KTM 125 Duke vs Suzuki Gixxer vs Bajaj Pulsar 150: Spec Comparison

Modified On Mar 8, 2019 By Mallikarjun Pillai for KTM 125 Duke

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How does the newest KTM Duke fare on paper against two of the best and most popular 150cc motorcycles around? Let’s find out.

The launch of the 125 Duke came as a surprise for more than one reason. Firstly, it was introduced at a pretty steep Rs 1.18 (ex-showroom, Delhi) for a 125cc motorcycle. Conversely, the bike offered sterling specs for a 125cc motorcycle. In fact, some of its specs might even put a few 150cc bikes to shame. This makes the new 125 Duke stand out from the rest of the 125cc motorcycles that currently sell in India. Which is also why we chose to pit the 125 Duke against two champions of the 150cc segment: the Bajaj Pulsar 150 (twin-disc version) and the Suzuki Gixxer. Who wins? Let’s find out.

Design & Features

  KTM 125 Duke Suzuki Gixxer Bajaj Pulsar 150 Twin-disc
Instrument console Full-digital Full-digital Analogue-digital
LED tail lights Yes Yes Yes
Sporty graphics Yes Yes Yes
Alloy wheels Yes Yes Yes

The design of the 125 Duke is identical to its elder sibling, the 200 Duke. Both motorcycles are very similar to each other in terms of dimensions as well. However, the 125’s graphics help differentiate itself from the 200 Duke. That and the engine apart, the 125 Duke offers everything the 200 Duke does, which means you get the same instrument console, wheels and tyres and other mechanical components. This puts the 125 Duke clearly ahead of its other 125cc peers. But what about the Gixxer and the Pulsar 150?
In spite of being around for a little more than four years now, the Gixxer continues to look fresh. What also helps is that Suzuki keeps updating the bike with newer paint schemes and sticker designs. The Gixxer has a muscular stance that is enhanced by beefy front forks and a chrome-finished exhaust. It also boasts of one of the best digital instrument consoles in the 150cc segment and offers a very useful gear position indicator.
The Bajaj Pulsar 150 twin-disc is the latest update to the Pulsar range. The twin-disc variant retains the signature lines of the Pulsar but includes a few style bits to keep the lineup fresh in the face of newer competition. These bits include fancy graphics, a new belly pan and body-coloured rim tapes. The new 150 variant also gets side panels with faux carbon-fibre texturing. However, the Pulsar 150 continues to make do with a digital-analog instrument console, which stands out like a sore thumb in this comparison as both the Gixxer and the 125 Duke get full-digital consoles.

The Duke is clearly the winner if sporty styling is all that you care about. But if you want something more understated and practical, the Gixxer and the Pulsar 150 are great options. However, the 125 Duke is the clear winner when it comes to features offered.

Engine & Transmission

  KTM 125 Duke Suzuki Gixxer Bajaj Pulsar 150 Twin-disc
Type Single-cylinder, liquid-cooled Single-cylinder, air-cooled Single-cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement 124.7cc 154.9cc 149.5cc
Maximum power 14.5PS @ 9250rpm 14.8PS @ 8000rpm 14PS @ 8000rpm
Maximum torque 12Nm @ 8000rpm 14Nm @ 6000rpm 13.4Nm @ 6000rpm
Transmission 6-speed 5-speed 5-speed
Fuel tank 10.2ltr 12ltr 15ltr

Although it cedes more than 25cc to the Gixxer and the Pulsar, the 125 Duke’s power output is very close to that of the other two. Helping matters is the presence of liquid-cooling. Most of the power is produced in the trademark Duke style, i.e. high up in the rev band. Coupled with a 6-speed transmission, this should make the 125 Duke brisk and eager.   
The engine on the Gixxer offers useable performance throughout the rev band, which makes the bike a great ride on the highway as well as the city. The motor is also a refined unit and features Suzuki’s trademark SEP technology, which helps the bike deliver an ARAI-certified fuel economy of 64 kmpl.

