The KTM Duke 125 has created a whole new segment in the Indian two-wheeler market. It brought with it several premium features unheard of even in segments above it. Goodies like upside-down fork, rear disc brake and liquid-cooled engine, have never been seen in a 125 cc motorcycle in India. KTM, however, did not want to rest on these laurels and took the next leap with the new KTM RC 125 soon.
Little did we know that KTM’s bold venture will help them carve out a niche fan following in the premium 125 cc motorcycle segment in India. Japanese motorcycle makers have enjoyed success in several different segments in India. However, they have so far refrained from entering the premium 125 cc market. This, though, is mostly the case because of the high price placement of these bikes. Things though may change now with KTM’s turning around rich volumes for the manufacturers.
Here’s a list of five 125 cc motorcycles we wish to see in India:
Yamaha R125 – KTM RC 125’s true rival
For years, the Yamaha R125 has been out of reach of Indians. The R125 has been the stepping stone for riders in Europe. The R1 inspired looks, premium cycle parts and big bike looks have been a great crowd puller.
Powering the present iteration of Yamaha R125 is a 124.7 cc single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC, engine with Variable Valve Actuation technology. Mated to a 6-speed gearbox, the engine produces 15 PS of power and 11.5 Nm of torque. That’s not all, the powerplant is coupled with a slip and assist clutch. Add all of this to a low kerb weight of 142 kg and we have a pint-sized bike with the heart of a lion.
Besides that, Yamaha R125 is suspended over 41 mm upside-down fork up front and a monoshock in the rear. The swingarm is made up of aluminium to keep weight under check. Besides that, other features include an LED instrumentation panel, LED headlamp and a fat 140-section rear wheel. Brakes include a 292 mm disc in the front and a 230 mm unit in the rear.
Aprilia RS 125 GP Replica – Pocket-sized Aprilia DNA
If you want a small capacity entry-level MotoGP inspired motorcycle, the Aprilia RS125 GP Replica can be your dream come true. Leaving the catchy decals aside, the compact fairing and aluminium frame, and the three-section headlamp will set your heart racing.
The Aprilia RS 125 GP Replica is powered by a 124.2 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, fuel-injected mill. While output figures are not out in the open, if the high 12.5:1 compression ratio is considered, you can expect blistering fast performance. The gearbox is a 6-speed unit and you can even combine it with a quickshifter.
The instrumentation is a mix of analogue and digital with the latter being compatible with smartphone connectivity as seen in the SR150 scooter. Aprilia RS125 is suspended over 41 mm upside-down fork up front and a race-derived monoshock in the rear. Braking duties are administered by a 300 mm disc in the front with a four-piston radially mounted calliper. Besides that, the rear wheel gets a 218 mm disc.
Kawasaki Z125 – Naked hooliganism redefined
Naked Kawasaki motorcycles have always been a much-loved product the world over. The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer offers the Z125 as an accessible ride for first-time riders with a full-sized body. The unmistakable cues of the Z family are easily visible in the Kawasaki Z125.
Kawasaki Z125 is powered by a 125 cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valve, fuel-injected mill. Coupled to a 6-speed gearbox, the engine can produce 15 PS of power and 11.7 Nm of torque. Z125 is suspended on right side down 37 mm telescopic fork up front and a Uni-Trak monoshock in the rear. Brakes include a 290 mm disc in the front and 220 mm unit in the rear. Also, both discs have a dual-piston calliper. The motorcycle tips the scales at 146 kg and has a seat height of 815 mm. It features an all-digital instrument cluster with an orange backlight.
Above all, a more performance-oriented Kawasaki Z125 an Arrow-sourced exhaust, engine slider and pillion seat cover is also offered.
Honda Grom (Honda MSX 125) – Navi’s advanced cousin
Honda’s adventurous take on the monkey bike, the Honda Grom, has been often seen as the main inspiration behind Navi. This mini street naked motorcycle has edgy looks with several eye-catching colouring options. The lightweight body weighs just 101.7 kg and mated to those chunky wheels is a delight to flick around in day-to-day city traffic.
At the heart of the Honda Grom is a 124.9 cc fuel-injected, air-cooled, 2-valve, horizontally inclined mill. This engine develops 9.8 PS of power and 10.9 Nm of torque. The Grom is suspended over 31 mm upside-down fork up front and a monoshock in the rear. Brakes include a 220 mm disc in the front with ABS and a 190 mm unit in the rear.
The Honda Grom has an accessible seat height of 765 mm and can be a fun 125 cc premium motorcycle if launched in India. Also, it would not be wrong to say that the Grom packs the fun and easy rideability of Navi in a more premium package.
CFMoto Papio – Pocket-sized Chinese aggression
This mini bike is a true blue Honda Grom competitor. At 1,724 mm in length, the CFMoto Papio is even smaller than the Honda Grom (1,760 mm). Sharp cuts, funky alloy wheels and a fat 130 section rear tyre make this model a delight to look at.
The CFMoto Papio employs a 124.5 cc air-cooled, single-cylinder, fuel-injected mill. This engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox and can produce 9.52 PS of power and 8.3 Nm of torque. CFMoto claims that the Papio can produce high amounts of torque even at low rpm. This will allow the bike to accelerate faster, while the top speed is pegged at 90 km/h (claimed).
The CFMoto Papio is suspended on standard telescopic fork up front and a monoshock in the rear. It has a large 7-litre fuel tank and a kerb weight of 114 kg. Other main features include a disc brake at both ends and coloured digital instrumentation.