HUSQVARNA SMS4 125 (2011 - 2012) Review

At a glance

Power: 14 bhp
Seat height: Tall (35.4 in / 900 mm)
Weight: Low (258 lbs / 117 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The SMS4 125 mirrors Husqvarna’s championship winning supermoto range and is equally exquisite in its detail. But is this enough for the Husqvarnas to make learner-legal off-road machinery as popular as Yamaha’s YZF-R125 has been for entry level sports bikes? The SMS4 125 isn’t the cheapest learner legal available at £3219 – but cheaper than the new Lambretta LN125 scooter – and isn’t the most expensive either. But it is one of the most desirable with its looks, reliable motor and ability to be fun while teaching necessary bike riding skills.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

While the thin, plank-like seat is guaranteed to cause butt-ache after 60 miles, there’s nothing wrong with the chassis construction. Suspension is balanced to give a firm ride to enable corners to be blitzed leg-out-stylee or bolt upright. Brake components are by Brembo and work perfectly – something that can’t be said of comparable but cheaper Taiwanese/Chinese models. Think of the SMS as a typical Japanese bike but with Italian styling.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The four-valve four-stroke engine is a strong unit. Coupled with near perfect gearing, the SMS hits 63mph and doesn’t shift from this speed unless hills comparable to Snowdon get in the way. Play the slipstream game and 70mph will appear.
Sharp-eyed, two-wheeled lusting teens will recognise the SMS engine’s silhouette being similar to the liquid-cooled lumps powering the sports Yamaha YZF-R125 and Rieju RS3. There’s a good reason for this; all three units are built by Minarelli of Italy, a Yamaha Group member. There’s no fuel injection with the SMS, just a 28mm Dell Orto carburettor. Fuelling is just as crisp but slightly thirstier with the throttle pulled back to the stop.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The engine is a known quantity and has proved to be a reliable, robust unit despite the abuse heaped upon it by neglectful and eager youth. The rest of it is predominantly plastic and held together well. The one area for concern is the automatic retracting sidestand – as soon as the bike is lifted to near upright it flicks back to almost vertical.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Given that the SMS is supermoto inspired but performs as good as any 125cc Japanese sports learner-legal and yet undercuts it by a good slice (Yamaha YZF-R125 presently £4249) makes it good value. To quantify this, the new Lambretta LN125, which is a basic Taiwanese twist and go scooter, is currently priced at £3299. I know which one anyone with a taste for motorcycling would go for.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

As said, Brembo brakes make a big difference to overall stopping power and a rider’s confidence. The dash is a small LCD unit and there’s no tachometer in keeping with the bike’s styling – stripped down and lightweight with just enough ancillaries to make it legal.


Engine size 125cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4v, sohc, four-stroke, single-cylinder. Six gears
Frame type Steel single tube cradle
Fuel capacity 9.5 litres
Seat height 900mm
Bike weight 117kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable
Rear suspension Spring preload
Front brake 1 x 260mm disc with 2-piston caliper
Rear brake 220mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 110/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 140/70 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Annual road tax £24
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 7 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 14 bhp
Max torque 9 ft-lb
Top speed 65 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 87 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

Husqvarna SMS4 125 (2011 - current)

Other versions

Husqvarna TE125: enduro-styled version of the SMS4, complete with 21in front and 18in rear wheels.

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