Is The Excelle 321R A Knock-Off KTM Duke?

As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. But just how much variety is enough, and is it considered variety if something bears too much of a resemblance with something else? Now, the motorcycle world has its fair share of copycats, many of which come from the faraway land of China. While there […]

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As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. But just how much variety is enough, and is it considered variety if something bears too much of a resemblance with something else? Now, the motorcycle world has its fair share of copycats, many of which come from the faraway land of China. While there are a few notable Chinese motorcycles makers, there are just as many, or maybe even more, with, let’s just say, questionable design practices.
Whether or not the bike we have here today falls under the latter is up to you to decide. But, right from the get-go, one glance at this Excelle 321R is enough to tell you that the folks behind this bike may have borrowed one too many styling cues from a certain orange motorcycle maker. Indeed, the bike’s sharp body work, exposed engine, and prominent trellis frame look like someone has taken a KTM Duke, repainted it, and changed the decals. What’s more is that this bike also seems to have borrowed the engine of a Yamaha R3.

So what exactly is this Excelle 321R? Well, on paper, it isn’t all that bad. Features consist of an LED headlight and tail light, inverted front forks, dual front disc brakes, and dare I say, a rather handsome single-sided swingarm. It even comes with a full-color TFT display. The engine is a 321cc parallel-twin with a 180-degree crankshaft. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it certainly is. It is, in fact, suspected to be a clone of the engine found in the Yamaha R3. That said, sources claim that this engine is a reverse-engineered R3 engine, which is really just a fancy way of saying that they straight up copied it, right?
The manufacturer claims that the engine produces 42 horsepower at 10,500 revs, and has a top speed of 112 miles per hour—pretty impressive stuff. Even more impressive, it weighs a featherweight 153 kgs, exactly the same as the KTM 390 Duke. That said, it’s sure to be quite the punchy little naked bike. Initially launched in China at CNY 25,000, or the equivalent of $3,813 USD, there’s no telling as of yet whether or not this bike will enter the global market.



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