Text – Faisal Khan; Pictures – Om Vaikul
2014 Hyosung RT125D Review
Bike Tested: 2014 Hyosung RT125D
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1.50 lakhs (est.)
The Hyosung RT125D has the underpinnings to traverse the toughest of terrains.
Motorcycling as a recreational activity has matured well in India but that’s happened just over the last decade or so. Imagine telling at home that you are riding 200 kms to grab a snack but that’s more acceptable now as motorcycling is being accepted as a lifestyle activity rather than just getting from point A to point B in quick time with economy. Most people in India who are hardcore motorcyclists are into touring while a new crop is emerging, the off-roaders. Credit for both does go to Hero MotoCorp, the Karizma kick started touring while the Impulse ignited the off-road flame. However the Impulse lacked the fire power to conquer all terrains and Hyosung plans to fulfil the wishes of off-road enthusiasts with the RT250D, a motorcycle which will be launched in India next year and is essentially the RT125D with the GD250N’s quarter-litre motor. We got onto the saddle of the Hyosung RT125D to see how capable a motorcycle is this.
The Hyosung RT125D attracted lots of stares at the 2014 Auto Expo and it did the same when we took the bike for a spin in Pune. Those not in the know asked us if this was a modified bike. The RT looks slim and the real highlights are those massive tyres. Factor this, the RT125D weighs a mere 135 kgs and is powered by a 125cc engine, yet it runs on 130/80/18 and 180/80/14 tyres at the front and rear respectively. Those are really massive tyres for a bike of this size. But the devil is in the details. The round headlight, engine guard, rear bag mounting platform, alloy pegs and high exhaust clearly point to this not being just another motorcycle.
Before crediting Hyosung designers and patting them on the back, we must first thank Yamaha for the TW200, a bike which seems to be the inspiration for the RT125D. The styling inspiration from the Japanese is so vivid that even the tyres on the Hyosung are of the same dimensions, which could be pure coincidence, no? Yamaha launched the 200cc TW200 in 1987 and in the same year Shinji Kazama (the only person to reach both north and south poles on a motorcycle) became the first person to ride a motorcycle (the TW200) to the North Pole. History lesson aside, the Hyosung RT125D’s unique styling does get it appreciation from on-lookers.
The instrument cluster is small and not placed symmeterically. Although an all digital unit, it only displays the speed (that too isn’t moving in a swift fashion), tripmeters, odometers and a clock. There is no fuel meter which is a shocking omission, nor is there a tachometer. The tell-tale lights are placed around the small display screen. We expect Hyosung to revise the instrument cluster on the RT250D as such a basic console isn’t acceptable on a Rs. 1.50 lakh bike.
The Hyosung RT125D uses a 125cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled engine which is fed fuel by a carburettor. Power output is 13.5 HP at 10,000 RPM while torque output is 10.8 Nm at 8000 RPM which is the norm from such a pint-sized motor. As expected, performance is nothing to write home about although the engine does feel refined, it doesn’t have the thrust to keep the bike moving swiftly and you do have to keep your right wrist twisted to the max to make some progress. The 5-speed gearbox slotted cogs without fuss. All this is irrelevant as the RT will be launched with the GD’s engine, that has 28 PS and 24 Nm, more than enough to take the RT250D places. The 9.1-litre fuel tank is a bit small for this dual purpose machine and there is no lock to the flap either.
The seating is very upright and the seat is flat, thereby giving a position which takes a bit getting used to. The seat itself is narrow and that means you are in a very attention induced position. The RT125D felt slow and the culprits were the massive tyres as there was just too much rolling resistance for the puny motor to overcome. However the ultra wide rubber does give the RT125D a fantastic ride quality and with the high ground clearance, you simply glide over speed-breakers. This motorcycle is quite capable off the road too and can climb steep inclines (engine power willing). Underpinned by a cradle frame and rear monoshock, the RT125D is a easy handler. The 275 mm front disc did give it good stopping power but we expect the RT250D to come with discs at both ends.
The Hyosung RT125D is quite a capable motorcycle but only let down by its engine, a problem which will be duly corrected when the RT250D is launched in the Indian market with a 250cc engine. The small gremlins we faced on our prototype bike should be resolved in the production model and thus we are betting big on the Hyosung RT250D to transform the off-roading segment completely. The RT125D has the off-road cred to match its style while the ride quality is excellent on our half baked roads. The only thing to worry for Hyosung is the Impulse, as Hero plans to give it a bigger heart which is sure to bring tough competition in this nascent segment.
The Hyosung RT125D needs to be priced aggressively while quality levels should be par de course. It not only has to compete in a newly emerging segment but will also have to rub its massive tyres with the upcoming Hero Impulse 250.
* Quirky Styling
* Ride quality and off-road ability
What’s Not So Cool
* Instrument cluster too basic
* Tyres seem an overkill for this bike