Quick Test: 2010 Aprilia RS 125 CycleOnline.com.au

12 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Quick Test: 2010 Aprilia RS 125 CycleOnline.com.au
Aprilia RS 125 SBK Replica

Quick Test: 2010 Aprilia RS 125

Aprilia’s Max Biaggi race replica RS 125 proves that learner legal bikes can be a blast for all – whether you’re new to riding or just looking for some fun.

2010 Aprilia RS 125 Specifications

Engine type: Liquid cooled, single-cylinder, two-stroke

Bore x stroke: 54 x 54.5mm

Seat height: 805mm

Fuel capacity: 14 litres (3.5L reserve)

PURCHASE DETAILS

Price: $8990 + orc (Max Biaggi SBK SE); $7990 + orc (Standard)

Colour options: Max Biaggi SBK SE; Aprilia Black; Fluoro Red

Test bike from: Aprilia Australia (John Sample Automotive)

There’s a certain ‘cool factor’ that surrounds many bikes us moto-journalists are privileged to test in this job, but nine times out of ten it’s the latest and greatest sportsbikes or motocrossers that take the cake in the cool ranks.

But Aprilia’s ultra-smart RS 125 has managed to sneak up into the limelight as well, not because of huge horsepower or anything of the sort, but simply because it looks unreal and has quality to burn.

I’d previously tested the RS 125 for Australian Motorcycle News when I was on my P-plates a few years ago in 2007, and I’ve been interested in taking one for another run now that my experience levels have significantly increased.

Although the model has been slightly revised since my last RS 125 test on a Jorge Lorenzo replica back then, this year saw me onboard the Max Biaggi SBK Special Edition replica – designed to look just like the Roman Emperor’s RSV4 WSBK racer.

Also worthy of note that the Biaggi edition is also available in Aprilia’s SR50R, too.

With the company proving so successful in the 125cc Grand Prix ranks, it’s only natural for Aprilia to take advantage of the on-track results and produce a production 125cc.

It’s got a single-cylinder, two-stroke rotax engine, featuring a crankcase reed valve intake, liquid cooling, an anti-vibration balancer shaft and an automatic oil/fuel mixing system.

The RS 125’s engine has been constantly updated over the years to keep in line with the latest emission control legislation without penalising performance according to Aprilia, with a catalytic converter and modified carburetion keeping the engine to Euro 3 standards without losing performance.

In the chassis department the RS 125 is just as impressive, if not more, with the cast aluminium-alloy frame developed with experience directly from Aprilia’s rich 125GP racing heritage.

It has cross-ribbing reinforcement with a high amount of torsional rigidity, remaining lightweight in its shining silver guise to ensure it’s a match for the small capacity engine.

The box section aluminium-alloy swingarm has the highest torsional rigidity of all production 125cc swingarms according to Aprilia’s PR, with differential side members enabling the exhaust to follow a path that maximises engine performance allows for riders to lean it into the turns hard without the risk of scraping.

It’s got an upside-down fork as the front suspension, designed to work well on both the track and in the real world, while the rear suspension is made up of a hydraulic spring preload-adjustable shock absorber and also features rising rate linkages just like the race bikes.

Once out on the open road you can appreciate the technology and focus Aprilia has put into this lean learner, offering excitement in its own way despite my memories of the amazing RSV4 Factory fresh in my memory bank from late last year.

If you’re looking for a sportsbike on your Ls, the RS 125 is up there with the best.

It’s super lightweight at 128 kilograms dry and comfortably sporty to ride, which makes you feel as though you’re in total control at all times, which is a good thing for learner riders. It’s also got a low seat height so it’ll suit young riders, or even female riders, while remaining roomy enough for taller riders.

But it’s not limited to riders who are learning how to ride a sportsbike, because even after testing countless bikes in recent years, the RS 125 chassis could handle almost everything I threw at it in this test.

Steering is precise and the feel returned through the tyres is confidence inspiring, however I must admit that it takes some time for an experienced rider to gauge its quick-steering prowess.

You can steer into all sorts of turns, smooth roads or bumpy, and chances are that you’re not going to get thrown off line unless you make a rider error of sorts, but keep in mind that the front suspension is quite softly sprung.

Aprilia RS 125 SBK Replica

Upon sitting on the bike at standstill it will sag a little bit and remain down in the stroke while you’re riding, however lighter riders wouldn’t feel this effect as much as heavier riders, of course.

It’s race styling stems from front to rear.

What it essentially means it that you simply need to be easy in applying the brakes, remaining smooth and not slamming on the powerful front stoppers too hard – the 320mm single disc at the front with a radial master cylinder and radial four-piston calliper certainly able to pull up in a hurry.

The rear disc is 220mm in diameter and is also equipped with metal braided hoses, offering a consistent feel in power and very usable in many situations – ideal in building confidence for new riders.

By now you’re probably itching to know what the engine’s like and I can attest that while it’s no drag racer, it meets its design goals with flying colours as the crisp two-stroke screams around the roads.

Compared to some of the four-strokes on the market you need to be more precise in gear selection because of a lack of torque on the two-stroke, but you’ll be rewarded once you’re up and running.

Anything under 7500rpm is extremely flat in the powerband, but in typical two-stroke fashion it takes off at that mark, accelerating quickly up to around 10,500rpm before slightly flattening off and requiring you to shift up another cog if you want to continue accelerating forward.

The gearing and six-speed gearbox is quite tall, making it somewhat tricky to get it off of the lights at a standstill, but get familiar with the clutch operation and you won’t have a worry in the world when the engine’s warm.

If you do find yourself lagging along with no power, ease it down a gear so it’s above the magic seven and a half grand marker and it’ll respond nicely.

Speaking of getting the engine warm, there’s a choke on the left handlebar controls that you’ll usually need to flick on upon cold start, which is effective and easy to use.

The exhaust is placed in a position to avoide scraping, while the alluminium wheels look a treat.

Other controls are a thumb-operated button to read through the instrument options, flicking through options such as the odometer, trip metre, stopwatch, etc. All of those options plus the speedometer and engine temperature reader are digital, while the tachometer is the regular type that reads up to 12,000rpm.

There are several pieces of the RS 125 that top it off as a quality buy at $7990 + orc for the standard edition, including the fairing styling that offers exceptional wind resistance behind the windscreen, highly visible mirror position, superb comfort whether you’re in the bends or on a freeway, and enough room for a passenger should you have a full licence (or even some luggage for that matter).

Important to note for this year is the fact that Aprilia has dropped the price of the standard colour schemes down $500 from $8490 + orc, while this particular Biaggi edition comes in at $8,990 + orc.

It’s like an extremely lightweight, full size bike with a smaller capacity engine, which can only be a great thing for grooming Australia’s future sportsbike riders in general.

Aprilia RS 125 SBK Replica
Aprilia RS 125 SBK Replica
Aprilia RS 125 SBK Replica
Aprilia RS 125 SBK Replica
Aprilia RS 125 SBK Replica
Aprilia RS 125 SBK Replica


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