A NEW BREED OF THE ITALIAN STEEDS | APRILIA RX 125 AND SX 125Posted On: January 17, 2019 By : AutoLife Team
With an impressive resume, Aprilia brings you a long line of performance oriented yet beautiful machines to this world. First, Aprilia’s reputation in World Superbike is remarkable. Second, the company competes in the MotoGP and yields promising results. And third, Aprilia’s motorcycle range has more sport bikes than some Japanese companies, including superbikes, naked bikes, adventure bikes and streetfighters. Leading Aprilia’s arsenal of superbikes is the RSV4 1100 Factory, a claimed 217-hp street version of the championship-winning V-4 racer. Then the naked bike category includes the Tuono V4 1100 Factory ABS and the Shiver 900. Aprilia also have the Caponord 1200 Rally for the adventure junkies!
Aprilia also cater to the smaller displacement segments with race replica RS 125 GP and naked model Tuono 125, in the 125cc category. And new to this year is the SX 125 which is the Supermoto model, and the RX 125 which is the Enduro model. Placed in the 125cc displacement engine, the Italian duos not only look good but feature tech that aren’t available in any other bikes around its class! Thus, both set out to be promising buys and our job is to find out if Aprilia’s duo got what it takes and here’s what we’ve got.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
The RX 125 bolsters a mighty impressive stance that sizes up a 250cc dirt bike and adding to that effect is the rich red and black color scheme. Similarly, the SX 125 too gets the red but gets a different shade of metallic grey to blend in the urban terrain. With Italian manufacturers, we can always expect a level of artistic presence but Aprilia are more about performance than art yet they still retain some of that signature Italian trait where we had a decent portion of the test ride catching the public’s eyes. Both have an aggressive look which adds flare to their personality. The skid plate present in both the bike looked functional and purposeful which tells you they mean business.
In the tech department, both the RX and SX house a multifunction digital dashboard. It displays travel diary, maximum speed, battery voltage and two trip meters. Then the two feature Bosch ABS unit which is a first in its segment, on top of that it also comes with anti-rollover mode as standard fitment. The fact all this being available to you gives an extra level of confidence for each time you take it out on a spin. Having the chance to test out the anti-rollover mode with was an interesting experience. We’ll talk about the ABS and antirollover mode in the braking and handling section in detail so let’s move on to its performance.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
Powering the RX 125 and the SX 125 is a 124.2cc, four-stroke, four-valve, double overhead cam, lightweight single-cylinder engine which churns out a maximum power of 15hp at 10,500 RPM and maximum torque of 11.3Nm at 8,000 RPM. This state-of-the-art engine lets the two easily reach a high-power band for their displacement with zippy acceleration which are in par with engines of higher displacement motorcycles. Aprilia says the engine power peaks at 10,500rpm, which is crazy high for a 125 engine! Despite that, the motor is more or less vibe-free. Throughout the duration of our test, the RX felt refined and we didn’t feel any finger numbness at all. It’s also notable that both bikes can gun it up to 110 kmph on a long straight. Of the two bikes, the RX is the better one off the line. This is the result from the massive 69 teeth rear sprocket the RX wields in comparison to the slightly less big 62-tooth rear sprocket of the SX but given the laws of physics which will be explained in a different article, the RX’s 69 teeth will definitely take the initial lead. Another interesting thing about the duo is that they meet the strict Euro 4 standard and complying with that is no easy task without having to sacrifice bits from performance, efficiency and safety.
COMFORT AND HANDLING
Having said the two looked big in earlier paragraphs, the seat height is listed at 905mm and 880mm for the RX and SX respectively, however the soft suspension the two carry makes it feel much lower than those figures. The riding position for both the bikes is relaxed and it can partly be attributed to the tall tapered aluminum bars that’re great for daily rides. We’d have to say the two were still comfortable by Enduro standards. The seats were well cushioned but because of the slender seats like that of any dirt or Enduro bike you soon find out that the two aren’t blessed with long distance luxury. Touring would be a demanding task but certainly not impossible and if you’re concerned about doing short hops around the city, don’t worry; your excursions will be packed with fun.
Now coming on to Aprilia’s forte which is handling, it’s no surprise that both the RX and the SX have superb handling capabilities which bestows you the confidence of a professional Enduro racer. The handling dynamics of both machines is predictable, secure and subtly goes beyond expectations; while the RX will keep you firmly planted across the tight turns over loose terrain, the SX shows you what a Supermoto is; the two are pinnacles of solidity and reassurance that hugely adds to their appeal.
The RX carries a 21-inch spoked aluminum front wheel able to tackle challenging off-road circuits. The Chinese CST knobblies on the RX are surprisingly grippy. The SX125 is a pure blood supermoto, with 17-inch spoked rims holding chunky 130/70 and 100/80 CST labeled tyres. It does just about anything from backing into corners, skidding around and taking a beating off road-ish short cut making the SX an ideal bike for mixed routes.
BRAKING AND SUSPENSION
The RX and SX shares a 41mm USD forks which are tuned towards the plushier side of things. Although, this does allow for a tendency in which the front end sometimes dives under hard braking; it constantly gives you a feedback of the surface you’re treading over. The rear suspensions are handled by monoshock absorbers with progressive link that are tuned in balance to provide optimal shock absorption while still retaining the stiffness to enable stability in sharp and tight turns. On the RX, this was exactly the case. As for the road going SX, despite the soft suspension, it holds corners well enough while still retaining the much off road capabilities like the RX.
The brakes on the two are something that’s surprising because the stopping power on the two actually went way beyond our expectations! Not only are they big for their segment but the amount of electronic assistance makes it stop even better! The RX comes with a 260 mm front wave disc and 220mm rear disc brake while the SX gets a big 330mm front and 220mm rear disc brake. Both get the same two-pot sliding calipers, braided hoses and Bosch ABS. The Bosch ABS works like a charm with no hitches. The rider is bound to feel free to move around and at the same time the combination of having plenty of bite at the lever to overwhelm the tyres are spectacular combination. With unpredictable road conditions that Nepal has, it’s a great feature to have in terms of safety.
On top of that, the Bosch ABS on both bikes feature what Aprilia calls “anti-rollover mode” as mentioned earlier. It means that if and when the front is significantly slower than the rear under braking, then the system detects that by scanning the front and rear wheel speed differential. Thus, the ABS cuts out momentarily to keep the back wheel on the ground and Aprilia has really out done it with these models. We can’t count how many times the electricals intervened and made it a breeze to glide over the craggy trails. These actually are features that you’ll normally find in high end big bikes that have a wide assortment of electronics.
After a long day of testing, it’s difficult to not be impressed with either the SX or RX. The two have a light, grace, simplicity to them along with which their handling are perfectly in-line with what the engine intended to deliver i.e. loads of fun. Despite the absence of dangerously high amounts of horsepower, the Aprilia holds an important engine characteristic that is the ability to withstand a good session of heavy unadulterated revving. Thus, both the SX and RX will have you bouncing around town from the slick tarmac to the beaten paths of the hills and back; all done with a wide grin across your face.