Neco enter the full-sized motorcycle market with the NC-N01

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This funky-looking, impressively-specced 125 isn’t from Yamaha, Honda or Kawasaki – but instead is the latest offering from China.

And, with a modern, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve, fuel-injected engine, tubular steel and aluminium frame along with a box-section alloy swing arm, beefy inverted forks and monoshock, it’s arguably the first Chinese 125 to have the credentials to match the best from the ‘Big Four’.

Not that you’ll be paying ‘Big Four’ prices though… On sale at UK dealers at just £2999, it undercuts the likes of Yamaha’s MT-125 by over £1800 and Kawasaki’s more basic Z125 by over a grand, yet gives away little in terms of performance and spec.

And, if you’re starting out in biking on a limited budget with gear, insurance and petrol money to pay for, that’s not to be taken lightly.

It’s called the NC-N01 and is the first full-sized bike from formerly scooter specialists Neco and is being brought into Europe by the Belgian distributor of Bluroc, Zontes and CF Moto, so has plenty of pedigree.

The engine is the star of the show here, with a 124.2cc single-cylinder unit producing a claimed 14.8bhp – the maximum permissible in the A1 learner class. But that’s not all, as the rest of the bike looks to be a step up from usual Chinese fare as well.

Its frame is a tubular steel trellis with alloy covers and there are inverted front forks and a monoshock rear. Stopping power is provided by disc brakes at the front and and rear and use a combined braking system, rather than ABS.

Adding an additional premium touch are LED headlights, taillights, and indicators, plus a digital dash displaying all of your vital information.

Despite the impressive motor and ancileries, it’s arguably the NC-N01’s overall dimensions which may be most eye-catching of all.

With a wheelbase of 1365mm (the dinky Z125’s is just 1330mm), seat height of 815mm (the Yamaha is 810mm) and tank which holds a full 17 litres (the Kawasaki holds just 11), the NC-NO1 comes over as a more full-sized, substantial machine.

It’s in UK dealers now and is being offered with a two-year warranty. Maybe it’s China’s time to join the big boys.