10 Best 125cc Motorcycles (2021)
If you’re in the market for a new motorcycle, the 125cc class is an excellent place to start. You get a good amount of power and handling performance, without sacrificing on fuel efficiency. And it’s also a great place to start for new riders. So, if you’re looking for the best 125cc motorcycles in 2021, here are 10 of the best motorcycles for the money.
The Honda Monkey is probably the coolest mini moto on the market today. Nobody can match Honda’s reputation for engines, and even though the Monkey may be compact, this single overhead cam design is a giant in terms of performance and reliability. Its 125 CC four stroke engine is EFI programmed lean as can be. This is superb for meeting emission requirements and this also allows the monkey to clock 100 plus mpg consistently. It has a 1.5 gallon tank so you can do the math pretty quickly to calculate how much money it costs you to ride for 100 miles. It boasts incredible fuel efficiency and every fill up will take you farther than you ever thought possible. The Monkey features 220mm front and 190mm rear single disc brakes for excellent stopping power. Because of the Monkey’s miniature stature, it’s easy to park in the city, and to store when you’re not riding.
The Suzuki GSX S125 is the perfect bike for anyone looking to commute in style. Low prices and good fuel economy make this 125 CC bike hugely popular with young riders and urban commuters. With a low kerb weight of 133 kg and 785 mm seat height, the S125 is set up to be as learner friendly as possible. With a claimed fuel economy of 122.8mpg, it's also frugal. Throttle response is good too, which, paired with a light clutch and 40 degree range of motion at the front end means even inexperienced riders will find slow speed control and manoeuvres easier. Comfort is good as long as you’re not in the saddle for more than an hour. It’s nimble and a great joy to ride and is perfect for navigating city streets. Security appears to have been a high priority in the eyes of the engineers, with the bike sporting unique anti theft ignition devices. Suzuki's GSX should be on the short list for anyone who wants to progress to bigger sportsbikes.
The KTM Dukes are all fun motorcycles. They are the kind of bikes that constantly nudge you to twist that right wrist all the way, all the time. Making the permitted 15bhp, the Duke 125 is entertaining enough. The fuel injected engine is lively, pulls very well and sounds great, even with the standard silencer. The liquid cooled D O H C four valve motor is rev friendly and is capable of being ridden at full clip all day long. The 6 speed gearbox is slick with positive shifts on every tap. Ergonomically the Duke is built to fit, its seat height is fairly high at 830mm but the seat itself is narrow enough to make it accessible for shorter riders. The bike has a fairly comfortable riding position. With its premium cycle parts and a well designed chassis, this Duke is a riot to play with on the streets. Aside from looking good, it’s also perfect for the daily commute and can be used in all weathers and doesn’t take much looking after.
Lexmoto have got the looks absolutely bang on for what seems to be a huge competitor on the heavily congested 125 CC sportsbike market. They range from bargain basement air cooled two valve jobs making about 7bhp, to four valve jewels with more than twice the power. At 167kg, the bike is not lightweight by 125 standards, but makes the most of its power, with quite brisk acceleration up to 50mph or so, eventually climbing to an indicated 75 mph with easy 65 mph cruising. The big 13.5 litre tank means you can do a lot of urban riding without filling up. It has ABS brakes which delivers powerful enough braking for the performance, with no sign of early lock up on the linked system. The LXR is pretty comfy. It's big enough not to feel as if you're squeezed into a sporting crouch. Finally, It's not quite as powerful, quick or sophisticated as the big name rivals, but it's much, much cheaper.
The Honda CB 125 R is a premium naked bike with a distinct retro feel. Being a Honda the CB 125 R is well built. It is also comfortable and easy to ride and has a reputation for durability and benefits from a great dealer network. The exhaust has been designed to sit right at the centre of this 126 kg bike for the best weight distribution. The low centre of gravity in the middle of the CB 125 R makes it feel very stable even in bad weather conditions. Its liquid cooled, single cylinder, four stroke motor, although not the most powerful in the class, is a reasonable performer. The chassis is far more sophisticated than you would expect from a 125 street bike. Away from the city centre, the little Honda is also perfectly competent when the going gets twisty, with plenty of ground clearance to inspire healthy lean angles and a mildly aggressive riding position. For learners who want something a bit more agile and sophisticated, the CB 125 R is the machine we'd recommend.
