FIRST RIDE APRILIA RS125 REMEMBER ME?
25 years after its birth, the RS125 is back
The Aprilia RS125 first smoked its way on to race tracks 25 years ago and quickly set about dominating its class. Quick to link its GP success to its road bikes, Aprilia launched the sporty AF125 Futura in the same year, which became the RS125R Extrema in 1994 and finally the legendary RS125 in 1996, a machine that upheld the honour of stink-wheels the world over and kick-started numerous GP careers until it was replaced by the four-stroke RS4 in 2011.
Now, to celebrate the RS’S 25th anniversary as well as updating it to make it Euro4-compliant, Aprilia has changed the name of their RS4 to RS125 in homage. But it remains a four-stroke…
True to form, the RS125’S livery remains race-inspired. The fairing design is the same Rsv4-mimicking look as before, but alongside the black and silver paintschemes, you now have the option of a Motogp-rep for an extra £100, which even comes with a quickshifter.
The dash is updated and can be linked to a smartphone via Aprilia’s AMP sys- tem, there is more underseat storage, ABS is fitted and the motor is Euro4compliant without any change in power or torque. So it’s basically an RS4 that is Euro4-friendly, and with a bit of Italian marketing hype behind it.
The engine is very smooth thanks to a balancer shaft, and makes the required 15bhp that allows it to top 80mph while also only sipping petrol. But, like all small-capacity four-strokes, it is very flat in its performance and hits a brick wall rev limiter at 11,000rpm. These characteristics make it feel functional rather than thrilling.
The chassis does nothing to really distinguish itself from the likes of the Yamaha YZF-R125 or KTM RC125. The suspension is surprisingly good, though, and it handles impressively as well as being nice and roomy for taller riders.
The two-stroke RS125 was always an aspirational 125 due to its racing success and its ability to be easily derestricted, which helped justify its higher price tag. But the four-stroke world has changed all this. The new RS125 is certainly desirable, but underneath its racy image it’s just another 15bhp four-stroke 125.
HIGHLIGHTS O New dash with in-built lap timer and optional AMP connectivity Underseat storage compartment