The race rep appeal conveyed by the upside down forks and racy swingarm doesn’t translate into confidence inspiring handling, with a lack of feel and too much weight over the softly sprung front end. On the brakes and tipping in to corners it always feels like the front is going to tuck.
The liquid-cooled single-cylinder Minarelli four-stroke is identical to the engine used in the Yamaha YZF-R125, with the exception of the Rieju using carbs instead of fuel injection which has enabled the Spaniards to squeeze a little more performance out of the motor. Although it’s a restricted learner legal bike, there's a switch under the tank which flicks the bike into race mode, increasing power by 20% and torque by 25%.
Despite sharing the Yamaha YZF-R125s engine, it doesn’t share the same build quality. Bodywork is flimsy, the gear linkage poor and clunky, cheap looking clocks, a low screen and mirrors that fold back above 60mph all add to the impression that it wouldn’t last as well as competitors from Honda, Yamaha or Aprilia after a year of hard ownership.
Whilst being nearly a thousand pounds cheaper (and slightly faster) than the YZF-R125, the Rieju doesn’t have the quality finish or big bike feel of the Yamaha and is more expensive than the well-built and confidence-inspiring Honda CBR125R.
The RS3 comes with an Ixil exhaust, race CDI, tail tidy and Showa USD forks - pretty good kit for a 125 that's cheaper than Yamaha's offering. The firm also offer a £450 Pro shift ‘bump and blip’ quickshifter which cuts the ignition as you go both up and down the gears.