GUIDE BUY­ERS’

Light, good-look­ing in an early-’90s throw­back fash­ion and, im­por­tantly, easy to der­e­strict. This is as good as 125s get

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents - Words: Alan See­ley Pic­tures: Bauer archive

Suzuki RG125F and why it’s one of the best 125s you can cur­rently lay your hands on

In the teenage world rac­ing style, and to an ex­tent pedi­gree, have long been key sell­ing points. Never mind that The Man stran­gled your ride to a pal­try 12bhp; as ev­ery 17-year-old worth their pro­vi­sional li­cence knew, a der­e­stricted 125 had plenty of un­leashed po­ten­tial once you’d, er, passed your test.

Suzuki’s RG125F, in­tro­duced in 1992, was touted as es­sen­tially one quar­ter of Sch­wantz’s GP racer pow­er­ing a slip­pery-faired Gp-style bike. Never mind that in re­stricted form it had not only a quar­ter of the ca­pac­ity but also a frac­tion of the power. Sure the 125cc twostroke sin­gle came with an AETC (Au­to­matic Ex­haust Tim­ing Con­trol) pow­er­valve and a slip­pery SBC (Suzuki Boron Com­pos­ite) plated bore.the for­mer was dis­abled on the re­stricted bike and the lat­ter re­dun­dant in hob­bled form.there was also a forged alu­minium pis­ton and steel con­rod.a bal­ancer shaft aimed to en­sure that all the vi­bra­tions would be good.

Other racy ap­point­ments in­cluded a Mikuni oval slide carb and a float­ing front disc gripped by a four-pot­to­kico.then there were the up­side-down forks.

So far so GP pad­dock, al­though a pressed-steel frame and cres­cent

swingarm had the right sil­hou­ette al­though the wrong ma­te­rial in steel. How­ever a 125kg dry weight was the right side of light enough.

Keep the re­stricted bike be­tween an in­di­cated 8k and 10k and progress would be lin­ear enough and along with fine han­dling would con­spire to sat­isfy the nascent sports­bike rider.the fair­ing did a bril­liant job for those not-so over­grown that they couldn’t tuck in be­hind it. Cer­tainly the RG felt faster than its re­stricted sta­tus might sug­gest. Clip the wire to the ECU that pre­vented the pow­er­valve com­ing into play and there was more fun to be had from the FN. Cut and shut the ex­haust to re­move the re­stric­tions in there and it was dou­bled.

There was also a naked ver­sion, the RG125UWOLF with a con­ven­tional swingarm and right-way-up forks.

This was a golden era for the 125cc race rep for those heeled well enough to af­ford the Suzuki’s £3k price tag or those of, say, a Ca­giva Mito or an Aprilia Fu­tura.

To­day prices for de­cent ex­am­ples are hold­ing firm, with in­ter­est grow­ing among those who owned them back then as well as learn­ers re­al­is­ing these old stro­kers have far more to of­fer than any­thing the man­u­fac­tur­ers build to­day.

Ca­pac­ity: 124cc Power: 12/23bhp Top speed: 75/100mph (est) Dry weight: 125kg (275lb)

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