2017 Suzuki GSX-S125 review | L-plate riding thrills with added bonus of comfort and practicality


  • Learner-friendly 125 naked
  • Simple and fun to ride
  • Extremely cheap to run and insure

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £120
Power: 15 bhp
Seat height: Medium (30.9 in / 785 mm)
Weight: Low (293 lbs / 133 kg)


New £4,399
Used £2,700 - £4,300

Overall rating

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

Having ridden the GSX-R version of Suzuki's 125 motorbike on its launch the day before, I was convinced it would be the better of the two new bikes, however the addition of upright bars makes the Suzuki GSX-S125 that much better. You still get similar performance and handling to the R, only with more comfort and flickabilty at low speed, perfect for nipping round town or having fun in the twisties.

The naked 125 market is hotly contested these days and the little Suzuki doesn't have the exciting branding and image of a KTM 125 Duke or the grown-up looks of a Yamaha MT-125. And while the low new price was a great weapon in the Suzuki's arsenal back in 2017, the market has since been flooded with incredibly cheap Chinese models.

That's a shame, because this is a bike that's fantastic for those looking to pass their full UK motorbike licence - it's geared and fun, yet accessible and cheap to buy and own. In fact, our Online Editor Gareth Evans learnt to ride on one back in 2019.

Suzuki GSX-S125 review on MCN

The Suzuki GSX-S125 will live on through 2022 thanks to a Euro5 update for the engine.

Ride quality & brakes

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

Much like the Suzuki GSX-R125, the suspension on the naked GSX-S125 is well-damped and firm enough to be competent both in town and out in the twisties. We spent an afternoon on the bike exploring nadgery B-roads and it was a pleasure to ride – not once feeling too soft for rutted countryside routes.

There is also plenty of ground clearance to inspire a good degree of lean, which is helped by the aggressively placed foot pegs, which give the riding position a little added flair. Dressed in grippy Dunlop D102 rubber, it is more than capable of taking the punishment both in the dry and in rainy conditions at faster road-going speeds.

In town, it’s also brilliantly flickable thanks to its lightweight steering. A 40-degree turning angle either way also means even the tightest of bends can be pulled off with ease, and it also helps for practicing those all-important U-turns for your big bike test.

Coming to a stop, the Bosch ABS system will kick in if you give it a big handful of front brake at low speed, but it is otherwise unobtrusive and ample for a bike of the size.


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

Launched at the same time as the fully faired GSX-R125, the naked GSX-S125 receives the same 124.4cc single-cylinder lump as its sportier brother and offers a similarly linear power delivery all the way to its 11,500rpm redline.

As well as being punchy, the DOHC motor is also incredibly free revving. Accelerating through the gears, the bike will happily do a speedo-indicated 40mph in second gear, with revs to go and, flat out, the clocks will show an indicated Suzuki GSX-S125 top speed of 80mph. It will do all of this while returning an indicated 80+mpg too.

Suzuki GSX-S125 in black

Throttle response is also good. Coupled with an ultra-light clutch, the bike offers well-balanced, trouble-free slow speed control, which is ideal for learners. Like many low capacity Suzukis though, the gearbox can be stubborn when clunking into first and false neutrals can creep in between first and second gear if you’re particularly ham fisted.

The motor also offers a mild degree of engine braking as you shift down gears, which helps bring you to a standstill fractionally quicker.

Reliability & build quality

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

The GSX-S125 feels like a quality product. Stacked up against its rivals, it looks just as aggressive and just as modern. Much like the faired bike, the conventional forks help drive down cost, but it would be good to see an upside down setup in place for better handling due to added rigidity in the fork.

Suzuki GSX-S125 fuel tank

The front end may not be to everyone’s tastes either - the assembly looks a bit squashed and compact and would really benefit from a larger fly screen to tidy up the area between the lights and clock stay.

Suzuki GSX-S125 owners have rated the bike an average of 4.3/5 overall with a 4/5 for build quality and reliability. One owner has found that corrosion is an issue, though, so make sure you keep it coated with a protectant spray.

Value vs rivals

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

The Suzuki GSX-S125's list price in 2022 stacks up favourably against its main competition - the KTM 125 Duke, Yamaha MT-125 and the Honda CB125R. It makes a fantastic used buy too, with prices starting under £3000 on MCN Bikes for Sale.

Suzuki GSX-S125 in red


4 out of 5 (4/5)

As well as a brilliant optional extras catalogue, the GSX-S comes with a unique secure shutter-key lock system, which hides the ignition barrel until the separate receiver next to it has been triggered, using a unique magnetic fob found at the top of the key.

The Suzuki GSX-S125 is available in blue, black with blue wheels or white with red highlights in 2022.

Suzuki GSX-S125 in white with red highlights for 2022


Engine size 124cc
Engine type Single cylinder DOHC
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 11 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 133kg
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 130/70-17M/C

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 122 mpg
Annual road tax £25
Annual service cost £120
New price £4,399
Used price £2,700 - £4,300
Insurance group 4 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Three years

Top speed & performance

Max power 15 bhp
Max torque 8.49 ft-lb
Top speed 66 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 296 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2017: Model introduced
  • 2022: Updated for Euro 5 emissions regulations, price now £4399.

