There are a multitude of sportsbikes being offered in India, particularly over the last 5 years or so, with a motorcycle to suit every rider’s taste – and due the relatively high prices all these high-end superbikes demand, it makes most of them unaffordable for Indian bike enthusiasts. However, after Bajaj brought KTM to India, things gradually began changing over time, with the Austrian company offering everyday usability along with strong performance. In 2014, the partnership gave rise to the advent of two fully faired sportbikes, called the RC 200 and 390, both sharing engines from their Duke siblings. However, both these fully-faired bikes rode nothing like their naked siblings. The RC 200 and RC 390 use a steel trellis frame that improves stability when the bike is pushed to its limit. It features forward-mounted clip-on handle bars and rear-set foot pegs that give it an aggressive riding posture. If you were one of those just starting off with a motorcycle, the RC 390 and 200 were definitely not your cup of tea – for those who had the skills, these bikes have proved to be rewarding to ride, thanks to the sharp handling – and with its firm seating and a riding posture that requires the rider to lean forward, this is a typical sportsbike.
The RC twins proved to be quite stable at high speeds, even post 150kph, with the fairing deflecting wind well, allowing the bike to simply cut through breeze effortlessly. Even its fuel tank has been known to offer good thigh support; however, the turning radius needs some getting accustomed to. Up-front, the bike features 43mm upside-down WR front suspension and the bike comes with a sharper steering angle; it leans into corners effortlessly and simply darts out of them with poise. The bike’s radial Metzeler tyres have proved to be grippy on our roads, while it features hydraulic-fed disc brakes. The ABS unit is made by Bosch-KTM, ensuring no compromise on safety or performance. Both RC twins came equipped with mad engines and a very capable chassis. On top of that, a sharp-looking, fully-faired bike priced below ₹ 3 lakh meant this was a perfect option for someone with a decent amount of riding experience. In 2019, KTM Bikes launched a lower-capacity RC 125 for those who wanted the styling of its larger-capacity siblings but feared taking the step into riding a high-performance bike – and more importantly – might not have been able to afford the same. So we tell you all about KTM’s more accessible bike of the RC triplets.
It looks absolutely identical to its other RC twins, which is no bad thing since this is largely why this bike sells the way it does in our market. The looks are sharp and angular, and the colours are loud yet attractive. The RC is currently available in two colours: black and orange, and orange and white. Whichever colour you opt for, the KTM RC 125 does not fall short on its aggressive appeal; what it gets is an RC 125 font stickered across the fairing, giving it a sporty, track-focused-bike like look. There are also some mild tweaks on the India-spec model, one of them being the exhaust. Instead of the single-barrel side exhaust, it features an underbelly exhaust, which doesn’t ruin the symmetry of the motorcycle.
Time to play
The KTM RC 125 is powered by the same 124.7cc, single-cylinder engine found on the 125 Duke, meaning it doesn’t make too much power. In order to stay high up in the rev band, you’ll have to extract the most out of the engine. Once you’ve reached that point, you still feel like the bike doesn’t surge ahead willing, unlike the other RC twins. This is indeed a level down from what you’d expect on its larger-capacity siblings, but is not in any way, a slouch to ride. In a straight line, you can hit a top speed of 116kph, which is more than sufficient for someone just stepping into the fully-faired motorcycle scene – and it’s no doubt that it is because of all the bodywork and added components. The KTM RC 125 weighs more the 125 Duke. Power delivery is nothing great; neither is acceleration, but its decent performance matched by the slick, gradual power delivery make it a great bike for someone learning how to ride a motorcycle.
Now while the engine doesn’t scare you, the handling, on the other hand, will not cease to make you happy. The chassis and hardware are shared with the other RC bikes. Around corners, this bike loves leaning into corners seamlessly, staying glued to the tarmac while at it. While the other RCs are bags of laughs, we’d never recommend you get started on them, for they demand too much of your attention on the road. The 125 is equally fun to ride with very manageable performance. It is a bike that will prepare you for the bigger ones; it’ll help you hone your riding skills – and even if you do feel things getting a little out of control, the brakes and single-channel ABS are sure to keep you safe. So what you get is lesser speed, with braking performance just as good as the other two RCs. Thanks to KTM Bikes, you now have an RC you can afford and ride without fear. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming bikes, only at autoX.