Derbi GPR 125 (2005 - present) review

Gorgeous looking little 125 sportsbike, but for our money, the naked version just edges it

Ben Cope's picture
By Visordown on Sat, 1 Jan 2005 - 12:01

Details
Manufacturer:
Derbi
Category:
Learner Legal 125s
Price:
£ 3699
Overall
3
Need Insurance?
Sparkling looks with sharp styling, composed handling and great fun to boot
Physically small for some, the GPR's matt plastics may not be to everyone's tastes

Following on from the success of the GPR50 launched late last year, Derbi have expanded their model line-up with two new 125cc models, the GPR125 Racing and GPR125 Nude.

The bikes' launch took place on Derbi's home turf in Spain, some 45 miles from Barcelona. That meant the test route would mostly consist of tight, twisty mountain roads, with very little traffic - the perfect environment to test two mini race bikes.

The difference between the two models is simple. The GPR125 Racing has clip-on race bars and a full fairing, while the Nude has higher bars, radiator cowls, bar-mounted mirrors and a fly screen. Other than that they are identical.

From the word go it's obvious the GPRs have been carefully sculptured and styled into two of the best-looking lightweights on the road. Every conceivable trick part has been added, from the twin-piston radial caliper to the under-seat exhaust system, so on the styling front the GPRs score highly.
Neither model gets a kick-start though, which in some ways is disappointing. Having grown up in the 350LC era, I feel there's something special about kick-starting a two-stroke, but in this case the convenience of an electric boot will have to do. Once running however, and even with the Euro 2 emission restrictions in place, that familiar two-stroke smell is still there.

Opting for the Racing model for my first test ride, I found myself chasing a couple of other testers along the mountain roads. Now I have to confess I wasn't all that excited about thrashing a 125cc motorcycle round some Spanish country roads, but within half a mile I was hooked. You had to really concentrate to keep in touch; the trick was to keep the rev counter needle pinned between 9000 and 10,000rpm. Not surprisingly, the 125 Racing handles superbly. It is tight and precise, which shouldn't come as a
surprise considering the double braced
aluminium frame and alloy swingarm taken straight from Derbi's GP bike. Combine that with a decent brake and suspension set-up and you have yourself a race bike for the road. Admittedly though, we were testing the full power 22bhp version. The learner-legal model would be restricted to 15bhp, but we were informed the restriction could be removed by simply fitting a £1 fuse -
providing you've passed the necessary
tests, of course!

So far so good. However, the extreme
riding position was getting a little uncomfortable for an old man like me, but I guess it would be fine for a young sprog.
Time for a spin on the Nude version. Over the past couple of years or so I've grown to be a massive fan of bikes such as Aprilia's Tuono and Benelli's TNT, and with this in mind I had been looking forward to testing the 125 Nude. I wasn't disappointed. It offers all the Racing model has to offer but with a far more pleasant riding position, and a bit more fun thrown in for good measure. Even with the lack of performance, half-decent wheelies were no problem, and with the higher, wider bars fitted the Nude was even easier to hustle around the tight, twisty roads than the Racing.

If I were 17 again I would head straight for my nearest Derbi dealer, not to buy the GPR125 Racing but to pick up a Nude. Don't get me wrong, the Racing is a beautiful machine, but it looks a hell of a lot faster than it is. The Nude, on the other hand, isn't pretending to be a 170mph sports bike. At £3549 it's not the cheapest 125cc on the road, but it is one of the best looking, and when you're 17 looks are everything. Whether the girls hanging out by the chippy appreciate the development that has gone into the GPR125 is neither here nor there. The important thing is the Nude looks the part. Once you've mastered the art of pulling a few stunts, pulling one or two girls should be no sweat.

VERDICT

Competitively priced with bang up to the minute styling and specs, although we'd take the Nude over the RacingFollowing on from the success of the GPR50 launched late last year, Derbi have expanded their model line-up with two new 125cc models, the GPR125 Racing and GPR125 Nude.

The bikes' launch took place on Derbi's home turf in Spain, some 45 miles from Barcelona. That meant the test route would mostly consist of tight, twisty mountain roads, with very little traffic - the perfect environment to test two mini race bikes.

The difference between the two models is simple. The GPR125 Racing has clip-on race bars and a full fairing, while the Nude has higher bars, radiator cowls, bar-mounted mirrors and a fly screen. Other than that they are identical.

From the word go it's obvious the GPRs have been carefully sculptured and styled into two of the best-looking lightweights on the road. Every conceivable trick part has been added, from the twin-piston radial caliper to the under-seat exhaust system, so on the styling front the GPRs score highly.
Neither model gets a kick-start though, which in some ways is disappointing. Having grown up in the 350LC era, I feel there's something special about kick-starting a two-stroke, but in this case the convenience of an electric boot will have to do. Once running however, and even with the Euro 2 emission restrictions in place, that familiar two-stroke smell is still there.

