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New model Aprilia RS125 (06+) comparison with old.

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by AhrimaaN, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. So ummmm, I just had an extensive ride on my new wheels, and I have a few comments to make.

    First of all, I don't have much experience on motorbikes, and haven't ridden anything larger than a 250, so this is more of a comparison between the old model 125, and the current model 125.

    The RS125's are a little beast of a bike. They are nothing short of a GP bike. Everything about them exudes quality and rideability, in the race sense.
    That means you need to rev them hard to get the most out of them. As discussed elsewhere in this forum they don't make the best learner bikes to start out on, as the low rev torque is nearly non-existent, and won't save you from some trouble spots.
    I wouldn't recommend them for newbie riders. The power delivery is hard to manage, the riding position is hard to manage and might ingrain bad habits into a newbie (such as leaning on the handle bars) and well, if you drop it you are up for one huge repair bill, being Italian and fully faired.
    They are also crap to U-turn as the full lock is pretty minimal, and the low end power just isn't there.

    With that out of the way, just let me say WOW. Otherwise they are amazing bikes!
    You can have these things totally on their side through some nice turns, and for all intents and purposes, if you ride one of these well, you will most definitely keep up with a 600cc bike in a nice carvy track/road.
    The general consensus seems to be that these bikes can be fantastic to properly develop your riding skills well, without covering failings with pure power.

    Power delivery is not smooth, it's a little like a turbo car, as once you hit upto 7-800rpms, they pull like a (relative) train, and firmly put your butt into the seat.
    This means you need to have very nice clutch control, and good feathering skills to get yourself out of trouble, and manage driving through town.
    That said, this isn't too difficult - but just another level of difficulty a newbie doesn't need when on the road.
    Top speed is apparently 95mph, but I haven't gone much over 120kph on mine, (in 5th) being that I'm not a speed freak, more of a carver.

    The frame, wheels, body and general dimensions of this bike really do add up to one extremely light, flickable ride. The dry weight is only 115kgs!!
    With that said however, they definitely do 'feel' like a big bike. The fairings are large, the seat is fairly high and the wheels are a nice 17inch diameter.

    Now for some comparison between the old and new:

    Engine - is a reliable, trusted rotax design, also used in go-karting. It is a simple engine, and doesn't need much maintenance apart from the typical rebuild everynow and then if you look after it.
    Breaking it in properly is quite important!
    The new model has a new silencer, which is a newish, almost diamond design. I like it better than the classic tube type, however it's all much of a muchness.
    Power gains can be made here by swapping out the chamber. Supposely JL and JollyMoto are the best brands to do this with.

    Fuel delivery - being that the newer model is even more race focussed, the fuel cock has been thrown away. This isn't a problem though, as there is now a low fuel warning light on the dash.
    No need to turn the cock any more when the engine starts to splutter! I wonder if this increases the chances of flooding the engine? Otherwise all the same.

    Brakes - the new model has absolutely astounding brakes! This is due to the new caliper design up front, and inclusion of steel-braided brakelines as standard. Wow I had no idea how much difference this would make!
    These things can stop on a dime and stoppies would be dead easy. If you have an old model, seriously consider upgrading the brake lines. I wasn't such a believer but now I am a devoted braided fan.
    It's like night and day, and the old model already had decent brakes.

    Gears - both have the same gear setup, 1 down 5 up. This is pretty much the same from top to bottom, can easily be swapped out to rearsets, and gets the job done as it should.
    The gears were always smooth for me, and changing was clear and easy across both models, however the newer one felt a little stiffer. I put this down to it having less kilometers.
    I do find that finding neutral can be difficult across both bikes. Especially when idle. On the old model revving it a bit with the clutch in always made neutral very easy to find, but this doesn't seem to work as well on the new model. This isn't really an issue though.
    Otherwise the biting point is rather smooth and pretty predictable.

    Body - The aesthetics are purely down to preference. I personally really like the black 04 body (my old bike as in my profile) the most, however I still really like the new shape.
    The Lorenzo replica scheme is butt ugly imo though. The newer model sports a much more contemporary aesthetic, transformer like and very angular, however I must say that as a ride it is a little more comfortable.
    I think the seat has slightly moved rearward, and the new angular fuel tank is much easier to grip with your knees as it is a lot wider and kind of flanges out at the top.
    The under seat storage, has been majorly minimised. In the old model you had comparatively oodles of space. I could fit my kryptonite D-lock, disc lock and bike cable lock in there with room to spare. In the new model I might be able to get my disc lock in there if I am lucky. Blame the new, finer tail section for this.
    The fairing components fit well on both models, however I think the newer model slightly beats out the older model, with less bolts showing and a slightly better fit.
    The mirrors, while in both instances aren't ideal... are heaps worse on the newer model. I'm not a big guy by any means, but when I'm wearing my jacket I just get a mirror full of my elbows, which is only made heaps worse on the newer model's narrower setup. Another reason this isn't great for the newbies.
    You really have to think about awareness of vehicles around you! I have to tuck my elbows in everytime I attempt to see what is behind me.
    The headlights are now separated out on either side (though still installed as a single unit). I don't like one sided headlights too much but what can you do, almost all bikes have them.
    The indicators are updated across the newer model to suit the aesthetic, and look great.

