KTM RC 125
KTM RC 125

Since the arrival of KTM 125 Duke in India, it was only a matter of time the Austrian automaker’s fully-faired sibling to show up. For an expensive 125cc single-cylinder offering, the KTM 125 Duke has been well accepted in the Indian market. That said, the 125 Duke isn’t your typical commuter. As a matter of fact, the wider tyres, trellis frame and the upside-down forks suggest that.

So, in a bid to expand the 125 range further, KTM has now brought in the RC125 to the Indian soil. We are at Bajaj’s test track in Chakan to find out if it possesses the same madness of its bigger siblings. And more importantly, how does it fare against the price? Find out in our KTM RC 125 review.

But it looks the same!

To an untrained eye, yes, the RC 125 is exactly identical to the bigger RC 200 and RC 390. In fact, the only noticeable difference lies in the graphics and the RC125 badging on the fairing. Now, considering the design is now at least half-a-decade old, KTM has managed to spruce it up by offering new glossy graphics.

Speaking of the design, it’s the same twin projector headlamps setup, a black beak on the face and multi-spoke alloy wheels – finished in a snazzy orange shade, chiselled fuel tank, short windscreen, clip-on handlebar and an integrated pillion seat that is reminiscent of its bigger siblings.

Now, just like a typical RC, the seating posture of the RC125 is rather sporty. The clip-on handlebar, low-slung seat and rear-set footpegs give it an aggressive riding stance. In that case, riding on a track is extremely sumptuous, however, city riding can be a tad bit uncomfortable. And while the pillion seat looks splendid, it is too high-set to hop on to.

KTM RC 125

Cut from the same cloth!

The KTM RC 125 comes powered with the same 124.7cc single-cylinder unit that propels in the 125 Duke. The engine is capable of churning out 14.3bhp and 12Nm of torque, identical to its naked sibling. Interestingly, the power and torque figures are close to the 160cc offerings on sale.

Initially, the sports bike feels a little sluggish towards the bottom and lower end of the rev band. It’s only when you shoot up the revolutions past 7,000rpm mark that engine begins to feel punchy. It continues to rocket-ahead up until 10,000rpm – at which point the vibes start to infiltrate the scene.

Overall, the performance is extremely mind-boggling and the bike feels stress-free and planted at about 90km/h. Past that, we were managed to clock the speedometer up till 122km/h on the straights. The engine comes mated to a slick-shifting six-speed transmission. The tight-packed ratios ensure that you can slot it in its top cog even at sub-lower speeds.

KTM RC 125

More features

KTM has made no compromises when it comes to the components. You see, the RC 125 gets a trellis frame, rear-monoshock and upside-down forks – reminiscent to its bigger siblings. Out on the track, in our KTM RC 125 review, we loved how the baby KTM felt agile and handled like a complete maniac. The sporty riding posture adds weight to the front end, which in turn makes attacking corners a breeze and fun to play with. Now, the Bajaj’s test track wasn’t the right place to judge the bike’s ride quality, but given the sporty position of the baby KTM, we expect it to be stiffer in real world provisions.

The RC 125 is a heavy motorcycle, and KTM has managed to balance the bulk in a rather impressive manner. But in my opinion, KTM could have employed some weight-saving measures, in the interest of better performance. As expected from a KTM, the braking hardware works fantastically well. There is a 300mm disc at the front and a 230mm disc at the rear. And even though KTM could have done with CBS as a mandate to the RC 125, they decidedly opted for a single-channel ABS unit. But then again, a CBS unit wouldn’t have rationalized the price of the baby KTM. Now, while the brakes offer sufficient bite, there’s a fair bit of travel before you come to a halt. As ironic as it sounds, better braking could have made RC 125 faster on the track.


At a hefty 1.47lakh (ex-showroom, pan India) the KTM RC 125 is a rather expensive offering. And when you factor in the fact that it comes laden with the same equipment as its naked sibling, which is again cheaper by Rs.17,000, things start to get difficult for the baby KTM. In fact, at the said price, you can also opt for the performance-oriented Yamaha YZF-R15.

So, should you opt for the KTM? Well, it might not offer the best value-for-money proposition, but if you want to hone your skills on a motorcycle for the inception of your riding life, this is the one! To read our full KTM RC 125 review, be sure to visit us at autoX.

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