It’s looking like a great year for lovers of the 125cc class, and after an absence of 25 years, Kawasaki are amongst those offering A1 licence holders some serious street kudos. The new Ninja is released alongside a Z125 which shares the same engine and chassis, but presents the package in a very different way.
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The new single-cylinder water-cooled engine may not have the rasping ring-a-ding coolness and aural pleasure of a two-stroke, but with close to 15bhp being punched out and a tune that Kawasaki claim gives it a pleasing mix of midrange and top-end, it’s certainly one of the stronger A1 propositions.
That new lump is cradled in a typically Kawasaki trellis frame that apes the 125s bigger stablemates, and helps the pair to look anything but cheap beam-frame budget. That sense of big-bike class is carried through the proportions of each bike with a visual balance that could fool you into expecting more capacity lurking within.
Kawasaki have done this with the aim of attracting new riders, who will then stay loyal to the brand as they progress through licencing catagories.
The paintjobs and finishes further reinforce their classiness, taking both a long way from flat monotone tedium. Rock up at the pub or café on either of these, and you can pretty sure there’ll be no sniggering to be heard.
Quick Ninja 125 bike facts
- Engine: 125cc single
- Performance: 14.75bhp / 8.6ftlb
- Weight: 148kg (kerb)
- Seat height: 785mm
- Price: £4399 for the base model and £4499 for the KRT paint scheme
You can see this bike debut in the UK at Motorcycle Live from 17-25 November at The NEC.