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
  • Insurance group: 12 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • 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.

Insurance, running costs & value 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

24 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.

Review your APRILIA RS125 (1995-2012)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 3.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.0 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.3 out of 5
Equipment 3.4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Possibly the best small sports bike.

29 July 2017 by pollosupersonico

A perfect introduction to sports bikes, maybe not to motorcycling itself. Treat it properly and you'll be rewarded. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Wrists start to ache rapidly due to the uncompromised riding position but the ride itself is not that harsh. Perfect ergonomics for sports riding with ample room for movement. Light weight and low seat make it easy to handle for shorter riders as a day-to-day bike. Excellent brakes.
Engine
4 out of 5
Surprisingly wide spread of power as long as the engine is derestricted and the RAVE system is properly operational. High maintenance but reliable if properly warmed up and serviced. Also easy to tune.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
The RS125 is a high-maintenance bike, but this has to do with the nature of the components themselves rather than design flaws. Requires proper warm-up and top quality fluids. Clocks may malfunction on older models but are easily fixed. Fit and finish is otherwise very good. Polished frame and swingarm are simply stunning.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
This bike is easily and cheaply serviced by a competent mechanic. Parts are quite esy to find around Europe. Fuel efficiency is not great as with most two-strokes. Used bikes hold their value well if in good condition, relatively regardless of the number of owners.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Top class, except for the awful mirrors. Comes with high-quality chassis components and brakes, trip meter, reserve light, automatic mixer, digital clock and even a lap timer. Kickstarter option would be nice but is not really missed.
Buying experience

First ever sportsbike for €1500, which is the average price for a fully functional RS125 in good condition.

5 out of 5

My review of my 1998 APRILIA RS 125 Extrema

08 December 2016 by lom lom

I've owned my Aprilia rs 125 98' for 3 year's now and yes im pretty much constantly servicing it but it's my favourite thing in the world and when treated right, I can get over 6 months riding including commuting daily before anything major goes... Read more wrong. Just keep quality 2 stroke in it and anti freeze topped up and your laughing all the way. I would'nt ever sell or swap for any amount of money or any other big bike in existance, i vowed to keep it forever and maintain it. Though it has cost me more than twice what i paid for it in repairs already.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
First off, the brakes are absolutly staggering on the rs 125, you can quite literally stop on a 10 pence. That massive front disc gives you the confidence to get up to speed knowing your going to be able to stop again, it's just amazing for such a small bike really. The over over-all ride quality is, for me atleast, about the best experience I get anywhere in the world, I actually cant think of much else that compares to the thrill of the ride of the rs 125. As for the pillion I cannot say as i've only ever had a cbt liscence and thats all i'll ever need withe rs 125. I even left a 600cc bandit for dead a while back.
Engine
5 out of 5
Absolulty spot on, perfect engines. I'll never fathom how they get so much power out of such a small engine, top marks on engineering for the Italians on this one. The power delivery is so immense, it'll smoke any 125cc on the road and then even play well out of its league and come out laughing. That attatched to it's magical gearbox means you can have a confident go at most cars or bikes that pull up along side you.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
I give 5 out of 5 for quality and reliability because there is absolutly no corrosion anywhere, nothing rattles its-self loose and all the parts are really hard wearing and long lasting, it is an all-round solid reliable bike and as I said, I use mine daily to commute what-ever the weather including winter and it never fails me. It's a case really of how its owner looks after it, much like a dog if you will. The only things that go are the piston and rings and occasionally a barrel but you have to accept that due to the nature of the bike, its pretty much a race to road conversion and a race bike will probably be rebuilt from ground up every race.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
On average, its fairly cheap to run and maintain in comparison to alot of others but owners of the older models may find the running costs slightly higher as they are more fragile the ealier they get but also give you more of a buzz the older they get. 2 stroke oil can get expensive but the higher quality oils are well worth it as they can save you paying even more out in the garage because you siezed it up. Treat it with respect and it'll treat you like a god. Also read up how to maintain them properly as thry are worth keeping and 2 stroke bikes are becoming rare these days.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Mine being the 1998 model it's not exactly dripping with fancy gadgets and flashy LED's but it does have multifunction LCD moniter which can display information such as engine temperature, lap times and more. It also has a 2 stroke injector tank to save mixing it with your petrol, though i've always put a couple cap fulls in with my petrol just to be on the safe side. KEEP HER SMOKIN'!
Buying experience

Bought privatly for less than advertised.

