All Tests – The little Spanish girl in the big leagues – Used DERBI

The little Spanish girl in the big league

All Tests - The little Spanish girl in the big leagues - Used DERBI

With its Mulhacen Cafe 125, Derbi is adding a touch of sport to its original Mulhacen 125 roadster: thanks to quality equipment, the little Spanish girl intends to reign over the city and its surroundings. Site tested its claims in Barcelona.

Not content with having laid new foundations in the 125 cc roadster clan with its new Mulhacen, the Spanish manufacturer Derbi goes further by equipping its half-scrambler / half-roadster machine with sport-oriented tires, and especially a train. front worthy of a mid-capacity Supersport: with its huge 40mm Paioli inverted fork and 300mm single front disc, clamped by a radially mounted two-piston caliper (!), the Mulhacen Cafe plays the card of over-equipment and titillates lovers of beautiful pieces !

For the brand created in 1922 (and attached to the Piaggio group in 2001), the avowed goal is simple: to address all car license holders who wish to acquire an original and efficient motorcycle to overcome the vagaries of urban travel. . An option made possible since July 1996, when the State authorized the driving of a 125cc of 15 hp maximum to motorists with more than two years of license. An equivalence not always appreciated by bikers holding the A license and which has recently been adapted by now requiring a slight training (read).

This measure literally precipitated sales of small 125s to peaks, to such an extent that the volumes sold in France are gradually approaching the 50% mark of sales for cycles over 50 cc (read)! But the historic Iberian brand is not just targeting our market: "from the end of 2004 to 2007, 125 sales in Europe rose from 94,000 to 138,000 units, !", indicates the manufacturer.

Figures that leave you dreaming, especially for Derbi whose attachment to small engines is proven: the manufacturer, which promises to be the leader of the 50 cc market in France and Europe, has an impressive sports track record (18 world titles).

Forged in large part by the legendary Angel Nieto, these results could be enriched this year thanks to the Derbi drivers in GP 125, including the recent winner of his national race at Le Mans, the Toulouse-based Mike di Meglio (read).

A 125 roadster with dog !

Discovered in the middle of the Barcelona countryside, the small Mulhacen Cafe (named after the highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula) reveals its finery and begins its charming number: indeed difficult to remain unmoved in front of the lines of the Spanish 125, which However, most of the characteristics of the original model are taken over: the Mulhacen 125 unveiled at the 2006 Milan show (read).

Thus, we find the compact line (skillfully mixing the trail, urban and roadster genres), well highlighted by the tubular reinforced steel frame, the swinging arm of good quality, the silencer that goes back under the saddle, the large handlebars and the generous plastics surrounding the water radiator.

An accessory that recalls the modernity of the engine block fitted to the Mulhacen Cafe, since it is the same 124.2 cc four-stroke, four-valve single-cylinder as that of the Terra and the all-new Terra Adventure (read our) . A thruster "which combines sporty temperament and functionality", assures Derbi, and which stands out from its competitors by its double camshaft, its power and its high compression ratio (15 hp and 12: 1).

Available only in black and red, the Mulhacen Cafe even admits a certain resemblance to the illustrious Ducati Monster. A feeling heightened by the presence of a red strip which goes from the front mudguard to the 13 liter tank (closed by a pretty "avia" type hatch) and by the elegant tubular frame of a red of the most nice effect.

Intended to seduce a public adept of beautiful objects, the latest from the manufacturer is adorned with aluminum rims with a more "racing" connotation, which blend perfectly with the new front axle with an impressive look and impeccable finish quality..

Imperceptible to the naked eye, the modifications due to the installation of the Paioli inverted fork lead to slight changes in the geometry of the bike: the wheelbase is extended by 10 mm and the maximum length is also increased, but above all the dry weight increases by 10 kg! Of course, the stick rims (which go from 18 to 17 inches at the front) and the radial front brake caliper coupled to a larger diameter disc (+20 mm) are just as responsible for this slight overweight, which stabilizes the scale at 120 kg dry.

The two-level seat is pleasant and allows the transport of a passenger – who will appreciate the presence of grab handles – over short distances: its weak padding, associated with the vibrations very present after the milestone of 8000 revolutions / min, n ‘will certainly not make it the friend of long-haul travelers !

In terms of details that annoy, we will also cite the old-fashioned aspect of the mirrors (however very effective), the space too limited under the saddle, the absence of ignition switch and adjustable levers, as well as a tachometer. barograph type not very readable, especially since it does not have graduations !

