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125's.... Let's talk.

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by SHEPPO, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Ok,

    Missus is interested in getting a bike (yay), but after sitting on most of the smaller bikes out there (cbr250rr, across, zzr250, vtr250, etc) she felt they were "too big & heavy". She also wants a "bike that looks like yours", refering to my R1. So that means full fairings and a very sporty appearance.

    I ended up humoring her and jokingly suggested the CBR125R. Stupid. She loves it. It fits her, it's "not too heavy", and she likes the looks of it. It has it's merits but, I've decided to find something better for her, as i dont like the CBR125R.

    So i found the Cagiva Mito, and the Aprilia RS125.

    The reason i like these two, are the proper suspension, brakes, tyre size (compared to a CBR125R!), and power. But most importantly, their weights are bordering on feather weight, and this is what she's more interested in.

    I know they're 2 strokes, and require maintenance, etc. It does not fuss me the slightest if i have to whack a piston/ring combo into it every 5000km, and fill up an oil tank. i use to ride/race 2 stroke mx'ers and rebuilds and oil are all part of the fun.

    So, has anyone actually owned either of these 2 bangers? And if so, whilst on your L's? Was it ok to learn on? Was it simply too "racey"? Oh and what's this i hear about cold seizures?

    If this doesn't work out, i'm stuck. She'll want the CBR125R, or go back to looking at... dare i say it... scooters!


  2. The Aprilia RS125 is modern, as in it's motor, although 2-stroke, is pretty up to date. I would go for that in that the most recent versions have been available locally in 'good' supply.

    2 strokes are a real compact engine unit that delivers more power per displacement than any other configuration. Power & torque - thats why 2 stroke are big in trials bikes, big in torque & in an ultra light engine unit.

    But this is all me. Your misses might feel completely diffrent about riding a bike with an engine with the characteristics if the RS125.

    (PS: I read the blub on the YZF 125R in the previous post & it claimed a rev ceiling of 9,000rpm which isn't very much for a 125cc 4 stroke - about the sort of power range you'ld expect from a Honda XR100 I would reckon).
  3. yeah seen them. that was my first point of call (for obvious reasons), but from what i'm told, they're not coming to Aus.
  4. I am sure I saw one of these at the World Supers, in the expo?

    The RS is a great little bike, but for learning on? Not so sure there, they make quite a lot of power but at stratospheric rpm. Great fun, but might be too much for a new learner.

    Liz loves these things, they are works of art, but will probably take her full licence to a maxi-scooter.
  5. If you want to get something similar in purpose to the RS and mito, but a lot cheaper to purchase used, you might be interested in the Honda NSR150.
  6. Is the NSR electric start? the mito rs125 are both electric start. the missus doesn't want to kick start the thing... cant blame her, neither would i, haha.
  7. If you are considering spending the money on a RS125 would a Kawasaki 250R be in your price range.
  8. i'm retiring my 2T for a cbr125 imo its a more practical bike to ride with everyday

    does she mind smelling like oil everyday and are you prepared to check and top up oil for her every 2-3 days?

    i reckon its a great commuter, drinks piss all fuel at 2.5L/100km (claimed) you won't have to change rings and pistons every 10-20thou k's.

    im not sure if their still making/selling mito's new (they are also electric start) but with the cbr125 being a 2007 model bike i know what i would pick.

    also is the bike for you / her, if you introduce her to a 2stroke it might turn her off riding altogether, get something that she will like and it'll be more likely she'll keep on riding for years to come.
  9. Just becausae YOU don't like the CBR125, doesn't mean she shouldn't have one! :p

    But seriously, it's probably a much better bike to learn on than a 2 stroke, not that I have ridden either a CBR125 or an RS125/Mito.

    Also, I don't think there would be THAT much weight difference between the 2T 125's/4T 250's ie RS 125 121kg dry, Ninja 250R 151kg dry.

    Whats 30kg between friends? :grin:
  10. it all comes down to how it "feels", not how heavy it is on paper. she doesn't want to feel intimidated by how heavy it feels when she's stationary. so far the 4 cyl 250's seem too heavy for her. i think they're all super light weights, but that's me.

    the 2 strokes may not be the answer, the CBR125R probably is. i'm just looking at other (better?) options. i've yet to ride any of these babies, so until i do, i'm only speculating on if they'll be suitable or not.

    thanks for all the replies so far, keep 'em coming.
  11. Your right, ultimately it doesn't make any difference what we say, she has to be the decider.
  12. If she wants something small, light and about 125cc's, i'd be leaning towards the CBR125R. It'll be cheap, modern, fuel efficient and (hopefully) pretty reliable.

    I have had some fun on a 2 stroke dirtbike, and it was very satisfying. But it certainly stunk and needed a fair bit of fuel. When you consider the amount of kays people cover on the road, i think a two-stroke would be a pain.