The new 2021 Sinnis Terrain T125 is the company’s latest adventure bike, and a significant step up from the previous Terrain. With 17 inch wheels, the off road capability of the 331 pound Terrain is limited. However, the motorcycle with a potential 66.5 litre luggage capacity, 14 litre fuel capacity and around 100mpg makes long distance riding accessible to everyone. The engine is paired with a 5 speed manual gearbox, which works really well. The clutch is light and gear selector is smooth, neutral and is easy to find, so all in all pushing the bike through the gears is nice and easy. Suspension is provided by USD telescopic front forks and a single rear mono shock. The bike rides well on the road, goes around corners brilliantly and can handle any bumps well. However on pairing this with the CBS on the front and rear discs, you begin to get a slight issue. The bike is aimed squarely at commuters and new riders who don’t want to restrict themselves to just on road riding.
The Yamaha MT 125 is a premium learner friendly naked bike. It has a bold alien like twin led headlamp that gives it an attractive front end look. It's muscular looking tank makes it look all aggressive. The engine is mated to a 6 speed transmission and it also has an assist and slipper clutch system. It has a top speed of around 80 miles per hour and its mileage is nearly 30 miles per hour. It uses a light and compact delta box frame. The suspension duties are taken care of by 41 mm inverted forks at the front end, while the rear end is equipped with a swingarm linked mono shock with adjustable preload. The kerb weight of the Yamaha MT is 142 kg including a fully filled oil and fuel tank. The fuel tank capacity is 11 litres which is a little smaller if you plan to tour on this. If we leave the price point, then the 2021 Yamaha MT is surely an amazing bike that has a lot to offer.
The new 125 CC Husqvarna Svartpilen has been introduced as an entry level model from the Swedish motorcycle brand. The engine found on the Husqvarna is a Euro 5 compliant single cylinder, liquid cooled with twin overhead camshaft. You’ll find a 6 speed gearbox, 17 inch front and rear spoked wheels with Pirelli rubber, and premium build quality throughout on this 2021 model. The round retro style mirrors are functionally adequate, but don’t give a great rear view and the side stand is sturdy, stable when down and easy to access, while both clutch and brake levers are five way adjustable. The Svartpilen is fitted with hydraulic ByBre brake calipers, which are manufactured to the highest standards, and in combination with 320 mm front and 230 mm rear perforated steel discs. The WP suspension on the Svartpilen is made to exacting standards, ensuring the highest level of quality and craftsmanship. Handling is sharp and precise, and is good for a fun ride.
Aprilia has come out with another addition to the Tuono family with the naked 125 CC variant. The engine powering the Aprilia Tuono 125 is a single cylinder four valve, four stroke liquid cooled engine that can produce 14.75 bhp at 10,750 rpm. With the fuel capacity of 14.5 litres, the Aprilia has the largest fuel tank among its 125 CC rivals. The dual front brake rotors are 320mm in diameter, while the single rear brake rotor is 280mm in diameter. The brakes work really well and slow the bike with ease and confidence. The chassis of the Aprilia is magnificent as it is lightweight and rigid. The design of the foot pegs on the Aprilia is in such a way that it doesn’t fatigue the rider at all times. Thanks to the inverted 41mm forks in the front suspension and monoshock for the rear, the ride is quite smooth on the road. The ride is comfortable even on bumpy roads, making this motorcycle great for daily use.
Kawasaki Ninja 125 is an entry-level fully-faired motorcycle offered by the Japanese brand. It is the smallest capacity bike from the Ninja family. This sports bike is powered by a 125cc single-cylinder, fuel-injected, DOHC, 4-valves, four-stroke, engine. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox and it is liquid-cooled. The suspension duties on Kawasaki Ninja 125 are taken care of by 37 mm telescopic front forks and a Uni-Trak, gas-charged mono-shock with adjustable preload. The braking duties on the Ninja 125 are taken care of by a 290 mm dual-piston calliper petal disc at the front wheel and a 220 MM dual-piston calliper petal disc at the rear wheel. The kerb weight of Ninja 125 is 148 kg and it has a wheelbase of 1,330 mm. The level of finish is high, the frame projects a quality feel. If you're a seasoned rider with a healthy wallet, this will be a fun beast to tame.