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For years the Aprilia RS 125 dominated the sports, geared 125cc market. It’s high revving 2 stroke engine with claimed top speeds of over 100mph just could not be beaten.

With 2 stroke engines being phased out and new EU emissions laws coming out all the time, Aprilia are desperately trying to hold on to the best 125 sports bike title. Honda had their NSR 125 2 stroke sports bike, which stopped production in 2002, Yamaha had the TZR 125 which stopped production in 1997! Their 4 stroke equivalents didn’t come out for a number of years after. Honda were the first, releasing the CBR125-R in 2004, which was styled like the CBR 600F. However Honda made no attempt at making this a true sports 125 bike, with “Biscuit thin wheels” and an engine that wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding the CBR failed to impress.

The RS3 produces fractionally more horsepower and couple of MPH on the top end speed… better overall performance than the YZF.

Yamaha, learning from Honda’s mistakes, then released the YZF-R 125 in 2008. Styled much like it’s bigger, older brothers, the YZF-R6 and YZF-R1 (thanks to Valentino Rossi, possibly the most popular sports bikes in the world), the R125 is a real head turner. Inevitably this new 4 stroke engine wouldn’t easily be kicking out the same power and speeds as the older 2 stroke engines, these however are a thing of the past now with the 2 stroke RS125 being phased and replaced by a 4 stroke version!. Instantly becoming more popular than it’s rival, the CBR, it would seem Yamaha finally have the market cornered and the only viable option is the YZFR-125..

But wait, whats that coming over the hill? YAMAHA engined, Spanish built Rieju (pronounced Ray-hu). Rieju, who? I hear you say? A Spanish company who have been around since 1934, gained a reputation in the 80’s enduro competitions and with a very respectable, possibly the best range of 2 wheeled 125’s now available. In 2011 they released the RS3 125 running the same engine as the YZF-R125. Not a copy of the engine, an actual Yamaha engine. There are a few minor differences which are explained below.

Yamaha YZFR-125 and Rieju RS3 125

Engine

Both these motorcycles use the same 4 Valve, SOHC, Liquid cooled, 4Stroke 125 cc Engine.

The YZF uses Electronic Fuel Injection whereas the RS3 Uses a carburettor. Which is better? Both have pluses and minuses however I feel the carburettor comes out on top for 2 quite major reasons: 1. It’s significantly easier and cheaper to tune a carburettor engine. 2. It’s significantly easier to fault diagnose a carburettor. Any good technician can work on a carb, so there’s none of that “you must go back to the main dealer to pay them £60 per hour to plug it in to a computer”!

The RS3 produces fractionally more horsepower and couple of MPH on the top end speed!

Frame and suspension

The RS3 uses a lightweight and strong frame designed and built by Rieju themselves and an alloy braced swinging arm. This makes the Rieju weigh in at about 5kg less than the YZF. These characteristics combined with the USD forks (Regarded by many as a superior suspension setup) gives the RS3 a better overall performance than the YZF.

Rieju offer a 2 year warranty AND will honour that warranty even when the RS3 has been de-restricted to full power!

So it’s faster, lighter and better handling than the YZF! That’s not the best bit either! Rieju offer a 2 year warranty AND will honour that warranty even when the RS3 has been de-restricted to full power! Thats still not the best bit! Brand new O.T.R price for the YZF is £4349, whereas the RS3 is £3299, a whole £1050 cheaper! It would be rude not too!

If our review of the RS3 isn’t quite enough for you, then check out these other reviews!

Rieju Main Website with various other reviews and Tech specs

Visordown.com “First Ride” RS3

MCN Review of RS3

3 Responses to Yamaha YZF-R125 v.s Rieju RS3 125!

  • Lewis said:

    This article is nonsense we all know 2 strokes are much more powerful. I had a four stroke Yamaha r125 it was like a tractor compared to my RS125

    • sarafiel said:

      Dude. What? The article never suggests that 4 strokes are more powerful at any point. In fact quite the opposite:

      “this new 4 stroke engine wouldn’t easily be kicking out the same power and speeds as the older 2 stroke engines, these however are a thing of the past now”

      ..because of new, tighter, emissions laws…

  • Andrew Clark said:

    Interesting read, really liking the sound of this rs3.

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