KTM RC 125 Review: Can Get The Yamaha R15 Instead
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KTM RC 125 Review: Can Get The Yamaha R15 Instead

Reviews by Team Drivio | Mar 11, 2024

In terms of ergonomics, the RC 125 is quite committed, similar to the Yamaha R15

  • The RC 125’s 124.7cc engine is the only liquid-cooled 125cc in India
  • Its engine makes a decent 14.5PS and 12Nm
  • This is mated to a 6-speed gearbox, again a first for a 125cc bike in India

The Yamaha R15 V4 has long been considered the best and essentially the perfect entry-level sports bike for India, and there are good reasons for this reputation. However, now with the RC 125, KTM aims to challenge this dominance. Can it truly rival the supremacy of the Japanese bike? Let's explore that in this review of the new KTM RC 125.

KTM RC 125: Design

The most striking feature of the RC 125 in terms of appearance is its unmistakable branding – "RC" is prominently displayed throughout the bike. It closely resembles its counterparts, the RC 200 and RC 390, in both design and size. The sharply styled full-fairing, equipped with LED daytime running lights and twin projectors at the front, is a signature characteristic of KTM's fully-faired motorcycles.

Similar to its counterparts, the RC 125 boasts an exposed sub-frame and a split-seat arrangement, contributing to its aggressive aesthetic. It also includes a grab rail that protrudes noticeably, adding to its distinct appearance. Notably, the RC 125 stands out with its blacked-out frame and dual-tone colour schemes, which deviate from the standard offerings of KTM internationally.

KTM RC 125: Engine

Fire up the RC 125 and you'll be greeted with a subdued rendition of the distinctive KTM exhaust note. The 124cc, liquid-cooled engine doesn't possess the same level of aggression as other KTMs, feeling somewhat out of place on a racetrack. Generating a modest 14.5PS, it struggles to propel the bike to its top speed of 120kmph. Initial acceleration lacks excitement as well. Nonetheless, it benefits from a smooth-shifting six-speed gearbox and responsive throttle to compensate for its modest power output.

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

While seated on the saddle, the RC 125 gives the impression of a larger motorcycle, thanks to its unchanged dimensions. The combination of clip-on handlebars and rear set pegs creates an ideal setup for aggressive riding ergonomics. On the track, the RC 125 undoubtedly impresses with its handling and eagerness to tackle corners, making its larger siblings proud. Additionally, the MRF Revz tyres offer commendable grip on the track, and the braking system borrowed from the RC200 delivers excellent bite and feedback. Even after pushing the bike to its limits for about half an hour, the brakes exhibit no signs of fade.

KTM RC 125: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

Despite being the smallest and most budget-friendly RC model, KTM has not compromised on the quality or features offered by the RC 125. Components such as the tubular steel trellis frame, switchgear, clip-on handlebars, mirrors, and the MRF Revz tyres are directly borrowed from the RC 200. The orange-backlit digital instrument cluster, although slightly outdated, is also sourced from the larger RC models. 

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

Furthermore, the RC 125 is equipped with top-tier inverted forks from WP and a ByBre braking system. However, to manage costs effectively, the motorcycle foregoes a dual-channel ABS and instead utilises a single-channel unit.

KTM RC 125: Dimensions

The KTM RC 125 handles just as well as it looks. The 160kg kerb weight disappears the moment you take it off the centre stand and the bike handles like it weighs about 130kg. That said, you will feel the weight when moving the RC 125 around in the parking lot as then, it does not feel as light as something like the Yamaha R15. And it’s for good reason too, since the R15 V4 is more than 20kg lighter than the KTM. 

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

KTM RC 125: Price

KTM has priced the RC 125 at a rather pricey Rs 1,89,542, ex-showroom Delhi. That means, it is pretty much on par with the much more powerful, capable and more forgiving Yamaha R15 V4. 

Verdict 

The RC 125 serves to broaden the accessibility of the 'RC' brand and completes KTM's sub-400cc lineup in India. However, its introductory price tag somewhat diminishes its appeal. For the first time in a while, a KTM doesn't quite deliver on its value proposition. In contrast, the Yamaha YZF-R15 V4 offers a more potent engine, a visually appealing white-backlit instrument display, and dual-channel ABS, making it a compelling alternative.

So, who is the RC 125 aimed at? It's ideal for novice riders seeking a fully-faired motorcycle. Its manageable power delivery makes it approachable and forgiving, while the full fairing enhances its allure. Moreover, it boasts an impressive braking system and capable handling, although with a bit more power, the KTM RC 125 could have been even more exhilarating to ride.