KTM 125 EXC Enduro




Make Model.

KTM 125 EXC Enduro


2003 - 04


Two stroke, single cylinder


124.8 cc / 7.6 cu in
Bore x Stroke 54 x 54.5 mm
Compression Ratio 12.5:1
Cooling System Liquid cooled


Keihin 36 mm flat slide carburetor


Kokusan digital



Max Power

10.9 kW / 15 hp @ 7500 rpm


6 Speed

Final Drive


Front Suspension

43 mm WP upside down fork and shocks

Front Wheel Travel

300 mm / 11.8 in

Rear Suspension

Fully adjustable WP PDS mono shock

Rear Wheel Travel

335 mm / 13.1 in

Front Brakes

Single 260 mm disc,2 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

Single 220 mm disc,1 piston caliper

Front Tyre

90/90 - 21

Rear Tyre

120/90 - 18


1471 mm / 57.9 in

Ground Clearance

390 mm / 15.4 in

Seat Height

985 mm / 37.8 in

Dry Weight

104 kg / 229 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

9 L / 2.4 US gal / 2.0 Imp gal


Bike Sales

We took the little nipper out to our test track on a couple of long, beautiful days. I initially rode the 530 EXC-R and had no inclination to get off it and onto the little bee. I timed a lap on the big bore at 4:17. Not bad, but plenty of room for improvement. It's a tight and rough track though, and not the native environment for the 530.

I took the 200 EXC on a timed lap a while after, expecting it to be better suited and faster, and I wasn't surprised to come in at 4:09 - eight seconds faster than the 530.

I then begrudgingly took the 125 for a spin and not long into the lap I almost gave up. I couldn't get this thing up and running with any sort of pace. The lap felt like crap and when I came in I was a little embarrassed to ask the time.

"What do you think you did?" asked the timekeeper. I reckoned about 4:30. "You did a 4:09," he replied. This couldn't be. It was the same as the 200 and way faster than the 530. But I wasn't tired and I had plenty of room for improvement.

Shouldn't this be a chore? Shouldn't a 125 two-stroke scream so loud its sound could clear a large area of bush of any sign of life? I thought the constant changing of gears to keep it in the meaty part of the engine was just a hindrance to a fast time. By the end of the day, fellow tester Evan had got the lap time down to a blistering 3:55 - just off the mark of his tooled-up Yamaha WR450F.

Our worlds were being turned upside-down. The bike that nobody was interested in was in fact a little ripper. It was fast without you even knowing it. It was easy to ride, incredibly quiet and supremely flickable, courtesy of its feather weight of a claimed 97kg dry.
I started looking for logs and creek beds. The snottier the better. The 125 hasn't much of a bottom end, but it's stronger here than the Husky WR125 and there's enough to ferret around with, looking for trials-like gear to have fun on.

The mid-range comes on with a slightly muted punch instead of an explosion of powerband fury, which helps to keep traction in check but shouldn't be mistaken for dull. There's no top-end really, but it doesn't matter because before that becomes a problem the next corner is requesting your attention. Once you're there, just tip in and hang on. It tracks like Homer to a cream donut and doesn't let go of the scent.

The bike's lack of outright mumbo is compensated for by sheer momentum. This can be difficult to get used to at first and you have to think ahead, planning your gear selection well before the corner. Make a mistake and it takes a quick tap dance routine, some feverish clutch work and all 125 screaming cc's to get back to speed. This is the downfall of the 125. If you're not on the ball all the time you'll drop back, but it's oh so satisfying when you get it right.

It's not for everyone, but don't underestimate it. Smaller riders (up to 80kg), will love it, but heavier riders (90kg-plus), are better off on the 200 EXC. If you hit tight track all the time then this machine has your name all over it.

It's physically easy to ride, but requires more concentration to ride fast than most other capacities. It's also a good beginner's bike. It's not overly punchy or aggressive and it's sweetened by the fact that it's road registerable.

Yep, we all loved it and I certainly owe it an apology. There's still room for a 125 in this world; my shed would be a good start.