All Tests – The Adventure with a capital A! – Used DERBI

Adventure with a capital A !

All Tests - The Adventure with a capital A! - Used DERBI

The Spanish manufacturer Derbi offers its recent 125 Terra in a model with a very clear rally-raid connotation, capable of playing with bumps and mud, like the urban jungle: the ideal tool for the city dweller who dreams of escape ? Test.

It is in the magnificent Barcelona countryside that Derbi has chosen to present its new Terra Adventure 125: a motorcycle largely inspired by the Terra 125, but which claims to be "born with the same spirit that accompanied so many adventurers who left on their motorcycles to new and distant horizons", underlines the manufacturer !

If the concept seems attractive, Derbi is however exposed to a mixed reaction from a public made up (very) largely of "motorists" in search of a palliative tool for the worries of urban travel. A core target widely targeted by this manufacturer specializing in small engines, which sees this as an opportunity to establish itself as a pioneer in a field that has remained untouched until then..

This willingness to stand out from the competition is cultivated with delight at Derbi, such as the prototype 100c 4-stroke motor bike unveiled at the recent Barcelona Motor Show: if the giant Piaggio now holds the reins of the company (as well as those of ‘Aprilia and Gilera), Derbi stands out slightly from the group by keeping his affection for a young and dynamic design and his love of competition: the legendary Angel Nieto and his thirteen world titles will remain the icon of the brand for a long time to come, even if we wish our French representative Mike di Meglio to take over (read) !

The recent Terra 125 positioned itself as the designated rival of the Honda Varadero, while the Adventure offers the same features as its little sister with a zest of fun and invitation to distant journeys. The single-cylinder 4-stroke four-valve engine is also the same as on the original Terra, as well as the chassis – reinforced – and number of peripherals..

Only the generous front fork with 41 mm (!) And 175 mm of travel, its rear counterpart, the size of the wheels (21 ‘at the front and 17’ at the rear) and that of the brake discs (+ 20 mm at the front) differ significantly. This allows the manufacturer attached to the Piaggio group since 2001 to achieve serious economies of scale, while giving the impression of putting on the market a brand new machine. !

In terms of differences, the newcomer also unveils mixed tires with "off-road" oriented tread patterns, an aluminum belly pan of very good quality, as well as hand guards essential for trips in the undergrowth and which will also be revealed. precious allies against the winter frosts !

If the frame does not change, the geometry of the machine is ostensibly retouched compared to the Terra. The new Adventure thus admits 48 mm more in overall length, 12 mm of additional wheelbase, but especially a height of saddle raised by 46 mm (generous fork travel obliges!) And a weight of 121 kg dry, that is to say a rise of four kilos! Values ​​necessary to give the Terra Adventure real backpacker abilities, once off the beaten track.

Ready to go to the end of the world ?

The Adventure will also be able to count on its recent 4-stroke unit common to the range, which offers an astonishing performance and a respect for standards above all suspicion: 15 horses are thus announced, fed by a good old 30 mm carburetor and water cooled. Modern and efficient, the 124.2 cc mono delivers its full power at 9,250 rpm and boasts a high compression ratio of 12: 1. For comparison, the last Yamaha 1000 R1 (read the test) and its "up to date" engine stuffed with horsepower advances the value of 12: 7 !

From the first glance, the little Spanish seduces and calls out: the line is fluid and well designed and the whole gives off an impression of robustness reinforced by the aluminum shoe and tank plastics with a beautiful finish..

Certainly, we cannot deny a resemblance to the unprecedented Yamaha XT 660 Z (read), the descendant of the illustrious Tenere (especially in this red and white color), but the machine nevertheless claims its own specificities and above all seems more imposing than a "traditional" 125.

Intended to challenge and to promise (as often in two-wheelers, the important thing does not lie in the actual use of the machine but in the aura it gives off), the connection of the motorcycle with the rally-raid is directly palpable: the top windshield which rises almost vertically, the crutch of large section, the hand guards, the aluminum shoe, the radiator protection grid, the handles and the notched toe clips, as well as the guard mud enveloping the 21 ‘wheel arouse desire to escape !

The overall finish is correct, even if the machine blows a little hot and cold in the matter: of course, the "aviation" type gas cap (mounted on a hinge) is magnificent, the meter is intended to be readable and practical ( it even indicates the mileage before the next service at start-up) and the steering lock is welcome, but we deplore the lack of an ignition switch, lever settings and the "moped" look of the mirrors.

The Adventure is caught up with a sturdy swing arm and a very nice beveled tail light that only fully lights up when braking: nice and efficient !

The rest of the bike takes the lines of its instigator (the Terra for those who have just arrived!), Or a unique pot with an original chrome cover going up to the right, a long and soft saddle that does not stop than the luggage rack and a tubular frame covered with trompe l’oeil, type "perimeter frame" on the front part.

As comfortable in Paris as in Dakar ?

