WK BIKES 125R (2011-on) Review

Published: 30 June 2011

A little basic, outmoded and unlikely to last a lifetime, but also fairly cool, fun and gets the job done

WK BIKES 125R  (2011-on)

A little basic, outmoded and unlikely to last a lifetime, but also fairly cool, fun and gets the job done

  • At a glance
  • 124cc  -  11 bhp
  • 75 mpg  -  267 miles range
  • Medium seat height (845mm)
  • Suitable for A1 licence
  • £1,699

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

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 gets the job done for well under two grand.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

On the down side: very vague. On the up side: great for learners. The suspension is bouncy and soft and the gear selector and clutch are loose and imprecise. But, the clip on bars are easy to reach and mingle café-racer styling with learner-friendly handling. The mirrors are perfectly adequate, power rises very smoothly and the bike feels safe and stable at everything from low-speed manoeuvre speeds to the 70mph mark. It’s very difficult not to be charmed by the WK 125R’s comfortable, easy-going ride.

Engine 3 out of 5

WK won’t confirm the origin of the engine, but the ever-ready Honda CB125 is the most likely donor. It makes a smooth 11bhp, but requires the use of a choke to get it breathing. It’s nothing like as capable, low-maintenance or slick as modern fuel injected 125cc engines, but makes enough power to boost you around up to motorway speeds and adds to the bike’s 20th century parts-bin appeal.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

General quality is exactly what you’d expect for a £1699 bike: adequate but far from premium. WK bikes come with a 12-month unlimited mileage parts and labour warranty, which is reassuring. Whether it will survive a winter or a year of drops and scrapes remains to be seen.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

Even with the Scorpion exhaust, at £1998 the WK125R is £1172 cheaper than a Honda CBR125R and £1697 cheaper than a KTM 125 Duke. They’re in another league when it comes to performance and build quality, but are they twice the fun as well as twice the price? It’s doubtful. Resale values aren’t likely to be high, but with the initial saving in your pocket it’s easier to swallow.

Equipment 2 out of 5

An odd mixture. The clocks are incredibly imprecise: reading the full 10,000 revs whenever the throttle is opened (regardless of still rising engine noise) and indicating 90mph at what is clearly more like 70mph. The side stand is inexplicably short too. That said, it has a decent centre stand, a comprehensive grab rail and a helmet lock tab. Ultimately it’s let down by the WWII-spec analogue clocks which – though charming – are somewhere beyond obsolete. The Scorpion exhaust (a £299 extra) is well worth the investment, giving a fruity little burbling noise that seriously adds to the WK 125R’s appeal.

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their WK BIKES 125R (2011-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 2.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 2.8 out of 5
Engine 2.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2.8 out of 5
Equipment 1.8 out of 5
1 out of 5

WKBikes faulty petrol can

05 June 2014 by baronvonbroster

Good Afternoon peps, If anyone has any problems with the petrol tanks - carbs - fuel lines on the WK range please could you inform Martin Ryder from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, DVSA REF: VSD25395 Phone 0117 954 3486 Read more

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
1 out of 5

wk sp125

27 May 2014 by Anonymous

bought mine 11/11/13 2014 strong smell of petrol but cap did not lock and was not air tight so now and then spilt petrol, few small puddles now and then but thought it was a coolant leak. turns out it was petrol leak, on the final 2 days 10 liters... Read more had leaked. how it did not blow i do not know. stripped sides off thinking it was a loose fuel pipe but turns out massive hole under the tank. i have researched the problem in depth and turns out it was only ever made for ethanol e5 and not the new e10 that came out in 2011, 99% of petrol pumps now use e10 and it rots the tank and fuel lines. spoke to the dealer, manufacturer who have basically said its my fault for using e10 not e5 even though this was never advised, no stickers no warnings, nothing in the manual and sold to use in the UK, asked why the tank does not conform with the EU regulations that state from 2011 all motorcycles are supposed to take e10 or above and they can not answer or give any good reason why it does not conform with the regulations? fit for purpose? erm no free from defects in material and workmanship? erm no. dangerous goods? i think so. if you are related to Evel Knievel? enjoy risking your life daily? like the smell of petrol? its the bike for you. if no then stay away from this bike its way to dangerous to contemplate buying. i was advised to ride the bike back to the dealers? wtf lol

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Brilliant Bike

23 October 2012 by slx2005

My WK125r is the 2010 model and I agree, shuffy, I bought it second hand in late september and since then the only thing which i've replaced is the seat because the sponge inside was worn with the amount of times I rode it :), it's done ~5500 and... Read more going strong, i'm looking to do my big bike test soon and i'm looking to stick with this in my 2 year restriction, it's a beautiful bike i've had so many compliments from it, they say it looks bigger than a 125 and I agree it does, but the neit little 125 engine gets you from A to B easily enough. I've brought a new battery recently after accidently leaving the key in, but I fitted the battery no hassle and it's working fine now. Brilliant learner bike, and affordable.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Wk 2012 = crap

06 August 2012 by Tanithcougar

I Want out and paid for the 2012 model form motorbike warehouse cost me about 2 grand I wish I did not bother atfer 3 weeks the battery had feted takeing out half of the bike electronics phone them up they said bring it down push started it got it to... Read more the shop they said we have it fix in a few days a week and a half later I get it back (not for getting this bike was brand new and only 3 weeks old) 2 weeks on I'm find more problem with it they have not screw in half the boady work I found cables sticking out phone them up all I get was go rebuild it your self

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
Read all 4 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2011
Year discontinued -
New price £1,699
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £17
Annual service cost -
Max power 11 bhp
Max torque 9.5 ft-lb
Top speed 78 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 75 mpg
Tank range 267 miles
Engine size 124cc
Engine type Single-cylinder, air cooled, four-stroke, carburettored, 5 gears
Frame type Steel cradle
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 845mm
Bike weight 135kg
Front suspension Hydraulic telescopic fork
Rear suspension Hydraulic adjustable shock
Front brake Twin piston, 270mm disc
Rear brake Twin piston, 140mm disc
Front tyre size 110/70 - 17
Rear tyre size 140/60 - 17

History & Versions

Model history

2011: WK125R launched

Other versions

2011: WK 125 Sport (£1899) – identical machine with a sports-styled fairing added

Photo Gallery

  • WK BIKES 125R  (2011-on)
  • WK BIKES 125R  (2011-on)
  • WK BIKES 125R  (2011-on)
  • WK BIKES 125R  (2011-on)
  • WK BIKES 125R  (2011-on)
  • WK BIKES 125R  (2011-on)