APRILIA RS125 (1995 - 2012) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £550
Power: 15 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.7 in / 805 mm)
Weight: Low (278 lbs / 126 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

For most of the 1990s, Aprilia’s RS125 was the must-have 125 – both the hottest and coolest thing a 17-year-old could plaster a tatty L-plate on. A potent, shrieking banshee of a water-cooled two-stroke motor, wrapped in a gorgeous aluminium twin-spar frame, blessed with credible chassis components, a full-size riding position and a sleek, sporty fairing.

All of that desirability was multiplied several times over by its Italian exotica kudos and genuine Grand Prix pedigree – and even more so after a pimply 18-year-old called Valentino Rossi won the 125GP title in 1997. Owning an RS125 was as good as things got, a universal badge of honour. It was also a great leveller, its desire cutting across classes. From rich kids swanning about on Daddy’s showroom-fresh minter to hard-charging chavs terrorising town-centres on rattle-can lash-ups, all across Europe young riders aspired to Aprilia’s RS125 in astonishing numbers.

The original RS125R Extrema arrived in 1992 and can be quickly identified by its rectangular headlight. An updated RS125 arrived in 1996 with a simplified name (the second ‘R’ and ‘Extrema’ tag dropped), a rounded headlight and a digital temperature gauge on the dash. A wider, even curvier fairing and a new motor arrived for 1999, followed by a completely restyled, sharper-looking RS125 in 2006. An electronic update and a new ECU in 2008 helped the bike scrape through Euro3 emissions, but the writing was on the wall when Aprilia launched its four-stroke RS4 125 replacement in 2011.

While the RS125 was a dream bike, in reality living with one wasn’t easy. The highly tuned engine made it a fussy, finnicky beast. It needed to be warmed up carefully and considerately before being thrashed – patience and mechanical sympathy not exactly found in abundance among its average teenage rider.

An RS also has expensive tastes, with a raging thirst for only the finest, priciest two-stroke oil, and even then needs regular rebuilds. That, combined with the age of even the freshest machines today, makes a used RS125 something of a brave buy. Virtually all have had hard lives, a litany of missed services, seized pistons and hastily covered-up crash damage. But if you can find a good one – and that’s a big if – an RS makes today’s four-stroke 125s feel flaccid, flatulent and fraudulent.

Watch: Aprilia RS125 vs Honda CBR125R vs Yamaha R125

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Little made before or since handles as well as an RS125. Lighter than a supermodel’s breakfast and shorter than a cabbie’s temper, it plunges into turns at the slightest suggestion of inside bar pressure. Mid-turn, it’ll lean to infinity and pull cornering forces that’d make a fighter pilot go light-headed. 

Proper radial tyres and chunky suspension – not to mention an aluminium frame and swingarm so sturdy they look and feel like they were built for a bike with two or three times the power – mean the weakest link of getting round a corner quickly is unquestionably the RS’s rider. Maintaining momentum on an RS125 is all about carrying corner entry speed – and yet, ironically, its four-piston front brake and 320mm disc are way stronger than anything such a featherweight machine could possibly need to shed speed.

But all of that, of course, applies to how a brand-new, meticulously maintained or freshly rebuilt machine should feel. By now even the newest RS125s will be riding round on suspension that’s in need of a service. When looking at used bikes take time to check fork seals and shocks for any sign of oil leaks, given the fair likelihood of extra hardship put upon them by wannabe stunters. 

Brake systems will, inevitably, have not seen fresh fluid for several years, with pistons stuck in calipers buried beneath years of muck and grime. Check date stamps on tyre sidewalls too to spot rubber that needs replacing regardless of tread depth. Inspect head and wheel bearings too. Or simply assume you’re going to need to put aside some TLC time for a thorough refresh. But hey – it’ll all be worth it in the end. Nothing in motorcycling makes the simple act of going round a corner well feel as pure as a cared-for RS125.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Just three stars? Think of it as an average. The RS125’s water-cooled Rotax is a five-star 125 when it’s warmed up, the road’s clear, the throttle’s on the stop, the powervalve’s wide open and the rev counter needle’s hurtling from 9000 to 11,000rpm. But it’s a one-star motor when it’s seized solid at the side of the road, or when you find yourself having to replace the piston and barrel every 10,000 miles.

Officially, many RS125s were sold restricted to a learner-legal 15bhp – which is still the most it should be making in the hands of a law-abiding L-plated teenager today. In reality, it’s doubtful there’s a single RS125 left on the face of the planet that hasn’t been derestricted in some form or fashion. While some bikes will have their full 30-ish-bhp potential unleashed by a competent professional, many others have been ‘tuned’ by a succession of ambitious home mechanics armed with third-hand forum knowledge and a claw hammer. When you see an advert boasting that it’s "fully derestricted" or has had a "full engine rebuild recently", ask the questions "Why?", "With what parts" and "By whom?"

