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Having passed my CBT on a Yamaha 125cc old touring style bike, I was fortunate that my friend was selling his Aprilia RS125 Extrema. This bike in true Italian pedigree looks the mutts, a mixture of jet black, a lot of eye catching devilish red with hints of the frames aluminium alloy make up the chassis, leaving black alloy wheels with fat racing tyres to move the bike that are controlled by huge metallic brake discs which make up this hot racer. This builds upon Aprilias’ RS124 reputation as the fastest 125cc bike and is known to keep up with some 250cc racers, which gives this bike a lot of respect. My dials are white and are in kilometres per hour and the odometer/trip meter in kilometres so you will have to remember the conversion to keep within the law. The bike I ride is also derestricted letting the revs wind up all the way to the max, and to be seen you will have to cover the blinding flash from left hand front light to make it road legal
You will find that this bike is hard to wheelie as it is weighted to stick to the road and simply does not have enough power to pull a power wheelie. I find it is amazingly quick compared to the bike I did my CBT on, but due to the bike being a racer its uncomfortable for riding for a long time as being positioned crouched over all your weight is forced through your arms to reduce drag.
As it is a 2-stroke engine it will be very smokey when first started. The choke only needs to be on for 20 seconds maximum, after that it isn’t really needed. When first starting up from a cold start or overnight do not give the bike throttle as this will just flood the engine and will make it really difficult to start up.
I find using first gear a struggle I always seem to either stall it, or produce a wheel spin this is because being a 2-stroke engine you have to give the bike a lot more beans to get it going and I have not found that balance yet between the throttle and clutch. Maybe I just need to adjust the clutch cable to give myself a little more give.
Being Italian it’s a little more tuneful that most other bikes and people will definitely notice you on it. Being in red leathers and fully kitted out, I always get checked out by smiling women, and most of the time get a nod from other bikers and seeing that I am on L-plates I cant complain as I love this gentlemanly sporting gesture that splits riding bikes from driving cars.
So far I have pushed the bike up to 85MPH in 5th Gear and this is a 6-speed bike, but with a crosswind it is scary for a learner for the first few times and will take a lot longer to get to the ton mark. The acceleration is much quicker than my Citroen Saxo VTR, and the push only seems to start to happen at the critical 8,000 revs mark while petering out at around 12,000 revs. This means you will pull away from most cars including Golf GTI’s, however a little race with a Caterham 7 left me for dust. This bike will hold the road, when you’re a learner it is overcoming the fear of leaning over to get around a bend rather than steer around it. Also not to do silly mistakes like applying the front brake on a bend to slow down as this will just pull you over to the central reservation and worse slide over you over onto your arse. However on braking you will feel safer as you have a massive brake disc on the front, and a brake disc on the back and compared to other 125ccs’ your stopping distance is much shorter but be careful you do not want to over apply the front brake and leave yourself flying through the air arse over tit.
Under the seat you will find a set of tools to make emergency adjustments to the bike and a set of Allen keys to get to the battery and spark plug. Also residing under the seat is the oil tank, I would just use fully synthetic 2-stroke oil for this racer. As the bike gets older, mine needed WD40 sprayed onto the fuel tap to turn on/off the fuel as this seizes up through the winter months or if not used for a long time, forcing it will just break the aluminium tap.
Cost of ownership is low my insurance was around £290 for a first time rider aged 23 for third party fire and theft premium available from the cheapest broker whom was www.mitch.co.uk. Road Tax is £15 a year, and filling up will cost around £7.50 for a full tank. I am always pushing the bike and this means I will get around 200 Kilometres per tank. The bike will flash a fuel warning light when you are getting low, this means there is around £3 left of fuel and this bike does not have a reserve tank to switch over to, so best to fill up otherwise if your not careful your walking home. There is also a warning light for oil and as this is a 2-stroke bike it is very advisable to top the oil up as soon as possible as this is mixed directly with the petrol. If you don’t at best the bike will stop at worst your engine will cease to work anymore and cost a small fortune to fix.
This bike is so much fun and will prepare you for the big bikes and for a small engine bike it has an ambitious big heart. .