Bajaj Dominar 250 vs. KTM 250 Duke - Which one should you buy?

19/03/2020 - 15:29 | ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,   | Neelanjan Chakraborty

The launch of the Bajaj Dominar 250 has got many KTM 250 Duke prospective customers a second thought. Here is a detailed comparison between the Bajaj Dominar 250 and KTM 250 Duke.

Bajaj Dominar 250 Vs Ktm 250 Duke Cover
The Bajaj Dominar 250 originates from the KTM 250 Duke and shares features like a slipper clutch and dual-channel ABS.

The launch of the Bajaj Dominar 250 may have taken several industry pundits by surprise but is in fact not something which is out of the blue. Thanks to its stake in the Austrian motorcycle maker KTM, we have seen Bajaj use their powertrains, modify it as per its needs and retail in several models.

This trend began with the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 in 2012 which originated from the KTM 200 Duke. This was followed by the Dominar 400 in 2016 which in turn originated from the KTM 390 Duke. So, it was only a matter of time before Bajaj introduced a product based on the KTM Duke 250. Like the Pulsar NS200 and Dominar 400, the new Bajaj Dominar 250 too is vastly different from its Austrian, cousin not just in terms of mechanicals and features but also riding dynamics.

Engine – So close, yet so apart

Specification Bajaj Dominar 250 KTM 250 Duke
Engine 248.77 cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, DOHC 248.8 cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, DOHC
Max Power 27 PS at 8,500 rpm 30 PS at 9,000 rpm
Peak Torque 23.5 Nm at 6,500 rpm 24 Nm at 7,500 rpm
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed

The Bajaj Dominar 250 is powered by a 248.77 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled mill. This powertrain originates from the 248 cc mill of the KTM 250 Duke. Unlike in the case of the 400 cc model, Bajaj Auto has not experimented with a lesser powerful and more basic engine architecture. It has used a DOHC (dual overhead cam) layout to move the intake and exhaust valves, as is the case in the 250 Duke.

Both the engines are also fuel injected. However, they are tuned differently for different purposes. The Bajaj Dominar 250 is more of a leisure-oriented motorcycle which will be a perfect companion for long-distance cruising. In comparison, the 250 Duke is a proper street naked motorcycle focusing on outright performance.

Also Read: Bajaj Dominar 250 vs. BS6 Suzuki Gixxer 250 - Specs, features & prices compared

This is also evident because of the different riding dynamics of the two motorcycles. The KTM 250 Duke gets slightly more rear-set footpegs as compared to the Bajaj Dominar 250. Also, both the motorcycles are fitted with a slipper clutch.

The Bajaj Dominar 250 produces 27 PS of power which is lower than the 30 PS produced by the KTM 250 Duke. However, both the powerplants peak at around the same engine speeds which means that the performance difference between the two will depend a lot on the torque.

In terms of pulling power, the Dominar 250 produces 23.5 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm which is pretty close to the 24 Nm produced by 250 Duke at 7,500 rpm.

Also Read: Should KTM consider making the KTM RC790?

Cycle Parts – You get what you pay for

Bajaj Dominar 250 Vs Ktm 250 Duke Side Profile
The Bajaj Dominar 250 has 37 mm upside-down fork at the front while the KTM 250 Duke is fitted with 43 mm upside-down fork.

The Bajaj Dominar 250 has a perimeter frame while the KTM 250 Duke is fitted with a lightweight steel trellis frame. Besides that, the latter boasts a lower centre of gravity which helps in improving manoeuvrability and handling precision.

The suspension system includes upside-down fork in both the motorcycles. However, the Dominar 250 is fitted with a thinner profile 37 mm fork. KTM uses 43 mm fork sourced from its sister company WP Suspensions for the 250 Duke. The rear suspension is a monoshock unit in both the motorcycles. Also, the Dominar 250 is expected to a have comfort-oriented setup focusing on comfort while the 250 Duke has a stiffer setup.

Bajaj Dominar 250 vs. Bajaj Dominar 400 - Specs, features & prices compared

Another area where the two motorcycles differ is the brakes. Both the motorcycles get a radially mounted front brake calliper. However, in the Bajaj Dominar 250, the front disc is a 300 mm unit while the 2020 KTM 250 Duke comes fitted with a bigger 320 mm disc which in result in better stopping power. The rear disc size of both the motorcycles is the same 230 mm. Also, both get callipers sourced from Brembo’s low-cost arm Bybre.

KTM and Bajaj have not cut corners on safety, though, and offer both the motorcycles with dual-channel ABS. The 250 Duke also boasts a Supermoto mode in which the rear ABS can be switched off. Besides that, the Dominar 250 gets a box-type swingarm while the 250 Duke gets an alloy based setup.

Design and dimensions

Specification Bajaj Dominar 250 KTM 250 Duke
Front suspension 37 mm upside-down fork 43 mm upside-down fork
Rear suspension Monoshock Monoshock
Front tyre 100/80-17 110/70-17
Rear tyre 130/70-17 150/60-17
Front brake 300 mm 320 mm disc
Rear brake 230 mm 230 mm disc
Ground clearance 180 mm 185 mm
Fuel tank 13-litre 13.5-litre

The Bajaj Dominar 250 and KTM 250 Duke are very different in terms of looks from the word go. The former looks exactly the same as the Dominar 400 (save for the machined alloy wheels). The motorcycle is offered in two colour options, Canyon Red and Vine Black. The curvy bodywork did look attractive in 2016 but after almost 4 years of being in the business, it has started to show its age.

KTM is no different and uses the design of the 390 Duke across the range, including the 250 Duke. However, the new sticker job on the quarter-litre street naked motorcycle helps it stand out from the rest of the pack. It is available in Silver Metallic & Dark Galvano (black).

Bajaj has offered the Dominar 250 with a 13-litre fuel tank, which is almost same as the 13.5 litre unit as the 250 Duke. However, the former is expected to return better fuel efficiency and more range. This means that the Dominar 250 will make less frequent stops at fuel stations than the Austrian cousin.

The Dominar 250 has a ground clearance of 180 mm, 5 mm less than the 250 Duke, which combined with the more travel offered by the latter’s suspension setup is set to benefit it while taking on uneven roads. Also, the quarter-litre Dominar is heavier than the 250 Duke.

Also Read: Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 vs. KTM 250 Duke - Which one should you buy?

Features – to each their own

The Bajaj Dominar 250 gets an LED headlamp as against the halogen bulb based setup on the KTM 250 Duke. Besides that, the Dominar 250 is fitted with reverse backlit instrumentation which is not only more informative but also looks much better than the orange backlit unit of the Duke 250.

Both the motorcycles are fitted with a slipper clutch which will be a great boon when switching gears at high speeds without using the clutch. Also, the WP-sourced suspension system of the Austrian motorcycle is a much better setup than that of the Indian bike.

Price – Money matters

Bajaj Dominar 250 Vs Ktm 250 Duke Front Three Quar
The Bajaj Dominar 250 is INR 40,000 more affordable than the KTM 250 Duke.

The Bajaj Dominar 250 is priced at Rs 1.60 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) which is INR 40,000 less than the KTM 250 Duke's sticker price of INR 2 lakh (ex-Delhi). That being said, the latter offers the most well-rounded product from KTM’s stables. Ultimately, the choice boils down to a rider’s preferences on whether they want a quarter-litre pocket rocket or a well-tamed mini-beast. Our pick is the Austrian bike currently, but we'll save our final judgement for when we ride the Indian bike.

The Bajaj Dominar 250 review will be up on soon.

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