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Kawasaki KH125 Naked Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki KH125 motorcycle review - Side view
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

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.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Once the rotary valve Kawasaki singles were class leading performers, but that was three decades ago and now the KH100/Kawasaki KH125 motor seems a bit vibey, harsh at speed and simply runs out of steam on the open road. The Kawasaki KH125 is very durable for a two stroke however and worth noting that the KH100 makes almost exactly the same bhp as the Kawasaki KH125.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

Kawasaki KH125 early models had fairly basic suspension, with fully enclosed forks and shock absorbers - ironically, these items tended to wear better than the post 1983 Kawasaki KH125 models, with exposed telescopic forks and shock springs. aKawasaki KH125 hndling is what you'd expect for a commuter - nothing special, an unpretentious lightweight.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 2.5

When it was launched the Kawasaki KH125 was a novelty as it featured a front disc brake - the KH100 of the late 70s had a basic drum front brake, before gaining a disc in the early 80s, along with five spoke cast alloy wheels. Kawasaki KH125 has a decent saddle, handy grabrail, but lacks any mirrors as standard.

Kawasaki KH125 (1975-1998)

Detail Value
Engine size 123 cc
Power 12 bhp
Top speed 65 mph
Insurance group 2 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 3
Engine rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 2.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 3
Value rating is 4 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

The Kawasaki KH125 engines are renowned for their tough durability and the bike chassis wears OK too. With a twenty year production run spares aren't too bad for the Kawasaki KH125, although vulnerable items like clocks, the unique square headlight and chrome plated mudguards are getting scarce now.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The Kawasaki KH125 was created in an era when the Japanese factories dominated the ride-to-work market. Bikes like the Kawasaki KH125 were meant to survive daily use, enjoy very little maintenance and return 65mpg at a steady 55mph. Even a battered example can still get you home, eventually. Find a Kawasaki KH125 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 2 of 17

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Model History

1975: Kawasaki KH125 appears in UK.
1976: KH100 launched in UK.
1990: KH100 dropped.
1998: Kawasaki KH125 dropped.

Other Versions

KH100.

Specifications

Top speed 65 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 19 secs
Max power 12 bhp
Max torque 65 ft-lb
Weight 95.5 kg
Seat height 780 mm
Fuel capacity 13.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 65 mpg
Tank range 175 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 2 of 17
Engine size 123 cc
Engine specification 2 stroke, single, 5 gears
Frame Steel cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes 240mm disc
Rear brake Drum
Front tyre size 90/90 x 18 in
Rear tyre size 100/90 x 17 in

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3(4 reviews)

  • Not Bad

    Meaty79

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have a 25 year old KH 125 and although I haven't been riding long so don't have much exerience of other bikes I have to say my experience of this bike is pretty good. First thing my brother said is you shouldn't have bought a 2 stroke (after I bought it) but apart from a bit of soldering it hasn't really been any problem it starts in all weathers and for a 25 year old bike it goes quite well. It returns between 80 and 100 to the gallon and although intended as a round town commuter it did the 140 mile journey from North Suffolk to Kent quite happily. Can't really comment on handeling as I have nothing to compare it to but it seems pretty good for what it is. All in all personnally I think for what it is it's not a bad little bike and would I recommend it? yes.

    17 November 2009

  • Not much cop

    joeslow

    Average rating rating is 2

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Had one of these in the mid eighties as a commuter. I hated the 6 volt electrics and lack of electronic ignition. Top end speed was very poor and the engine cases needed lots of solvol plus elbow grease. It got replaced with a TZR125F which blew it away in every aspect. I like Kawasakis lots but this one is best forgotton

    05 July 2009

  • Beware Nostalgia Trip

    Andy949494

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I never owned one but one of my friends at 6th Form had one of the early ones (15HP Round Headlight). It was a pretty bike, styled in the manner of the KH250s which had just become obsolete (slow compared to the RD250F and X7s) but which had a certain charm all of their own. Whilst the top speed wasn't amazing its pickup & mid range were very strong (up to about 50mph). We rode it two up around town a few times and it managed quite well despite my friend being heavy. Performance wise it didn't seem to mind too much but the handling was pretty poor. One day I gunned it across a busy rode from a standing start and was suprised when it lifted the front wheel for quite a distance - my friend used to lean back on his topbox so it wasn't as hard as it might seem... Even in those days it wasn't outright fast compared to some of the alternatives (e.g. RD125s, CB125T2s) but it did seem to have a real gutsy character all of its own.

    27 March 2009

  • Kawaski KH 125

    Chpz

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    In my opinion, this is a good first 125, ideal for the daily commute or as a learner bike. It copes with the daily boredom of commuting but still does not fail to thrill when you put your head and open the taps. Its lightweight makes it easy and fun to throw into corners and its suspension and chassis (despite being vary basic) cope with all conditions with ease. It just inspires confidence in all conditions and when you are being a total spanner on it, there is a little bit of understeer to frighten you into easing off. The motor is fairly gutsy for an old 125, developing 12bhp and an easy top end of 75mph on the dual carriageway, so you will be able to hold your own in traffic. Reliability can be an issue if certain areas are neglected (it eats spark plugs like theres no tomorrow) and you can find your self stuck at a set of lights after the motor cuts out. However, take regular care of this bike (this bike is not for the rider who is not confident in basic motorbike mechanics), treat it with the same love and affection you would treat your dog and it will reward you with a long, happy life, full of surprises.

    23 January 2009

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