roadwin 125cc silver
Daelim Roadwin 125cc Motorcycle

I created this site because of a lack of information on this bike that I own and ride. When I searched the web for roadwin info much of it was sales stuff, and most of it was in spanish or german. This is because, I guess, most of the sales from Daelim have been to the sport bike riders of Europe. There are not many roadwins here in the states, and there will not be many in the future since DaelimUSA has pulled out as of late 2008. Oh well, on to the review for the lucky few who plan to own, or those who just want to read about it. The following refers to my 2007 model I purchased new.

roadwin engine Here are some general Specifications.

Engine type: 4-stroke, 4-valves, single cylinder, chain driven single OHC, (oil filter:hf169)
Displacement: 124.1 cc, air cooled with an oil cooler (see pic below)
Bore x stroke: 56.5 mm � 49.5 mm
Starting system: Electric start
Transmission: 5 step return, sequential gear box
Ignition system: C.D.I

Chassis, suspension, brakes, tires
Suspension: (FR) Telescopic, (RR) Swing arm
Brakes: (FR) Disk, (RR) Disk
Tires: (FR) 110/70-17, (RR) 140/60-17

Dimensions, capacity
Length x width x height: 2,010 mm X 740 mm X 1,040 mm
Wheelbase: 1,380 mm, 54 inches
Ground clearance: 150 mm, 5.91 inches
Seat height: 780 mm, 31 inches
Dry weight: 135 kg, 297 lbs
Fuel tank capacity: 16.0 liters, 4.2 gal, range is 292 miles.

roadwin 125cc Daelim says some garbled english:
"GAS-TYPED MONOCUSHION Gas-typed monocushion absorbs the shock efficiently with hard rear fork so that a rider can have a great ride maintaining its feeling on any type of road.
SMOOTH RIDING STABILITY The wide 17 inch wheel, low seat height provide maximized stability on riding and application of front & rear disk brake gives you serious stopping power."

And I agree. Of real note is the disk brakes, and the rear monoshock, a seat hight of only 31 inches, and the weight--297 pounds (dry). In the USA this bike is a bit of an oddity since it looks like a regular sportbike. These are usually really fast machines with pretty big engines. The roadwin has what most would classify as a dirt bike sized motor from the 80s, or a scooter sized motor from the 90s. And then compared to the crusier style 500 pound bikes in America, this bike just does not fit in. But why not? Is it necessary to have a liter of displacement to make a good bike? I don't know what happened to the thinking of cyclists in the last 20 years to think that they need all that horsepower. It is like the consumer has been involved in a cc arms race by manufacturers. Having lots of power is nice, but it comes at the expense of weight and complexity. For pete's sake, the bike easily goes over the 55 mph speed limit present throughout the country! It is a testament to the motorcycle marketing departments that they can sell so many impractable machines to the masses, and edge out a simple economical commuter bike. In my mind you have to have sensible bikes that are a dream to handle and bridge the gap between scooters and bikers.roadwin 125cc

The real eye opener here is the price--about 2-3K$. That is staggering considering you get a fuel injected DOHC 4 valve engine, with an oil cooler, and a motorcycle chassis. You will pay this much for a scooter of the same displacement! I think that is why you often find them sold along side scooters. Clearly if you don't have a motorcycle liscense, or just do not want to shift you would have to settle for the 'less for the money' scooter. This bike on the other hand, I consider an opportunity for those of us who like to shift and enjoy the mechanical experience of driving a bike, but want a small sized machine. And the naked bike style is just that. Nothing is hidden, no extra weight. You can see right through the frame. You can see the frame. It is a wrap around beam. I liken it to the poor man's trellis frame often seen on superbikes.

A little bit about performance. The top speed is 68 mph or about 70, and the fuel efficiency is also about 50 to 70 mpg. It is really going to depend how you drive it. I have travelled on the highway, and it does fine. You push the motor but it could go all day. It is not redlined, and the vibration is not too bad. Not much heat is thrown off the casing, and it cools well. In other words--your legs don't get hot, even in Miami. Starting from stop is where it might seem weak. That is until you start to use the full potential of the powerband. You really have to rev the engine to make the most of it. After a while I started to explore the tachometer--and find the engine's sweet spot. It makes a bit of noise, but that is what is required to get it moving. I ended up twisting the throttle all the way sometimes just to get to 30 mph quickly. I feel, you have to explore the rpms like a dirtbike, to get the most out of it. Otherwise it might feel anemic. There is a lot of engine vibration around 6000 rpm, so I generally avoid staying in this small vibration zone. I expect vibration from a single. There are all kind of resonace and harmonics with such a small motor. To use the full throttle you almost have to regrip the twist grip. This is kind of annoying, but it just reinforces the fact that there is a long powerband. I would have appreciated a shorter twist/throw from idle to full power though. It is impressive that you can rev to 10,000 rpm! And I find it fun making the motor work, and trying to tap it's full potential. How many bigger bikes do you think ever get pushed to 10,000 rpm on a regular basis, let alone just to get to 30 mph? The only time I would redline my 650 was when I thought I was racer X on a weekend. Now I do it all the time just to get home from work. Just fun I tell you. How rediculous is but ridiculous.

