A premium adventure motorcycle for the 125cc market! We jumped on the brand-new 2023 Rieju Aventura 125 in a short but sweet ride around the Peterborough area from the Potski Media offices. With the slogan ‘Built for everyday adventure’, does this adventure bike prove to be small but mighty?
With a liquid-cooled single-cylinder motor that supposedly pumps out 15 bhp, this new adventurer promises to ‘revolutionise the world of trail bikes’ for riders on their CBT and up. It’s well noted that you don’t always need a big bike for tours and adventures. Spanish firm Rieju has a long and storied history of producing lower-capacity road bikes & scooters, sports bikes, and plenty of enduro models since its formation in 1945 – now is the turn of a production-ready adventure machine with some adventure potential.
This new Aventura is priced at £4,199 and waiting in dealerships now, could this be the adventure motorcycle that you’ve been holding out for?
2023 Rieju Aventura 125 Price and Availability
Models are landing in dealerships immediately, and the Rieju Aventura comes in two colour options – Red, and Grey with Green. It’s a premium price tag for the Aventura, listed starting at £4,199, and there is surprisingly a distinct lack of new adventure models in this 125cc sector.
Competitors, realistically, are limited to the Sinnis T125, a budget-friendly option that has recently had an upgrade to a liquid-cooled 125cc single, priced at around £2,899. There is an absence of power on the Terrain, with the motor churning out around 12.8 bhp.
On paper the Rieju does have the edge – though that hasn’t stopped the Terrain being a good seller for Sinnis, particularly for those looking for a bike that can do the work off the beaten track at a budget.
If going for a brand-new Rieju Aventura, you’ll also get a 2-year warranty out of the box which includes labour at an official Rieju dealer, with the 65 official dealers in the UK which Moto Mondo (the distributor) are eager to increase on.
Check the insurance cost for a Rieju Aventura 125 online here.
Engine | Liquid-Cooled Single-Cylinder
Powering the Aventura is a new liquid-cooled, four-valve, four-stroke single-cylinder sourced from Moto Minarelli (owned by Yamaha), with power output quoted at 15 bhp (Rieju don’t officially publish the power outputs, but this is how it is quoted elsewhere online). On the road, the power feels closer to 13 bhp – directly compared to the other Rieju models from the range accompanying us on the road during the day, including the Marathon 125 SM (which houses a Yamaha Variable Valve Actuation 125cc single) that was noticeably quicker on the straights.
The listed weight of the Aventura is a light 138 kg dry, a touch more when fully fuelled and ready to ride. Jumping on the bike you can certainly notice that lighter weight, mainly when throwing it into corners where it feels agile on its feet. It’s worth noting that I’m 6’3” and weigh in at around 14 stone so I feel a tad sorry for any 125cc with me sitting on board.
Working the power through the 6 gears, the first few gears are relatively short, and you’ll want to rev out each gear to make the most of the torque and power on tap. Most corners were taken in 4th, and in 6th you get to an indicated top speed of 65-ish mph on a flat piece of road under its own power.
Ride Feel on the Road
Twisting on the throttle gives a smooth but revvy response, though towards the redline (around 10,000 rpm) things can get a bit vibey – though Rieju do list this bike as balanced, and with electronic fuel injection.
We didn’t get a chance to head off-road on the ride, instead opting to sample the countryside roads where you’ll likely find many of these bikes blasting around the B-roads. That’ll also be where you find the most thrills, particularly for a 125 – we did get onto a busier A-road to find that you could get the bike up to speed with traffic nicely, though overtaking is out of the question.
Low-speed work (so in towns and cities) is excellent and easygoing, the bike feels balanced and calm to pootle along, particularly with the low weight.
It would be interesting to test the capabilities of this off-the-beaten-path, mind. I stood up on the pegs to test the standing comfort, and it was a tad crouched with low bars, putting a lot of weight forwards onto the bar – but could be down to my lanky frame. It’s not quite the tall beast you’d think in person either. Big, but not overwhelming.
In essence, this 125cc single will do the job nicely, it feels responsive to ride and eager to let you work through each of the gears in their entirety. One of the pleasures of a 125 is carrying your corner speed to minimise your time at full tuck and full throttle, whilst enjoying the frugality of an engine that will only need little sips of fuel to get you about. Good fun, and great for your first adventure bike.
Frame, Suspension, Brakes
You have a ‘high strength tubular frame’ with inverted forks and progressive mono-shock at the rear, adjustable for preload with the right tools and patience, providing an agile and responsive ride. Mid corner the Aventura will hold a line, and any bumps along the way are nicely absorbed to keep you on course.
Brakes are linked, with the 260mm wavy single disc given a two-piston caliper, mounted to an 18-inch front wheel with trail-ready rubber. At the rear is a single 240 wavy disc with a single piston, mounted to a 17” wheel.
