It rides reasonably well, too, starting cleanly and easily on the button before buzzing along fairly happily to a 65mph top whack, which is pretty much par for the course for these air-cooled singles. In other words: fine for commuting around town; starting to get stretched on dual carriageways…
It’s not quite up to Honda standards of course. The gearchange is a tad crude, the bizarrely red finished front disc and caliper a bit basic and while the speedo’s in mph the mechanical odometer is in kph, presumably because it’s easier to fit a different speedo face than recalibrate the odo. On top of that, while the name and warranty is reassuring, I’ve less confidence in the CK1’s reliability and residuals than I would have with the CBF’s.
Like those Japanese rivals, the CK1 is a fairly stylish air-cooled, four-stroke single. Unlike them, it costs under two grand.
Look, it's a 125 built in Taiwan and you cvan buy it new for under £2k. You get what you pay for with this little single. Having said that, you actually get quite a lot. It's a neat little package that is largely impressive. There were no signs of stuff breaking or falling off and it didn't miss a beat during the test.
It's no Honda and I'd be a little nervous about running this unchecked for a couple of years. But if it's kept regularly serviced and maintained, I reckon it wouold be a loyal servant.
as Kymco themselves put it: “In the UK, if you are in the market for a new 125cc bike you generally have one of two options - buy a pricey Japanese bike or opt for a cheaper machine from an unknown manufacturer,” says Ian Kidson of sole UK importers MASCO, alluding to the glut of budget Chinese-built machines on the market currently.
He goes on: “With the CK1, we want to bridge this gap. And, at less than £2K we are offering a quality machine from a globally trusted manufacturer, at a price that puts it firmly in the reach of younger learners and commuters.”
He has a point, too. At £1999 the CK1 is midway between its Chinese and Japanese rivals. At the same time, though, it’s good looking (in a Suzuki Inazuma 250 kind of way), well equipped (the dash boasts even a gear indicator and fuel gauge), pleasingly finished (although it has to be said the ally frame style side covers and silencer cover are plastic frauds) and has the reassurance of a brand that’s been around for a while backed up with a two-year warranty.
So, while it may not quite be a Honda, think of the Kymco as maybe a two-wheeled Kia or Hyundai and you’re not too wide of the mark (marque? Geddit?)
The Kymco is well equipped - the dash boasts even a gear indicator and fuel gauge. Overall, it is pleasingly finished (although it has to be said the ally frame style side covers and silencer cover are plastic frauds) and has the reassurance of a brand that’s been around for a while backed up with a two-year warranty.
At the end of the day, it's a fairly basic 125, but what do you expect for under £2k. All in all it keeps it simple, but what there is seems to work well.