For a good number of us, our first taste of the two-wheeled lifestyle happened off-road. It goes without saying that a lot of a rider’s skill can be developed off the pavement, as the threshold of grip, power, and braking performance is so much lower than on the road. Of course, not to mention the absence of traffic and obstacles uncontrollably hurtling towards you.
Naturally, transitioning to the street can be quite a challenge, and so it’s a good idea for first timers to hop aboard something a little more familiar, i.e., a street-legal dirt bike or supermoto. In Europe, these small displacement rippers are a popular choice among youngsters learning the ropes of the two-wheeled lifestyle. You see, unlike in the U.S., most European countries require young first-timers to start aboard a machine with no more than 125 cubes of displacement and 15 ponies of kick, and while a 125cc sportbike can definitely seem boring, a 125cc street-legal enduro certainly isn’t.
This is where brands like Rieju enter the picture. Spanish in origin, Rieju has teamed up with Italian engine manufacturer Minarelli to provide the powerplant found in the new Marathon range of dual-sports. The Marathon Pro comes in two flavors—an Enduro and a Supermoto–and is perfect for both novice and intermediate riders looking for a lightweight machine to putter around town and thrash off-road or in a closed circuit. Both versions of the Marathon 125 Pro feature the same frame, engine, underpinnings, and bodywork, but are differentiated by their wheels.
Now this is certainly a smart move on the part of Rieju, as the difference in wheel setups pretty much makes these two machines completely different animals. On the one hand, the Enduro offers through off-road capability thanks to its 21-inch and 18-inch front and rear wheels wrapped in knobby rubber. On the other hand, the Supermoto is the perfect hooligan city bike, while at the same time allowing young riders to have a taste of motard performance.
As for the engine, the Minarelli-sourced unit features a single-cylinder construction with liquid cooling and four valves. With a displacement of just 125cc, this bugger kicks out 15 horsepower. Oh, Rieju has thrown in an electric starter as standard, too. As for pricing, both the Enduro and Supermoto versions cost the same at 4,829 Euros, which translates to the equivalent of $4,900 USD.