Fantic Imola 125 concept hints at new road sportster

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Fantic may be largely celebrated for their off-road history, but a recent surprise reveal of two road-focussed 125 concept machines could hint at a new direction for the future.

Already producing a range of scrambler-style Caballero models for the tarmac, the revived Italian brand used their stand at the recent Eicma trade show in Milan to debut a new Imola 125 sports machine, plus a naked Stealth 125 option. 

Both are powered by a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder motor with the most production-ready being the Stealth 125, which the company says will go on sale mid-2024. 

Fantic Stealth - front end

But of arguably even more interest is Fantic’s new concept sports version, which is based on the same platform and called the Imola 125.

Largely based on the new road-targetted Stealth, the Imola track concept bike follows Fantic’s successful debut in Moto2 road racing this year which saw Celestino Vietti’s bike grab a historic victory at the Austrian GP.

As with the Stealth, the Imola currently uses the same proven, liquid-cooled, four-valve, four-stroke single produced by Minarelli. The engine company was formerly owned by Yamaha, whose units have powered the class-leading MT-125 and R125 models.  

Imola exhaust Fantic

Owned by Fantic as of 2021, the Imola also gets electronic injection, a variable valve actuation system and slipper clutch. For the Stealth street bike its output is limited to the A1 regulation 14.8bhp, although peak bhp for the track version is not yet known. Should it ever make the road, expect it to produce no more than the A1-friendly cap.

Both the Stealth and Imola also boast a number of innovative features directly inspired by Fantic’s recent Moto2 racing programme.

The frame is a hybrid aluminium-steel design Fantic claim is a first on a 125. The swingarm is also die-cast to optimise strength, with brakes by Brembo. You’ll also find fully adjustable suspension and ultralight wheels – all details that are likely be lost should it ever go into mass production. 

Fantic Imola brake

The fuel tank is positioned as close as possible to the centre of gravity both to centralise mass and also leave space at the front for the airbox to better exploit air flow and the Imola also has a sporty full fairing. As a track bike there are currently no lights (although space has obviously been left for them) or mirrors and its tyres are track slicks.

But it also doesn’t take much imagination to see how easily it could be converted for the road. Watch this space…

Fantic at Eicma

Track star: Inspired by Fantic’s 2023 Moto2 campaign, the Imola is being presented as a track bike and thus has slick tyres, and no lights, mirrors or reg holder.

Proven power: The Imola is based on Fantic’s new Stealth roadster 125 and as such uses the same Minarelli 125cc four-stroke with electronic injection, a variable valve timing, and slipper clutch.

Frame game: An ‘alu-steel hybrid’ frame is claimed to be a 125 class first and combines aluminium plates with a steel trellis.

Quality equipment: Although, being a track bike, equipment is minimal, what the Imola has is top quality, and includes TFT dash, Brembo radial brakes and multi-adjustable inverted front forks.

Road potential: It may be labelled as a ‘track concept’ but the Imola clearly has road potential, with clear locations for road lights in its fairing.

New Fantic 125s revealed at Eicma 2023

Originally published on 09 November by Curtis Moldrich

Fantic Stealth 125 - side right

Fantic have revealed an all-new 125cc naked as they look to expand their range of motorcycles. Revealed at the 2023 Eicma show, it’s called the Stealth 125 and promises a blend of technology and agility with mini-streetfighter looks.

Underneath its aggressive looks, the Stealth has been designed to offer as much enjoyment on the road as possible. Fantic engineers have worked hard on centralising mass, so the fuel tank is as close to the CoG as possible and the airbox is positioned for optimum airflow.

The exhaust system has also been arranged in a way that maximises agility: Fantic have divided it into two parts with the light silencer left up top, and the heavier catalytic converter and other bits housed in the lowest possible area of the bike. 

Fantic Stealth 125 - rear right with exhaust

It also sits in an aluminium-steel trellis frame, which Fantic have optimised for lightness. In addition to the frame, the Stealth also gets an aluminium swingarm – again to cut down on weight. 

Fantic have also focused on technology, so the Stealth gets an impressive 5-inch TFT screen, along with LED headlights and optional ABS cornering and traction control. 

Imola concept - front three quarters

What about the Imola Concept? 

The Stealth 125cc has been designed for on the road enjoyment, but Fantic have maximised the performance of their new engine and chassis in a separate sports bike called the Imola Concept.

Imola concept - side

Featuring most of the running gear of the Stealth but with a streamlined fairing, the racier Imola Concept was revealed alongside the Stealth 125 at Eicma, and hints at the “new roads that will soon be followed by other models in the range.”