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Piaggio Vespa LX125 (2005-current)

£2,799

124cc, 10bhp, 62mph, Insurance group

Now that the iconic Vespa PX series has been killed off by emissions laws, the LX twist-and-go four-stroke is just about the closest thing to the original Vespa look. Underneath the classic looks they’re a modern scoot – and the pink scooter in our pictures is thankfully a limited edition colour!

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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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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Yamaha XT125R (2005-current)

£2,999

124cc, 12.5bhp, 71mph, Insurance group 5

Once upon a time the learner motorcycle world was only filled with two-strokes. And once your eyes had stopped running the only quality trailie was Yamaha’s DT125. And it was madly expensive. Nowadays the place is full of four-stroke cheapies like Yamaha's XT125R and we should be grateful. But we’re not because de-restricting two-stroke learners was a piece of cake ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Suzuki DR125SE (1985-2001)

N/A

124cc, 12bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 4

The Suzuki DR125SE, is a straightforward but attractively styled four-stroke learner trailie that was only available for a limited period, so rare now. Earlier twin-headlamp “Raider’ was more common, but most are by now unserviceable. A good Suzuki DR125SE is a valid alternative to an XT125 or the like.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Rieju SMX 125 (1997-current)

£2,799

124cc, 14.5bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 5

The Rieju SMX 125 and 50 models are Supermoto styled bikes aimed at novices, with the 125 featuring a 14bhp Yamaha engine, Paioli suspension and a tall seat height. The 50cc SMX Pro version also has trick bits like Galfer wavy dics and a chromed exhaust system. Just that bit more stylish than the average learner bike.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Suzuki GS125ES (1982-2000)

N/A

124cc, 12bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 3

If you want to get to work, carry a butty box and do it all on about 69p per day, then the Suzuki GS125ES is for you. It's about as exciting as cold porridge, but like the Honda C90, or Kawasaki KH125, the Suzuki GS125ES simply provides basic two wheeled transport and costs peanuts to run.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Sherco 50 (2003-current)

£2,250

50cc, 8bhp, 30mph, Insurance group 1

A tiny, Minarelli-engined, screamer that’s collected a hatful of 50cc supermoto titles, including multiple French National crowns. It handles superbly, tuning parts are relatively easy to come by and, most importantly, it’s easy to de-restrict. Providing you’ve got the appropriate licence, of course. Ahem.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Harley-Davidson FXDBI Dyna Street Bob (2006-current)

£10,995

18cc, 67bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 15

If you’re wondering about the Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob's name, it comes from the ‘bobber’ fashion in the custom world inspired by the post-WWII movement which saw ex-military Harleys chopped down with low seats, fat tyres and Ape hanger bars. The Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob, based on the ubiquitous Super Glide, takes this minimalism to the limit with a low seat, classic Fat ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Kawasaki KE100 (1974-1998)

N/A

99cc, 10bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 4

If you want basic transport, in a two stroke trail bike package, then the Kawasaki KE100 is arguably the template for the entire class. Starting life as the 100 G4 TR, it evolved into the KM100 and KE100, eventually killed off by looming emissions regulations in 1998. The lKawasaki KE100  has sightly dodgy brakes and electrics, but otherwise a tough, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBR125R (2004-2010)

£3,170

125cc, 13bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 6

The Honda CBR125R is an excellent ‘mid market’ 125. There are cheaper to buy / run bikes, like Honda’s own CG125 but they lack kudos. There’s a flotilla of fancy, mainly European motorcycles like Aprilia’s gorgeous RS125 but they’re silly money. But the Honda CBR125R's a tidy little motorcycle with a reliable four stroke engine, safe handling and brakes.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4

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