The Pulsar 150 dual-disc variant has the same engine as the standard Pulsar 150, which means you get a motor that is perfectly suited to city riding with occasional highway jaunts thrown in. It further boasts of a 5-speed transmission with well-spaced out ratios that rarely make you feel the need for the sixth cog.
As can be seen from the table, the Gixxer is the clear winner when it comes to outright power figures. However, each bike offers a different character when it comes to power delivery. The Pulsar 150 is the most sedate of the lot while the Gixxer is more sprightly. It’s the 125 Duke though that is expected to be the most spirited to ride of these three thanks to the 6-speed gearbox and peaky power delivery.

Underpinnings

  KTM 125 Duke Suzuki Gixxer Bajaj Pulsar 150 Twin-disc
Length 1993mm 2050mm 2035mm
Width 789mm 785mm 765mm
Height 1083mm 1030mm 1115mm
Wheelbase 1366mm 1330mm 1345mm
Ground Clearance 175mm 160mm 165mm
Kerb weight 148kg 136kg 144kg
Front Suspension 43mm WP Upside-down forks Telescopic Telescopic
Rear Suspension Monoshock 10 steps (Adjuster Slots) Monoshock (7-step adjustable) Twin Nitrox shock absorber
Front Brake 300mm Disc (ABS) Disc (ABS) 260mm Disc
Rear Brake 230mm Disc Disc 230mm Disc
Tyre Size Front 110/70-R17 100/80-17 90/90-17
Tyre Size Rear 150/60-R17 140/60-R17 120/80–17

As mentioned earlier, the 125 Duke gets the same underpinnings as the 200 Duke. This means you get USD suspension at the front and an adjustable monoshock at the rear, both from WP. The bike also gets a steel trellis frame, which should bestow it with impressive handling. Moreover, the 125 Duke gets the fattest tyres of the lot: a 110-section at the front and a 150-section at the rear.
The Gixxer has been a segment benchmark in more ways than one. For instance, it was the best handling bike in this segment, until the Apache RTR160 4V came along. Sporting a single-downtube chassis, the Gixxer is an absolute delight to handle within the city as well as the highway. And just like the 125 Duke, the Gixxer gets a single-channel ABS at the front.

The double-downtube chassis on the Bajaj Pulsar with telescopic suspension at the front and gas-charged twin springs at the rear is a proven formula. The setup endows the Pulsar 150 with brilliant ride quality over the roughest of surfaces. Braking duties are handled by a 260mm disc at the front and a 230mm disc at the rear.


Judging from the similarly-specced 200 Duke, the 125 Duke should be the best handler of this lot. However, if you are looking for a good balance of ride quality and agile handling, the Gixxer is definitely a better bet. The Pulsar 150, in keeping with its premium commuter focus, prioritises ride quality over outright handling prowess.

Price & Verdict

KTM 125 Duke (ABS) Suzuki Gixxer (ABS) Bajaj Pulsar 150 Twin-disc
Rs 1.18 lakh Rs 87,871 Rs 80,794

(all prices ex-showroom, Delhi)

The KTM 125 Duke is priced considerably more than the Gixxer and the Pulsar 150. The higher price, however, gets you high quality components that are lifted straight out of the 200 Duke. That said, the 125 is still the cheapest way to experience the sharp and nimble performance that KTM’s Duke range is known for. It is also the perfect motorcycle for those who find the 200 and 250 Dukes a step too high.

The Gixxer is still a very capable all-round motorcycle that will rarely disappoint you on the highway or the city. A good combination of looks, performance and price means you cannot go wrong with the Gixxer.

The cheapest of the lot, the Bajaj Pulsar 150, still offers a package that is hard to ignore. It continues to be the highest-selling 150cc motorcycle and with good reason. No other bike gets you dual disc brakes at this price point, which is why the Pulsar 150 is the most VFM of the bikes featured in this comparo.

*Ex-showroom Price in Delhi

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