    Wheels - they are pretty much the same tyre setup, the newer ones probably have some better rubber. The newer wheels are apparently a lighter, multi-spoke design, and I must say I like them better.
    Much of a muchness really. Note that the rear sprockets are different across the newer and older models.

    The only other real difference across the newer and older models is the top yoke - the newer model is a much sexier, and lighter version, with slightly different handlebars, which leads us to...

    Instrumentation - The older model has the old school tacho and speedo with needles, and a very nice digital readout for various things such a temp, battery, time and an inbuilt lap timer. No fuel lights or other extraneous details. It gets the job done and looks pretty good. The newer model however is completely tricked out with a lovely digital display, backlit a lovely red, and sporting the appropriate lights (neutral, fuel, oil) and similar options as the old model with time, trip, odo, batt, all rolled in there. However... the newer model doesn't show numerical temperature, but rather a digital 'gauge'. I find this slightly frustrating, as I want to actually know what the temp is of my bike (very important to properly warm up two-strokes!!). Also, the newer model has a symbol to tell you when to get a service. This could be good for you if you are bit of a clutz, but I think it would be rather annoying otherwise, as most people doing the work themselves wouldn't be able to reset it (I think? - maybe this is easy??? I have to find out!).
    The tacho is a needle gauge, rather nice, however my biggest issue on the new model is that the speedo is purely digital numeric. Yes the numbers are nice and large, but a needle is sooooooooo much easier to see in your peripheral vision, and I can't help but realise it is too easy to speed on this bike, and I already look at the dials too much taking my eyes away from the road without having to worry about my speed! This is an obvious racing compromise and perhaps a little dangerous.

    Otherwise the bikes are 99% the same. They have USD front forks, which get the job done, adjustable rear-monoshock, and an absolutely stunning assymetrical swingarm and beautiful alu monocoque frame.

    I can't wait to get my new one on the track.

    The only real issue with these bikes is not their initial expense, but the ongoing maintenance of a typical two stroke. You need to run top quality oil, and properly warm up the engines or risk a seizure. You will need to rebuild them everynow and then (around 12-16k klms or thereabouts) But being that the engines are so simple this is ralatively easy to do yourself.
    And of course being Italian, the parts can be pretty pricey.
    The other downside to this is that there are not too many official dealers/mechanics around (at least in VIC).
    I hate A1 Motorcycles as they have screwed me around before and loathe going to them, so am trying the Hoddle St scooter dealer next time.
    However, if you have a little know how... you can completely do everything yourself, and parts are very plentiful online and from overseas.
    The other expense is of course insurance, which can be huge if you are a learner and under the age of 25 (trust me I know!!). I'm looking at $1400 with a cheap company (Famous) even when I am 25 and off my L's. You really DO NOT want 3rd party with this bike. If you drop it you will cry... A LOT. A single side fairing for the older model was $1180 to replace. I also fear that these things would be easy to steal as you can pretty much just pick them up and walk away. Learn from someone who didn't have full comp (ie. me) and please please please get fully comp with your bike. If you can't afford the insurance you can't afford an Aprilia. Get a CBR or a ZZR or VTR or something else instead then!

    Otherwise, if you aren't too heavy (let's say ~85kg and under) have your roadcraft down pat (as in been driving on the road one way or another for at least a few years) and want a bike that you can really develop and grow on over a long period of time, I would heartily recommend both the older and newer model, with the edge going to the newer model purely because of the brakes.

    If you are buying second hand, be wary of the kms on the bike (for rebuild intervals) and quiz the seller a lot to gauge whether he knows anything about properly looking after the bike. Also ask about the oil they use and warming up etc. If the bike has been rebuilt ask for evidence of this happening (receipts). Apart from this, if the seller seems to know how to look after the bike you are probably not going to buy a lemon, but also check to see it hasn't been raced (which should be fairly obvious).

    I hope this informs some people about the potential in these baby GP bikes that probably are written off by a lot of people purely because of their size!

    These are a fantastic bike and really shouldnt be overlooked!!
  2. I completely agree with all of your points, have been screwed out of $500 by A1, really regret buying fairings through them, the new one is completely different to old one, but they won't accept return as it's not technically "their" fault, well it's not my fault either and you can get ALL of the parts they stock, delivered to your door, AND minus their attitudes for around 40% of the cost.

    Bought one panel piece at A1: $150
    Matching L+R pair and delivered: $130

    Do yourself a favour and steer clear of them!