A prejudice which is added to an annoying slowness of reaction of said accessory, which can however be overcome by displaying the revolutions instead of the trip. The opportunity to familiarize yourself with the various functions of the dashboard, including a clock, a stopwatch (!), Average speed, a trip kilometer and a totalizer. This modern side contrasts with the retro look of the machine and ultimately brings few benefits: only the speed is really visible in motion. !

Playful dynamic behavior, but perfectible…

Due to a sudden torrential rain, the test of this nice little Spanish engine was unfortunately very short … and largely watered in its first kilometers! A very gentle first contact which nevertheless allows to appreciate the general ergonomics, the smoothness of the controls and that of the engine.

Expressive (for its displacement) in seconds from 5,000 revolutions, the single-cylinder requires however 2,000 additional revolutions on the following reports. It is possible to go up to 11,200 revolutions before the – discreet – ignition cut-off, regularly encountered as the noise of the sporty exhaust makes you whip the whole thing. !

No need, however, to try to pass bladders for lanterns: despite its modernity and performance, the 124.2 cc only allows a modest 110 km / h meter (at the asphalt): insufficient, therefore, to venture serenely on expressways and other roads with heavy traffic.

Vibrating in a sensitive way at the level of the handlebars and the footrests from 8,000 revolutions, the Spanish mill nevertheless takes the Mulhacen Cafe with good will..

The return of the sun to the Iberian roads makes it possible to use (and abuse!) The alterations made to the cycle part and their sporting claims. Playful and agile, the bike takes full advantage of its tires with irreproachable grip.

The frame and the swingarm – generously dimensioned – accept without flinching the cavalry delivered by the engine !

The ground clearance is largely sufficient to have fun and the stability in curve does not suffer from any criticism. More frustrating, the lack of feeling encountered with the front axle of the machine harms the voluntary behavior of the whole: with such fittings, the Mulhacen had to offer a high level behavior..

However, the fork is not sufficiently braked hydraulically, which causes an exaggerated plunge during braking and slightly "freezes" the front of the machine when braking on the angle..

An annoying phenomenon in sporty driving, but can be avoided by entering a curve on the momentum (the engine braking is important enough to slow down well), or by requesting the rear element with proven capabilities and easy gripping.

A compliment that we can unfortunately not return to the imposing device before: the power is there, but the feeling at the handle is questionable and the guard, too short, makes the braking reflexes brutal.

Logical consequence of this relative "softness" of the suspensions: senatorial comfort on degraded roads which combines with the large handlebars to give the Mulhacen Cafe an obvious grip and easy guidance.

Stationary maneuvers and other U-turns are just a formality: a real plus for wandering in the city, where the successful line of the machine will certainly turn many heads. !

For lovers of beautiful objects

Technical sheet

  • Engine: single cylinder 4T, 4 valves, Euro 3

  • Bore x stroke: 58×47 mm

  • Displacement: 124.2 cc

  • Power supply: 30 mm carburetor

  • Cooling: liquid

  • Starting: electric

  • Compression ratio: 12: 1

  • Ignition: electronic CDI

  • Transmission: 6 gears

  • Frame: tubular reinforced steel

  • Front suspension: 41 mm hydraulic fork (110 mm displacement)

  • Rear suspension: single shock absorber (130 mm deb.)

  • Front brake: 300 mm disc

  • Rear brake: 218 mm disc

  • Tires: 100/80 * 17 – 130/70 * 17

  • Tank: 13 liters

  • Dry weight: 120 kg

  • Price: 3899 €

  • Colors: black and red

  • Availability: immediate
  • The Spanish manufacturer intends this 125 for the very many city dwellers wishing to acquire "a unique, fun and comfortable object"who shun the too smooth side of Yamaha YBR, Zongshen ZS-R and other SYM XS.

    While it is true that its original and successful look will enhance everyday life and that its magnificent parts (fork, brakes, frame …) will delight aesthetes, its dynamic behavior deserves more rigor so that the Mulhacen Cafe achieves flawless performance..

    And this feeling is reinforced when we know that it will cost € 3,899 to buy beauty, or € 300 more than a "classic" Mulhacen: a high price for the category, especially as the "big "Mulhacen 659, soon to be tested on Site, is currently trading for € 4,490…

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