MCN has just arrived back from the world launch of Aprilia's SX125 and RX125 two-stroke supermoto and trail motorcycles, revamped to meet Euro3 emissions laws and also to look and feel closer to the SXV550. Here's our tester's first conclusions on the new bikes:
"The two bikes are very similar - the only difference is the wheels and tyres - but they're very different in feel. Obviously the trailie RX125 doesn't handle as well on tarmac, but it also feels slower, because the larger rear wheel effectively raises the gearing.
"Off-road the full-power 22bhp RX is good, but not quite up to the sandy motocross track I tested the bike on. For trail riding the soft suspension would be a plus rather than a problem.
"The supermoto is a much better option unless you really want to go off-road - it handles better and the Pirelli Diablo tyres are much more grippy than knobblies, especially under braking.
"The long-travel forks feel a bit soft under hard braking on the Pomposa kart circuit the bikes were tested on, but it's not going to be a problem for normal road riding.
"We also rode the learner-legal versions of both bikes, which were a little disappointing - obviously they have to be slower, but they struggle to rev, and in a comparison test I think a four-stroke rival would be at least as quick, if not quicker.
"Unless you plan to keep the bike and derestrict it after taking your test, they're not really worth the extra money over cheaper rivals."
See the May 28 issue of MCN for the full test.