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Long Term Review Of Keeway RKS 125

Review Date December 2016

By Sharon Parker

Zen my little Chinese Keeway RKS 125 is now over 3 years old. Old enough to require an MOT which I am glad to report he passed with no problem. 

This little plucky bike now has over 23,000 miles on the clock. He has been up hills and down dales. He has been through the worse that winters can throw at him including all the rain and the dreaded salt. He has been to Scotland and even across the ocean (aboard a Ferry of course, he is good but not quite that good) to the Netherlands. 
He has been dropped more times than I care to remember and had his little engine revved to the max.

Sharon's Keeway in her back yard looking smart and cleanNew or old? 

So after all this how has he fared? Is the Keeway now just a small pile of rust that I keep in a vase in remembrance of fun days gone by? After all that was what I had be warned by the "Chinese is crap" brigade. You know the ones, those who have never actually owned a Chinese bike but like to churn out the same old things despite the fact that time and quality has moved on.
Ok maybe there are still some Chinese crap motorbikes out there? I am no expert, I can only tell you about my own personal experience with my own Keeway RKS 125.

I have had people say to me that my bike must be an exception. Yes he has been well looked after but from what I can tell most people with Keeways seem happy with them, so I think not. 

He has not been 100% trouble free but what bike is?  

He has had new chains and sprockets which it what you would expect. A new battery, again nothing unusual in that and he required new piston rings after burning a little oil. A new gasket has been installed along with various levers due to me throwing it on the floor and of course new tyres. Nothing outstanding in that lot, nothing to indicate that the Chinese manufactured Keeway is a pile of rubbish. Nearly all of the above is general wear and tear that you would expect from any make and model of bike. 

At this present moment he is still a joy to ride with no current problems. The fact I choose to keep him when I bought a bigger bike speaks volumes. As does the fact I still choose to ride him on occasions as well as my new bike. He still gives me so much joy and fun. 

So would I recommend the Keeway RKS 125cc ...YES. Would I say go and buy one...YES without a  moments hesitation.

He has been more than worth his £1500 price tag. I have said it before I cannot speak for other Chinese makes only the Keeway as this is only one I have personally owned but here in this bike lies the truth, that it is about time we accepted that Chinese bikes have come a long way in recent years and quality is most definitely on the up. 

And here he today....no rust bucket, no pile of junk, I think the pictures speak for themselves so I believe I have nothing else to add here on this update...hopefully this update is small but perfectly formed and up to the job...just like the Keeway RKS 125 is himself.  

Sharon's keeway rks 125 at a different angle
A close up of the clean and corrosion free motor
The clean and smart rear shock and exhaust on Sharon's bike
The clean smart and rust free rear end of the RKS

See also:-
Keeway RKS 125 Review 2013
Short Update Review On Keeway RKS 125cc - April 2014
Birthday Update on 2 year old Keeway RKS 125cc
Scotland, 1300 miles on a 125cc
The Netherlands 2016

Reader's Comments

Ash said :-
I brought a keeway rks in August and I haven't been able to find or get into neutral. Has anyone had the same issues.
12/1/2017 10:53:38 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I don't know the particular bike but that sort of problem is often caused by poor clutch adjustment. Your handbook should tell you how to do it.

Otherwise it may be clutch drag where the plates aren't separating properly or are sticking together - possibly caused by incorrect / old oil. If adjustment doesn't sort it out then it would be worth trying an oil change.

Have you had the bike from new? Did you buy it from a dealer? If the answer is Yes to either then I would be taking it back.
13/1/2017 10:41:32 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Yeah I think you're on the mark there Ian. Ash if the bike isn't under warranty and your unfamiliar with their workings you'll need the guidance of a mechanic or at least a mechanically minded friend.

When started out I was worse than clueless, I have moved up to "educated guessing" these days.
13/1/2017 5:38:08 PM UTC
Alan said :-
Has any one had a problem with the rkv 125 that kangaroos in every gear at 6rpm. I am now stuck on how to fix the issiue
27/7/2017 6:21:12 PM UTC
said :-

5/6/2018 6:18:15 AM UTC
lee bowling said :-
Hi i have just bought a keeyway rkv 125,first thing i changed oil and 2 bits dropped out anyone know what they are far as i can find out its spring latch and neutral latch.what damage what it do with out them in?

