2023 KTM RC 125 Road Test Review: Duke 125 With Fancy Clothing
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2023 KTM RC 125 Road Test Review: Duke 125 With Fancy Clothing

Reviews by Team Drivio | May 29, 2023

The KTM RC 125 proved to be quite an unexciting motorcycle when we had a chance to ride it. 

  • The liquid-cooled 125cc engine that makes 14.5PS and 12Nm has been borrowed from the 125 Duke. 
  • You get a segment-first USD front fork.
  • The handling is sharp as a knife, exactly how you would expect from an RC. 

The KTM 125 Duke has performed admirably since its release in December 2018 for a 125cc single-cylinder vehicle that costs a bomb. It isn't a regular commuter, despite what its displacement would have you believe. The trellis frame, front forks that are flipped over, rear monoshock, and wide tyres are evidence of such. 

The bike also appears to be decently priced for what it offers. With the 125 Duke, KTM has given Indian buyers the push they require to enable them see past an offering's price and enjoy its outstanding components.

KTM has now introduced the fully-faired RC125 at 1.90 lakh, thus expanding the 125 range. This decision poses many issues. The obvious question is whether the RC125 justifies its price, so we put it through its paces at the Bajaj test track in Chakan.

2023 KTM RC 125: Design & Features

The new-gen RC 125 ditches the famous twin-projector headlight in favour of a broad halogen headlight. Additionally, the bike has LED indicators and DRLs mounted on the fairing. The side fairing and curved radiator work together to divert hot air away from the rider's legs, improving comfort even in stationary traffic.

A LCD instrument console, taken from the 250 Adventure, is added to the new RC 125. Along with the vast amount of data, it shows details like speed, engine RPM, trip meter/odometer readings, real-time mileage, distance to empty, and average speed. Although highly informative, the display lacks Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally, the bike lacks the LED headlamp that its larger siblings have. As a result, the RC 125 has a halogen headlight while maintaining an LED tail light and indicator.

2023 KTM RC 125: Engine

SpecificationsKTM RC 125
Engine124.7cc liquid-cooled engine
Maximum power14.5PS
Maximum torque12Nm
Transmission6-speed

The single-cylinder, 124.7 cc, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled engine that powers the KTM RC 125 produces 14.5 PS and 12 Nm of torque. The engine is coupled to a 6-speed gearbox.

Since its maximum output is at 9,250 rpm, you must really work the engine and maintain a high rev range to get it running. Additionally, once you arrive, the small KTM doesn't accelerate quickly like we've come to expect from larger KTMs. Although this is a significant step down from the 200 and the 390, and can be called boringly slow.

2023 KTM RC 125: Chassis

SpecificationsKTM RC 125 
Front suspensionInverted Fork
Rear suspensionMonoshock
Front tyre110/70-17
Rear tyre150/60-17
Front brake300mm Disc
Rear brake230mm Disc
ABSSingle-channel

The engine isn't very exciting, but it performs how KTM intended it to: as a more measured, less frenzied version of its larger siblings. But the way the RC handles is what will make you smile. It shares a lot of similarities with the RC 200 and RC 390 motorbikes, both of which are immensely fun to ride. 

On the track, this translates into the tiny KTM leaning into turns with ease and letting you choose and stick to a line with ease. However, they can be a little intimidating for a novice. In our opinion, the larger RCs are some of the best motorcycles you can start off on, out on the racetrack. 

2023 KTM RC 125: Dimensions

DimensionsKTM RC 125
Wheelbase1366mm
Seat height822mm
Ground clearance155mm
Kerb weight160kg
Fuel tank capacity13.4-litres

The 2023 RC 125’s increased bodywork and components also lead to an increase in kerb weight from 148kg on the 125 Duke to 152kg. But until we've done a real road test, we won't know how big of an impact this has had on its performance. In terms of raw power delivery or acceleration, the RC 125 is undoubtedly not the most exhilarating KTM you'll ride, but its modest performance and smooth, linear power distribution are precisely what make it an excellent entry-level sports bike.

2023 KTM RC 125: Price

Priced at Rs 1,89,542 (ex-showroom Delhi), the KTM RC 125 is available in two colour options: silver and black. 

Verdict

All and all, if you're searching for your first entry-level, fully faired motorbike, the much faster Yamaha R15 can be had for a lot less. You can also go for the considerably more affordable motorcycles from the class above, like the RS 200, which is more potent and well-equipped. 

Making things worse, KTM has stated clearly that this is an introductory price and that it will only rise. Since its initial release, the price of the 125 Duke has increased by Rs 12,000, and if the RC 125 experiences a price increase of the same magnitude, it will cost nearly as much as the KTM 200 Duke.