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KTM RC 125 2020 Review - Prices, Specs, Variants, Features and Mileage

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Bike Reviews

By Tijo Tenson - Content Writer Jan 17 2020 Share this blog

KTM has been spreading its Orange fever rather quickly for a new-comer. This is due to the bold and “on-the-face” character which synchronises with our youngsters. The Austrian automaker has managed to make a name for itself for which Kawasaki had been trying for years! But this time around, KTM succeeded.

2020 KTM RC 125

KTM has been eyeing the entry-level performance segment since its entry in India. They thus gave us the much anticipated Duke 125. But something was still missing, something more aggressive, we suppose. This dilemma has been catered to with the all-new KTM RC 125, a motorcycle that looks and goes, unlike any other 125cc. 

It is priced at Rs. 1,48,750 in India and takes the fight directly to the segment dominated, Yamaha R15 V3 and even creeps into the higher segment against the Bajaj Pulsar RS200.

Pros

  • Impeccable fit and finish

  • Big-bike components

  • Precise and nimble handling

  • Adrenaline rush comes as a bonus

Cons

  • Too sober for a KTM

  • Pricey for a 125cc motorcycle

What’s New

  • New paint job and livery

How fierce is the 2020 KTM 125’s heart?

Does the 2020 KTM RC 125's performance live up to its brothers legacy?

KTMs have always been about outright performance and sheer pleasure. The RC 125 doesn’t disappoint us in that context. But this 125cc pot is unique as it is the most sober one of the whole line-up. We say this because the power delivery is linear which is not so KTMish.

2020 KTM RC 125 engine

But that is a sensible initiative as we don’t want newbies having access to uncontrollable performance. The engine is of high revving nature and you need to build up revs to squeeze out power off it. Liquid-cooling makes sure that you have access to the thrill without any loss. 

Motorcycle

KTM RC 125

Bajaj Pulsar RS200

Yamaha R15 V3(BS6)

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs.1,48,750

Rs.1,41,933

Rs. 1,45,900

Engine 

124.71cc Liquid Cooled Single Cylinder Engine

199.5cc Liquid Cooled Single Cylinder Triple Spark Engine

155cc Liquid-Cooled SOHC Single Cylinder Engine

Power 

14.75 bhp

@ 9250 RPM

24.16 bhp

@ 9750 RPM

18.34 bhp

@ 10000 RPM

Torque

12 Nm

@ 8000 RPM

18.6 Nm

@ 8000 RPM

14.1 Nm

@ 8500 RPM

The performance figures are not so class-leading but the RC 125 rarely makes you feel this as it compensates for it in terms of sheer riding pleasure. Yamaha surely has learnt from its long stay and thus provides a much more powerful proposition.


How awestruck will you be with the RC 125’s acceleration?

The RC 125 will surely take you by surprise here as the acceleration makes you forget that the heart is a mere 125cc one. Now, if you compare it to its big brothers, you might feel the drag but then again you cannot unsee the extra weight it carries as compared to its naked iteration.

2020 KTM RC 125 Acceleration

You won’t feel that sudden surge which KTMs are known for but will be satisfied with the linear curve it has. Rarely do we see motorcycles that have the same displacement and top speed figures!

Motorcycle

KTM RC 125

Bajaj Pulsar RS200

Yamaha R15 V3(BS6)

Transmission

6-Speed

6-Speed

6-Speed

0-100 kmph

18.24 s

9.19 s

11.42 s

Top Speed(kmph)

125

140.8

136

The slick 6-Speed gearbox will keep you occupied and thus result in an engaging experience. 100 kmph comes up slow but gives the fact that it's a puny 125cc motor, it is praise-worthy. The competition is quicker to the 100-mark but that is due to larger engines and more power.


Are the Bybre brakes bitey?

.Bybre has taken care of braking on the RC 125 and you will be more than content with it. As the brakes are taken directly from the RC 200, it does its job without breaking a sweat. The levers are well-modulated and feedback is spot on.

2020 KTM RC 125 Single-Channel ABS

It is equipped with a single-channel ABS unit, but a dual-channel ABS unit would have made this deal even sweeter. That doesn’t make this system any less efficient as the ABS kicks in precisely when needed.

Motorcycle

KTM RC 125

Bajaj Pulsar RS200

Yamaha R15 V3(BS6)

Front / Rear

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Front Rotor Size(mm)

300

300

282

Rear Rotor Size(mm)

230

230

220

80-0 kmph

35.83

N/A

34.15

ABS (Single or Dual Channel)

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

Dual-Channel

The lighter engine and lesser aggression helps in bringing the motorcycle to halt much quicker than anticipated and this also instils confidence. Kerb weight despite being on the higher side is nullified by the strong bite of bybre brakes.


How efficient is the energetic engine in RC 125?

The sober nature of this engine helps it achieve a higher state of efficiency which is soothing. The mileage is impressive for the performance this motorcycle provides. KTM uses lighter internals to maximize performance without sacrificing efficiency.

Lost in all of these futuristic styling cues is a small fuel tank which would also require constant refills even for urban rides. It is not the most range-friendly motorcycle out there, but that it compensates with impressive riding character.

Motorcycle

KTM RC 125

Bajaj Pulsar RS200

Yamaha R15 V3(BS6)

City(kmpl)

44.95

32.20

48.75

Highway(kmpl)

45.86

37.80

47.91

Overall(kmpl)

42.0

35.0

45.0

Fuel Capacity(Litres)

10

13

11

Frankly, efficiency will not be on top of the priority list as the person who owns one of these would want to have fun behind the handle rather than worrying of the fuel consumption, but it balances!  

