Below is a list of all the A1 licence friendly motorcycles you can buy new from UK motorcycle dealers today.
Essentially this is a list of 125cc bikes, which is the upper engine capacity that you can ride on a motorcycle CBT licence or A1 motorcycle licence.
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How the CBT and A1 licence works
When you are a minimum of 17 years old, you can ride a 125cc motorcycle or scooter with just a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) certificate. You’ll then be able to ride with L-plates on. The CBT certificate will last you two years until it expires and then you’ll have to retake the CBT if you want to carry on riding.
However, you can take the A1 licence which means you can ride without L-plates. Most choose to just take their CBT and then progress on to their A2 motorcycle test, skipping the A1 which is essentially the same but won’t allow you to ride a bigger bike.
CBT vs A1
The CBT is valid for two years, so if you’re 17 and you get a CBT, you’ll get two years of riding under your belt and you’ll be 19 and able to go for the A2 licence.
The A2 licence allows you to ride a motorcycle up to 35kW (46bhp). The A2 test is exactly the same as the test for your A1 category motorbike licence, so if you’re going to shell out for an A2 licence, consider whether you need to spend the extra £500, time and hassle of getting an A1 licence when a CBT will be enough to carry you on through.
Read our full A1 motorcycle licence guide here.
125cc motorcycles list
|Make||Model||Engine capacity (cc)||BHP|
|Benelli||Tornado Naked T||125||12|
|Herald Motor Company||Classic 125||124||11|
|Mash||Black Seven 125||124||11|
|Mash||Dirt Track 125||124||11|
|Rieju||RS3 125 Pro||125||14.8|
|Rieju||Marathon 125 Enduro AC||125||14.8|
|Rieju||Marathon 125 Enduro AC||125||14.8|
|Rieju||Marathon 125 Enduro Pro||125||14.8|
|SWM||Ace of Spades 125||125||14|
|Sinnis||Apache SMR 125||124||12|
The best 125cc motorcycles
We’ve put together this guide to the best post-CBT motorcycles you can buy. We’ve picked bikes that cater for all types of riders on all types of budgets. From the cheeky VanVan (pictured above) to racy sportsbikes and cool customs.
We’ve also put together a guide on some great 125cc scooters which are perfect for your daily commute.
What’s the fastest 125cc motorbike?
The horsepower limit for a 125cc motorcycle is 14.8bhp. Power and gearing make for a higher top speed. Even though bikes like the YZF-R125 and MT-125 share the same engine, the YZF-R125 has a fairing which makes it more aerodynamic and it also has taller gearing, so it can achieve a higher top speed before it revs out.
That said, the fastest 125cc sportsbikes will achieve a top speed of around 75mph, while the slower air-cooled 125s will probably nudge 60mph, so there’s not much in it.
The fastest 125cc motorbikes include:
- Aprilia RS4 125
- Kawasaki Ninja 125
- Yamaha YZF-R125
- Suzuki GSX-R125
- Rieju RS3 125 Pro
All modern 125s use a four-stroke engine. If you want a faster 125, then look for an older 2-stroke model, like Aprilia’s RS125 or the Cagiva Mito 125. These can be tuned to make around 30bhp and will nudge 100mph but they’re knocking on twenty years old now and good ones are quite rare.
The cheapest 125cc motorbikes
You can pick up a brand new 125cc motorbike for around £2000. Be cautious as some of the cheaper Chinese brands are not built as well as their Japanese or European counterparts.
You can buy a Superbyke RMR125 for just £1795 or a Lexmoto Valiant for £1999.
Spend a bit more and you can buy a Honda CBF125 for £2829 or a Yamaha YS125 for £2899. They might cost a bit more but they’ll be worth more when you come to sell, too.
You might be better off buying a second-hand 125 from a quality and reliable brand like Honda. You can pick up a two-year old CBF125 for around £1700 second hand.
What’s the difference between liquid cooled and air cooled?
The bikes that tend to make the most power are liquid cooled, as the additional cooling allows the engine to rev faster and create more heat, which the water helps to keep under control. These bikes are heavier as they require a radiator, cooling fluid and additional piping. Air-cooled bikes usually have a smaller oil cooler which circulates engine oil and helps keep the temperature under control.
Get advice from real bikers
If you’re thinking of getting on two wheels, whether that be a scooter or motorcycle, with a CBT or a full licence, you’ll probably have a lot of questions you want answers to.