HYOSUNG RT125D KARION (2010): SANDBOX STORM
The RT125D KARION is the so-called “SAND BIKE” designed for riding on sand.
I met Hyosung RT125D Karion three years ago. Once upon a time, a guy of 18 years old drove into the editorial office on a seemingly ridiculous motorcycle, equipped only in an incomprehensible Chinese helmet. I asked him to ride his two-wheeler around the block. Karion’s 125cc motor was barely able to pull, and the YBR125 felt like a much more powerful bike by comparison. Why produce a motorcycle with a claim to an off-road vehicle, if its dynamics in the city is like a “strangled” fifty kopeck piece? Well, for a teenager it will probably do. Just in time to learn how to ride.
The second meeting with Karion took place in the fall. The owner of the motorcycle bought it for the same educational purpose, so that his teenage son could learn the basics of driving a two-wheeler. Only the habitat of Karion was more adequate: not the capital’s streets and avenues, but narrow suburban roads, paved and not very much. And a stone’s throw from the house in Koncha-Zaspa is a coniferous forest with a variable relief, excellent for off-road driving, fallen trees and sandy soil. We should dwell on the sand in more detail.
All around one sand
Hyosung RT125D Karion belongs to the unofficial class of so-called “sand bikes” – amateur off-road motorcycles designed to ride on the sand. Their main feature is wide off-road tires.
In fact, any enduro or cross-country race can be used to overcome sandy areas, as evidenced by the world’s most famous rally-raids, often passing through the deserts. Only on a regular enduro you still need to be able to move on loose sand, and a full kettle will go on a sand bike. Thanks to the wide tires and well-developed treads, the motorcycle is not in danger of “floating” the front end and the drive wheel burying in the event of a stop. The class of “sand bikes” is small, at the moment there are only three such SUVs produced: Suzuki RV125 Van Van, Yamaha TW200 and, in fact, Karion. Their common features are 130/80 tires at the front and 180/80 at the rear, as well as low-powered 4-stroke engines that an experienced off-road rider will even find it boring to start.
Having received Karion in my hands, I immediately set off on it into the forest. There are no cars that will all be clearly faster than my little motorcycle, but there is a lot of sand. A small run on the asphalt with a stop at a gas station revived in my memory the memories of three years ago: an incredibly “dead” motor. On the highway, where the minimum safe speed is 80 km / h, this two-wheeled car has nothing to do.
When the asphalt under the wheels was replaced by narrow forest paths winding between trees, and a reasonable speed dropped to 30-40 km / h, Karion immediately revived. He found himself in his element. The short wheelbase of 1,350 mm allows you to maneuver on the Karion like on a bicycle, and the 230 mm ground clearance and stock metal crankcase – forget about obstacles in the way like fallen trees. The rear 180mm tire paddles the sand like a tractor, with only the shallow treads of the Shinko SR428 dual-purpose tires imposing restrictions on bakeout. The purpose of the front 130mm tire on such a surface is not to get stuck in the sand, which it does one hundred percent. The rear drum brake works much more adequately than on the asphalt: between the moment you press the pedal and the actual deceleration does not pass for an eternity, but only a couple of seconds. And in these few seconds there is a constant controlled demolition of the rear wheel on the sand, from which you get a lot of pleasure.
While driving this bike, you want to anneal, but its motor sluggishly supports the energetic impulses of the rider
In general, if we talk about amateur off-road pokatushki, driving in a controlled drift is the most fun fun. On the sand, it turns out easily and naturally, especially when the saddle height of the motorcycle is 790 mm. You can always play it safe with your feet.
The first half hour behind the wheel of Karion was a lot of fun for me. I was floundering in the sand like a child, dodging between trees, and turning only after pressing the rear brake pedal. Of course, I fell a couple of times, but there were no injuries either from my side or from the motorcycle side. In terms of readiness for falls, Karion is a real SUV: a narrow engine, strapped underneath a metal crankcase, cheap soft plastic in the seat area, a miniature tidy and a small round headlight. Handlebar protection would be helpful to keep the brake and clutch levers from bending. There is nothing more to break here.
