Best naked 125s of 2021
Looking at buying a new naked 125? Well, MCN has got you covered with this handy pick of the bunch.
The sporty naked 125 market is currently saturated with both new and used examples from almost all of the mainstream manufacturers, and some on the fringes, too, as the market shifts away from the fully-faired, focused sports 125s, previous generations of budding bikers have come to love.
Next steps in learning to ride a motorcycle:
- Motorcycle theory test and hazard perception exam
- Pass module 1 riding test
- Pass module 2 riding test
- Enjoy your full motorcycle licence and move on to your first big bikes
Naked motorbikes offer a more relaxed and upright riding position than their faired relations and wide, flat bars make them fun and easy to throw around.
There’s a practical side to riding a naked, too, as the riding position offers a good view ahead in traffic and is good for building confidence as a new or inexperienced rider.
Best naked 125s for learners and young riders
- Husqvarna Svartpilen 125
- KTM 125 Duke
- Honda CB125R
- Suzuki GSX-S125
- Aprilia Tuono 125
- Yamaha MT-125
- Kawasaki Z125
Husqvarna Svartpilen 125
Spec: 125cc / 15bhp / 146kg / 835mm seat height
Based on the KTM Duke 125 below, the Husqvarna Svartpilen 125 is a grown-up take on the naked learner-legal category. The new baby Svartpilen sits below the 401 and 701 versions and has the same distinctive styling.
Unlike the KTM, the Husqvarna forgoes a flash TFT dash in lieu of a more modest, round LCD unit more inkeeping with the style of the bike.
The new Husky should arrive officially in UK dealers in February 2021.
KTM 125 Duke
Price: £2700 (Used) – £3249 (New)
Spec: 125cc / 15bhp / 137kg / 830mm seat height
Updated in 2017 with a TFT dash and a revised frame and styling, the 125 Duke leads the way in terms of looks, sales success and specification.
This naked 125 even has the option of integrating a smartphone with the TFT dash, allowing the rider to access incoming calls and listen to music via a Bluetooth headset. It also comes with ABS, a radial brake and inverted forks as standard.
Price: £3200 (Used) – £3989 (New)
Spec: 125cc / 13.1bhp / 126kg / 816mm seat height
The Honda CB125R replaces the fully-faired CBR125R and brings big bike-looks from the rest of Honda’s new CB ‘neo-sports café’ range, which was updated again for 2019 with the introduction of the CB650R.
With cool styling, an LCD dash, inverted Showa forks and a peppy liquid-cooled motor, the CB125R is great value for money – offering big bike feel in an L-plate friendly package.
Another naked Honda that’s worth considering is the 2019-2021 Honda Super Cub C125, though. Its retro looks and exceptional build quality have resulted in more sales than any other vehicle. Ever.
Price: £2300 (Used) – £3599 (New)
Spec: 124cc / 14.8bhp / 133kg / 785mm seat height
The Suzuki GSX-S125 was released in late 2017 and has been a success for the Japanese brand. It may lack inverted forks or a cool radial brake, but it is well priced and has some neat features, such as its peppy motor developed for both this and the GSX-R125, light weight and extra bit of anti-theft protection on the ignition barrel.
Aprilia Tuono 125
Price: £2800 (Used) – £4399 (New)
Spec: 124cc / 15bhp / 810mm seat height
With a chassis based around the Aprilia RS125 (the modern, four-stroke version), the Tuono 125 is a great handling bike that looks cool and features an impressive range of bling, such as a radial brake, USB charger under its seat and the option of smartphone connectivity.
The range was updated for 2020 with new colours and now looks even more like its super naked big brother, the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100.
Price: £2200 (Used) – £4449 (New)
Spec: 124cc / 14.7bhp / 138kg / 810mm seat height
The Yamaha MT-125 has had its ‘Dark Side’ styling reworked for the 2020 model and it has a new aggressive front end.
The engine and chassis have been updated in line with the brand’s sporty YZF-R125 and the bike has a surprising amount of grunt for a learner.
It’s also light and agile in traffic and while not being very high tech, it’s a solid 125 with unique looks.
Price: £2800 (Used) – £3499 (New)
Spec: 125cc / 14.7bhp / 146kg / 815mm seat height
Weighing 2kg less than it’s fully-faired Ninja 125 sibling, the Kawasaki Z125 represented the first return to this class for Kawasaki in 25 years. Featuring an H2-like trellis frame, it’s a smart user-friendly machine, offering an aggressive riding position, perfect for the urban sprawl.