Even on a full-power bike, the bottom half of the revs is flatter than a Fenland pancake. This peaky powerband guarantees you’ll become intimately familiar with all six gears. First is so tall that just pulling away from traffic lights becomes a violent, aggressive race start – you’ll have to hold 6000rpm and to slip, slip, slip that clutch lever all the way to 20mph. In top, tucked in tight, it’s possible to tease the speedo to the magical 100mph mark – a good 20-30mph faster than any of today’s four-stroke 125s can muster.

The RS actually came with two different Rotax motors over its life. Bikes up to around 1998 had a Rotax 123, which used a 34mm carb; from ‘99 onwards the RS swapped to Rotax’s 122, with plenty of design differences and a smaller 28mm carb. 

Some owners have tried to fit the larger carb to the later bike – as ever, results are as mixed as the experience of the bloke wielding the tools. By the end of its life, the RS125s became increasingly choked up and held back by emissions considerations, including catalysers in the exhaust and, from 2008, a different ECU. If you want proper expert advice on getting the most from these motors, few know more than PJ Motorcycle Engineers. But also remember that anything above that original restricted 15bhp becomes illegal to ride with a provisional or A1 licence.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Tricky one this, because the quality of an RS’s individual components is pretty high – consider its resplendently substantial frame and swingarm, the beefy upside-down forks, the four-piston front brake caliper, then compare each part to what you get on Honda’s emaciated CBR125R. The RS boasts a sense of investment and corporate pride that’s way beyond today’s more budget-conscious sports 125.

However, reliability is a different thing. The RS125 is not designed as a casual bike to just ride, thrash, put away, forget about, get out the next morning and repeat – it needs to be cared for, to be cherished, and an owner with deep pockets and a comprehensive tool kit to keep it in the condition it deserves. 

It demands frequent, considerable maintenance – not least of which is new piston rings every 5500 miles and a new piston and barrel every 10k. If you don’t replace them on schedule, expect it to seize. If you don’t warm the engine to 60°C before riding, expect it to seize. If you don’t run it on premium two-stroke oil, expect it to seize. And even if you do everything right, expect there to always be a chance that it seizes anyway.

In short, if you’re looking to buy an RS125 privately then it’s worth basing your judgement as much on the person you’re buying from as the bike in front of you. A slightly well-used bike from someone who talks passionately and knowledgably about the bike’s mechanicals is a safer bet than a painted lovely from someone who brags about its top speed.

It’s perhaps also safe to assume that every single bike you look at has been crashed at least once in its life – and it’s then your job to spot what they’ve failed to fix. Scrutinise lockstops, bar ends, peg ends, mirrors, brake and clutch levers for scuffs and scrapes. They’ll almost certainly be there, you just need to find them.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

Values are a bit all over the place – even the youngest bikes are now a decade old, yet the bike’s legendary reputation proceeds it. 

The fact that no new 125 today is anywhere near as fast, as characterful or as credible as an RS125 helps prop values up. But supply dwindles year after year, as the few left on the road get crashed, stolen or find themselves beyond economic repair. 

The result is that there are now relatively few for sale online, with values for even turn-of-the-millennium bikes still holding above £2000. And that’s a lot for a 20-year-old 125. That said, values aren’t likely to sink any further – their scarcity, combined with a likely boom in millennial nostalgia in the coming years (as the 17-year-olds of 2000 start to approach 40), ensures that well-looked-after or carefully restored bikes will continue to command strong money.

So if you’re going to buy one, buy the very best one you can find. A comprehensive, well-documented service history is worth paying a little extra for, especially if it lends some confidence that you won’t find yourself rebuilding the engine next weekend. And on the off-chance you’re considering an RS125 as an investment, a professionally derestricted 1996 or 1997 model (with the stronger Rotax 123 motor) in silver or Chesterfield colours will likely prove to be the rarest and most-desired.

Running costs are pretty dreadful by modern 125 standards. While today’s four-strokes manage 90-100mpg with ease, an RS will be doing well to scrape 50mpg (and that’s not including the cost of two-stroke oil). Then there’s the insurance premium for what was one of the most-crashed, most-stolen bikes in its day. And did we mention those engine rebuilds…

Look, we’re not saying it’s not worth spending the extra money – the RS125 remains a truly astonishing thing for any 17-year-old. But be in no doubt that keeping a 20-year-old two-stroke running right will require a lot more investment than, say, Yamaha’s YZF-R125, Honda’s CBR125R, KTM’s RC125 or Kawasaki’s Ninja 125.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

In its day, an RS125 was as well-specc’d as any road-going 125, from its water-cooling to its separate oil tank to its LCD temperature gauge to its then-impressive upside-down forks. When it gained a radially mounted brake caliper in 2006, this was still relatively rare across bikes of any capacity.

