First ride: 2017 KTM RC125 - “There’s no denying the fun factor”

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The RC125 gets minor updates for 2017, and doesn’t get the kitchen sink thrown at it like the new 125 Duke. Changes are restricted to a tweaked Euro4 engine, featuring the same new side-mount exhaust and a bellypan, but there’s no ride-by-wire throttle here. 

The 124.7cc single-cylinder motor is actually a lot smoother than the RC390’s and despite its modest A1-licence-enforced 15bhp, the 135kg machine is still extremely nippy. It’ll do 73mph on the flat, and with your head down under the short screen, feet on the pillion pegs, downhill with a howling tail wind it’ll crack 78mph, bouncing off its 11,000rpm rev-limiter. Every mile per hour counts on a 125. 


Engine and front brake disc size aside (the 125’s is 20mm smaller diameter) it’s identical to the 390. You get the same level of spec, practicality and wide sticky tyres, so there’s far more grip than there is power to trouble it. The brakes do the job, but aren’t overly sharp.

And there’s no denying the fun factor. The challenge of keeping up momentum makes it an even bigger hoot than the 390.


Price £4299
Power 15bhp @ 9500rpm
Torque 9ftlb @ 7500rpm
Engine 124.7cc 4v single
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Seat height 820mm
Front suspension WP 43mm non-adjustable forks
Rear suspension Single rear shock with adjustable preload
Front brake single 300mm disc with four-piston radial caliper
Weight 135kg (dry)
Colours Orange/white/black

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Michael Neeves

By Michael Neeves

MCN Chief Road Tester, club racer, airmiles millionaire.