Other versions

Faired Suzuki GSX-R125 launched at the same time

Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSX-S125 (2017 - on)

3 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSX-S125 (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.

Review your SUZUKI GSX-S125 (2017 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Equipment: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £120
4 out of 5 Suzuki gsxs125 motogp
09 January 2023 by Luke

Version: Motogp

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £150

Best features are it's comfortable and nippy, worst features are its 300 mile fuel tank doesn't feel like it lasts 300 miles

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Breaks work incredibly well, had to use them a few times to avoid an accident, I'd say around after 2 hours is best to take a break

Engine 3 out of 5

Its a 125, so it's sluggish top end, but acceleration is great for a 125

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Its a suzuki, if you do general maintenance it will be brilliant

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I've only had 1 service so far, next one is due any time and it's fairly cheap

Equipment 3 out of 5

Comes with the standard stuff you'd expect on a 125, nothing special

Buying experience: Bought from a deal for 4k, but this was at the high end of the market right after covid

4 out of 5
11 April 2020 by Jamie

Version: GP variant

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £150

I love this bike it’s good fun, a great bike for learning although it can feel flighty at first but I don’t feel like it’s massively lacking for around town even on a bigger licence, just struggles on motorways and steep hills. The mechanical parts are great, the shape of the bike is nice and the lights are very clear, just been the fit and finish of the bike that has been disappointing. My mate has an older Sinnis that is kept outside all the time and it’s less rusted

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Seat is firm but reasonably comfy, not a huge amount of padding and you don’t really want a pillion. The suspension is a little firm but generally absorbed bumps very well, hasn’t bottomed out or dived on rough back roads or under hard braking. Brakes are adequate, single disc up front and generally feels pretty good but can feel vague at times. Clutch and gearbox are perfect and smooth

Engine 5 out of 5

Lovely engine (for a 125) has 15 HP and will get to 80 (just), always starts smoothly and has a reasonable Rev range whilst being quite user friendly, feels more lively then the other 125’s I’ve ridden and sounds nicer then the Z400 I did my test on.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Always starts first time but at less then a year old the entire exhaust coating has rotted despite cleaning every other week and it always being in a garage or a covered bike park at work. Paint is peeling off the swing arm, around the radiator and on some of the hooks holding the cabling. Heavy rust on some parts of the rear pegs, side stand paint is peeling and heavily rusting. Currently fixing that and the exhaust myself. None of it is covered under warranty according to the mediocre at best service from Suzuki customer service. The build quality from a major brand like this has been surprisingly disappointing, I won’t be getting another one

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Would probably be cheaper elsewhere, place I bought it from charges £76 an hour... Very fuel efficient I get roughly 180-200 miles from a tenner which is nice

Equipment 3 out of 5

It’s got Abs and a somewhat dated looking display but it always works and is always visible, no other bells and whistles but it is a light bike. The Suzuki easy start is a lovely touch and always works

Buying experience: For it from Laguna Maidstone, bike got recalled for a frame check by Suzuki, generally pretty good and friendly staff just not sure about the servicing costs, they didn’t check my rear break properly so had to take it elsewhere once it warped the disc.

5 out of 5 NEW 2018 GSX-S125 GP
05 October 2018 by Michal R

Version: GSX-S125 GP

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £60

Best features must be the ease of handling and throwing the bike into a tight corner or a nice bend with speed. Especially with the manufactured paired Dunlop tyres it feels just right. Going from left lean to right also feels really natural and no force is required for it to come back up. The GP paint and stickers really make it feel like the track is the machine's home. Looks you just cannot beat in the 125cc range. Dropping down gears engine braking works pretty well, also the clutch biting point is pretty far out. Personally, this is good for me but it can always be adjusted. I had one fault with it, after leaving the bike parked with the parking light enabled from the ignition. The battery was completely killed and needed to be charged. If you leave it overnight expect to be purchasing a new battery. Gears - If you like to quick change from first to Second, the odd neutral really likes to pop up. Always a firm kick up is required just to make sure you won't be revving the engine and going nowhere.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The Bosch brakes are running perfectly soft and no jittering or any sign of front wheel lock. The ABS does not need to kick in even with slightly heavy braking. Emergency braking is flawless.

Engine 4 out of 5

Not much more you can ask of a 125cc 14.4bhp bike can you? From junctions you can pass most cars and these pesky delivery scooters with no problem. High or low revs the bike still performs as it should.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

I have had this bike for almost three months now and except from my own fault of leaving the bike with parking lights on for the day there were no reliability issues. I have taken the bike up and over 66mph with no issues.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I have yet to service the bike as it's brand new. But a standard MOT is all that's needed of the running costs. Fuel however, from 1/4 tank I filled up to full. managed to do 160 miles and then again was left with 1/4 tank to fill up. I'd say every 180/200 miles. All you pay is £15.00 max for fuel.

Equipment 3 out of 5

There is pretty much no room for any extra equipment or accessories in terms of luggage. Although if you can count the ignition magnet that should protect you from the bike being stolen.

Buying experience: Buying experience was as standard from a dealer. I have the bike on a 3 year finance. £500.00 Deposit plus around £102.00 per month. Brand new it totals up to £4,172.00. As a couple months passed, you can now probably get it for around £3,699.00.

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