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Best 125cc Motorbikes

ktm duke 125 best 125 motorbikes - Best 125cc Motorbikes

What can be more exciting than passing your CBT? Getting your first bike, of course!

Your CBT or an A1 licence allows you to ride bikes up to 125cc, the perfect size for a starter.

Just because you ‘only’ have a CBT it doesn’t mean you have to settle for anything less than the most impressive bike. You might be inexperienced but you’re one of us, a biker!

Buying your first motorcycle can be overwhelming. There are many worthy choices out there. We’ve put together a list of the best 125cc motorbikes for beginners, covering all types of styles and budgets. All of these bikes are available brand new or second hand.

Table of Contents

Honda CB125F

honda cbf125 best cbt bikes 1 - Best 125cc Motorbikes

CB125F Key Specs

  • Engine: Single cylinder
  • Max power output: 11bhp (7.8kW)
  • Displacement: 124.7cc
  • Gearbox: 5-speed
  • Seat height: 775mm
  • Weight: 128kg
  • Price: £3699 (new)

Honda CBF125 is one of the top contenders. Flawless lines, naked styling, agile and responsive on the road. It might not be the bike you had on your bedroom wall but it’s a great first bike; reliable, nippy, cheap to run and insure.

Its newest model is the CBF125F, an aggressive-looking bike perfect for new road riders. Aluminium wheels and effortless steering make riding a pleasure no matter where you go. It’s perfectly balanced and lightweight and also well priced for its performance.

Older models less desirable by thieves, cheap to maintain and typically cheap to insure. Easy to manoeuver and a pleasure to ride, it’s a great choice for beginners.

Suzuki RV125 VanVan

suzuki rv125 vanvan - Best 125cc Motorbikes

RV125 Key Specs

  • Engine: Single cylinder
  • Max power output: 12bhp (8.8kW)
  • Displacement: 125cc
  • Gearbox: 6-speed
  • Seat height: 770mm
  • Weight: 118kg
  • Price: £1200-£2200

A low seat height and cheeky styling make this an easy bike to ride around town. Suzuki’s RV125 VanVan combines classic naked lines with fun looks. Newer models produced after 2007 feature fuel injection instead of a carburettor, a characteristic that reduces maintenance drastically.

Low-pressure wide-section tyres and low seat height make it manageable for all riders. Classed as a dual-purpose bike, it gives its best on roads or sandy trails. Relatively cheap to buy, run, and maintain, it’s a great choice if you want to mix it up on all types of road surface.

Mutt Mongrel

mutt mongrel urban motorcycle - Best 125cc Motorbikes

Key Specs

  • Engine: Single cylinder
  • Max power output: 12bhp (8.94kW)
  • Displacement: 125cc
  • Gearbox: 5-speed
  • Seat height: 780mm
  • Weight: 105kg
  • Price: £2950 (new)

Mutt’s Mongerel addresses road riders with a more thoughtful soul. If you like vintage lines but need contemporary features, this bike won’t disappoint. It can take you anywhere, from asphalt roads to winding dirt trails. 

Its custom-built look won’t look out of place at The Bike Shed. Satin black and silver finishes can satisfy any style enthusiast. Lightweight and reliable, it’s also a great choice for the female riders who want a manageable bike with steampunk style.

Lexmoto LXR125

lexmoto lxr125 best sportsbike - Best 125cc Motorbikes

Key Specs

  • Engine: Single cylinder
  • Max power output: 12bhp (9kW)
  • Displacement: 125cc
  • Gearbox: 6-speed
  • Seat height: 800mm
  • Weight: 167kg

Lexmoto LXR125 is their range-topper. An impressive set of features include a robust trellis frame, telescopic front forks, and mono-shock rear suspension for enhanced control and smoother cornering.

Looking flawless and managing seamlessly whatever challenge you’re throwing at it, the LXR provides the ultimate riding experience. It’s not the cheapest bike for beginners, but it’s definitely cheaper than most sports bikes. Definitely worth your money if you’re an adrenaline seeker looking to take on the twisties.

KTM 125 Duke

ktm 125 duke best 125cc bikes - Best 125cc Motorbikes

Key Specs

  • Engine: Single cylinder
  • Max power output: 14.8bhp (11.1kW)
  • Displacement: 124.7cc
  • Gearbox: 6-speed
  • Seat height: 830mm
  • Weight: 137kg

KTM’s entry-level bike, the Duke 125 has the attitude of its bigger brothers, and it offers big-bike presence in a small and nimble chassis

It performs brilliantly in urban settings, but it’s not the most comfortable for long-haul cruising. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most powerful 125cc motorbikes. If you like aggressive naked lines, love to stand out wherever you’re going, and don’t mind dropping a bit of cash, the Duke really is a contender for the best beginner’s motorcycle.

The Best 125 motorbike for you

Whether you’re after a cheaper entry-level bike, love vintage lines, or want to make heads turn with your eye-catching ride, there’s so much choice out there.

The best 125cc motorbike is down to you. Think about the type of riding you’re going to be doing – if you’re in town, you don’t need a fairing, if you want a managable bike, think low seat height and wide bars. 

With so much choice out there, head to your local bike dealers and sit on everything they have to offer. Pick the model that suits you and get ready to embrace the amazing world of two wheels!

Have you considered a 125cc scooter?

You can ride a 125cc scooter or motorcycle if you have taken a CBT. If you have a full car licence, you will also need a CBT but it’s easy, fun and takes under a day to complete. Check out our list of the best 125cc scooters or see our list of every 125cc motorbike you can buy.

The 1-minute insurance estimate

Do you know roughly what you’ll need to budget to insure your 125cc motorbike?

We’ve created a motorcycle insurance estimator that asks no personal questions and takes just 1 minute to fill out. It’ll give you an accurate idea of what it’ll cost to insure your first motorbike.

125cc Motorbike FAQs

How fast is a 125cc bike?
Most 125cc bikes will be easily capable of cruising at 60mph and should reach a top speed in excess of 70mph.

Can a 125cc bike go on a motorway?
If you only have a CBT then you cannot ride a 125cc motorbike on a motorway but if you have a full A1 licence or above, you can ride a 125 motorbike on a motorway.

Are 125cc bikes good?
Yes! Any bike is good but 125s are cheaper to buy, insure and run.

Do you need a CBT for a 125cc?
Yes. Even if you have a full car licence, you need to take a CBT. See this guide for more information.

How many MPG does a 125cc bike get?
Most 125cc motorbikes and scooters will return well over 60mpg but some can achieve over 110mpg.

What’s the fastest 125cc motorbike?
Most 125cc bikes have a similar performance but the water-cooled sportsbikes will produce a couple of horsepower more than their naked counterparts. Bikes like Suzuki’s GSX-R125, Yamaha’s YZF-R125 produce around 15bhp and should be capable of nudging 90mph with a tailwind.

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.

Why not check out www.ridersite.com where there’s a specific beginner motorcycling forum where you can ask any question you like.

  • Bernard says:

    Good information 👏👏👏🤙

  • Graham says:

    thanks for the info
    found useful

  • Russell McGivern says:

    Hi I found this site to be very useful and helpful thanks

  • roy power says:

    lexmoto lxr has a 6 speed gear box not 5.

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