Fresh-faced KTM RC125 offers MotoGP looks and L-plate-ready performance

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KTM have revealed the first major update to their CBT-friendly RC125 sportsbike, promising MotoGP-inspired bodywork, an updated chassis, revised engine, and more tech for 2022. We've ridden the 2022 KTM RC390, bigger brother to the RC125 and it got a full five stars.

First introduced back in 2014, the outgoing RC was getting a bit long in the tooth – missing out on some of the luxuries found on its naked Duke 125 sibling and falling behind rivals like the Yamaha R125 and Suzuki GSX-R125 along the way.

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This now all looks set to change though with the new bike immediately grabbing the attention of tearaway teens thanks to MotoGP-inspired bodywork, said to mimic the firm’s RC16 grand prix racer.

Gone is the Futurama-style twin headlight and in its place sits a new LED design that shares more than a passing resemblance to the old RC8 superbike.

Available in two colour designs, not only is the new look more modern but it’s also said to be more aerodynamic and comfortable for the rider – working alongside a new frame that’s 1.5kg lighter than before, plus a tall screen for added wind resistance.

Greater pillion comfort features for 2022

A narrower knee area should also make things easier for shorter and new riders and each body panel contains less screws and fixings to make servicing easier. 

A thicker pillion seat pad looks set to make things nicer for passengers too, although it’s unlikely many of you will be going two-up on a 125.

Should you want to though, the Euro5-friendly liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine now gets claimed improved acceleration, throttle response and torque figures thanks to a 40% larger airbox. This is joined by a lighter, redesigned exhaust featuring a stainless steel header and aluminum muffler, plus a six-speed gearbox.

For added practicality, there’s now a larger 13.7-litre fuel tank (up from 10 litres on the previous RC125) and the mirrors can be folded – making it possible to filter through even the tightest gaps in the traffic.

Riding the KTM RC125 on track

Complimenting the lighter chassis, a WP Apex open cartridge front fork sits up front, with an Apex shock at the rear from the same firm.

Adding to this are new lighter rims that save 3.4kg over the previous model, with a large 150/60 x 17 profile tyre at the rear for that authentic ‘big bike’ look.

The result is a bike that should be easier to chuck around and change direction – ideal for slaloming your way through the closest McDonalds carpark.

Saving a further 960 grams are fresh brakes, with every RC model now kitted with a four piston Bybre front caliper and 320mm disc, plus a 230mm rear rotor and one-piston fixed caliper.

It also comes equipped with KTM’s Supermoto ABS system as standard – allowing riders to deactivate the rear intervention for some proper skidding action, and even switch off the rear lift senor altogether.

Further tech updates include a full colour TFT dash that adapts to light conditions and can be connected to your smartphone via the KTM MY RIDE app. These slot behind heigh-adjustable handlebars that can be altered by 10mm.

Expect full pricing to be revealed soon, with the new bikes set to arrive in dealers from March 2022. Keep an eye on MCN for a full, expert KTM RC125 review coming soon. 

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade