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1st bike help (aprilia rs125 vs kawasaki ninja 250r)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by nvgiuliano, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. hey everyone I am very very new to the riding scene and looking to book in my L's in the coming months.I am not a very tall person and Im looking into both the ninja and the aprilia. The issue thats bothering me is the aprilia is a 2 stroke and the ninja is a 4. now im not to sure about the advantages and disadvantages of the 2 bikes so some opinions and tips would be awesome.


  2. Apples and oranges.

    that would be a green apple and a orange well orange.

    they are completely different

    RS125 is a race replica 2 stroke well designed and quite fast in the right hands but very intensive riding required to get enjoyment out of it. Not the best bike for around town.

    Ninja 250r is very easy to ride and still fun but nothing like a RS. Both arent suitable for a tall person. Much better for commuting and the occasional ride out in the hills
  3. Basically with regards to a 2stroke road bike, they are expensive to run.. i started on a rgv250 and was spending about 30-40 bucks a week on oil (2 stroke oil, the good stuff isnt cheap)
    Rs125's really arent suited to commuting, and need to be ridden hard to get the best out of them..
    thats said in the right hands they are bloody quick.

    Ninja 250 is going to be like all other 250 road bikes, can commute on them and are a good learner bike.
    But really you need to go to a showroom and see what fits you better!
  4. yeah the guy from the kawasaki store said the aprilias a wicked bike also, (hes ridden one) said its was a bit uncomfortable for the road but would tear a track to pieces. But yeah im only gonna use the bike as a toy or as a run around thing. I drive 45 mins to get to work thru the hills/country roads so that would be a good ride. Sorry for being un educated but would the aprilia need an oil top up everyweek ? or depends on how much you use it ?

    i checked both of them out yesterday and my feet just touch the ground on the ninja but more comfortably on the aprilia and the aprilia is 40 kg lighter which was sort of a plus for me not being a very big guy. Kawasaki said they could lower the bike by an inch or so which is good aswell.

    im pretty nervous to start riding though ( im guessing this is a normal feeling) ive been in the car scene for a couple of years now but sitting on the bike was scaring me a little bit. but cant wait to book in the L's and get some training going.
  5. lowering the bike might make the handling change significantly.
  6. if you want a 125 why not the honda cbr125? its 4 stroke so a bit slower than a two stroke and easier to ride. best thing might be to do your L's on the 250's they provide and see how you go.
  7. According to an Aprilia representative at the Sydney Motorcycle Show, the RS125 is not designed for highway use. Doing so will lead to engine failure not covered by your warranty. They can also be hard to get parts for, so if it's your sole form of transport take the Ninja (which sound MEAN with a pipe). If it's a weekend toy, as you say, they are a very capable little learner bike. Fisher Price's My First Sportsbike. It's limited power and awesome handling will get you out of more trouble then it gets you into, and that 2-stroke powerband kicking in is addictive (imagine driving a stock Yaris that suddenly turns into a GTi halfway through the rev-range). They can take ten minutes to warm up properly on cold winter mornings, and every 12,000km scheduled service recommends replacing the piston (couple hunded $). They have their vices, but they are so damn fun and pretty it's hard to stay mad at that face. Many new owners sign up for more than they bargained for and sell within months of purchasing, while stubbornly-endeared owners such as myself are still riding them after losing the P plates.
  8. Speaking as an owner of an Aprilia RS125. The Aprilia will turn you into a mechanic quite quickly but if you don't mind looking after it it will give you much love and satisfaction as a toy and is very rewarding to ride on the twisties and absolute torture on the straight highways.

    Oil consumption is good. I'm finding I'm using somewhere about 1 litre of oil for ever 800km roughly and that's fine in my books. $17 for a litre of oil. Who cares. Fuel economy and range is surprisingly good. I've been getting 3.6L/100km consistantly no matter how I ride it. I'd highly recommend one if your sole intention is to have a toy that can carve corners. The noise and feel of the 2 stroke is intoxicating when it's on song and extremely rewarding. It's really something special.

    Parts are a pain in the bum to get though. I'm shopping in the UK for most things now. The Australian parts channels are a bloody joke.

    The important service intervals are as follows
    Top end rebuild - 10,000 - 16,000km. If it starts feeling tired it's time to rebuild. Mine's up to 8,000km on it's top end and feels great.
    Bottom end Rebuild - Apparently every 30,000km. Mine is due but there is no bearing slop so its going to keep on going on for awhile yet.
    Power valve maintance - The power valve can carbon up so i'd suggest cleaning it often. Every 2000 - 3000km depending on how quickly carbon deposits build up. If you use a "no carbon" type 2 stroke oil I'm sure you can go a lot longer.

    Apart from that everything else is pretty much like any other bike. Just look after it and it'll look after you.

    Owning the Aprilia is an involving experience but you become tuned to it's mood and needs and it's an interesting relationship to build on. I can tell you if there is one thing that can be said about the RS125. That is it's not lacking in soul. I've riden machines that did the job perfectly and were totally mind numbingly boring. Every time I take it into the power band and row through a few gears it puts a smile on my face.

    I doubt i'll ever sell mine.
  9. To be fair, one's a race-ready sports bike and the other's a cheap scooter with fairings. It's just the numbers that match.

    The Aprilia has three times the power, better brakes, frame, wheels, etc etc
  10. Having ridden the RS125 and CBR125 they're chalk and cheese. The CBR is very comfy and has about the same power as the RS125 from 4000 - 7000rpm. From 8000 it's game over and the RS125 rips the CBR to shreds like it's a play toy.

    The CBR125 is a great little thing but it's no sports bike.
  11. Ride them both as much as you can. Then buy the Ninja...LOL "Ninja"
  12. My first bike was a RS125, only thing I can remember was the frequent visits to the mechanics. Parts took turn to break down, every month something needed replacement. Basically it was a bike built to ride hard then throw away - a disposable motorcycle.

    That was 10 years ago, may be the new RS125 is more reliable (or may be RS125 and reliability do not belong to the same sentence).

    For a first bike, perhaps a non-European bike would be more practical.
  13. Woohoo. I got 2 months from mine before something screwed up :D

    IMO. If you treat a RS125 like a 2 stroke like it's a 4 stroke bike it'll give you hell. That's half the problem with them. Too many learners get them ride them for 2 years then try to sell it on without spending a cent on anything other than oil and petrol. It just doesn't work. Stick to the maintanance schedual and everything will be fine! That is the key.

    The main problem i'm having at the moment is due to carbon build up from using the pitiful excuse for a 2 stroke oil that the previous owner used. Here's a tip to all. Don't use Valvoline 2 Stroke Racing oil in your RS125 unless you want your power valve to seize. Pick a good low / zero carbon type 2 stroke oil and you won't experience power valve sticking issues.
  14. ok so ive been talking to a few people who have ridden bikes before in the last couple of days and from what i have gathered, they've all said 2 strokes a pain in the ass and require alot of work... now im very much in the car scene so the bike will never be the primary transport, so im thinking the 2 stroke may be ok as it wont be a "daily" if ya no what i mean.

    couple of questions:

    if i was to get the rs125 how much would it cost me (roughly) a week to run ?

    would the rs125 be able to get me to work (60km one way through country side, mostly 90-100 the whole way) as people have been saying these bikes arent great on highways and all that jazz ?


  15. The Aprilia will leave you with stories to tell your grandkids.
    The Ninja will be forgotten when you move on to something else.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. +1

    I found that 2 strokes were actually less of a pain to deal with than a four stroke in some ways. All I had to do was rebuild the top end every 12,000ks (I could do it in under an hour and for less than $180).

    And when I felt like it, I'd change the gearbox oil. That's pretty much your entire maintenance schedule right there. Bugger all moving parts. (Bottom end is a bigger job but less frequent).

    You asked before about the sort of oil to use - I used good quality Motul oil. It smells so gooooooood :LOL: Actually I think you asked how much you go through - usually about 1L every 800-1000ks. It's getting a little expensive now (over $30 for 1L of good stuff but you can buy in bulk).

    Regarding the 60k each way commute - as was mentioned you need to make sure you are varying throttle and varying revs. If it's a pretty straight country road where you'll be at constant throttle/speed for an hour you're likely to root the engine. If there's decent corners, you should be sweet.

    It's up to you - IMO if you go into it with your eyes wide open about what you need to do and are prepared to do a little work yourself, they're fun. If you want a bike that you can drop in to get a service every six months and not worry about all the other times, go a four-stroke.
  17. Love mine... having trouble getting the commitment to sell it... :( It's way more agile than any other bike I've ridden.

    I love the Daytona, but it is a total lug compared to the RS125, heavy and stiff to turn in... though the power... well... no comment. That said the RS is probably one of the faster learner bikes, and well definitely the most agile.
  18. And they reckon the Daytona has quick turn in! Can't wait till I can buy a stroker for the track.
  19. By the way my RS has been nothing but pure pleasure... in the 2 years I've had two the only thing I've had to do is tighten the chain... otherwise nothing went wrong. I regularly check everything, change spark plugs and do proper servicing (very little is needed!!) get good oil, make sure she is warm before you rag her, don't redline at the same rpm constantly for minutes on end and she will be fine.

    Servicing is a piece of piss on this bike too.. they are so simple. I completely swapped out the exhaust, removed the airbox and replaced with pod filter, serviced the carb changing the needle sizes etc etc. I've put her down at the track as well and rode home with not much worry - Apart from cracked fairing only bent a handle bar and lever and snapped an indicator. I would not at all hesitate to do the piston when needed. No problems whatsoever. Just do your research, grab a haynes and have fun. I can honestly tell you it will be well more rewarding than a ninja. As the poster above said... the RS will give you stories to tell your gkids about... you'll completely forget the ninja. Also... parts are actually quite easy to get on ebay from the UK.... way cheaper (and faster!!) than from a shop here.

    Also... just look at the tyres... The RS looks like a 600 to most people at a quick glance. Stance is very aggressive and a rather tall bike too with bigger tyres than just about all learners I see putting about. Put an RS next to a Ninja and compare them on the spot... they are completely different bikes aimed at completely different goals. One is sports sex... one is made to kind of look like sex but doesn't quite get there (ie a naked bike with a fairing).

    Quite a few people on group rides comment on how fun it looks to ride as I swerve her all over the place very nimbly without a worry. It WILL teach you to ride well and is a steep learning curve... but if you have the smarts it is well worth it. You can ride on the edge in these bikes fairly easily imo. (Not necessarily very fast, but you'll have a super fun, committed time doing it... and you'll smell good doing it haha).

    I recommend the newer shape over the older one purely because of the braided brakes as standard. Otherwise they are pretty much the same. Exhaust upgrade is worth it imo if you have the coin, otherwise not much else is... you are talking serious $$$ to go bigger carb etc for not much return. Learn to ride it efficiently. They outbrake any larger bike no worries...