A bit about decelerating. When you come off the throttle, especially in the lower gears the bike tends to lurch back a bit suddenly and you are pushed forward. I imagine this is due to the single piston, or just because the bike is light. Whatever the cause, it forces me to use the clutch to feather in all down shifts for a smooth experience. The front disk will really bring this bike to a halt and throw you forward if you are not careful. Luckily the riding position already puts you in an agressive position so you are more or less ready to brace yourself. The reason the brakes work so well, I feel, is because the bike is relatively light. At about 300 pounds, it is only heavier than scooters and race bikes. The rear locks up very easily, and you have to concentrate to keep it light while breaking hard since so much of the bikes weight shifts forward, and there is just not that much weight on the rear.

Noteworthy details

roadwin 125cc
It has a gas gauge
One key starts the bike, opens the gas tank, undoes the helmet lock, and releases the seat/seat cover.
The bike has a kick stand and a wheel stand.
There is a high beam flash button to momentarily flash the head light as well as a regular high/low beam switch
There are grab bars for the rear passenger.
The horn is really loud.
The passenger seat removes to allow mounting of saddle bags or a seat bag.
Metal end covers over the tips of the hand grips.
Clip on instead of a one piece handle bars. Very nice. Below is a comparison of top speeds of other light bikes.

roadwin 125cc

Criticismsroadwin 125cc
Gas gauge...mine didn't work. grrr. It does have a reserve tank function under the tank. The tank btw is plastic. I did fix the gauge, but I had to take it apart. This reminds me--get the service manual, it is worth every cent.
The gearbox...The foot shift lever is nicely ajustable, but it is hard to slip into neutral. I hate having to look at the neutral light to know I am in neutral. I can shift into neutral, and it very easily slips out into first or second gear. It is just not as positive as I would like. A shift into neutral should feel solid. Neutral feels like it is just a place between 1st and 2nd that you kind of luck into instead of a location the shifter falls into easily. Like I said, it is just not as positive as I would like. After the first hundred miles or so I have found the best way around this gear box is to make sure down shifts are rolling shifts. That is, down shift while moving. Many basic motorcycle transmissions need to be in motion to shift easily, and this one seems to be no different. It just seems to take a lot of effort for such a small engine. If I had to pick it this would be the one big fault of the roadwin. Fix this and there would really be nothing to complain about. I understand silky smooth gear shifts cost big bucks, but I just wanted to call it like it is.
Parts ...With such an unusual bike it seems like it will be hard to get spare parts. Even ebay does not seem to have much.
The welds are not primed well and are prone to rust. See pic.... I store my bike outside, and I will bet the frame rots before the engine stops running. It seems also to be a hard thing to fix, since many of the welds are hard to reach. I have been applying a rust neutralizer, and it seems to have halted the problem. It will take several applications to be sure. The real problem is inside the frame members. It is not a totally sealed assembly so eventually it will rust from the inside.
roadwin 125cc The seat is basic minimalist fare. Kind of hard. I have added a gel seat pad. Oh yeah.
The manual Just a little book, designed to fit under the seat. To just change the oil filter I had to purchase the service manual. Which by the way is a nice inch thick book that will let you take apart the whole bike. It used to be that a motorcycle company expected you to do the maintenance, and included instructions for the owner. I guess it is a sign of our society that Daelim expects you to bring it in for even the simpilist of service. Sad really. Get the service manual on the internet from on of those 'service manual sites'. The engine is the VJ125. Totally worth it. I paid $10, for a pdf download

