comes great responsibility” said Uncle Ben. That’s the point. Until you are capable of controlling the power, you should not play with it. Until you respect the power and not abuse it, YOU SHOULD NOT PLAY WITH IT. Well, I was just kidding, It’s your machine! you can do whatever the hell you want to do with it. But make sure while you are crashing, you don’t crash into me. coz, sadly I don’t plan my day that way.
I don’t know how to drive a car, but I hold a driver’s licence permitting me to drive one. That’s the beauty of our authorities and the stupidity of people like me here in our country. Although that’s a whole different story to talk about, It is such things which make up eventually to such misconceptions that a particular vehicle is not safe, or a particular type of rider is dangerous. It is not possible to generalise that way! It is up to the situation and the person living the moment that can tell what has gone wrong not us. So, It should not be the case of KTM’s, it should rather be the case of common sense.
So… yeah, I tried my best not to take sides, but I might sound tad a bit towards the KTM. well, why shouldn’t I ? I own one of those beasts. 😉