6/8/2018 4:09:28 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I believe it is one of 2 gear selector drum locating pins. Do a google images search for

"gear selector drum locating pins k157fmi"

It sits at the end of the gear selector. I have not seen anything like this before, I suspect it's to do with keeping the bike in gear. My concern is the risk of the bike coming out of gear when you least need it to.

If my suspicions are correct to check and replace the pins would require a total motor strip down. Urgh.

6/8/2018 9:10:05 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
As you know I'm not familiar with the bike, however that looks like what is usually called an indexing plunger. It doesn't actually keep the bike in gear as such but locates in indents in the selector disc / drum so that when you change gear the disc / drum stops in the right place

The gears don't (shouldn't) jump out because the dogs are normally made with a slight undercut so that they tend to hold themselves in mesh when power is applied.

Presumably you removed the wrong plug and these came out from under it? I'd be tempted to put it back (plunger then spring then plug) and see whether you can engage the gears with the bike on the stand.

The picture shows how it works on an entirely different bike.

7/8/2018 9:24:58 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Having seen the fiche for the K157FMI (which is similar to the KW157FMI engine of the Keeway but NOT the same) I can see and agree with you Ian. It is hidden behind the actuator from the foot lever.

If it were my bike and it was working OK I would probably leave it. My concern is that Lee has his "not quite right" gearbox lock up on him and throw him down the road and then he comes back to me saying "You said it'd be alright!!"

To repair the mechanism I think the right side crankcase would need to come off and the clutch basket. All do-able by a competent home mechanic but perhaps beyond a novice for their first time.
7/8/2018 1:21:02 PM UTC
Lee said :-
Thanks for comment guys, yes it does still select and go in gear it does still ride, I dropped the oil sump and these fell out, I'm not sure what my way forward with is?
10/8/2018 5:06:21 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
What you want is for someone to tell you what to do.

The correct thing to advise is seek the assistance of an experienced and trustworthy professional - preferably your local Keeway dealer.

We here can only offer you our OPINION based on our own experience. If it were my own motorcycle I would strip the engine and replace the parts. Another opinion is that the bike is working and if it ain't broke don't fix it. You're always going to come across different opinions and it's always going to be your own choice at the end of the day.
10/8/2018 7:29:08 PM UTC
Joe said :-
Hi all,

I am a newbie and I an considering to purchase a 125. I am considering a Keeway RKV 2018 model. What are your thoughts when compared to a CB125F.

20/8/2018 8:53:09 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Joe.

As with most questions here you're asking a very very broad question. There are a lot of things to consider.

Both bikes are fine to ride. If you're tall you may find the Keeway a little small - you'll have to have a sit on it.
The Honda will cost more but hold it's resell value better than the Keeway - how long do you plan to keep it?
The Keeway is cheaper, considerably cheaper, but you'll struggle to find aftermarket parts if you plan on maintaining it yourself.
If you're doing a lot of miles the Honda will use a little less fuel than the Keeway - but not a lot.

And so on and so on. If you are a new learner who's never ridden a motorcycle before I personally would go for the Keeway. The initial price is cheaper. Find out if you like motorcycling. Find out what kind of bikes you like. Find out how many miles a year you're going to ride. Find out what features you like. Then when you've been riding a while you'll know yourself if which bike you want.
20/8/2018 12:04:09 PM UTC
Rod said :-
Hi Joe, Just to give a second opinion, I agree with the points that Ren has made.
As a new rider I would go for the Keeway. Do not believe all that people say about poor quality Chinese bikes, the Keeway seems to be one of the better quality Chinese bikes.
20/8/2018 5:13:35 PM UTC
Henrik said :-
Seccondhand CB125F, with low milage, 1-3 years old,...

Would be my choice
20/8/2018 6:05:17 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Keeway quality is pretty good Rod. Good point regarding second hand Henrik. Some people are quite nervous about second hand stuff though if they aren't wizened old timers like us.
20/8/2018 8:16:24 PM UTC
Joe said :-
Hi Ren,

Thanks for the tips. I share the same thoughts.