    Other option would be a scooter, but it won't look like your R1.
  13. Has she thought about a 125cc Scooter?
  14. When it comes to “feel†consider the ZZR or GPX. There COG is a little lower than the CBR so they won’t feel as unwieldy to a learner.
  15. As per FL, the GPX weighs 5/6ths of feck all as does the Spada. I know you looked at the VTR, but the Spada felt to me to be the smaller bike. What about a CB250?
  16. unfortunately the spada and cb250 aren't the "look" she's after. she really wants something with fairings, modern, etc.

    a scooter is where we started, but i turned her towards the motorbikes.

    she's got her DECA training day tomorrow, so hopefully she can jump on the bikes, and the scooters, and make her mind up herself. hence why i booked her in for it.

    see how we go, aye!
  17. I just found this thread n feel that I may be able to shed some valuable input into your and your missus' decision making...

    I recently bought an '07 Mito and absolutely love it to bits! Having said that, for what your missus' riding abilities and comfort for riding, I'd highly recommend NOT getting one...unless you consider a few matters and are willing to ride with her a lot in the early stages. ;)

    I learned on a new in-line twin Kwaka ZZ-R250, and this bike allowed me to learn a massive amount in all conditions, day in day out. The bike was hand-grenade proof, felt stable, inspired confidence, was cheap to run/maintain, and excelled in its design function. For somebody starting out, I cannot recommend this bike highly enough! :grin:

    I lost my licence a few years ago being a Speedy-Gonzales smartass, and have recently bitten the bullet and go back to square one and get my L-plates. Epic fail eh?!?!?! Haha! After a diet of riding big-bore and fast sportsbikes, and the LAMS laws recently being introduced to Victoria, I was really only left with 2 choices for bikes which suited me and my riding style...the Mito 125 or the RS125! LAMS took away the RGV250, TZR250 & RS250 options, otherwise I'd 100% gone for Aprilia's gnarly RS250.

    Anyway, going back to the 125's...*ahem* The Mito has quite a serious learning curve which I don't feel is suited to a newbie handling on their own. It's a deceptively and physically large bike (fits my 6" lanky frame like a glove), and has a VERY aggressive riding position. So much so that your legs feel tucked right under your bum-cheeks, you're centre of gravity feels far too forward on your wrists until you get used to it, the seat is wafer thin and rock hard, the bike vibrates like you wouldn't believe once in the powerband, plus you know full well you're on a race-bike once sitting on it.

    Having ridden an RS250 countless times to compare it to, the Mito's quite hard to ride properly. Due to the small engine, you find yourself wringing the neck out of it constantly to keep it in powerband, and should you mis-cue the rev range, it bogs down and is difficult to ride. When bogged down, you need to feather the throttle 'just right', or else drop down a gear while 'blipping the throttle' and putting your body weight forward to keep the front end down (yep it mono's!).

    As another downside, due to the riding position being very weight-biased forward onto your wrists, it's extremely difficult to make the bike turn in. Sure these bikes have an awesome reputation for their handling, but unless you can hold your torso up by itself,, keep the elbows relaxed, put the balls of your feet on the peg outters, know how to grip the tank correctly (outter thigh holding during cornering), and utilise your bodyweight correctly, handling will simply not happen.

    Another thing to consider is that the brakes are like NOTHING you have ever experienced...the Brembo front and rears are disturbingly sharp and will haul you up in the blink of an eye. Forget braking as you know it, this is a whole new world! Any mistreatment or misunderstandings of how to use them will have the rider flat on their ass guaranteed.

    It's fair to say that the Mito is a pocket-rocket jam-packed with the best bits and pieces (Brembo brakes, Ohlins steering dampner, Marzocchi forks, Sacks rear shock, etc), but don't be under the impression that due to it's 125cc-status and learner legal that it's the right machine for your needs. It's quite a gnarly little beast which demands 100% concentration and must be ridden properly. Essentially it is a 125cc GP bike with headlights and indicators, so please bear that in mind.

    Maintenance is another thing which I beg to bring up...obviously from your OP you have experience in rebuilding 2-strokes, but you also must consider that parts are hard to come-by and are significantly cheaper to import from Europe over the internet (I suggest brushing up on your German as they easily have the best pricing on parts). A litre of 2-stroke oil will last you approx 1800klm's, a top-end rebuild is every 6k klm's, and a bottom end rebuild should be done every 12k klm's. Fuel economy is surprisingly good though. Also beware that due to the handling and power characteristics of these bikes that they will eat through tyres at a higher-than-normal rate for a sportsbike.

    In terms of aesthetics, the Cagiva and Aprilia offerings are hands-down the best of the bunch. You will constantly receive complements, jealous glares, be delayed by people hanging around the bike wanting to ask questions, etc. One thing I'd like to point out is that the Mito is WAY cheaper to insure than the RS125 due to the lower numbers of these having claims made on them as a result of them being pretty rare. The new Mito doesn't do much for me in the looks department, so I went for the very last of the Mito's which look like a Ducati 996 and made by MV Augusta. I'm 27 (nearly 28), rating 1 for life, blah blah and pay $420 full comprehensive despite being on L's...something to consider, especially against the other models available for learners.

