Info

@ 95001 pin

<2> 9000ipm

All figures compiled at Motor Industry Research Association's proving ground, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

All figures compiled at Motor Industry Research Association's proving ground, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

It was still listed in the Yamaha range in 1981 a year before new L-plate laws were to be introduced which would restrict riders to 125cc machines with power limited to 12bhp, rather than 250cc machines.

A loophole in the regulations would allow learners to use 125cc machines with unlimited power providec they were registered before the end of 1980. So dealers rushed to get their stock of 16bhp RD125s on the boohs and at Which Bike? - where I was editor at the time - we did our best to make readers aware of the anomaly that would enable them to ride the faster bikes legally.

Trouble was that cespite the styling upgrades, the RD125 twin was still very much like it was in 1974 and in consequence felt old fashioned, with the peaky power delivery, necessity for delicate clutch slippng and frequent gear changes rendering it unsuitable for all but hard-core petrol heads.

Had we known that the liquid-cooled RD125LC was on the way, and would easily be unrestricted to release its full 20bhp power, we would have been less enthusiastic about the RD125.

Nonetheless, I persevered in showing up the absurdities of the learner regulations and how riders could still ride a pre-1981 125cc machine with as much power you could coax from it. Discussions at the pub conc uded that it wouldn't take much more than a racing fairing and a raising of the gearing to reach lOOmph on MIRA's test strip.

How wrong I was. An RD125DX twin provided by North London dealer Sondel Sport provided a benchmark top speed of just 75mph. And even with the attentions

Leader of the pack in 1978, perhaps

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