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Chris Dabbs  says:

Bike Chooser: Urban Commuter

Which 125cc urban commuter? "I had a scooter when I was growing up in Spain, now I want a 125 in the Spring for a short, cross-town commute." Santi, Kingsthorpe THE ONE TO BUYHONDA XL125V VARADERO£1890-£4500 Santi doesn’t want an “arse in the air” sports bike, but he has got up to £4000 to spend so there’s plenty of choice out there. Living on...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (31 January 2013 13:42)

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Nov 12

Posts: 4

ChristoT says:

The Vara on long distances

I started out on a Varadero, and loved it. Having passed my test, I often took people pillion, where it still behaved well (though possibly a bit too docile for some). I even loaded it up with luggage, and went to France on it! It'll hold 70 on motorways, and is nippy and responsive in town once you get used to the height and the weight. If possible, get a pre-2006, the carb'ed bikes are slightly more powerful and reliable than the fuel injected post 2006 models.

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Jan 10

Posts: 431

rlf3 says:

None of the above

If it's a 125 purely for urban commuting there is absolutely nothing better than a scooter.

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Aug 02

Posts: 3285

eatcs01 says:


I used to commute daily on a DT125R. 20 miles of main A roads, then 4-6 miles across the city. Perfect.

I also used a TZR125. The DT was better once in the city.

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Aug 12

Posts: 16

stripple675 says:

I use a cbf 125..140+ to the gallon.had it from new 2009. it's made in india not up to the normal honda build quality tho' used all year round..I luv it ! it'd done 10 000 miles and still on the original conti go's

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Oct 11

Posts: 2646

Piglet2010 says:


For a 125-cc urban commuter, I would be looking at the Honda PCX 125. A bit slower (and only 108-cc) option, but less expensive with even more locking storage space is the Honda Lead 110 (I have the almost identical US market Elite 110).

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Mar 10

Posts: 60

maculopathy says:

Back in the dark ages had a spiffy CB125T Superdream, if I was to choose a 125 now I'd take the DT loads of cheap ones about and a hoot to ride

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Oct 10

Posts: 12

alvaro1976 says:

NONE of the above (II)

Hi, I had a 125 varadero, and is the one that has great road presence, looks like a 600 cc, is very pretty, its mpg is great, but that's it! The engine is really boring, the handling terrible (i was scared all the time when taking twisties) and is waaay to expensive. I took it to a dealer and swapped it for a Aprilia Sportcity 125, and boy, it outperforms the varadero in almost everything!!! (I only missed the biig tank on the varadero). Better engine, brakes, chasis, wheels, handling, etc etc I even made a 145 miles round trip on b roads on summer!! I think that sporticy is not for sale anymore, but the Honda sh 125 scoopy is as good and they still making them. As rlf3 says, for urban use, scooter is the king!!

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Feb 12

Posts: 161

plumber01 says:


Does this have to be a 125, Im about 6ft and 15 stone,  and commute 23 miles a day, some M roads , I need a 600 min

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Feb 13

Posts: 2

Dingosnow says:

KTM commute

Hey I ride a KTM 125 around west London for commute. I actually look forward to my commute now It is my first bike, but it is so much like riding a mountain bike, it is a joy to ride Handles really well, gives about 65 mph when needed, stops very confidently, is great in heavy traffic Also, costs about £9.50 to fill the tank and I get about a week and a half between fills (approx 30 miles per day). All I can add is this, as soon as I pass my test, I will be selling it, to buy either 390 or 690 Duke! Best fun I've had

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Oct 05

Posts: 133

romford4 says:

Like others have said

a scooter is the best tool for town/city work.  Was a convert after hiring a Honda SH125 and 150 in Italy - very capable and surprisingly good fun.  The CBF125 is the best option for a geared bike - cost ok, reliable, very good fuel consumption, easy to own.  KTM excellent bike but I'd always be paranoid about it being pinched everytime I left it anywhere, and who wants to spend that much on a 125 when the liklihood it it'll be traded up in a year anyway.  Likewise the Vara... very soild and capable bike, but dull and FAR too expensive for a 125 unless you're intending to run it for years.  That Marauder is just too George Michael for me - you know, leather jacket, tassles, not the image most young guys looking for a 125 want.

The one option I'm surprised they've omited is Chinese 125s.  These make up the majority of 125 sales in the UK and other than the slating they get from some on the internet, the majority of people seem very happy with what they get for their money.  I'll post a few links at the bottom of this comment.  I know a few people with Chinese bikes who have never had any problems at all.  Look up Spicy110 on YouTube... he was running a 2007 Pulse Adrenaline for ages until he was KO'd by a blind car driver.  What's he just bought to replace it?... a Sinnis Apache.

MCN and Twist 'n Go download reviews:  or


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