The folks in Noale have a video out now (watch it after the jump), promoting the 2011 Aprilia RS4 125 – the four-stroke 125cc street bike that is a spitting image of the Aprilia RSV4 superbike. With 16hp coming out of that tiny single-cylinder motor and cool styling from its larger sibling, the Aprilia RS4 125 seems like the perfect beginner bike for some teenager in Europe, but we have our reservations about how the bike will sell here in the United States. A classic example of how ideas don’t always carryover, Aprilia seems hellbent on bringing this 125cc bike to a market that demands twice that displacement for practical street bikes.

If the argument is that the RS4 125, with its low power figure, is safer and thus better suited for new riders, then why are the RS4 125’s track/race features being promoted? If this is an aspirational sale, who does Aprilia think it is selling this bike to? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the 16-year-old kid. If this is a track bike for young racers, then why conform to the European power specs, and in what popular racing class is it going to compete? Here in California (the largest motorcycle market in the United States) a motorcycle must have 250cc’s in order to operate on the highway legally, so what adult is going to buy this around town motorcycle with that limitation in place?

It’s questions like these that have us trying to understand exactly what Aprilia is thinking with this model being brought over to the USA (at least with the RS125 you could make a track bike argument for the two-stroke machine). Don’t get us wrong, the Aprilia RS4 125 is a sharp looking bike, and it will be all the rage in places like Italy and Spain where there is an actual market for these machines. For the same reason that the KTM 125 Duke isn’t coming to the US, Aprilia should take a hard look at how the American motorcycle market is different from Europe, and what different features and uses we demand from our two-wheeled vehicles. Selling a 125cc bike against something like the Honda CBR250R just isn’t going to work guys. Good video though.

Video: SoloMoto30

  • BikePilot

    Well its more practical and probably faster (in terms of cruise speed at least) than the RS50. I don’t know how well the RS50 sold, but on the used market they are still fairly expensive, suggesting that there’s some demand.

  • JJ – moto addict

    Why not a 400 cc bike?

  • Brij

    Whether it will sell in the US or not! You have to commend Aprilia for not fitting their 250 and 125cc bikes with cheap downgraded parts, unlike the other metric sports bikes! the person buying the 125 still gets USD forks and other premium components, which doesnt make the buyer feel like he is being robbed!

  • gildas

    Because it would be intelligent and there are laws against that.

  • Even 250cc is just too small. I’ve owned a Ninja 500 and DRZ400SM. I think JJ is right – a 400cc twin would be nice and give about 40hp.

  • doug

    I think it will outsell the lackluster CBR250 (which shouldn’t be under the CBR badge) and the Ninja 250.

    I’m a 205# guy and I will probably buy one and enjoy the hell out of it. Sure, I have other, larger 4 strokes and a RS250, but this thing will be a hoot and the cool factor is light years ahead of the Asian brands. :thumbsup: to Aprilia. I dig it!

  • Johndo

    I’d be curious to see what it sounds like…

  • Prich

    I have a lot of bikes, including an R1 that puts out about 205bhp. The point is I’d still have this bike. it’s not always about power. Any everyday rider can ride a 1,000cc bike because it gives you the power to make up for poor riding skills. Take this to a track day and it will show you exactly what you’re made of. A poor rider will be getting blasted by bigger bikes. An accomplished rider will be dancing through the traffic in the corners.

    New superbikes are a lot of fun. I’ve ridden the RS4 a few times and on my very best day, I’m using 60% of what that bike can offer. On this – I’m max biagi. You can only learn to truly ride a fast bike after you’ve mastered a slower one. This is the bike that will improve your skills more than you know.

  • @Doug Is the VTR 250 sold in USA? It’s not faired, but it’s better than that Moto3 new CBR250

  • Johndo

    I think 16HP can be dangerous on the streets when you need to get out of trouble fast. I think 250cc is the magic number for this kind of bike.

  • BikePilot

    250cc thumpers found in street legal bikes have typically been <20hp. I wouldn't be too focused on cc, rather hp/weight will matter more when it comes to getting out of the way. It'll certainly move along better than most scooters and there's a ton of them scurrying about.

  • MikeD

    I couldn’t justify it if i can’t use it on the H-way sometimes (here the H-way flows at 70-80mph and then u need more steam in reserve to be able to pass and fend off distracted drivers) I can’t see a 125 doing so decently any time soon unless it weights 100lbs .
    A shame really, all the good stuff is already there, from that stout looking spar frame to the big front brake to the USD Forks to the RSV4 Styling…u mention it.
    Let’s see how it does and hope Aprilia get’s the Hint and don’t drop this model before it’s time and installs a 250cc or bigger engine on it.
    Im in love with it but i can’t justify the $$$ Aprilia thinks is worth and get pass the fact that is “only” 125cc.
    Maybe i would pick a used one.

  • ting tong

    this bike is made for rich men who doesnt know what to do with their money…

  • 16HP, my riding lawn mower has more power than that… what the hell are these ppl thinking any way??

  • mamak kerala

    this bike actually Derbi GPR…different only at the coverset which look like his brother RSV4… nothing special about this bike..better get new one Cagiva SPS525…ore valuable for ur money

  • mxs

    Fantastic, it was about time …… the the writer, pls stop doing disservice to the people who are interested in such a bike and were actually waiting for a long time.

    It’s hilarious to read how some people think that ” a bike with 16HP can be unsafe be in a traffic ….” LOL hilarious. I guess it’s truly hard to not fall into the “the bigger the better”, right?

    Good on you Aprilia.

    ps: To the editor, don’t bother looking in Europe, pls have a look much closer to the north of the border to see how “badly” CBR125 did, which US so wisely passed on as well …. Your article would be one of the reasons why perhaps we don’t get some of the smaller cc cool bikes Europe and rest of the world gets. I’d have to credit you though for the fact that we have 15 different +600cc bikes and probably another 20 plus +1000cc bikes ….. yeah thanks a lot for understanding our needs. I will let you know how my KTM125 Duke does ….

  • MikeD

    MXS: If it works for u….THAT’S GREAT! U must live in the middle of nowhere with little to no traffic.

    All i have to say is, come down to Miami, FL and put your Money where ur Mouth is trying to overtake someone during rush hour on the Palmetto….with your “16HP more than enough” motorcycle…and don’t forget…SouthFlorida have the best drivers in the US or at least on the TOP 5. The best as in trying to kill and run u off the road.

    U and your lawn mower powered bike will look PRETTY as the HOOD/BUMPER ORNAMENT of a Silverado, F150, U mention it…….LMAO.

  • Dustin

    I think this is a great bike and will be a welcome addition to the current small-bike lineup out here in Canada. Unlike the US, we’ve had the 13HP Honda CBR125R since 2007 and I’d say it has sold quite well with Honda’s new rider package.

    I had my reservations on riding such a small bike but because I’m not interested in being a keyboard cowboy, I went out and bought one on the used market for $1600 CAD and rode it around BC for about 3 weeks, covering about 2500km of highways in Northern BC one emergency rescue of some stranded friends in Seattle (via the I5) & one trackday. The fact is, one needs to understand the limitations of having 13hp and although I managed to maintain 60mph on the I5 80% of the time, a superslab highway is no place for a 125cc 4-stroke unless you have no other choice.

    My CBR125R was a FANTASTIC bike, a blast to ride and a great tool for teaching proper riding technique and how to manage yourself safely in traffic to avoid becoming a ‘HOOD/BUMPER ORNAMENT’. Frankly, that kind of attitude really highlights the kind of unskilled riders there are out there and the funniest part is that they’re the ones who always play themselves as the victim on the roadways

    I ended up selling the bike after a month because I was leaving the workforce and going back to school and didn’t need to have two bikes insured at the same time; but have been considering picking up another 125 just for fun–they are a blast. This Aprilia looks fantastic and all the extra tech. they’ve crammed into it would make it a lot of fun.

