Skip to main content

Rieju Aventura 125 (2023), MRT 125 Pro & more - Review | Who is Rieju?

Production Manager - Still considers himself a novice rider, despite passing his test nearly thirty years ago.

Posted:

28.07.2023

Rieju Aventura Marathon MRT 125 50 Review Price Spec_01
Rieju Aventura Marathon MRT 125 50 Review Price Spec_02
Rieju Aventura Marathon MRT 125 50 Review Price Spec_03

 

Those of us of a certain age will remember Rieju from their trials and off-road bikes, competing against the likes of Gas-Gas, Bultaco and Sherco, but for those of the newer generation, it may not be so familiar.

We spent the day with some its newer model, including the recently released Aventura 125 to see what the firm has to offer. We also asked the experts… 'Ray-joo' or 'Ree-ay-joo'. Turned out we were all wrong – its 'Ray-Hoo'. Every day's a school-day!

 

 

Who is Rieju?

Rieju was founded in 1934 by two men – Luis Riera Carré and Jamie Junaola Farrés – and takes its name from the first letters of their surnames (RIE-JU).

Originally a maker of bicycles and bicycle accessories, it built its first moped in 1947, adding a 38cc four-stroke Serwa engine to one of its existing bicycles.

With a top speed of around 25mph and developing just a single horsepower, this model was produced for two years until it was replaced by a more powerful model and engine and gearbox manufacture was brought inhouse.

In 1964, Rieju signed an agreement to manufacture Minarelli engines under licence, and shortly afterwards, released the Minarelli engined Jaca 125 (a previous Jaca model had been available since 1958/9, but didn't sell well due to high manufacturing costs).

Production of variants of the Jaca continued through the sixties and seventies with the Confort and TT models but the trade restricting Spanish Government prevented the brand from gaining more ground.

By the 1980s, Rieju had developed a full range of bikes and helped by success in international enduro events, were one of the top moped manufacturers in Spain.

Helped by the change in Governments and policy, exports began in earnest in 1994 and by 2010, represented over 80% of its business.

Today, Rieju manufactures over 20,000 bikes per year from its plants in Girona and Barcelona and exports to 20 countries via 820 official dealers, 35 in the UK.

 

 

2023 Rieju Aventura 125 - Mini Review

Aimed either at existing adventure riders who are looking for a lighter bike, or A2 licence holders who don't want to miss out on a bit of off-road adventure, the Aventura is the Rieju's new offering in the 125cc ADV sector – a sector previously solely occupied by the Sinnis Terrain 125 but historically dominated by Honda's XL125 Varadero.

While lacking a little power against the Terrain, which also comes standard with luggage and costs a few hundred pounds less, the Rieju offers a little more in terms of refinement with a  TFT Screen in place of the Terrain's LCD and analogue offering, as well as some neat off-road derived touches such as the folding (unbreakable) gear lever.

While we only spent a few hours with the Aventura, overall build quality is impressive with some nice features. Along with the TFT screen and LED headlights, we get removable rubber inserts on the pegs, allowing some extra grip when the going gets tough(er), a conveniently placed 2A USB for powering your phone or Sat-Nav, and a decent bash plate to protect the engine, all wrapped in modern angular styling that takes a few cues from KTM but adds some typical Spanish style.

The riding position is typical for an ADV orientated bike with an upright body position, wide bars and plenty of leg room, even for the taller rider, while coming in at a shade over 150KG, fully fuelled, makes it agile and easy to handle, no matter your level of experience.

The 16-litre tank should be good for nearly 200 miles when ridden sensibly (we were unable get any consumption figures during riding), but with a top speed of around 65mph, you'll be glad of a break by the time you need to fill up.

On the road, the liquid-cooled, single cylinder, four-valve engine (a licenced manufacture from China) is willing and sprightly enough despite its lower-than-average power output and the gearbox is forgivingly slick and smooth, allowing clutchless changes up the box, to help with acceleration. Performance is lively enough but with the upright riding position you'll soon run out of puff on the straights. While we were unable to check fuel consumption on the day, we'd expect it to be around 100mpg, meaning it should be as cheap as chips to run on a daily basis and you should see neigh-on 300 miles from the 14 litre tank.

Road holding is good despite the stock fitment CST (Cheng Shin) tyres not being everyone's first choice in rubber. Even with the knobbly offroad tread pattern they give good feedback on the road surface and provide confidence inspiring cornering at the kinds of speeds that the Aventura is happy doing, and with a 17" rear and 18" front, there are plenty of premium brands to pick from if you feel the need to upgrade.

Braking is provided by a single 260mm wavy disc and twin-pot caliper up front and a 240mm wavy disc with single-pot caliper at the back. There is no ABS, the brakes are linked and provide good feedback without being snatchy.

Overall, our first impressions of the Aventura are very good. It's a modern looking bike that won't look out of place parked up against some seriously more capable (and expensive) hardware and provides an excellent alternative to the plethora of naked and scooter 125s on the market, and while the Aventura lacks the standard luggage of its main rival, a full range of accessories will soon be available including engine bars, hand guards, pannier racks and a top box. If you are planning some longer trips, its worth knowing that the bike has a max weight load capacity of 300Kg (this is the total maximum weight, so includes the bike, rider and luggage) so that leaves around 150Kg for you and your luggage – plenty for a long weekend away – though if you intend to carry a pillion, you may need to pack just the bare essentials.

The Aventura is available in two colour ways – Red and Black, and Green and Grey, and is in dealers now.

