Buying a motorcycle had been confusing for me but I was pretty sure I did not want a Royal Enfield. Primary reason- heaviness and inability to cut through traffic. I didn’t even go for a test ride. After using my 200 Duke for about 2 years now, I thought of riding my friend’s RE Classic 350 for a change on a small weekend ride. Right from getting on the the bike to riding it for a day, everything feels like opposite ends of a rope. Here’s how different it feels to ride an Enfield to a KTM Duke fan-
- The 200 Duke weighs 148 kg only against the 192 kg weighed Enfield. Right from getting it off its stand, the difference was felt. But, once the Enfield is off its stand, it feels very very light. All the heaviness is just gone instantly! Enfield has an upright riding posture and on the 200 Duke, the posture is forward biased and legs are placed a bit backward. This felt really very different!
- Press the start button and instantly the throaty sound of the Duke can be heard. Where’s the fun in starting Enfield using the electric start! So, I went for the kick. The engine comes to life slowly. The thumps are slow and mild initially. In sometime, the thumping is the only sound you can hear!
- On the Duke, slightest wring of the throttle and engine delivers power like a suckerpunch. The Enfield is not as slow as it is hyped but yes, it is relatively slow for a 350 cc bike. But, the thumping and rich-feel won’t disappoint you.
- The Enfield goes rock-steady, not at all affected by the wind pressure. It reminded me of – Made like a Gun… Goes like a bullet…
- It is needless to say that Classic 350 barely touched 90 kmph and the vibrations forced me to slow down. I drove it at a constant speed of 70 kmph and the feel has been the best till now. While I was enjoying the moderate speed; unperturbed of the traffic around, my friend had left me behind at 100+ kmph on my 200 Duke!
- The 200 Duke does heat up in bumper to bumper traffic but it is nothing compared to the Enfield. The heat from Enfield’s could bother you a lot! In the city traffic, I really wished I was riding my 200 Duke as the sleeker & sharper Duke won’t have made me stop so much!
- The instrument cluster on 200 Duke is way more informative compared to the mere speed, neutral and turn indicators on Classic’s instrument cluster! The fuel level is left to rider’s judgement!
A totally different experience for me. Experiencing all the limitations of Classic 350, at the end of the day, I still felt like buying one! Illogical isn’t it? But, that’s the beauty of Classic 350. Just like its name, it is a Classic example of how much ‘the feel’ can make a difference.
Checkout my ownership experience of the KTM 200 Duke at: