Aprilia RS 125 (1998 - present) review

Much more zest than the competition but has its drawbacks too

Ben Cope's picture
By Visordown on Mon, 20 Sep 2010 - 12:09

Details
Manufacturer:
Aprilia
Category:
Learner Legal 125s
Price:
£ 3885
Overall
3
Need Insurance?
Handling is very good - all it takes is a psychotic teen to make these fly - but the suspension feels crude
Great looking and much better handling than the competition.
Fragile engine, will almost certainly have been crashed.

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

Length (mm) 1950
Width (mm) 720
Height (mm) 1135
Dryweight (kg) 142
Seats 0
Seat Height (mm) 805
Suspension Front Upside-down hydraulic action telescopic fork, 40 mm Ø inners, wheel travel 120 mm
Suspension Rear Cast aluminium swing-arm with asymmetrical members, thin walled structural shell, single hydraulic monoshock, wheel travel 120 mm
Adjustability Rear adjustable spring preload
Wheels Front 3.00 x 17
Wheels Rear 4.00 x 17
Tyres Front 110/70 ZR 17
Tyres Rear 150/60 ZR 17
Brakes Front floating calliper, disk Ø 320 mm, four parallel pi
Brakes Rear single disk, Ø 220 mm, twin piston calliper, pisto
Tank Capacity (litres) 14
Wheelbase (mm) 1345
Chassis Cast aluminium sloping twin-spar with thin walled structural shell and cross rib reinforcement

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

Cubic Capacity (cc) 125
Bore (mm) 54
Stroke (mm) 54.5
Compression Ratio 12.5
Ignition Capacitor discharge electronic ignition
Cooling Liquid cooled
Stroke Type Two Stroke
Drive Chain

Score Breakdown
Overall
3
Engine
3
Brakes
4
Handling
4
Comfort
3
Build Quality
3
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