Opting for the Racing model for my first test ride, I found myself chasing a couple of other testers along the mountain roads. Now I have to confess I wasn't all that excited about thrashing a 125cc motorcycle round some Spanish country roads, but within half a mile I was hooked. You had to really concentrate to keep in touch; the trick was to keep the rev counter needle pinned between 9000 and 10,000rpm. Not surprisingly, the 125 Racing handles superbly. It is tight and precise, which shouldn't come as a
surprise considering the double braced
aluminium frame and alloy swingarm taken straight from Derbi's GP bike. Combine that with a decent brake and suspension set-up and you have yourself a race bike for the road. Admittedly though, we were testing the full power 22bhp version. The learner-legal model would be restricted to 15bhp, but we were informed the restriction could be removed by simply fitting a £1 fuse -
providing you've passed the necessary
tests, of course!

So far so good. However, the extreme
riding position was getting a little uncomfortable for an old man like me, but I guess it would be fine for a young sprog.
Time for a spin on the Nude version. Over the past couple of years or so I've grown to be a massive fan of bikes such as Aprilia's Tuono and Benelli's TNT, and with this in mind I had been looking forward to testing the 125 Nude. I wasn't disappointed. It offers all the Racing model has to offer but with a far more pleasant riding position, and a bit more fun thrown in for good measure. Even with the lack of performance, half-decent wheelies were no problem, and with the higher, wider bars fitted the Nude was even easier to hustle around the tight, twisty roads than the Racing.

If I were 17 again I would head straight for my nearest Derbi dealer, not to buy the GPR125 Racing but to pick up a Nude. Don't get me wrong, the Racing is a beautiful machine, but it looks a hell of a lot faster than it is. The Nude, on the other hand, isn't pretending to be a 170mph sports bike. At £3549 it's not the cheapest 125cc on the road, but it is one of the best looking, and when you're 17 looks are everything. Whether the girls hanging out by the chippy appreciate the development that has gone into the GPR125 is neither here nor there. The important thing is the Nude looks the part. Once you've mastered the art of pulling a few stunts, pulling one or two girls should be no sweat.

VERDICT

Competitively priced with bang up to the minute styling and specs, although we'd take the Nude over the Racing

Spread over the tank like a sleepy cat on a warm shed roof, I’m doing my best to make myself as small a shape as possible. I feel like I’m doing a reasonable impression of what I might have looked like had I been allowed a ride on this bike 13 years ago, when I was 16 and 125s were all that mattered. How wrong was I.

Apparently from the pit wall I looked as stupid as all the other lardy old pretenders. Banging down two gears and peeling in for the first turn at Barcelona’s Motorparc circuit, the GPR was doing anything but pretend. Knee deep in tarmac with every single one of the fifteen frothing horses available being strangled to within an inch of their lives, I couldn’t help but let out a giggle. This bike is fun.

The 125cc market is to Derbi what the World Superbike title is to Ducati. The two couldn’t exist without each other. That said, having lost 79% of their buyers in the last year, Derbi are currently treading an extremely fine line between existence and the scrapheap. The important Spanish grown up did his best to explain the dire straights in which Derbi find themselves, but I got bored and spent the available time wisely letching at the GPR through the window.

It’s a purdy-looking thing; the swingarm, forks, radial brakes and peg position all giving the impression of something that houses more than a Vespa 125 scooter engine. Derbi should be commended for going the extra mile in their bid to offer the 16 to 20 year-old target audience everything that a bigger sportsbike should have.

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/derbi-gpr-125-first-ride-review/10693.html#ixzz0sXRdsjzw

Dryweight (kg) 125
Seats 0
Seat Height (mm) 810
Suspension Front Sebac 40mm usd forks
Suspension Rear Sebac monoshock
Tyres Front 119/80-17
Tyres Rear 140/70-17
Brakes Front Single 300mm disc with piston radial caliper
Brakes Rear Single 180mm disc with twin piston radial caliper
Wheelbase (mm) 1355
Chassis Aluminium


Cubic Capacity (cc) 124
Bore (mm) 96
Stroke (mm) 69
Compression Ratio 12.5
Ignition Electronic
Cooling Liquid Cooled
Stroke Type Two Stroke
Drive Chain

Score Breakdown
Overall
3

Follow Visordown

Competitions

Latest News

Latest Features

Latest Bike Reviews

Crash Media Group
Visordown is part of the CMG Full Throttle Network© : welcoming over 3 million consumers each month