A mention on those linked brakes, so applying some of the rear does engage one of the pistons at the front to apply a bit of the front brake, inducing a bit of a frontwards dive which could potentially throw you off if you're not expecting it. You get used to it though, much like any other 125cc bikes that utilise the cheaper CBS system over ABS, though at this price tag you do wonder if ABS would have been an option.
Elsewhere, seat height is at an accessible 780 mm, with the wheelbase at 1370 mm. In person it’s not an intimidatingly large machine by any means, with a listed height of 1330 mm and width of 880 mm, the middle waistline of the bike is narrow and your legs tuck into indents on the 14 L tank (as we only had a brief ride, we couldn’t test against the range per fill up, but it’ll be frugal and no doubt good for at least 200 miles).
I mentioned I’m a lanky rider with long legs – and my legs only just about fit into those tank indents. This’ll be no concern to the typical rider who is of normal height who’ll get on with this fine, but anyone of abnormal height may find themselves with legs askew for the most part, as the back part of the saddle hugs into you and doesn’t allow for much movement.
All in, though, I was impressed with the handling of the Aventura, it felt adept on the road – even if you’ll spend most of your time pinning it and tucking in. Speaking of tucking in, the tiny narrow screen does its best to deflect oncoming wind, and for the most part, it succeeds if not just for the central strip of your lid. At high revs in lower gears, the screen will amusingly wave about like mad, too.
Rieju Aventura 125 Tech and Equipment
In terms of tech and equipment, you’ll find a nice LCD display that displays revs, fuel level, temperature, time, odo & trip, and a gear indicator. It’s clear and visible but does suffer from a tad of glare in direct sunlight (though we were riding in fairly gloomy conditions with the ever-present threat of rain). A neat trick on the dash is the rev bar changing from blue to red as you reach that 10k limit, and it’s a soft ceiling that doesn’t preverbally slap you in the face when you reach it.
You’ll also find a 5V USB socket up front, handy if you’re mounting a smartphone (or sat nav) as many adventure riders may well do.
Indicators are LED, and a sharp angled style in the fairing, a sump guard and a wide radiator up front, stylistically it’s a pretty package in my eyes – it doesn’t strive to copy competitors on the market, though a stacked standard headlight (not LED) is likely one that’ll divide opinion. Suzuki found this out as they unveiled their stacked LED lights on the GSX-S a short while back, with punters staring it in the face and exclaiming their dismay. I think it’s good to be a little different.
Looking at the bike, the little downpipe leading to the muffler is a tiny narrow one, likened to a tin foil roll. Yes it’s a smaller-capacity bike, but it just looks a bit puny. There is also a rear rack to strap some luggage too, Rieju noting there will be plenty of accessory options for plucky explorers to pick at purchase – panniers, crash bars, style options etc.
Rieju Aventura 125 | Pros and Cons
- A new adventure motorcycle for 125cc is a welcome addition.
- Agile handling on the road.
- Great fun for learners and up.
- Not quite sure 15 bhp is accurate.
- Reaching a premium price tag for 125cc.
- No rear ABS for the price.
2023 Rieju Aventura 125 | Verdict
Ultimately the Rieju Aventura 125 is a great foundation to start your adv journey, in a surprisingly underserved segment of 125cc machines. It handles well on the road, as it good fun for riders of all ages to be running about on.
It’s honestly great to see a new addition to this lower capacity sector, and this is one well worth considering if after an inter-town/city runner that can do the hard miles away from the road.
It’ll be interesting to see if the big players in the market (Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki et al) take notes here, and craft a 125cc version of the Tenere, Africa Twin/Transalp, and V-Strom respectively, as the options are few and far between. Sinnis is leading the way with their Terrain, which is priced at a much more budget-friendly £2,899 (with 12.7 bhp, 10.5 Nm torque, and 162 kg). You could also go out there and look for the rare as hen's teeth Honda Varadero 125…
So in answer to the initial question, is it small but mighty? It’s smaller in person than you’d think, and it’s not quite as mighty in power as the billed 15 bhp would have you believe, particularly for the price tag. But I’d certainly recommend a go on one if you’re interested – great fun to ride, and a good option if you’re a taller rider, but no taller than 6’3” realistically!
Thanks to Rieju for having us on the day, check out their website for more info.
Specs | Rieju Aventura 125 2023
|Engine||125cc, liquid-cooled, four-valve, 4-stroke, single-cylinder, 15 BHP|
|Fuel tank||14 L|
|Brakes||Front 260 mm Disc and Rear 240mm disc|
|Seat height||780 mm|
|Suspension||Front Inverted, Rear progressive mono-shock damper|