Before riding this bike I was really excited. I always look forward to riding new bikes, but the Aprilia RS 125 is one of a dying breed: a two-stroke race rep.
If you want a bike to tickle your senses then it's a two-stroke every time. And for the last 14 years RS 125s have stimulated over 82,000 teenagers the world over.
The new RS looks like a mini RSV-R. New for '06 is RSV-R-style bodywork, a radial front brake, 14-litre tank and digital display with built-in lap counter. Engine, frame and forks are unchanged.
Hit the starter (no kickstart) and the RS buzzes into life. Giving it the GP-style throttle blip to hear the crackle from the pipe I couldn't help notice the rev-counter is a fraction of a second behind the motor. Aprilia says it takes a while to warm up!
Despite my being anything but teenage size (a teenage whale, possibly... ) the RS isn't cramped. Yes it's small, but not amillion miles off a modern 600. The engine is typical two-stroke; we rode the 28bhp unrestricted model, which is surprisingly tractable below 8000rpm. Pulling away requires a load of revs, but low down it's rideable, if a little slow. Hit 8000rpm and it all changes; the exhaust note switches to a high-pitched 'waaaa' and the little RS flies, until it runs out of puff at around 11,000rpm where it simply stops revving as though it can't draw enough fuel in. Which is probably the case.
Handling is very good - all it takes is a psychotic teen to make these fly - but the suspension feels crude. Mid-corner bumps overwhelm the forks and shock, and the tyres skip and bounce in a disconcerting if controllable fashion. The radial front brake has far more bite than a bike this size will ever need; with a lightweight teenager on it will be even better.
At £3616 - £967 more than a CBR125 - the RS is probably out of most teenagers' league. But the CBR is a soulless four-stroke that is functional at best. For teenage kicks the RS still rules.
VERDICT 4/5 Just the tool for teens to mis-spend their youth on and learn how to be a GP star - as long as they can afford it
SPECS TYPE - SUPERSPORTS PRODUCTION DATE - 2006 PRICE NEW - £3616 ENGINE CAPACITY - 124.5cc POWER - 28bhp TORQUE - 14.3lb.ft WEIGHT - 125kg SEAT HEIGHT - 805mm FUEL CAPACITY - 14L TOP SPEED - 100mph 0-60 - n/a TANK RANGE - N/A
Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/first-ride-2006-aprilia-rs125/4196.html#ixzz0sXQyERPM
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