Falls are no less fun to ride than rear wheel drift. The most that can be damaged is to bend the brake or clutch lever
The big plus of Karion is that it is relatively light – 135 kg of curb weight. Of course, modern off-road 450s weigh much less, and the “anger” in them is like in five Karions. But those who have tried to drive into the jungle on heavy enduro tourists or road workers know that 135 kg is very little. On loose pavement, low weight is the main advantage.
Now, if only to add to these kilograms at least 20-25 “horses” and the same amount of torque available somewhere at 6000 rpm! The frailty of Karion’s 125-cc engine is boring, although off-road it is not as noticeable as on asphalt. If you turn the engine well, the bike will ride more or less. 11 Nm is removed here at 8000 rpm, maximum power is 13.5 hp. – generally at ten thousand. Why so much noise? What is the use of these extra horses and Newton meters that roam somewhere at the very top? For reference: the “air” of the popular YBR125 provides the motorcycle with 10 Nm already at 6000 rpm and 10 hp. at 7800 rpm. A motor with such characteristics in Karion’s body would be more appropriate.
Before returning the motorcycle to the owner, I thoroughly drove it along the ideal asphalt of the Staroobukhovskaya P-01 highway, as well as its branches towards the Dnieper. There, the surface is already very different: elite asphalt is laid to the elite cottage settlements, curved concrete roads mixed with primers lead to the half-abandoned camp sites.
Riding Karion on good asphalt is an incredible boredom. The even recoil of a Korean 125-cc engine with such a modest volume, as for me, is inappropriate. It would be more fun if the motor picked up in a certain range, best of all, from the bottom. Actively working with the throttle and the gearbox, I managed to see the figure 85 km / h on the electronic speedometer. After running in, when the engine can be turned to full, Karion will probably drive a hundred. More – only from a hill and with a fair wind.
Landing on a motorcycle is quite comfortable for small gaps. The saddle is moderately wide, the 9-liter tank can provide up to 300 km of autonomous driving. There is no windscreen as such, but at these speeds, it is not needed.
1. 1-cylinder engine of air-oil cooling spins up to 10,000 rpm, at the “top” giving out maximum power and torque. The metal crankcase is installed in the stock 2. The electronic dashboard is laconic, but the motorcycle itself does not differ in the presence of any bells and whistles. No tachometer 3. Karion’s strength – in wide, like a quadric, tires. Shinko all-round treads are shallow for serious off-roading. The rear drum brake is not afraid of dirt and sand, but its efficiency leaves much to be desired 4. The narrow tank holds only 9.1 liters of gasoline 5. The front disc is complemented by the 2-piston Tcic caliper, familiar to owners of Hyosung motorcycles. Its informativeness leaves much to be desired.
Turning off the asphalt onto the side of the road without slowing down makes life more fun. Long travel suspensions confidently swallow small pits and potholes, and wide tires allow you to ignore the sand “traps”, which are extremely dangerous for ordinary road workers on road tires.
It is also pleasant to drive the Karion on winding dirt roads. The lightweight motorcycle obediently lays down in a turn, allowing it to hang, almost like on a sports bike. If the coverage does not inspire confidence, you can go in a corner in a super Motardian way, insuring yourself with your foot. 135 kg is a little heavier than a bicycle!
In addition to sand scattering and crooked forest paths, seasoned with snags, branches and fallen trees, rural primers are what suits Karion perfectly. And the maximum speed of 80-90 km / h will not look humiliating there. If I lived in a village, I would ride such a motorcycle with pleasure.
|POWER||13.5 HP AT 10,000 RPM|
|TORQUE||11 Nm AT 8000 RPM|
|TYPE OF||124 CM3, 1C, 4T, 4V, DOHC, AIR-OIL COOLED|
|DIAMETER X PISTON STROKE||57 X 48.8 MM|
|COMPRESSION RATIO||11.3: 1|
|CLUTCH||MULTI-DISC IN OIL BATH|
|TILT ANGLE / FORK PROTECTION||N. D.|
|FRONT SUSPENSION||REGULAR TELESCOPIC PLUG, UNREGULATED|
|REAR||PENDULUM, MONO-SHOCK ABSORBER, SPRING PRESSURE ADJUSTMENT|
|BRAKES FRONT||275 MM DISC, 2-PISTON. CALIPER|
|FRONT TIRE||130/80 R18|
|SADDLE HEIGHT||790 MM|
|LOADED WEIGHT||135 KG|
Published in the magazine BIKE №2 / 2011