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Vespa GTS125 (2007-current)

£3,549

124cc, 15bhp, mph, Insurance group

You get all the style and cool of an original Vespa, wrapped up in a package with modern reliability and running gear. If you're commute is primarily on busy city roads the engine and handling are spot on. But the GTS struggles out on the open road.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rieju RS3 125 LC (2011-current)

£3,399

124cc, 15bhp, 81mph, Insurance group

On the surface the Rieju does enough to be considered ahead of bikes from more established brands like Honda – with a fast engine and extras like a quickshifter with the R version - but poor build quality and bad handling can’t be ignored.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki Burgman 125 (2002-2012)

£3,465

125cc, 12bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 5

If you want the comfort and practicality of a maxi-scooter but you’re limited to 125cc, the well-spec’d Burgman is a safe choice. It’s not quite up to a motorway commute, but for city use it’s a classy ride with more luggage space than you’ll know what to do with.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Derbi GPR125 Racing (2010-current)

£3,819

124cc, 13bhp, 78mph, Insurance group 4

Sadly, the two-stroke 125 is all but dead. The recent advent of credible, easy to ride and cheap to run four-strokes is killing sales of fickle, expensive smokers. Derbi’s learner sportsbike gets an all-new design with a four-stroke engine for the first time, going head-to-head with Yamaha’s YZF-R125.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Gilera Runner 125 (2009-current)

£3,121

124cc, 14.5bhp, 73mph, Insurance group

The Runner is a long-term favourite in the scooter market, and for this year the original design was finally updated. Now four-stroke, the Runner is a sporty-looking and practical machine.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Peugeot Satelis 125 (2006-current)

£3,199

125cc, 15bhp, 67mph, Insurance group 4

Peugeot’s luxury-learner scooter is an ideal tool for the well-heeled provisional licence holder – it’s well-equipped, nicely made and rides well. It’s not so good out of town, but then few 125s are really.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Cagiva Mito SP525 (2008-current)

£3,999

125cc, 14.7bhp, 103mph, Insurance group 7

The most beautiful novice 125cc bike money can buy – yes, it even outclasses Yamaha’s YZF-R125 and biggest competitor Aprilia RS125. The Cagiva Mito SP525 is essentially the long-running two-stroke Cagiva Mito 125 brought up to date in every area and then dressed in bodywork to honour John Koscinski’s 500GP efforts onboard the Cagiva V594 circa 1994. In unrestricted form ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Yamaha YZF-R125 (2008-current)

£4,349

124cc, 14.6bhp, 75mph, Insurance group 6

Since 2004, Honda has had the learner sports bike market sewn up – the CBR125R flew out of showrooms faster than its larger capacity counterparts. Yamaha’s range had a gap for a 125 sport motorcycle, and the YZF-R125 fills that gap by combining the Honda’s easy-going ride with a little bit more poke and grown up looks – it’s actually ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda VT125C Shadow (1999-2007)

£3,299

125cc, 15bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 4

If you’re ultimately yearning for a mammoth cruiser but have yet to perfect the art of riding one, the Honda VT125C Shadow is the bike for you. The littlest Shadow looks the part, is beautifully finished, very reliable and is relatively gentle and forgiving for the novice rider. The Honda VT125C Shadow is a bit lardy, and rather expensive, but an excellent ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Cagiva Mito 125 (1991-current)

£3,999

124cc, 31bhp, 101mph, Insurance group 7

Ducati-esque styling and the promise of almost 30bhp in (easily) from a de-restricted motorcycle make the Cagiva Mito 125 a real object of desire for anyone on a learner motorcycle licence. The Cagiva Mito 125 only just loses out to Aprilia’s RS125 in the sex stakes.  

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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