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Kymco CK1 (2014-current)

£1,999

125cc, 10bhp, 65mph, Insurance group

Like those Japanese rivals, the CK1 is a fairly stylish air-cooled, four-stroke single. Unlike them, it costs under two grand. All-new commuter aims to fill the gap between cheap and cheerful Chinese offerings and more proven, pricier, Japanese ones. It succeeds, too, being well-specced, stylish and well priced. Not perfect, it arguably delivers the best of both worlds.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Sym Wolf SB125Ni (2011-current)

£2,999

125cc, 11bhp, 70mph, Insurance group

The Sym Wolf SB125Ni is a fuel-injected learner-friendly motorcycle from the Taiwanese giant. Sym pumps out around half a million two wheelers (albeit mostly scooters) a year, and this is one of their first steps into the UK motorcycle market. But… despite its great looks, the £2999 price tag puts it way above more attractive budget options, while the quality ...

  • MCN rating rating is 2
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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WK 125R (2011-current)

£1,699

124cc, 11bhp, 78mph, Insurance group

The Taiwanese-built WK 125R is an entry-level 125cc motorcycle for British riders on a budget. Imported by the same team behind Quadzilla Quads, it’s a cheap, cheerful and functional alternative to more expensive European or Japanese learner machines. It’s a little basic, quite heavily outmoded and unlikely to last a lifetime, but it’s also fairly cool, fun to ride and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 2
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KTM 125 Duke (2011-current)

£3,999

124cc, 15bhp, 78mph, Insurance group 7

If you’re looking to get your license, learn to lift either wheel or pursue some lightweight urban thrills, the 125 Duke can do it for you. It doesn’t seem like a regular, budget 125 machine; It feels like a premium motorcycle that just-so-happens to be low capacity. It’s a shame engine modifications only allow restriction and not an enhancement of ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Sinnis Trackstar 125 (2010-current)

£1,549

124cc, 11bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 3

Produced by Brighton-based Sinnis, but manufactured in China, the Trackstar is a cheap, trendy 125cc alternative to the CG 125 or the Virago. It’s very easy to control and manoeuvre, making it an attractive option for learners or novice bikers. It’s also got the looks and charm to interest scooter riders, commuters or city-dwellers who are won over by its ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha YBR125 Custom (2008-current)

£2,599

124cc, 10bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 2

The idea behind the Yamaha YBR125 Custom is dead simple: take the straightforward YBR125 commuter, customize it a bit with high bars, more chrome and a lower seat, bump up the price a tad, and there you go, a pointlessly more expensive and less tasteful runabout. In reality, it makes a lot of sense as the low seat makes it ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha YBR125 (2005-current)

£2,599

124cc, 10bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 4

Not the most stylish kid on the block but, as budget, basic learners go, the Yamaha YBR125 offers pretty good value for money. Gentle, easy going and practical, it’ll see you through your test and, if you want, beyond. The Yamaha YBR125 is best as a city ride, there’s enough poke to wind you through rush hour traffic and the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Honda CG125 (1975-2008)

£1,999

124cc, 11bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 3

How can you argue with ten million commuters worldwide, still pootling to work in mucky overalls, some thirty years after the Honda CG125 was launched? The Honda CG125 goes, it stops, it goes again the next day - simple as that. The Honda CG125 is the Spam of biking; a bit downmarket, stodgy and uninspiring, but ultimately does exactly what ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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 4.5
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Kawasaki KH125 (1975-1998)

N/A

123cc, 12bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 2

Something of a bus dodger are we, Sir? Then try the Kawasaki KH125 for your daily commute. Kawasaki KH125 costs buttons to buy and run, reliable and has just enough power to stick with urban traffic. The Kawasaki KH125 looks a bit dated now and it's a low tech two-stroke, but still a fun way to get to work.

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

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