How good is the Handling and Comfort on KTM RC 125?

Handling is as sharp as a scalpel on this motorcycle. It feels at home at the racetrack where it can take the perfect lines through corners. The trellis frame is what gives you confidence at corners. The suspension is well-tuned for both ends and you will find it sufficient for the roads as well.

2020 KTM RC 125 handling

Comfort is not something that comes in this package. A performance machine will test your limits and the RC 125 surely does that. The low slung clip-on handlebar and rear-mounted foot pegs give you the perfect stance to tackle this machine’s racing character.

Motorcycle

KTM RC 125

Bajaj Pulsar RS200

Yamaha R15 V3(BS6)

Chassis 

Steel Trellis

Perimeter

Deltabox

Tyre-Wheel Size(Front)

110/70-17

100/80-17

100/80-17

Tyre-Wheel Size(Rear)

150/60-17

130/70-17

140/70-17

Front Suspension

WP upside-down forks

Telescopic Forks with anti-friction bush

Telescopic Forks

Rear Suspension

WP monoshock

Nitrox mono-shock with canister

Monocross link Suspension

The rear tyre is wider than the competition and this gives you that extra confidence needed to lean into corners. WP suspension on both ends take care of stability and imperfections.

Motorcycle

KTM RC 125

Bajaj Pulsar RS200

Yamaha R15 V3(BS6)

Seat height(mm)

835

800

815

Ground Clearance (mm)

178.5

157

170

Kerb Weight(kg)

154.2

164

142

Starting System

Self

Self

Self

Despite being a race bike for the road, seating is on the higher side but that doesn’t pose an issue as once you are on this machine, we are sure that you wouldn't’ want to stop! Kerb weight is on the higher side for a “mere” 125cc machine but you will surely be amazed with how it carries that extra weight with ease. 

How sharp does the 2020 KTM RC 125 look?

You won’t be able to differentiate the RC 125 from its elders as setup is the same. It uses the same trellis frame, same body panels and the same swingarm. The only way you can differentiate from its elders is by that large decal on its cowling which shouts”125”.

2020 KTM RC 125 cowling

The RC 125 is available in two colours and a third colour is slated to join in soon. As of now, it's either the sober white and black or the loud black and orange. The sharp body language is reminiscent of what you are about to experience on this KTM.

2020 KTM RC 125 new colour

Aesthetic Features

  • Exposed trellis frame

  • Dual projector headlamps

  • Concealed pillion seat

  • Wind visor

  • Underbelly exhaust system

Motorcycle

KTM RC 125

Bajaj Pulsar RS200

Yamaha R15 V3(BS6)

Length (mm)

1977

1999

1990

Width (mm)

688

765

725

Height(mm)

1098

1114

1135

Wheelbase(mm)

1341

1345

1325

The Indian iteration is slightly different from the international one as we don’t get the side slung barrel exhaust. Instead, we get the cleanly hidden underbelly exhaust that adds to the sleek design language. You will have a hard time finding such a sharp-looking 125cc motorcycle.

What are the various safety and class-leading features in 2020 RC 125?

KTM has overcompensated this cute monster with components from the more powerful RC 200. This enables the motorcycle to perform much better as there is less load now. The single-channel ABS does its work without a hiccup but a Dual-Channel would have been preferred as its just the engine that has been downsized.

2020 KTM RC 125 instrument cluster

Trellis frame for a 125cc motorcycle, that was a dream until now and you also get a multi-informative quirky LCD instrument cluster that shows more information than you can fathom. 

Motorcycle

KTM RC 125

Bajaj Pulsar RS200

Yamaha R15 V3(BS6)

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs.1,48,750

Rs.1,41,933

Rs. 1,45,900

Features

Cast alloy wheels

Twin-Projector Headlamps

Variable Valve Actuation


Brembo-developed brakes

Perimeter frame

Assist and Slipper Clutch


Windshield

Clear LED tail lamp

Aluminum Swingarm


Projector headlamp

Midship exhaust

Side-stand Engine cut-off

The RC 125 sharing components with its elders have given it a premium outlook. The price will now start to make sense as we are sure that you won’t see another precisely equipped entry-level motorcycle for under Rs. 1.5 lakhs, all but except one!

How does the Competition stack up against 2020 KTM RC 125?

KTM RC 125 vs Bajaj Pulsar RS200

2020 Bajaj Pulsar RS200

It has become a common sight to compare KTMs with a segment above. It is because of the insane price to performance proposition it offers. The Pulsar RS200 is one such case and we are not so surprised to say that the Austrian is a much better motorcycle in terms of performance, riding dynamics and component quality. The one factor that might have you scratching heads is the puny 125cc pot which, oh we assure, will not be so puny after you have a ride on it! KTM has painted us here with its ORANGE.


KTM RC 125 vs Yamaha R15 V3

2020 Yamaha R15 V3

The only worthy contender to RC 125 is this Japanese which has been around for some time now and managed to create this same vibe back in 2008 for the 150cc segment. Yamaha R15 has been the reason for a lot of smiles and wows. But now KTM threads that same road with the same strategy, but a notch below. Automakers are defying convention with their offerings as 125cc motorcycles were once used to buy groceries. But now, you race it on tracks and well, get groceries quicker also! KTM has made its point clear here as well.

How does KTM RC 125 make performance more accessible?

KTM has yet again managed to shock us with its offering and show us that displacement is just numbers. The sober engine character, precise handling and top-notch quality in an affordable package will surely be a reason to rejoice for a lot of new-comers into motorcycling. But if 125cc and the pricing doesn’t tally much for then we still have the potent Yamaha R15 V3 which offers a similar experience but without the orange fever.