  • JawDroppin

    Why on earth would Aprilia even bother with a 125cc if it is going to be 4 stroke… :S I just don’t get it… If it were 2 stroke – different story… 4 stroke – forget it, although it does look better than the Honda CBR125R

    JD ;)

  • MikeD

    Dustin:… I don’t ride a lawn mower(no NASA calculations to overtake or pass), i just pick an exit line and give it gas, I don’t even down shift…not thanks to 125cc but 996cc…if anything i’ll become a TAILGATE/TRUNK BLUE/BLACK ORNAMENT. Natural Selection will take care if anything. Be THE BETTER RIDER…who gives a ^&*% about anyone’s skills? Not me. That’s who.

    AS I SAID, W/e works for the people…it can’t be wrong(for them anyways) IF 125cc tickles ur pickle is all good. (^_^ ) Be again a lawn-mower Cow-Boy.
    Hope it’ll sell good on Canada and u AND many others get it.

    The U.S.A ? I’ll have my pop corn , paper and pencil ready to take notes and see the outcome. Maybe Aprilia will come to it senses soon enough and make a 250 version for the U.S Market, maybe they’ll drop it from it U.S. model lineup faster than steaming Horse Poop. Let’s wait and see.

    Canada and the U.S are just too different markets. Live with it…I DO.

  • Nice video. Great music by Skunk Anansie. I’d buy a 16hp 125 if the price was right. The 250 class would be better admittedly, but I think I’d have some pretty good fun zipping in and out of traffic here in southern California. I’m guessing we got some pretty good traffic down here too, Miami aint nothing special. I grew up on 12hp 125s in London and I got plenty of grins. Sometimes the 160hp on my TL1000 is just more than I need. Freeways are for wankers anyway, the real fun is on the streets. If I could get one of these used for about $2000 I’d be up for it. But yeah, the Ninja 250 still owns the sweet spot for fun cheap small light economical toy bikes.

    Regarding the 400cc comments….it makes me mad we dont see more of these. This is the perfect toy bike I think. Small like a 250 but with 50 horse, that would be tight.

    And MikeD you talk alot of sh*t man. Look out for those F150s bro. Karma has a funny way of taking care of bizness

  • MikeD

    Adam: 160HP on a TL ? And then u fell off your bed or the crack buzz went away ?

    U SURE do talk a LOT MORE shiznit than i do, Wanker BRO. Go ride a lawn-mower, please. Ur soiling that TL, Ur rear ain’t fit for it but 2wheeled lawn-mowers. Aprilia needs your $$$.

    P.S: Karma was a chic…and i %^* with her a long time ago. Sock it to me.

  • Yup

    well, i own an RSV4 and would welcome a smaller displacement bike to ride off-track (anyone that owns or has ridden as RSV4 will understand this) i was very excited to hear about the new CBR250 coming to the states and even more excited when i heard Aprilia would be releasing a small displacement bike as well. however, i do feel that a 250 would be the smallest you would really want to deal with on SoCal streets. i’ve been to Thailand where a 250 is a monster-sized bike and the 125 is great there but i’d have to say “no go” for the US. i would love to get one as a companion to my RSV4 but will probably hold out to see if they dump a 250 in it on the next run. the lack of power could also be addressed with gearing too. i’ll definately see about a test ride before i drop on the CBR250.

  • Bob

    I think this is an awesome bike but i think bringing the 125cc learner legal version here is a mistake. As MANY people have said, this bike would be MUCH better with a 250cc engine. It would weigh A LOT less than the ninja 250 or cbr250, handle better and look better. I think with a 250, aprilia could really steal a lot of business from kawasaki and honda, even with a higher price tag. It would easily be the best 250 available.

    Contrary to popular belief, a lot of people would buy a lightweight, sporty, small displacement bike. This bike has all these things and looks great too, but this type of bike needs to be a 250.

    APRILIA, BRING THIS BIKE TO NORTH AMERICA AS A 250!!! And you will have a winner!


    i love how the first picture is the new rs50 2 stroke minarelli engined bike not the 125