 

2023 Rieju Aventura 125 – Technical Specifications

Price

£4,199

Engine

125cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke

Power

11.9 bhp (8.9kW)

Tank Capacity

16 Litres

Max Gross Weight

300 Kg

Kerb Weight

Approx. 154 Kg

Seat Height

780mm

 

 

2023 Rieju MRT 125 SM LC – Mini Review

While the Aventura is Rieju's first foray into the road-biased ADV world, the MRT 125 sits more firmly in their bailiwick of crossers, being an entry level super-moto, and this one's a corker.

Power is provided by the same 11.9bhp engine as the Aventura, but the reduced weight and aggressive stance of the MRT suit it a little better and make it feel a little more lithe. On the road, it was noticeably quicker than the Aventura, despite the lack of any aero advantage, but the extreme riding position will soon take its toll and cut short any ideas of long-distance touring.

As with most super-motos, you'll be perched up high with a seat height of 870mm, but don't be put off by that as, thanks to the narrow seat and long travel suspension, once you are on, the ground is easily accessible (even for me at 5'6"). The light weight of only 112Kg also helps with confidence at slow speeds.

One word of warning though, the side stand is spring loaded – stand the bike upright and it springs up and away. Great for when you want to leave, be a right pain to get back down again when you park up – especially with legs as short as mine.

Take a look around the bike though, and you soon notice that Rieju have been generous with the branded components which brakes by J Juan (a Spanish company, now owned by Brembo), levers from AJP, grips from Domino and Pilot Street tyres from Michelin.

On the road, the bike is a real hoot to ride with high revving engine and slick gear change egging you on. Road holding is great as you would expect from premium rubber and the braking is reassuringly stable, despite the high suspension.

You have to really want a supermoto to buy one – by their very nature they are uncomfortable, offer no protection and are highly impractical, but for a smidge over £3500 this has to be one of the best ways of getting the motard experience on a budget or licence restriction.

Available in black or white, the MRT 125 SM LC is available in your local Rieju dealer now.

 

2023 Rieju MRT 125 LC SM – Technical Specifications

Price

£3,699

Engine

125cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke

Power

11.7bhp (8.7KW)

Tank Capacity

12 litres

Max Gross Weight

300Kg

Kerb Weight

118Kg

Seat Height

870mm

 

 

2023 Rieju Marathon 125 Pro SM/Enduro – Mini Review

The Marathon Pro offers a much more Motorcross biased product, though we did ride the SM version which is fitted with 17" alloy wheels and more road biased tyres, as the Enduro version comes with 18"/21" spoked wheels and proper off-road knobblies and is far less suitable for road riding.

As you can see from the images, the Marathon 125 Pro offers a much more stripped down and ready to race experience – creature comforts are even fewer and farer between than even the MRT.

Thanks to Rieju's licencing deals with Yamaha the 124.7cc engine is the same as that found in the Yamaha R-125, which not only means that it pumps out a healthy 14.6bhp, but also has VVT, switching inlet cam profiles to give increased torque across the range.

On the road, the engine is noticeably peppier than that in the Aventura and MRT and seems to thrive on the high-rev environment that suits crossers so well.

As the 'Pro' label tells you, this bike is to be seen as a base for some proper off-road mods and with very little stripping would provide an ideal bike for your first off-road competitions.

Upside down R16v forks, Polisport hand and fork guards, Galfer discs, AJP calipers, domino grips and a very temporary looking starter button all hint at this bikes offroad potential. Even the pillion pegs can be easily unbolted from the subframe.

All these premium brands (and that Yamaha engine) come at a price though and the Marathon 125 retails at £4899 in either Enduro or SM variants. While this may put you off using it as your daily, under five- grand for a capable off roader seems a bargain and provides an excellent entry point to the sport.

Available in black or white, the MRT 125 SM/Enduro LC is available now. 

 

Marathon 125 Pro SM/Enduro LC – Technical Specifications

Price

£4,899

Engine

125cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke, VVT

Power

14.6bhp (10.9KW)

Tank Capacity

6.3 litres

Max Gross Weight

300Kg

Kerb Weight

112Kg

Seat Height

896mm

 

 

Rieju MRT 50 SM Pro – Mini Review

What if you aren't 17 yet but want some of that super-moto action? Well, Rieju have you covered with a rare beast in the UK market – a geared, 50cc, two-stroke.

Nestled among the same branded goodies we get on the MRT 125 Pro, the diminutive 49cc Minarelli engine is only given away by the expansion chamber exhaust and kick starter (none of your electric start extravagances here).

The bike we rode was a de-restricted example meaning it put out its full 2.8bhp, but wow - it felt more than that on the road.

By far the slowest bike of the day, the 50 will run out of puff at around 53mph, but you'll have had such fun getting there that it doesn't matter in the slightest. Everyone who rode it was grinning from ear to ear thanks to the free revving engine that made all the right noises and made kids of us all again.

Of course, if you are 16 (and lucky/hard working enough to be able to afford the nearly £4000 purchase price) then you'll be restricted to 30mph max, but the same hedonistic two-stroke buzz will still be there and once you turn 17 and unleash the full potential, it will serve you well until it's time to move up to a bigger bike.

We only had a couple of quick goes on the 50, but it’s an experience that I will remember and one which I would thoroughly recommend.

 

Rieju MRT 50 SM Pro – Technical Specifications

Price

£3,849

Engine

50cc, Single-cylinder, Two-stroke

Power

2.8bhp (2.1KW)

Tank Capacity

6.3 litres

Kerb Weight

92Kg

Seat Height

870mm

 

 

Should you buy a Rieju? Mini review verdict

As I make a point of stressing above, we only got to spend a few hours with the range of bikes reviewed here, but for me that was enough to say that you should definitely include Rieju in your searches when looking for your next small capacity bike. With over 35 dealers nationwide, servicing and spares shouldn't be a problem, and with the promise of a 500cc version of the Aventura coming soon, it's certainly a brand that we're going to see a lot more of in the next few years.