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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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Garelli XO 125 (2010-current)

£2,199

125cc, bhp, 60mph, Insurance group

Famous Italian motorcycle brand Garelli is back with a new range of scooters and mopeds. The XO is effectively their flagship model and benefits from sharp looks, stable 16” wheels and decent disc brakes. It’s a stylish and perfectly adequate town run-around - the only drawback is a slightly lacklustre engine.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Yamaha BW’s 125 (2010-current)

£2,799

125cc, 8.9bhp, 65mph, Insurance group

The BW’s 125 is an off-road inspired scoot that goes nicely and looks even nicer - rugged styling marks it out as a small scoot aimed at blokes. At £2,499 it’s not the cheapest 125 scooter on the market, but nice detailing and decent performance help to justify the price.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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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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Yamaha Aerox R (1998-current)

£2,199

49cc, 2.6bhp, 30mph, Insurance group 2

Yamaha’s funky race replica two-stroke scooter is nippy, agile and lots of fun, although the single seat limits pillion options. It’s one of the best looking scooters around and can be seen tearing up city streets as well as being paddock transport for Yamaha-sponsored MotoGP/WSB and BSB stars. Upside forks and disc brakes means the little Aerox R can be ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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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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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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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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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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