2021 Aprilia RS 125 and Tuono 125 First Look
Beginner bikes for Europe's A1 license tier, not likely to come to US
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 A1 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 brakes use metal-braided lines while a two-channel Bosch ABS is offered as standard equipment.
The front end has been refined to resemble the RS 660 and Tuono 660, including a similar all-LED lighting assembly that combines headlight, daytime run lights and turn signals. While this makes for a streamlined design,it would not pass NHTSA regulations, even if Aprilia wanted to bring the 125 models to the U.S. (the astute among you may have noticed Aprilia got around this by adding turn signal stalks to the Tuono 660 and by integrating the RS 660’s signals into the mirrors for U.S. models.)
The Tuono 125’s front fairing is more compact and tapered than the 2020 model, while still offering similar wind protection as the larger Tuono’s. the RS 660’s handlebars have been moved 0.7 inches higher for improved rider comfort. The RS 125 has a 32.3-inch saddle height while the Tuono 125’s seat is 31.9 inches from the ground.
Both 125 models have digital instrumentation with a choice of white or light blue backlighting. The display is compatible with Aprilia’s optional Bluetooth-enabled multimedia system. The curb weight of both models is a claimed 317 pounds.
Other features include a 3.8-gallon fuel tank and an underseat storage large enough to fit an 8″ tablet. A USB charging port is available as an add-on, as is an electronic quick shift.
The 2021 Aprilia Tuono 125 is available in Aprilia Black, Lightning White and Arrow Grey. The 2021 Aprilia RS 125 is offered in Aprilia Black and Sintesi Blue. Aprilia will also offer a GP Replica RS 125 with graphics inspired by the RS-GP MotoGP racer. The GP Replica will come standard with the quick shift and a passenger seat cover.
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More by Dennis Chung