4 out of 5

22 April 2016 by Tom Ellis

The best feature of this bike has to be the acceleration; it's the most fun I've had on a 125. However the bike is let down by ageing reliability issues and pricey parts. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
The beefy suspension is more than enough to provide a comfortable ride, and coming from a 50cc scooter I find it provides great connection with the road at all times. The riding position can put some strain on your arms, which until you get used to it can hurt. Personally, I have a givi tanklock bag fitted, which I am able to rest on and takes the strain away.
Engine
5 out of 5
Brilliant fun! The bike will hold nicely on dual carriageways or motorways, but is most fun on country roads. The nature of two strokes means that it can be a little difficult to drive, but once it gets going, it really gets going. Accelerating from 30 to 50 miles an hour is a dream, with you having to actively working to keep your body forwards across the handlebars.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Build quality feels good, and the plastic is all good quality. The aluminium frame is also a plus, giving the bike a far more pristine feel than most 125cc bikes. However, it suffers from the usual 2 stroke reliability issues and Italian electrics.
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
Maybe I've just been unlucky, but in just under a year I've needed a full top and bottom engine rebuild,
Equipment
2 out of 5
Although the bike lacks a fuel gauge, a low oil light is a godsend. The headlight also lacks brightness. Despite this, the side stand light and engine kill are a great feature, stopping me riding away with my side stand down many a time.
Buying experience

I paid £800 for my RS, which needed a new set of tyres. I brought from a private seller, who was able to deliver it to me for free.

4 out of 5

APRILIA RS125 2006

08 September 2015 by AliceP910

The most fun you will have on a 125 but a definite diva. Not for the faint hearted or nervous! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I love riding it. Brakes are nice, ride is great once you get going but take off can be tricky sometimes.
Engine
4 out of 5
Sounds awesome, rides like a bigger bike
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
A super little bike but I wouldn't say 100% reliable. If you want a long distance commuting/leisure bike probably not the best choice. However for short commuting and fun rides I can't praise it highly enough.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Extremely cheap to purchase, MOT, Tax etc. Insurance isn't too bad either for a 125.
Equipment
4 out of 5
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Buying experience

I bought from a private owner as the 2 strokes are so rare now. Bike didn't run when I bought it but is beautiful now, just needed tlc.

4 out of 5

Excellent for young mechanic

30 July 2015 by D

Superb handling, looks and engine (when running). If your not shy with a spanner and have a workshop to hand, would definately recommend it. For a learner, forces you to learn your way round and engine and gives you confidence with the handling. Not... Read more very comfortable though, found wrists get a bit cramped. Blank off oil pump and mix with petrol in tank. I always suspected my 2 stroke pump of being queer.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Brilliant with the right tyres.
Engine
3 out of 5
Only started having issues after I installed racing partsi.e power valve and racing exhaust. Cant hold it open for too long or u leave the piston behind. built for short bursts only. not for the impatient
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
On wet or cold mornings, ignition coil can get condensates on it, forcing the engine to cut out. Had to spray with WD40 beforehand, did the trick. had to change crankshaft bearing twice, mostly because i cheaped out the firs time.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
2 stroke oil is expensive as it has to be the good stuff or there's trouble.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Liked the style taken from bigger bikes. Aprilia knew what they were doing with the handling, good brakes, forks and shocker. larger tyres than most 125's also.
Buying experience

I bough for £600 privatly around 6 years ago as a non runner. after a bit of inspection, the 2 stroke oil feed had become clogged. think most go for little over 1k.

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

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
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Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
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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!!!

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.

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
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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.

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

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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Read all 24 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1995
Year discontinued 2012
Original price £4,219
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £18
Annual service cost £550
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

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  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Aprilia RS125 motorcycle review - Riding
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