I plan to use it for short commutes of 30km. But at the same looking for a reliable initial machine with good handling, braking and ergonomics. I am 1.74m tall.

Seeing other utube reviews they are saying that the switchgear is crap of the Keeway.
21/8/2018 6:03:54 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Well I can only comment on Sharon's Keeway. When we first purchased the bike we had a teething problem with the electrics that was fixed for free under warranty by the shop. Since then Sharon's bike now has 24,00 miles on the clock and the switchgear has been just fine.

The handling is fine. Sharon has had 2 tank slappers but we suspect that's because of the tyres. Also weight - she's tiny and 50kg wet through. I've gone totally mental on that poor Keeway and loved every minute. You're roughly the same height as myself. You will fit on the bike but they are small. I do strongly suggest you have a sit on both of them.

Sharon and I have spent an age on this site dispelling the myths of "Cheap Chinese crap." We have been very pleased with the Keeway. Of course this being me there is always a "But..."

My CBF125 (the forerunner of the CB125F) now has 75,000 miles on the clock. While it has not been 100% reliable it has been a fabulously wonderful investment. I have toured and commuted on it. I suppose what I'm trying to say is my Honda can prove it's longevity, the Keeway is still proving it.

21/8/2018 7:35:26 AM UTC
Joe said :-
Ok guys thanks for your help. I am trying to avoid 2nd hand. I will try to sit on both to compare.

Cheers and keep this site going. I was lucky to stumble on it ??
21/8/2018 11:40:00 AM UTC
said :-

5/9/2018 6:54:31 PM UTC
James D said :-
I purchased a 2014 model with 11K on the clock from a yoof who owned it since new for the sum of £500 cash and which had been stored in a garden for 12 months after failing it's MOT for a notchy steering head bearing. (just for info this was April 2019)
The doom and gloom keyboard warriors came out in force aplenty, apparently "You cannot get spares" "it will be a pile of rust" "the engine is made of cheese" - well guess what Mr Keyboard Idjut, i ordered top/bottom steering head bearings, fork seals, brake pads, battery, wheel bearings and a fuel tap the same day which was delivered the following day. It Passed MOT first time, the engine completed the Lands End to john o Groats run at mostly max throttle in 5 fantastic days and been ridden back to Devon where i live and it's now just been sold for more than i paid for both the bike and the (apparently unavailable spares) that i purchased and fitted.
A very good solidly built machine.
25/6/2019 2:09:58 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
That sounds like a jolly old trip James D, Lands End to John o'Groats on a 125 in 5 days. That's what, 900 miles so that's roughly 180 miles a day. Sharon and I have done just one 260 mile day on the 125s but I wouldn't recommend it on a regular basis (que reader who probably thinks nothing of doing 400 miles every day for a month on a 1976 CG125...).

Yeah, there's not a lot wrong with the Keeways, it's usually the owners that are the issue.

26/6/2019 1:25:48 PM UTC
john said :-
Hi i have a keeway 125 rks sport i have no 3rd of 4th gear dose anyone no what the problem could be
15/7/2019 4:52:19 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Sounds to me like the 3-4 selector fork is broken.
15/7/2019 8:00:30 PM UTC
john said :-
Hi ren the ed is that right in side the caseing as ive got most of it apart and dont want to split it if i dont have to thats why ive asked on her thanks
17/7/2019 3:27:39 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
It is one seriously fiddly job splitting the crankcases and messing with the gear box. I'd double double check the selector mechanism first. Learn how it goes up and down the gears and see if you can spot anything amiss. Once you're sure the selector mech is working then I fear the next step would be getting inside the gearbox. Sorry chief, I hope it works out.
17/7/2019 3:33:11 PM UTC
malcolm said :-
Thank you for a very informative review. I am looking for a first bike for my newly CBT'd daughter and I now have Keeway RKS on the list. I wish other reviewers (including those who apparently do it for a living) would read your review and take note!

30/8/2019 4:49:55 PM UTC

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