KAWASAKI KMX125 (1986 - 2002) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
That the Kawasaki KMX125 is one of the most stolen motorcycles in Britain should tell you all there is to know about it. The Kawasaki KMX125 is tough, cheap to run and cheap to fix and very capable off-road (handy when doing a runner from the law). Spares are plentiful and de-restricted versions can twist a dyno to a heady 23bhp.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
By now even pampered Kawasaki KMX125s will feel tired. And no-one pampers a Kawasaki KMX125. Head races will be squared, fork oil thin and the shock out of damping. Fortunately none of that’s too dear to sort. Once fettled the Kawasaki KMX125 can well handle on and off-road action (with the right tyres). If the brakes feel poor they probably just need a bleed and fresh pads, but if you're buying a Kawasaki KMX125 check the hoses for bulges and the discs for wear.
EngineNext up: Reliability
As bog stock the Kawasaki KMX125's two-stroke SOHC motor makes just 12bhp, though the KIPS induction valves means that the power is evenly spread and not tightly jammed at the top end. It’s important to keep these valves clean, but thankfully it’s a simple job (just remove the exhaust and cylinder head, dig out the valves and clean them with a wire brush). De-restricting the Kawasaki KMX125's motor involves removing a welded-in washer in the exhaust pipe and using a softer spring to let the KIPS actuator open fully.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The Kawasaki KMX125 isn’t fussy about which stroker oil you use, so long as you keep it topped up. New pistons and rings for the Kawasaki KMX125 are cheap (£25-30) and the motor’s good for going on for 50,000 miles, though de-restricted ones can be very unreliable.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Kawasaki KMX125 is a blinding wee bike. Never pay more than a grand, though and be very careful to check the legal status of any Kawasaki KMX125 with a call to MCN’s Bikecheck hotline: 01722 435555. Checks cost £35.95. Find a Kawasaki KMX125 for sale.
The Kawasaki KMX125's clocks are good (tacho, speedo and a fuel gauge) and there’s a luggage rack. Basic but good, that's the Kawasaki KMX125 .
|Engine type||4v single, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel cradle|
|Fuel capacity||9 litres|
|Front brake||Single 230mm disc|
|Rear brake||210mm disc|
|Front tyre size||2.75 x 21|
|Rear tyre size||4.10 x 18|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||55 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£22|
|Annual service cost||-|
5 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||12 bhp|
|Max torque||9 ft-lb|
|Top speed||71 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||18.4 secs|
|Tank range||110 miles|
Model history & versions
1986: Kawasaki KMX125 introduced.
2003: Kawasaki KMX125 discontinued.
Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI KMX125 (1986 - 2002)
5 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI KMX125 (1986 - 2002) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
The suspension and brakes are significantly better than the klr 250 or the Suzuki dr 125 and it feels very similar to a dt 125 1997 but still a lot softer than a early mx bike/hard enduro bikes the engine is also fairly fast with 15hp as as it’s also quite light weight
Brakes are decent suspension is also fairly good always stable not great for motocross tho and very good on enduro I prefer it over the harsh suspension of the yz on enduro
Best feeling 2t for the road little to no vibration and fairly quick the bottom end also is fairly good better than the dt
The only problems I had with it was that the idle screw was blocked and it didn’t idle properly
The maintenance I’ve done where a top end every 10k and transmission oil change every 1k and air filter clean every 400km still parts are very cheap just it’s quite complicated to work on compared to the dt
Not much of equipment has a oil gauge but I have it disconnected because I removed the oil injection exact same equipment as the klr and the Kawasakis from this period
Buying experience: Bought it sight unseen
Sadly the WORST bike i ever had, a money pit (and im mechanic), was completly full of problems, electrics, brakes, engine, carburetion,etc The only good stuff Is the suspension, the handling Is poor on close spaces, awfull actually, the fuel consumption dosnt worth the performance it has, the oil leaks on the exhaust are pretty normal, the kips system another pain to play with, even if it has disk brakes in the front and on the rear the perfromance Is really poor
3 just of the suspension 0 for the brakes, my bike with drums do it better
Buying experience: I dont recomend this motorcycle to any person.
My favorite first bike,very capable and agile,lightweight,fantastic centre of gravity,I could stop at traffic lights and not have to put a foot down.wish I'd kept it
Very comfortable on all surfaces
Fantastic performance engine pulled well in all gears running it derestricted on synthetic oil both in gearbox and engine would sit all day at 90mph
Very well built solid little bike. I used to strip it down and white greese all the aluminum and steel bolts and fasteners once a week,the exhaust pipe would easily corrode from downpipe so was repainted frequently.
Cost me a little bit more as I ran mine on fully synthetic 2 stroke oil but ran dry no oiling in pipe or the usual smoke
The luggage rack was a useful part
Buying experience: Bought my first one brand new,it was a grey import but got stolen after 2 weeks! Insurance replaced it with a UK spec
hi MCN readers. i have had my kmx 125 for 6 mounts. this bike is grate and i really enjoy riding it every day. not sure why MCN rates the handling as tired. its good on the potted roads of Britain and smooth off road to. it even has a preload adjustment setting on the monoshock for your custom wight. also im sure 2 stoke bikes done have valves. only a reed valve. not to pick but you don't get a fuel gauge on this bike i use the trip meter under the mile o meter every time i fill up around 60 miles and retest. this is a fast 125 and wont lag on acceleration. capable of motorway speeds or more if de restricted. i would spend over £1000. or it wont be in good condition. but i do recommend a HPI check as these are deadhead magnets. overall i recon this is a smashing motorcycle! i hope this was helpful.
This was my first bike and I look back on it with nostalgia, as a first 125 it takes some beating if you like a spot of green laning. It did have its little moments, but most of these could be sorted out in seconds. A really cheap, rugged and mostly reliable hack.