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RS125 first bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Callumatic, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Hi everyone. I have been looking around for bikes and RS125s seem to be the one I want the most but I'm not entirely sure what they are like for someone with no previous riding experience.

    I'm a bit concerned about the reliability, being Italian and two stroke. It being two stroke is something I'm wondering about, do they really bite you in the arse if you don't know what you're doing? The maintenance doesn't phase me, to a point.

    Another thing I've read about them is that they don't really like stop start traffic, it's not too big of an issue for where I live but it's good to know the truth. One final question, how far do you have to rev them to get a decent amount of power, I've heard you need to basically bring it near redline.
  2. I've heard bad things about the reliability of Aprilia 125 two strokes. Man they're fun, but that's whilst it works. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they need a complete engine build every 6000 miles or something like that.

    If you're mechanically minded then they'd be a great bike to have, but otherwise you might have to spend a fair amount of money at the mechanic.
  3. Not very reliable, poor commuter, poor tourer. Always need to rev the fuk out of them to make them move. There are far better learners bikes out there.
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  4. 2-strokes aren't necessarily a problem, it's the fact that it's a stereotypical Italian bike with stereotypical Italian build quality. My old RS250 was a ripper bike but it seemed like every couple of weeks we'd have the fairings off chasing some problem or another.

    Check this thread, it's got some good info. Being a single-cylinder 2-stroke it's actually not a complex motor - it's reasonably straightforward to replace the piston, but you might have to do this every 8000km (as opposed to modern 4-strokes that get 24000km+ between major services). You just have to stay on top of things.

    And yeah, being a 2-stroke it has a definite 'sweet spot', which being a sportsbike that sweet spot is somewhere near redline. It won't like heavy traffic, meaning (a) it's no fun to ride in those conditions and (b) the engine will need more attention because it's spending a lot of time outside its comfort zone. Based on my limited experience test riding a Cagiva Mito it basically chugs away until it finds its rhythm at around 8000rpm. On the right roads where you can dance through the gears to keep the revs up, it's glorious.

    Would I recommend it as a learner bike? In good conscience, no. But then, I wouldn't recommend a 16-valve 250 sportsbike either but countless others have gone through their restrictions on those and I think passion is a terrible thing to waste if your heart's really set on it. If you do go for it, do so with your eyes open because it could end up a very expensive exercise if you have to start paying workshops to do the spanner work.
  5. Have you sat on one yet?
    You either fit one or you don't.
    One has to sacrifice comfort for style, and the style is definitely racer.

    They are not the easiest things to learn on, since you have to work quite hard changing gears like mad to keep the engine doing useful stuff.

    About 4,000 to 6,000 rpm lets you "potter" along, over 8,000, and it starts to get quite serious.

    Riding up hill is a bugger, down hill is great! :)
  6. Any reason you are going for something as small as a 125? And any reason a two stroke?

    Basically a larger four stroke is going to be better for most riding situations.
  7. Because they're awesome im guessing!
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  8. I loved my RS125 and they would make an excellent second bike for cruises and some track days with. They look brilliant as well how ever they sound like a lawn mower, smoke up the place when they are warming up and parts are expensive and usually need to goto a dealer to get them. Also jumping from a 2stroke to a 4 stroke is quite different feel due to the lack of engine braking on the 2 stroke.

    Alternatives i would grab would be the Yamaha R125 or the kawa Ninja 250R
  9. Best decision ever!

    What other people have said is true, it's a temperamental biatch, but oh so fun.

    The maintenance etc isn't too bad, I'm about to do the top end in a few weeks (waiting on parts to arrive from England).

    It's a different riding experience to you 4 strokes and sometimes worse due to compromises, but I wouldn't give up the first bike RS125 experience.

    I've had mine for a year and a bit now and can't think of an affordable LAMS bike I would rather have.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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  10. Sounds like a horrible bike for a beginner. If u can't fix and maintain it yourself it's going to cost a fortune to pay a mechanic.
    Buy a ninja 250 / 300
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  11. Depends on how much you're gonna ride it. The rs125s arent too bad for rebuild intervals. I think the manual recommends top end rebuilds at 16,000ks, but this is just a guide. Some last 25,000 before their first rebuild, others only 10,000. I never had any trouble with stop start traffic situations on mine. Having to let it warm up for 5 minutes before you ride it can be a bit annoying. I reckon they actually make great learner bikes. Sure you have to keep them 'on the boil' if you want to go remotely fast, but that in itself teaches you to be a better rider. They also look, handle and stop better than any ninja 250/300. If you're patient, they do sometimes come up for sale very cheap too, often with stuff all k's. I've seen 2005s for $1500 and the later model 2007 onwards for $2500.
  12. Yeah price wise it's a little more expensive than the older 4 stroke but on par or better than ninja 250s.

    You get a lot more bike though. I love the riding position (very forward and sporty). I'm doing my rebuild at 16k, would have done it earlier but things got out of hand with laziness :p
    Waiting for the warmup is annoying but you can still ride just not very fast until it warms up, you'll get very good at knowing when it's warm without even testing. Keeping it in the powerband is vital for performance but that's not a bad thing, you get taught how to change gears to keep the fun level up :p

    Maintenance isn't actually that bad, keep the 2t oil topped up and changing the gear oil etc is a simple job that you need to do regardless of the bike. You may not own it long enough to even need to do a top end rebuild but regardless you should look up some videos, it looks easy enough but I'd like to not jinx the whole thing :p

    I've even had a fall (slow wet road, lowside) and fixing it was mildly annoying since I had to wait for the parts from England (can take a month or more) but I did have to play with everything to find the issue (I now disabled the kickstand sensor). I've taken the clutch apart and that wasn't the biggest job, I've learned a lot and I think I've learned more from this than if I got a the usual LAMS bikes.

    I personally think it's a fantastic bike and well worth having provided you are willing to do a small amount of research and do some basic mechanical work yourself. A very rewarding experience.

    Also keep in mind that it makes long highways off limits, the engine doesn't like staying at the same revs for a long period of time so you'll have to change speeds on highways if you plan on doing something along the hume (canberra to sydney for example I don't want to do for that reason)