But compared with today’s sports 125s, one of the biggest pieces of equipment the RS lacks is ABS – especially important on a bike that will overwhelmingly be ridden by ambitious, hot-headed novices. Whether you’re a first-time rider yourself, or a parent considering which 125 to help your son or daughter onto, bear in mind that anti-lock brakes lend the latest models a sizeable, substantial safety advantage.

When it comes to used bikes, aftermarket exhausts and air filters promising to maximise the bike’s horsepower have an obvious appeal – but bear in mind they’re just as likely to make a bike run lean unless it’s been rejetted properly. And non-standard race-rep paint might look flashy to some, but should be considered a shorthand for a massive fairing-scuffing crash at some point in the bike’s past.

Specs

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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Annual road tax £20
Annual service cost £550
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 12 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 15 bhp
Max torque 14 ft-lb
Top speed 93 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 16 secs
Tank range 125 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 1992-1995 Aprilia RS125R Extrema

Rectangular headlight, Rotax 123 engine, 34mm carb, three-spoke wheels, analogue temperature gauge.

  • 1996-1998 Aprilia RS125

Rounded headlight, digital temp gauge, simplified name. The one most likely to earn cult status in the future.

  • 1999-2005 Aprilia RS125

Wider, more bulbous bodywork, five-spoke wheels, new headlight, Rotax 122 engine with 28mm carb.

  • 2006-2012 Aprilia RS125

Complete restyle with sharper, more angular bodywork, pointy nose, Y-spoke wheels, new dash. 2008-on models have a different ignition system to help it meet Euro3.

Other versions

  • Aprilia RS50 – The little brother. A smaller 50cc two-stroke motor, but the same big-bike aspiration, style, image and prestige feel. As good as things got for a 16-year-old in the late 90s. Single-sided swingarm on bikes up to 1998.
  • Aprilia RS250 – The big brother. Powered not by a Rotax engine but a tuned Suzuki RGV250 motor. Same cornering demon, but with double the power down the straights. In ferocious demand today, with used values soaring well past common sense and into stratospheric silliness.
  • Aprilia Tuono 125 – The streetfighter. A short-lived naked version of the RS125, with a nose fairing and straight handlebar. Almost all the fun of an RS with a more comfortable riding position, but extremely rare today.
  • Aprilia RS4 125 / RS125 – The four-stroke. Introduced in 2011 as an RS4 125, but inherited the RS125 name in 2017. Styled like an RSV4 superbike, but beneath the bodywork is an evolution of the 2009 Derbi GPR125. Less exotic and potent than a two-stroke RS125, but more comfortable, far easier to ride and considerably cheaper to run.

Owners' reviews for the APRILIA RS125 (1995 - 2012)

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 (3.7/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Engine: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.3 out of 5 (3.3/5)
Equipment: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £550
5 out of 5 Possibly the best small sports bike.
29 July 2017 by pollosupersonico

Version: MP

Year: 1998

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

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.

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Version: extrema

Year: 1998

Annual servicing cost: £1,000

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 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.

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Year: 2005

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.

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.

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Year: 2006

Annual servicing cost: £100

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

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

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

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

Year: 2001

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 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

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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 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
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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. 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
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 a 125cc beast
15 September 2011 by

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 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

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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, 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.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 1 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
5 out of 5 .
11 October 2009 by ryan46little

.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 (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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 2 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5 good but need a big paper round
23 March 2008 by liquid_metal

My one was a new 2001 model back when i was 17 so i cant comment on the newer ones although i've heard nothing apart from the body work has changed. Top marks on handling, will easily out handle most bigger bikes. Quality is unreal for a 125, well built, looks amazing and from a distence could look like a 4 or 600 sitting there. Performance is 17 year old mind blowingly good (when full power) 115 mph top end and gets there well but it comes at a price, thirsty on petrol, expencive oil and £500 - £800 engine re-builds every 2000-5000 miles (know from expierence and friends who also had them) so its a 17 year olds orgasm of a bike if they also have very deep pockets

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 2 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
2 out of 5 Love/hate relationship
29 February 2008 by mjf65

My son just had to have one. I couldn't convince him to get a CBR and to be honest if I was 17 again I would want the RS. It was a 51 plate mint example with a good history and expensive oil, even after this it destroyed the piston within a fortnight, it had an aftermarket piston fitted! Loads of other issues - shock failed, speedo drives failed twice, electrics are dodgy, powervalve sticks, etc.. When they are going well they are superb but if you buy one make sure you have got good public transport or a push bike for back up. He has an SV 650 now, now problems.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 2 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 rs 125
01 January 2008 by tommy228

the rs is a brill bike for its size but the reliabilty can be a issue if you don t warm it correct and use very good oil ($$$$) motul 500 is the best . The handling is better than most big bike s so the concer speed is very good . There is alot of people saying there rs will do 120 mph but this is VERY unlikely most will do 105 mph but any more and it will break . So if you treat the rs as a 80 mph bike and blast to 100 then and a again its fun all the way