Others' Comments
"Great starter for those wanting a full size bike! Very reliable and economical, personally managed 170miles for �4! Chunky rear tyre and substantial front means excellent road handling. New suspension soaks up the bumps without being too springy! Comes with centre and side stand, tacho, handlebar mounted choke control, clip on style handlebars, 140 section rear tyre, 16Litre tank, 5 speed box (1 down 4 up). Put of by the name? Its new to the UK but very popular in Europe, particularly in France and Spain.
"I have owned this machine for 3 months and for sheer pleasure I have not found another cruiser in the 125 range to surpass it. It is comfortable and my sole complaint is power to weight ratio could be improved
"its a very stable bike though the pick up is totally 0%. Great for transportation especially for to and fro from work. But on highways, the performance is superb as its stability and weight isa great advantage.
"Great running bike, real eyecatcher, good around corners... comfortable and ideal for long journeys... shifts at 60mph. It can hit 65 but pushing close to the red at 9.5k rpm... I would recommend it to any first time buyer or learner... reliable when well looked after... hope to pass my test on my Roadwin...
"Good handling bike easy to get knee down but gear box is no good. It can't take any abuse at all because I have already smashed two gears.. oop's
"Great bike to ride, good handling round corners, catches a lot of peoples eyes. People don't believe it a 125cc
"If I had to come up with a downside I would have to say top speed. Having never been on another bike before I have little comparison but when you are used to driving a car to work at 90mph on the dual carridgway, 65-70 flat out seems slower. That said I think it's important to rein myself in as I am a learner so I accept the 70mph max speed limit.

Long Term Maintenance

Update: I changed the oil after 250 km. It was very dirty with particles. As expected for a first oil change.
Update: At 500 km I changed the oil and filter. The filter had flecks of metal all through it. Hopefully all the factory shavings are gone now. I had to order the filters from England. Not expensive, but a bad sign for future repair work. On stop and go driving, only, I get 80 km./gallon or 50 mpg.
Update: At 700km I noticed a strange rattling noise on acceleration. I checked the exhaust header and one of the nuts had come loose, and was gone. Just by luck, the other was about to fall off, but still there. If it had vibrated off, the gasket parts would have fallen on the ground and been gone forever. I purchased a replacement nut in stainless and added lock washers.
Update: At 1500K the throttle cable broke. It rusted through at the throttle valve end. Took me a long time to get a replacement part. See below for part link. It was not hard to change. While I had the gas tank off I took out the carburetor, and dissambled it for cleaning. The accelerator pump push rode had a lot of corrosion, and there was a small amount of debris at the bottom of the carb. I will change the oil and filter soon, and that should take care of the break-in maintenance of the engine. Finding neutral at a stop is still not easy. It drops into neutral much easier when rolling.
Update 2011: The carburator became gummed up. There was a lot of corrosion when I took it apart. I cleaned and reassembled it. The bike worked for months, and then stopped functioning--presumabaly the carb again. I replaced the spark plug, just in case, and have taken the carb apart again and reassembled it to no avail. Time for a new part.
Update 2012: New carb ordered off ebay, and I installed it. During the dissasembly I found water had gotten in the fuel tank because the rain/water drain near the filler cap was plugged up. Water in the fuel system had fouled up the carburator. It's about 1500km, so I changed the oil and filter (second filter). I opened the filter and the metal shavings are all gone now, but the oil is pretty dirty. Since this is a wet sump and the engine revs high, the oil will have to be changed frequently. New battery-- a larger AGM, which seems to supply more consistant voltage to the plug. It definitely runs better. Recommendation: Buy the best and biggest battery that will fit.
Update 2017:After sitting for a long time the rear brake was not working. It turns out the rear master cylinder was stuck. Putting in the new one was easier than I thought.
roadwin 125cc

Update  sometime around 2020: Sold it cheap to a guy who took it to a guy, and got it running again. (electrical issues).

Links to other riding sites on the Web My main web page/home website.
Motorcycle Products Limited A UK parts website
Hurt Report The Hurt report. How motorcycle crashes occur.
This site may have parts. It is hard to tell. It's run by a teacher in Korea.
125cc review This is a list of performance stats on 125cc machines. Well done! Don't miss it. About 20 machines are compared. A lot of work done. I like the fact that it is actual testing.
Parts. Ordered from the UK. I have orderd oil filters and spark plugs from them.

Some aftermarket saddle bags. Not a perfect fit, but they do the job. Also notice I took off the fake carbon fiber stickers and the Daelim brand stickers. I felt they were a bit cheap. And in the US, who knows what a Daelim is anyway.

roadwin 125cc motorcycle roadwin 125ccroadwin 125cc roadwin 125cc

copyright 2008: Text not to be duplicated without express permission from the author.

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