From the first turns of the wheels, the latest born of the brand defined as "50cc sales leader in France"reveals a homogeneity of good quality and a healthy and reassuring behavior: the intimidating seat height when stationary is quickly forgotten, especially as once seated the" soft "setting of the rear suspension allows you to gain a few millimeters saving for the shortest on legs! A precious asset for low-speed wanderings in town or during catches "cat" in the undergrowth !

Suspensions that combine comfort and rigor: the heavy braking and compressions encountered during our off-road trip were absorbed with ease and the few jumps made never jeopardized the travel of the imposing 41 mm fork or the single shock absorber back. The opportunity to observe the real abilities of the Adventure, well helped by its generous ground clearance, its royal protection (the passages in the mud are only a formality!) And its engine with very smooth reactivity..

The pride of the group, the 15 hp single-cylinder engine pulls the machine out of all difficulties with good will. However, the 121 kg dry of the Derbi (to which we must add the 11 liters of gasoline, coolant, oil … and the driver) put to the test the valiant boiler who prefers the high the tachometer to display all its character: in second, it is possible to start again from 6500 revolutions / min, in third add 500 revolutions and the fourth and fifth report will require a minimum of 8000 revolutions / min.

With a discreet and breaking noise at 11,200 revolutions / min, the mono 125 therefore offers a correct range of use for the displacement, but we would have appreciated more recovery at mid-revs – the most used in urban areas – and a speed top peak a tad higher: with 107 km / h on the clock, the Terra Adventure will have difficulty defending itself on expressways and roads with heavy traffic, where overtaking requires a certain speed of execution.

On roads and in the few towns crossed in the Barcelona region, the Terra Adventure proves to be a pleasant companion: of course, its typical "trail" geometry (large travel, 21 ‘front wheel, generous wheelbase) does not make it great. absolute weapon for the daily gymkhana in traffic jams, but its driving position and its large handlebars provide a feeling of security and a very correct guidance of the motorcycle.

The fork achieves the feat of being both efficient on the roads and on the road. And with such a machine, the climbs of sidewalks are only a formality !

However, beware of the power of the brakes, including the generous diameter of the discs (300 mm at the front and 220 mm at the rear, values ​​that can be found – with two discs at the front however – on the latest Kawasaki … ZX6R!) makes the braking phases tricky: the power is largely there, but the lack of progressiveness of the controls will surprise beginners and will somewhat harm an "off-road" use.

The protection offered by the generous nose screen suffers no criticism and we can only salute once again the efforts of the Spanish manufacturers for the impression of solidity perceived on the machine, as the attachment tubes of the element offer a section (and a finish) important !

On small roads, the Adventure plays with the irregularities of the asphalt and offers significant improvisation capacities: the braking on the angle does not cause any reaction and the stability of the machine in curves is impressive despite its mixed tires..

Technical sheet

  • Engine: Single cylinder 4T, four valves Euro 3

  • Bore x stroke: 58×47 mm

  • Displacement: 124.2 cc

  • Power supply: 30 mm carburetor

  • Liquid cooling

  • Electric start

  • Compression ratio: 12 to 1.

  • CDI electronic ignition

  • Transmission: 6 gears

  • Frame: double beam and steel swing arm

  • Front suspension: 41mm hydraulic fork (175mm travel)

  • Rear suspension: mono-shock (travel: 170 mm)

  • Front brake: 300mm disc, dual piston caliper

  • Rear brake: 220 mm disc

  • Tires: 90 / 90×21 and 130 / 80×17

  • Tank: 11 liters

  • Price: 3999 €

  • Colors: white and red
  • Tight pins require more authority on the handlebars (long wheelbase requires) and especially to downshift well before: low revs are to be avoided and do not hesitate to "enter" first to get out of slow curves properly !

    The opportunity to request a gearbox with very smooth behavior, but whose neutral point is sometimes difficult to find: the "neutral" warning light tends to come on on the dashboard before the gear is locked: the best way to stall when parking !

    Adventure for all ?

    According to the importer of the Derbi brand, this new Terra Adventure 125 is aimed at "car owners who want to switch to motorcycling, but using a different and rewarding machine that suggests emotion through its look".

    A potentially reduced target, therefore, compared to market demand: certainly, the "motomobilist" will be able to see in the Adventure, the extension of his 4×4 for his urban journeys, but it must nevertheless be admitted that in France, the rally-raid is no longer frankly buoyant: a sign of the times, even the legendary Dakar has seen its outright cancellation this year (read).

    Still, the Terra Adventure is a motorcycle with tremendous potential (in terms of its displacement), attractive plastic and very healthy behavior in all circumstances..

    Offered at € 3,999, the Adventure is available this week and has no real rivals in the segment, apart from Honda’s current offer to equip the 125 Varadero with a comfort seat and ‘a top case for one euro more to buy: (much) less typical "TT" and less efficient once off the beaten track, the first manufacturer‘s motorcycle is also 700 € more expensive.

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