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 Questionable
26 September 2007 by doubleclix

Had mine for about a year from new when piston rings needed replacing. It seized in march '07, from an unknown reason (i was using the correct oil and it was fully warmed up etc). I finally got it back on the 20th of September... It looks stunning, but the engine is awful. it performs well, when it works, but mine has spent about 50% of it's life in dealers. After sales care is disgraceful, from both dealers I've dealt with. Handling may be amazing, and it may be a sexy bike but it's definitely not worth the problems it brings... just don't buy one!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 2 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5 the best of the best!!!
22 June 2007 by glynsmith

Now...for a teenager this is the bike for you, espesh the new rs125 (06/07 model) the shape is arodynamicly perfect, the frame is made of a silicone alloy which is strong and looks gr8! The bike rides even better than it looks!!!!!!!! never had any real problems with it! spedo stoped workin and the exhaust has corroded but other than that its a dream!!!! as long as you look after it, it will look after you. i clean, wax and oil mine weekly and it keeps the bike in shape! so aslong as your willing to do this then the bike should last a hell of a lot longer than most of these teenagers that just rag there bikes and dont give a crap!! cost wise...i think they are very expensive to buy but your getting looks, quality and reliability! style is everything to me and this bike says it all really! speed... well mine goes 70mph restricted and should go a hell of alot faster when the 33bhp is released!! All i can say is buy now!!!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Cheap and Cheerful Italian Exotica
07 July 2006 by Fuller46

If you're buying a two-stroke bike you have to expect running costs and reliability issues. The bike is by far the best 125 on the market and has been for years. Stuff what the riders of fireblades and ZX-10s think, its not like they have never had to ride a moped is it. I need to regularly polish mine and the frame gets very "foisty" and dulls, I had to replace the exhaust due to corrosion and the immobliser/alarm that came fitted has turned out to be much more trouble than it's worth. A high maintenance bike that more than makes up for it with ear to ear sized grins. Strengths: Styling, Handling, general feel, insurance costs (compared to bigger bikes), HISTORY AND HERITAGE. Weaknesses: parts take months to be delivered, breakers like to charge copius amounts for bits and bats. The whole owners manual is Italian, It's a two stroke so it needs regular attention.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 Rev happy, sweet handling bundle of joy and frustation
15 June 2006 by thin_ice_racing

A great handling machine with Italian flair and panache. I've owned the bike for 4 years and love it but not without a few problems. It begs to be ridden hard but this can seriously affect the longevity of the engine. Cracking bike that needs alot of tlc. Running cost can be high when it comes time to fix things. Strengths; Pin sharp handling, good brakes and the smell of burnt two stroke oil. An addictive combination. A great introduction into sports bikes and what they're capable of. Weaknesses: False neutrals happen unless gearbox oil is changed regularly and chain tension kept spot on. Runs too cold in winter (cover part of the radiator). Brakes need to be well looked after ( use a braided line on front) fast road pads work well in dry, not so good in the wet. Engines let go regularly with no warning, this normally takes out barrel and piston: £250 parts plus 4 or 5 hours labour. Use the best synthetic oil you can find. Eats speedo drives, known fault £40!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Two stroke lunacy, a riot of gear changes
23 March 2006 by Molesk

As a 32 year old rider, I have had a few smirks from riders of bigger 4 strokes, I soon wipe the smile off their faces on the twistie B roads where I live! These bikes are just so entertaining, the handling is forgiving and razor sharp, keep in the power bans and the response is instant, and the low weight allows outrageous cornering. Just perfect for new riders to sharpen their skills before progressing to something larger. Strengths: Performance for size of engine, handling, entertaining riding experience, a 2 stroke in a world of 4 strokes. Weaknesses: Plenty of TLC needed to keep it sharp, although mine has been very reliable too date. Running expenses often a shock too 17 year old riders, leading to many knackered ones out their.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5 Cracking bike - when it works
02 January 2006 by gazza 001

<p>Had mine three months from new when the piston seized. Dealer didn't want to know and neither did Aprilia UK. It's a good bike but very fragile and not suited to the British weather (exhaust corroded after 2 months). Maybe I had a bad dealer but felt let down by Aprilia. Will NEVER buy one again. Strengths: Looks, cornering ability. Weaknesses: fragile engine, corrodes quickly, bad aftersales in my case.</p>

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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