SUZUKI GSX-R125 (2017 - on) Review
- Learner-friendly 125cc sportsbike
- Great handling and superbike looks
- Cheap to buy and run
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Suzuki GSX-R125 offers the perfect introduction to the world of sports bikes, with plush suspension, a silky smooth power delivery and a brilliant level of agility.
- Related: watch BSB stars battle it out on Suzuki GSX-R125s
- Related: this bike appears in our Best 125cc Motorbikes article
With a hunched riding position, appropriately angled clip-ons and handling to match, it’s low enough and light enough to be unintimidating to novices, yet is perfectly capable of being pushed to its limits when you want to have fun.
Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, you might consider joining an online community like the Suzuki Owners' Club to join the discussion and meet likeminded people.
This bike is sister to the Suzuki GSX-S125, which is mechanically identical but naked rather than fully faired.
Watch: BSB stars on Suzuki GSX-R125s
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The ride on the GSX-R125 is also surprisingly firm and plush, inspiring more than enough confidence to get your knee down, should you ever find yourself at a track. Despite being firm, the ride is also forgiving enough to be comfortable over the bumps and potholes that litter our British roads.
Compared to rivals like the KTM RC125 and the later incarnations of the Yamaha YZF-R125 the standard fork set-up does look comparatively cheap, however it is still well damped and more than adequate for any new rider.
The quality ride is only complimented by the Dunlop D102 tyres, which come fitted from the factory and offer plenty of grip for a bike of this size. I rode the bike in the dry and in spitting rain and they were perfectly happy to take the abuse - only beginning to feel vague when pushed in the wet.
Stopping power is also impressive, with the single waved front disc and lightweight two-channel Bosch ABS unit offering a reassuringly progressive bite, without too much intrusion from the electronics. The rear brake also works well when used in tandem, however needs to combined with the front to bring you to a stop.
EngineNext up: Reliability
At the centre of the GSX-R125 lies an all-new double-overhead-cam 124.4cc single-cylinder motor, producing 14.8bhp. For such a busy little engine, the power delivery feels linear and silky smooth, revving freely throughout the range.
Acceleration is also more than adequate for a bike of this size, thanks to a kerb weight of just 134kg, making it the ideal tool for nipping between cars in traffic, as well as the occasional backroad blast.
The bike also sounds good, delivering a throaty, if slightly whiney growl, which is reminiscent of a muffled Moto3 bike, even with a standard Euro4 compliant single-sided, dual muffler exhaust.
The lightweight clutch is also incredibly user friendly and makes low speed manoeuvres a doddle, which is handy for new riders taking their first steps into motorcycling. As well as having plenty of poke for its size, the GSX-R is also incredibly frugal and after 12 20-minute track sessions around the Stowe short circuit at Silverstone, the bike’s digital display was still reading 69.5mpg.
The gearbox can be quite stubborn when trying to click into first gear from neutral. Once in gear though, the shift is perfectly smooth, with no false neutrals up or down the box. Coming down the gears, I did sometimes find myself missing a couple of changes, by naturally striking the front of the gear linkage, rather than the shifter itself.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
There’s a premium finish to the paint and, side on, it looks almost identical to some of the larger GSX-Rs in the range. The tacky plastic has been kept to a minimum and the mirrors offer plenty of visibility without being swallowed up with your own elbows.
Our Suzuki GSX-R125 owners' reviews show that this little sportster has a few build quality issues, but even so buyers enjoy their bikes.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
At £4099 for the model we tested (£100 more than the standard colour schemes) this bike is very competitively priced. Sitting slap-bang in the middle of the premium sports 125 class, the GP rep is £200 less than a KTM RC125 and a whole £600 less than Aprilia’s RS125 and, although the Honda’s CBR125R is slightly cheaper, the Suzuki looks more modern and exciting and comes with more features.
During 2020 the Suzuki GSX-R125 was available with a £500 discount from the £4399 list price, meaning a new bike will cost you £3899. There's also a £65 customer saving off the cost of the Sports Accessory Pack, which nets you a rear seat tail cover, a double-bubble windscreen, a tank pad protector and a heel plate protection set. That little lot costs £235 at time of publication.
With neat digital clocks, complete with such features as a gear indicator, an adjustable RPM indicator and fuel gauge, the GSX-R125 feels like a quality product. There’s also a keyless ignition system, which means the bike won’t start unless the specialist key fob is within around a meter of the machine - offering an added level of security when you’re off the bike.
However, should you ride off and leave the fob behind, the system won’t recognise it’s missing until you next come to switch the bike on. Suzuki supply each bike with a failsafe pin to combat this though.
|Engine type||Single cylinder DOHC|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||11 litres|
|Front suspension||Non adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Non adjustable|
|Front brake||Single petal disc, ABS|
|Rear brake||Single petal disc, ABS|
|Front tyre size||90/80-17|
|Rear tyre size||130/70-17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||122 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£20|
|Annual service cost||£150|
|Used price||£3,000 - £4,000|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Three years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||15 bhp|
|Max torque||8.49 ft-lb|
|Top speed||69 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||296 miles|
Model history & versions
2017: Model introduced
Standard GSX-R125 with MotoGP-replica paintscheme: £4099
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSX-R125 (2017 - on)
3 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSX-R125 (2017 - on) 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:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Annual servicing cost: £130
I bought this bike as my commuter, got 2 old strokers that arent reliable enough to get me to work but still way too fun to let go. Overall the bike is great can be really thrown about, also does not have the look of a small bike, quite low seat which i like as im 5ft9 and can easily put both feet flat on the floor, something i cant do on my rs. I do struggle to tuck in on this bike though finding it a bit of an awkward angle to what im used to, but its my commuter so not much need to tuck in anyway. The dash is nice and very posh compared to what im used to. The bike sounds quite good when you give it some but i will be getting an exhaust system for it, if anything just to make it heard in traffic, im used to a screaming 2 stroke and people move over but not on this.. this is not a problem just a personal preference. The main problem with the bike is the gearbox going into 1st from neutral is very tricky sometimes and it goes through gears way too easily when coming down the gears missing is very easy the bike seems to take a while to properly warm up too... i will be putting different tyres on eventually as they are a bit lairy in the wet. Overall though this really is a great bike and i know ill have it for years because its a suzuki.
After about 20 mins riding to warm up properly the bike really wants to be thrashed. ABS took some getting used to but like it now. Can ride for good few hours before you have a numb backside.
Not owned it long enough to know if it corrodes but ive had suzukis in the past and they do like to rust. There is a little bit of moisture in the front left indicator
Tyres poor in rain
Version: There is only 1 currently
Annual servicing cost: £170
Excellent ride and very cheap running costs
Mostly excellent apart from rear brake binding
Best in class, I've tried most
Bought from new, had 2.5 years later, it's had to have a rectifier, stator, wiring loom, relays, headlight assembly, all wheel bearing, had 5 or 6 warning displays on dash, some which prevent use, nearly all the work was covered by warranty, brilliant, rear brake siezes up regularly.
About £14 per 2500 miles for service, 4 a year for me, 2 rear tyres, one front tyre and 2xchain and sprockets, insurance, tax and parts very reasonably priced
Could do with a power supply for phone etc
Buying experience: Very good
The front suspension is a little soft unfortunately there not adjustable.
There good for along continued ride, great commuter bike.
Good performance for its size.
On going cost weren't clearly explained on purchase, on going cost are abit steep, but I love the bike..
Plenty of go due to engine design and weight of the bike.
Buying experience: Got it for $3800