KTM 125 E/XC Review
To begin with, everybody has this thought lingering on their mind on whether they should really be riding a 125cc let alone buying one. There’re so many valid reasons for actually going for one. For example, jockey-weight riders would really enjoy biking on a KTM125 E/XC, but riders weighing a bit more are always in a catch22 situation, but nevertheless it’s just the grip one rider gets and not the exactly the weight on the bike.
For a starter, we’re talking of cheap bikes here compared to the bigger bikes, though factory costs are the same when they make either a 125 or a 620. The KTM125 E/XC would cost just under $1000 deficit than the KTM250. The only difference would be lesser displacement, but the features still remain the same to those in the bigger bikes.
As stressed earlier, the 125 E/XC is lighter compared to open bikes or a 250 rather. The KTM125 E/XC is 20 pounds lesser in weight than the 360, 300 or 250. Riders often ponder if this 20-pound difference would really matter. Yes, it certainly does when we need to pull off from certain situations, but realization is only through first-hand experience, probably one realizes when riding a bigger displacement bike for the outcome is pretty evident. It’s a shocking misconception when we argue about the power of these bikes and the heavy midrange power it offers and casts aside the notion of powerless feeling; however, riding one such 125cc would cast off any further doubts.
It’s easier to start the KTM125 with the exception of a short kick start lever that’s not much of a disaster. A soft kick should be sufficient enough to ignite the 125 that nods as if it’s been taken all day long for a long, pitchy ride or a dusty off-road map. Noticeable is the fact that there’s plenty of power available once the engine is pretty warm. Keeping aside the thought that it isn’t a bigger displacement bike, there’s actually no need to get excited when it comes to revving hard or clutch slipping as the bike moves along pretty well with the easiest of clutch releases. The excellent bottom end does ease things up and converts to a smooth midrange power that pulls the bike quite effectively. Halfway through the revs, gears could be shifted up for moderate speed.
The joy of experiencing this KTM comes on the terrain one chooses. For example, if chosen to ride on a ‘level-headed’ ground, the bike behaves just as desired or perhaps taking the bike out on a moony trip for a blues-headed feel, either way the 125 tugs pretty well. If decided to take a break from cool-headed rides to some fast revving and spinning, it surprisingly does that job pretty well too. Pinning the throttle is way too much fun when reaching optimum revs and changing gears when the bike does demand so.
While embarking on a lot of twists, it takes some experience to handle the 125s, though there’s always the dependable low-end power. Shifting the gears down might help controlling the bike when compared to the bigger displacements while speeding downhill through a corner, but having said that, the lighter weight of the bike certainly helps. The shock absorbers of the 125s are stunning and a lot of credit should go to the engineers and designers with the rear shocks now having excellent damping capacities. It does depict the hard work of long-term testing.
The 125 is definitely smaller when compared to the 250cc with smaller frames, though the seat height is commandingly higher than the 250s that gives a raw feeling to sit higher with adequate spacing between the seats and the wide handlebars thus allowing a comfortable feel when it comes to the footpegs and seating distances. The chassis’ chromoly steel and the rear chassis’ aluminum.
To that end, the bike offers the feel required when ripping past through woody tracks, and once a rider gets a proper feel on the power though through a lot of gearshifts, there can’t be a better promise made given the light weight of the bike and the fun it offers.
It’s all decision making time now if one really wants to go for a 125 rather than settling for a bigger bike. The bike is so much fun to ride with stunning suspensions, handling way too good and an uncompromising engine.
- Engine: Two-stroke, liquid-cooled
- Displacement: 124.8cc
- Bore-Stroke: 54.25 X 54mm
- Transmission: 6-speed WR
- Chain: Regina o-ring
- Gearing: 13/48
- Fuel tank capacity: 9 liters
- Ignition: Digital CDI 130w lighting
- Carburetor: Dell’Orto 37mm flat-slide
- Forks: Marzocchi Magnum 45
- Suspension Travel: 345mm
- Rear Suspension: Ohlins Type 3A
- Suspension Travel: 300mm
- Brake (front): Hydraulic disc
- Brake (rear): Hydraulic disc
- Tire (front): Michelin MP11 90/90X21
- Tire (rear): Michelin MP11 120/90X18
- Wheelbase: 1430mm
- Seat Height: 949mm
- Ground Clearance: 381mm
- Dry weight (claimed): 208.3 lbs.
- Retail Price: $4548