Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 125: Which Sub-500cc Supersport To Go For?
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Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 125: Which Sub-500cc Supersport To Go For?

Reviews by Team Drivio | Apr 25, 2023

Yamaha recently announced the arrival of its big bikes, including the much-loved Yamaha R3. So let’s see how it compares against the KTM RC 125. 

  • The Yamaha’s 321cc engine makes 42PS and 29.7Nm. 
  • KTM, meanwhile, has tuned the RC to churn out 14.9PS and 12Nm. 
  • Both bikes even get 6-speed gearboxes. 

The KTM RC 125 has been the ultimate track weapon for quite a lot of beginners. This monopoly was slightly disrupted from 2015, up until 2019, when the Yamaha R3 was sold in the country. And now with the R3 set to make a reappearance in July 2023, we see how it compares to the RC? Here's a visual calculator:

Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 125: Design & Features

FeaturesYamaha R3KTM RC 125
LED HeadlampYesYes
Fully-digital ConsoleYesYes
LED indicatorsYesYes
Riding modesNoNo
Alloy wheelsYesYes
Split seatsYesYes
Bluetooth connectivityNoNo

Yamaha has equipped the R3 with a rather dated-looking LCD console. While it has all the information you will need, it’s not something that’ll fascinate you. 

The RC 125 does look like the bigger RCs, save for the sticker work. It's not necessarily a bad thing because the RC 200 is quite popular in the country and its design is easily recognised to the common man as the classic KTM. It is also a good business decision because using the previous bodywork saves the brand money and allows the bike to be priced reasonably. 

Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 125: Engine & Gearbox

SpecificationsYamaha R3KTM RC 125
Engine321cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled engine124.7cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine
Maximum Power42PS14.9PS 
Maximum Torque29.7Nm12Nm
Transmission6-speed6-speed

The Yamaha R3 makes nearly thrice the power and torque as the RC 125. And that only makes sense, given that it has an extra cylinder and nearly three times the cubic capacity as the baby RC. 

The liquid-cooled 124.7cc single-cylinder DOHC engine produces 14.9PS and 12Nm. These are good statistics for a 125, but the powerband is fairly narrow. It is largely focused between 6000 and 8000rpm. 

Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 125: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsYamaha R3KTM RC 125
Front suspensionInverted ForkInverted Fork
Rear suspensionMonoshockMonoshock
Front tyre110/70-17110/70-17
Rear tyre140/70-17150/60-17
Front brake298mm Disc320mm Disc
Rear brake220mm Disc230mm Disc
ABSDual-channel Dual-channel

The Yamaha R3 is suspended on a Delta frame. The main difference between the two is the R3’s linked monoshock, which, ideally, should give a much more comfortable ride quality. 

While it lacks the pure performance, the RC 125 is an excellent handler. The wide handlebar makes it simple to change directions while riding. It also makes it simple to tip into corners. The suspension system (WP inverted forks and rear monoshock) is slightly firmer, but it won't cause any back pain on most of our roads. It's only jarring on truly terrible surfaces. The only complaint we ever had was the wider-than-normal turning radius caused by the 43mm inverted forks. 

The tyres on the RC 125 are also excellent, providing excellent cornering grip. Now, because the MRF RevZ rubber used in this bike is the same as that used in the 200 Duke, we're confident that its grip levels on wet roads will be excellent as well. 

Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 125: Dimensions

Even at 60kmph, the RC 125 takes a relatively long 20.62m to come to a complete stop. This puts it on par with 160cc motorcycles like the Gixxer, Hornet, and Pulsar NS160. This is due to the fact that, at 148kg, this KTM is in the same weight class as the 150s and 160s, rather than the lighter 125s. 

The R3’s dimensions, on the other hand, will need to be seen once the bike arrives in India. Yamaha could very well bring changes in the bike to make it suit the Indian conditions. 

Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 125: Price

PriceYamaha R3KTM RC 125
Ex-showroom DelhiRs 3.50 lakh (expected)Rs 1,89,542 

The Yamaha RS is expected to debut sometime later this year, around June. And we expect Yamaha to price it around the Rs 3.50 lakh (ex-showroom) mark. The KTM RC 125, on the other hand, retails for a rather pricey Rs 1,89,542 (both ex-showroom Delhi). 

Verdict

 Yes, the R3 is priced at a value that’s nearly double that of the RC 125. But you get a whole lot of extra kit for it too. Nearly three times the power and torque is no joke! 

Overall, the RC 125 is an intriguing motorcycle with pleasingly nimble characteristics. It provides the simple joys of motorcycling, exactly like the first time you rode a bike. However, you will quickly hit the limitations of this bike and may find yourself yearning for more. 

It is also quite pricey for a 125cc motorcycle at Rs 1.18 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). However, if you're a KTM fan wishing to feel the premium-ness of the Brand Orange on a (slightly) limited budget, the RC 125 is the one for you. And that is also the key audience.