APRILIA RS125 (1995-2012) Review

Published: 22 November 2006

"The top motorcycle for most right-thinking teenagers"

Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding

"The top motorcycle for most right-thinking teenagers"

  • At a glance
  • 125cc  -  15 bhp
  • 40 mpg  -  125 miles range
  • Medium seat height (805mm)
  • Suitable for A1 licence

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Aprilia RS125 has remained the top motorcycle for most right-thinking teenagers since it first rolled out of the factory in 1995. It oozes big motorcycle style and handles like a dream. It’s expensive to buy and run thanks to pricey two-stroke motorcycle oil, but, if you can afford it, the Aprilia RS125 is worth every penny.

Watch the Aprilia RS125 take on Honda's CBR125R and Yamaha's YZF-R125

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The Aprilia RS125 is probably one of the best handling bikes on the planet. Its able chassis can easily cope with double the power. The Aprilia RS125's brakes are astonishing, particularly so on the 2006-onwards motorcycles, which boast a sexy radial caliper up front, and the forks are beefy 40mm items for greater control.

Engine 3 out of 5

In restricted mode the single-cylinder in the Aprilia RS125 comes with just under 15bhp (and costs £100 less), which means you have to work the motorcycle's slick gearbox hard to make progress. So Aprilia RS125 riders learn to stay off the brakes for as long as possible and jealously guard what momentum they have. It’s essential to let the motorcycle warm up properly or it’ll seize.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

The Aprilia RS125's build quality is better than average motorcycles, but the Rotax-built motors can be somewhat fragile. Use top-quality oil, service the Aprilia RS125 regualrly and you’ll be, broadly-speaking, OK. It’s best to avoid any motorcycle that doesn’t have a service history, but even so, seizures can and will happen, but they’re usually a cheap fix on the Aprilia RS125 motorcycle.

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

As a new motorcycle the Aprilia RS125 is fabulously expensive – some £1200 more than the competent Honda CBR125R. Your monthly bill for two-stroke motorcycle oil isn’t to be ignored, either – not at £12-15 a litre! Secondhand motorcycles are reasonable value – but it’s impossible to run a thoroughbred motorcycle like this on a shoe-string. Find an Aprilia RS125 for sale.

Insurance group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Aprilia RS125 has amazing attention to detail for a small capacity motorcycle – upside-down forks, radial brake and master cylinder semi-digital dash; big motorcycle styling that apes its Aprilia RSV1000R big brother. Lovely. Compare and buy parts for the Aprilia RS125 in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

19 owners have reviewed their APRILIA RS125 (1995-2012) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 3.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.3 out of 5
Equipment 3.4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Help Please

20 November 2013 by Shadz

I have just passed my CBT and want a decent 125 for the next 6 months after which i want to go for my full test and get a larger bike. I want it to look good so have the following in mind: Yamaha YZF-125 Aprillia RS 125 Possibly Honda CBR... Read more 125 The first two look the best. I really want the aprillia, but all the reviews suggest that the maintenacne on these are expensive and they seem to spend most of their lives in a garage, based on me being a new biker and not knowing much about bikes, I can repair them myself, and dont want to find myself breaking down every other day. Honest non biased opinions please, which one should i go for? should i risk getting the Aprillia? which is cheaper than the YZF, or pay the extra and get the YZF??? I find the Honda CBR a little too small and doesnt look the part, in my opinion, so would be my last option. Thanks Shad

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
2 out of 5

Too slow for me restricted

19 November 2013 by jonest27

I have heard nothing but rave reviews about the bike with some stating that it can reach 90MPH+ even when restricted. I cant get above 60MPH. It pulls like a demon and I can get up to 60 in 3rd should I so choose, so I've effectively got 2 gears... Read more that are wasted. Do not get a restricted version. I could go faster on my old Yamaha SR 125!!!

Overall Rating 2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Love my bikes!

08 February 2013 by RyanWalter3

Got the 96 extrema for my first bike since I've followed racing die to my dads influence as an ex racer, I thought long and hard and came to the conclusion that this iconic bike was the one for me. The handling is second to none and the power is... Read more great. Unfortunately all this is questioned by the reliability of the rotax inside. Despite that fact I now have 2. Recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind rebuilding.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

I have a need...

06 July 2012 by TwoWheelsMatt

A need for speed! This is a fantastic motorbike if you like the feeling of the wind on your visor. However, as has been said before in previous comments, this is a high maintenance motorbike, as most 2-strokes are, so it would be wise to be handy... Read more with a wrench if you are considering a purchase. For a fuller review of this motorcycle, check out my website at: www.besttwowheelreviews.com/aprilia/ This website also contains a bunch of other reviews for motorcycles in this category.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5

It's the last smoker!

