By Dennis Chung
Aprilia has updated its RS 125 and Tuono 125 for 2021, making them Euro 5-complaint and tweaking the styling of the entry-level street bikes to resemble their respective 660 models. The two 125 models are designed to serve beginners with Europe’s A2 license, which unfortunately also means they are unlikely to be imported to the U.S.
To meet Euro 5, the 124.2cc liquid-cooled four-valve DOHC Single has been revamped with a new cylinder head that uses new intake and exhaust ducts, a new iridium spark plug and a reshaped combustion chamber. The entire intake line was redesigned and the throttle body was moved to a higher position for a more direct air flow. The exhaust system was also updated and now uses a more efficient catalyst.
A new Marelli MIUG4 ECU offers more refined engine management, with Aprilia claiming improved fuel economy and a more robust torque curve that peaks 8.3 lb-ft at 8000 rpm. The maximum horsepower of 14.8 hp (11 kW) is the limit to remain A2-eligible, but it now arrives at 10000 rpm instead of the previous 10750 rpm. For 2021, Aprilia replaced the previous 60-tooth rear sprocket with a 58-tooth sprocket, claiming more responsive performance and easier handling in urban environments.
The engine is mounted to a perimeter frame with die-cast aluminum spars with crossed reinforced ribs. The 40mm inverted fork offers 4.3 inches of front wheel travel. The rear wheel is mounted to an asymmetrical swingarm with a monoshock offering 4.7 inches of travel. Michelin supplies the stock tires, with a 100/80-17″ up front and a 140/70-17″ at the back (the 2020 model used a 130 mm rear tire).
The braking system consists of a four-piston radial-mount caliper with a 300mm disc up front and a single-piston caliper with 218mm disc at the back. Both …read more