    I've had my Mito for just over a week, have had plenty of previous riding experience, and honesty feel that despite riding it constantly since purchase, I'm yet to even hit 30% of its capabilities. It's akin to finding a seriously hot/exotic girl way out of your league, trying to woo and romance her with everything you can muster, and if the chemistry is right, then you can truly make magic happen between the sheets. You pull that off and you got it made for life! Haha! It's a seriously focussed bike, so unless you're willing to educate your missus about riding techniques, gearing, throttle control, weight distribution, braking calculations, road-craft, etc, then I'd say no to this machine without any hesitation mate. Same applies to the Aprilia RS125 (ridden heaps of them as well)...if anything the RS250 is easier to ride, go figure!

    Anyway, I hope this sheds some light on life with a 125cc 2-banger pocket-rocket and you take what I've said into consideration. :) I'll definitely be keeping this beast even after buying another big-bore, so that should give you some idea of how crazy these things are and how much riding enjoyment and challenge they give. If you've got ANY questions please feel free to ask me ok mate! :grin:
  18. Having my first bike as an RS125, I would have to recommend a learner AWAY from it as well. It just isn't good to get to grips with, and especially day to day riding/commuting. The power band is tricky, much like a turbo, and can surprise you easily.
    You have to be very careful, and because the low rpms have no power you can't anywhere as nearly easily save yourself from a fumble mid-turn etc (slow speed) and plonk, you just wrecked your $1180 RHS fairing for doing a u-turn.
    A 250 4-banger has much better low end torque, and will save you in a lot of places the Aprilia won't, which lets face it, is meant to be ridden fast and by the balls.
    The riding position is all down to taste, but yes the hyper sports stance does take a while to get used to, especially to lighten the load off your wrists, something a n00b will find hard to work with without being particularly adamant. Only someone who is quite skilled at driving/riding and strongly willed would possibly really concentrate on getting this all done right straight off, as it would probably force you into bad habits otherwise.
    The feeling of going through curves is great on an Aprilia, but you have to be going a bit fast. Stopping and starting is bit of a nightmare and you need really good feathering clutch control which granted if you drive a manual (or better yet turbo manual) car you will be at a great advantage to the understandings of what you need to do. The RS125 is also, a 'big' bike. It feels big and looks big, yet is very nimble (thanks to the frame I believe - and of course it's lightness). The brakes are great (granted mine aren't brembo) but I don't see this as a bad thing unlike the post above. You will learn their grippiness pretty quickly and hell, better brakes are just better. Nothing wrong with that as long as you can modulate grabbing them hard.

    The maintenance is a pure cost issue, otherwise they are dead simple bikes... just the parts and fluids are pricey.

    Insurance is pretty bloody expensive too, mine ranges from 1000-1500 p/a full comp as a learner/just on full license. Bit of a joke really.

    And yes, I've had an accident and my bike was written off incredibly easily - only real damage was to headlight and misaligned front wheel, rest was cosmetic. (Ruled in my favour against a car driver who cut me off) - but I have to admit that the accident probably would have been avoided if I wasn't watching the tacho as closely coming out of a turn, seeing the car earlier and thus most likely being able to brake earlier in time rather than the latish braking I did attempt. (slow speed 20-40kph accident)

    Also the new model RS (07 onwards) has a digital numeric speedo, which I find really hard to keep an eye on compared to a needle, which you can tell where you are by peripheral vision) this is a racing compromise and I must say I find it hard to keep an eye on while on the road so as to not be constantly speeding. (Trying to concentrate more on the road all the time thanks to my accident).

    They are a fantastic bike otherwise, but really, if I could do it again I don't think I would start on one for the steeeeeep learning curve. My appetite is very whetted to get another one or move up to a bigger supersport very quickly, but I feel at least for a larger supersport I definitely don't have the skills yet.

    2T oil burning smells ace.

    mbikeboy, do you feel the mito or RS handles better? I love the look of the mito's (new and old) apart from the swingarm, but I like the fact that Aprilia is a much bigger brand, more common etc.

    Also, don't take your bike to A1 motorcycles for service if you get an Aprilia - they stink.
  19. Ditto what those guys said, especially the 'big bike' feel of the RS215 - its pretty much the size of a mid-capacity sports bike, but quite light and manageable (for me anyway @ 6'3" / 90kg). That and the brakes, which are phenomenal and will scare you if you 'grab a handful' without thinking.

    Usage isn't the most friendly on earth but feel ace and really lets you have fun, but changing down really is frequent and anything below 6k on the tach is unthinkable. 9 to 11k is your friend for serious acceleration, with 6 to 8k for sedate riding and traffic. Clutch slipping skill for getting of the line is a must, gotta admit that I wouldn't really recommend this to somone without prior riding experience...even though its a total blast!

    I'd say let her check them all out and see which she likes best. If its the CBR125, then so be it, its her choice right?

    Hope all goes well and that she enjoys owning a bike, whichever it may be - boingk