05 October 2011 by jahagon

Look after it and you'll be mostly ok. I did have a completely unexplained seizure (warmed it up beforehand and took it nice and gentle for the first two miles - and then it seized). I also had the float bowl crack so it spewed petrol everywhere.... Read more And then there's the ongoing front brake vibration issue. Apart from this it's fantastic - faster than every other 125 and it looks the dogs wotsits. Get one. Now.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

a 125cc beast

15 September 2011 by Anonymous

i have a 2001 rs125 withc is current i have owned another 2003rs125 and a 2000 rs50 these bikes are crazy fast for what thay are a simple 125cc engine the bike is ok restricted but come-on who in the right mind wont want to let out all the 33 horses... Read more i baught this bike from a dealer witch was stored by the owner for 5 years and only had 4000kms on the clock it was like new and restricted i fully derestricted it with all standard parts it was a good bike i could get 105mph out of it i then soon put carbon reeds on the standard reed manifold i also added a 34ml carb a sports exshaust and a racing cdi and god it made the difrence this bike lifted easy in 1st gear a bit hard to get it up in 2nd but could do it the difrence was well put it this way my freind i derestriced his rs125 2002 modle and we had a little drag well i will just say it was a 3 legged donky compaird to the raceing horse these bikes are the fastest 125s i know of its reliable enough if you can spend money like theirs a hole in your pocket as i would recomend a topend rebuild evry 4000kms and a bottom end rebuild evry 6-7000kms only use the best gear oil and 2storke oil you can get always use a ierdum spark plug these bikes burn spark plugs as if you have tosed them into a fire the ierdum spark plug also help smoother running and last a fair bit longer the handeling is superb their is alot of aftermarket stuff for the rear suspension etc i wouldnt change a thing thay are racing bike set for racing realy and changing things like that could spoinl the bike if you have the money also to upgradeds like i have mentioned exspect the 40mpg to go down to like 35mpg dosnt sound much but over the year if you keep count of how much you spend on 2storke and petrol its alot i would also recomend a bigbore kit i got one from polini i got the crank rebuilt and new main bearins and seal befor puting this on as it is claimed to push out a wopping 37-38bhp i paid 360 for my big bore and it lasted 7 munth only covering 4500kms polini sell new pistons for the big bore but when it tears your cylinder to bits and it needs replateing its not good value for money but is worth it if you change the piston quik enough befor it gose on you these bikes are slim look much bigger than thay aer the only thing that i would gives it away is the small exshaughst if it had a fair big one then you wouldnt know apart from the best sound in the world that 2stoke ping and waaaa waaaa waaaa lol i would recomend these bikes but i have rcently had a go on the new ktm duke 125 and for me its time for a change to that i think but i defently recomend these bikes these are by far the best 125cc sports bikes out their just remember to look after them get work done properly keep all receipts as i carnt stand people go oooh i had it rebuilt a munth ago i did have the recipt but my maother throw it out etc bullshhhh keep evrything you buy a cheap 10p plastic valve cap keep the recipt it make the bike look realy good and is realy good for resale value if your buying one make sure you check evrything works dont be affraid to say can you lift the tank to have a good look at most of the eletrics and engine make sure its cleanish at least and dont have people say well i would need to remove the whole tank no its 1 bolt from the frunt of the tank take of the seat and it lifts up and stands straight up i am saying this as the 1st bike i baught i didnt check and the lad cut the powervalve solnoid wires thinking it derestricted it etc ha and the engine gees i thaught he had pourd oil on it and then smotherd it in mud and grit its was black just make sure you check evrything you can including wheel bearings etc good all round solid fast bike and with the right mods a absalute rocket for the conutry roads with freinds or just a simple cruse to work and remember the bike is made to be a road bike and needs to be treated like a 70mph bike most of the time or if you redline it all the time say good bye piston and rings and helo a bill and a top end rebuild

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Unreliable

31 August 2011 by DuNkZz1993

dont even bother buying this bike. buy a honda cbr or yzf 125. this bike will be nothing but trouble. its tacky and poor quality. you will have countless break downs with this bike. it spits out 2 stroke oil everywhere, it will rattle, the electrics... Read more wont work, you will be putting it into a garage every weekend. to sum up this bike id say: a crap bike to go along with the crap 17 year olds who ride them.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
1 out of 5

save your money

08 June 2011 by ronnirvana

bought this piece of crap back in febuary and sold it last week finally. it was a endless mix of breakdowns with electrics, transmission and engine trouble. cost me alot of money in the end. only thing good when it did run was the looks,... Read more handling and speed (when it did run) but after all that i would gladly taken back my old aerox 100 which i put 18000m trouble free miles. i would never buy another aprilia again and would never advise my worst enemey to buy one either.

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
5 out of 5

.

11 October 2009 by ryan46little

. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Little Lord Fauntleroy's 1st Bike?

12 June 2009 by MrDarcyZX6R

Bought an RS125-SP after passing my test (restricted licence) and had it de-restricted & tuned, giving about 35 bhp. For a 125, it was super quick, looked stunning and handled like a dream. Unfortunately reliability was awful. The engine seized... Read more (despite using top grade 2-stroke oil), most parts broke & had to be replaced and the electrics were diabolical. I probably spent the cost of the bike again in various repairs. Unfortunately, this bike is aimed at 17 year olds who don't have the money nor desire to keep on top of the maintainence so a reliable 2nd hand model is tough to find.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 19 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1995
Year discontinued 2012
Original price £4,219
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £17
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 15 bhp
Max torque 14 ft-lb
Top speed 93 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 16 secs
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 125 miles
Specification
Engine size 125cc
Engine type 2v single, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium beam
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 805mm
Bike weight 126kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 320mm disc
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 110/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 150/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1995: RS125 Extrema launched the year after Aprilia win 125cc GP championship.

Other versions

Aprilia RS125 Pista: Limited edition track-only motorcycle with special, hand-made carbon/Kevlar exhaust, track bodywork, 107kg and 33bhp. Made from 2003-2004.

Photo Gallery

  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
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