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Top 10 coolest 125cc bikes

By James Keen -

First rides & tests

 03 April 2009 09:00

In the current economic climate, more and more people are realising that small capacity bikes make sense as affordable transport.

Models like the Honda CBR125R and Yamaha YBR125 have sold in huge numbers and manufacturers have responded by filling out their range with more 125cc bikes. This means more choice for new riders and commuters.

In the 125 bike market there's a gorgeous selection of everything from scaled-down supersports to retro roadsters. We've gathered up what we think are the 10 coolest 125s out there, together with links to the full MCN bike reviews and bikes for sale.

Do you think we missed one? Do you have any thoughts on these models or advice for riders about to buy a 125 motorcycle? If so please leave a comment at the bottom of this article.  

 

Cagiva Mito SP525

Cagiva Mito SP525
Cagiva released the Mito SP525 in 2008. Whereas the old version looked like a mini Ducati 916, the SP525 pays homage to the Cagiva V594. MCN's Trev Franklin says it's "The most beautiful novice 125cc bike money can buy" and that it behaves like a more road-biased 125 MotoGP bike.

 

Suzuki Van Van

Suzuki RV125 Van Van
The Retro Suzuki VanVan is a throwback to the original RV125 sand bike of the 70's, complete with balloon tyres and chrome clocks. The Van Van is too under-powered for the open road, but if you need a funky 125 to bomb along the beach or cruise around the city, the VanVan has wide bars, a big comfy seat and a handy luggage rack.

 

Cagiva Planet 125

Cagiva Raptor 125
Formally known as the Cagiva Planet 125, the Raptor is a naked version of the Cagiva Mito. Brembo brakes offer viscious stopping power, stylish can is tasty and the chrome tank means you can check out your reflection as you cruise along. Lack of a rev counter is a shame though, especially on a screaming 2-stroke.

 

Yamaha YZF-R125

Yamaha YZF-R125
The Yamaha YZF-R125 is arguably the best of both worlds, combining the sporty looks normally seen on 2-stroke race rep 125s with a  flexible and reliable 4-stroke motor that's good for 80mph. It's also a full-sized motorcycle, slightly larger even than the R6, making it a good choice for taller riders.

 

Aprilia Tuono 125

Aprilia Tuono 125
The Tuono 125 is an Aprilia RS125 with the fairings ripped off. Flat bars make it more comfortable and easier to throw around, but it retains all the sporting prowess of the donor RS125 as any good streetfighter should. Reliability is sound as long as it's looked after and fed (expensive) high quality 2-stoke oil.

 

Honda CBF125

Honda CBF125
The Honda 125 CBF may not be as sexy as some of the other models here, but at £1,795 new it's an absolute bargain and cool because of its humility. Unlike it's predecessor the Honda CBR125R, it doesn't make any false hints at a racing pedigree, it's just an honest and accessible way into biking that could tempt a few new people on to two wheels.  

 

Aprilia SX125

Aprilia SX125
The SX125 has all the tricks bits you could ask for - Brembo brakes, alloy spoked rims and a digital dash. The fact that it's kickstart only is supermoto-cool, but the novelty will be short lived. The SX125 gives you the style of it's bigger brother, the hardcore Aprilia SXV, but performance doesn't match the looks.

 

Derbi GPR125

Derbi GPR125
Gorgeous angular bodywork and underseat exhaust give the Derbi a supersports look, plus it has the specs to back it up - 2-stroke engine with a claimed 33bhp, radial brakes and suspension developed from the Derbi 125 GP racers. The GPR125 was made for carving up roundabouts.

 

Yamaha XT125R

Yamaha XT125R
The XT125 was the winner of a recent MCN 125cc road test in London. The wide bars, low weight (111kg) and 4-stroke powerplant make it great for dicing through traffic. When you put that together with the XT125R's high-level can and bash plate you also get a bike capable of gentle off-road work.

 

Aprilia RS125

Aprilia RS125
The RS125 has long been the bike to have for 17-year-olds everywhere. It remains one of the best handling bikes ever. However the 100mph motor is fragile and needs love and fully-synthetic 2-stroke oil. It also needs to be warmed up properly, but on the plus side this is a great excuse to stand and look at it.

 

If you're thinking of buying one of the above models from MCN Bikes For Sale, get insurance quotes from a number of motorcycle insurance providers in one place with MCN Compare.