Bike chooser: Funky 125s

General news

 13 June 2013 18:00

In the latest Bike Chooser series, MCN have looked at some of the quirkiest 125s on the market. If you are a learner looking for a small bike with a bit of an edge then here is a list of some of our favourites. We’ve also included some insurance prices to help you find the bike that is most affordable for you.

 

Suzuki VanVan 125

 

Fans of the retro scene will simply love Suzuki’s funky looking and oddly named VanVan 125 – probably the coolest 125 on the market.

 

Designed to evoke memories of the Suzuki RV125 from the 1970s, the 2003-onwards VanVan looks almost identical and even comes complete with ‘balloon’ tyres and some awesome retro paint schemes. If you are after a great looking city commuter or even just something to potter around the country lanes on the VanVan is well worth considering.

 

Powered by a tiny air-cooled 125cc motor, the VanVan can reach a top speed of around 65mph if pushed, however it is far happier simply bumbling around and looking good. The gearbox is slick, the reliability unquestioned and the drive about what you would expect from a 125 – limited but acceptable if you aren’t in a rush. But why rush on a VanVan?

 

Good points include a long, low and comfortable seat with wide bars. The steering lock is excellent for city riding and although the suspension and brakes are pretty basic, they do their job when required with a fair degree of competency.

 

There is an awful lot to like about the VanVan and very little to complain about apart from the obvious slightly dubious build quality. The motor will easily deliver 65mpg (the lack of fuel gauge is annoying) and although some may see it as a little effeminate, they are wrong. The VanVan is a cool looking retro that turns heads everywhere it goes. With prices starting at around £2,000 this is a 125 that can’t be overlooked.

 

And this is the sort of price you’d be looking at on insurance:

 

Rider information

Rider 1 - 25 yrs, Hull, 3NCB

Rider 2 - 35 yr old London 3NCB

Rider 3 - 45 yr old Edinburgh 3NCB

Policy information

 

 

 

Fully comp

 

 

 

Price

£129.99

£120.35

£80.77

Excess amount

£350

£50

£150

 

 

Vespa ET4 125

When it comes to cool scooters there are only two names to consider – Lambretta and Vespa. The Vespa ET4 is a good looking twist and go that easily be had for less than £1,000. Reliability isn’t much of an issue but they are often quite battered due to low speed tumbles.

 

For a 2003 Vespa ET4 125, you’d be looking at the following on insurance:

 

Rider information

Rider 1 - 25 yrs, Hull, 3NCB

Rider 2 - 35 yr old London 3NCB

Rider 3 - 45 yr old Edinburgh 3NCB

Policy information

 

 

 

Fully comp

 

 

 

Price

£107.57

£120.44

£77.40

Excess amount

£300

£50

£150

 

 

Gilera DNA 125

Gilera’s DNA is a weird cross between a twist and go and a naked bike, something that sets it aside from the rest of the 125 market. Surprisingly peppy, the DNA’s small wheels can make its handling a little unpredictable. Prices start at £800.

 

We’ve ran the 2002 Gilera DNA 125 Thundercat through our MCNcompare quote aggregator and this is what you would be looking at:

 

Rider information

Rider 1 - 25 yrs, Hull, 3NCB

Rider 2 - 35 yr old London 3NCB

Rider 3 - 45 yr old Edinburgh 3NCB

Policy information

 

 

 

Fully comp

 

 

 

Price

£134.61

£118.66

£80.77

Excess amount

£350

£50

£150

 

All quotes correct as of 7th June 2013, courtesy of MCNcompare.com

 

Moving on to a higher-powered engine? Sell your old 125cc or smaller through Bikes for Sale by 30th June 2013 for just 99p.