9 Best 125cc Motorcycles (Learner Legal & Commuter)

by Karen Neill

Motorcycle Recommendations

Whether you’re a brand new rider who’s just completed their CBT or you’re after an economical and reliable commuter motorbike, the 125cc motorcycle market is huge and the array of choices can be overwhelming. Zenith Motorcycles specialises in 125cc bikes and our review of the top 9 bikes out there will help you choose the perfect ride for you!

9. Honda PCX125

Honda PCX 125

An excellent all-rounder with Honda’s famous reliability. The Honda PCX is a twist-and-go scooter that isn’t going to beat any speed records and the suspension is pretty soft, but it’s affordable and has fantastic fuel economy. If you’re after something durable, for a first bike it’s great.

8. Yamaha MT125

The Yamaha MT125 is a beautiful geared street bike and shares the same engine as the Yamaha YZFR125. The difference in the MT125 is that the seating position is that of its bigger brother the Yamaha MT07. The engine likes regular oil changes but other than that maintenance is pretty standard. An amazing reliable bike that has the looks and comfort for any use.

7. Honda SH125

The SH125 is one of Honda’s best selling scooters in Europe, especially popular in Southern European countries. It might look somewhat different with larger wheels and a higher seat than many of its peers, but its excellent fuel economy (a claimed 85mpg) and smooth power delivery and handling make it a great and cost effective choice for commuting.

6. Honda CB125R Neo Cafe

A whole bunch of words spring to mind to describe the Honda CB125R: “cool, “highly styled”, “mean machine”. With retro café racer bike looks mixed with futuristic “Tron” stylised headlight, the CB125R is one of the best looking 125’s on the market.  The upright sitting position places the rider relatively high and the Honda brand name means that it holds its value well, making it a fairly safe first purchase. It’s a real head turner as it can easily be mistaken for its twin the Honda CB650R.

5. Piaggio Vespa GTS125

A timeless design classic, this scooter has been around in one form or another since 2005. A very popular Italian machine, the Vespa GTS is good not just for commuting but for living out the café lifestyle. As time has progressed, so has the technology, and these days you get great fuel economy and good reliability. The iconic brand means they hold their value well too.

4. Yamaha YZF R125

Yamaha have done a lot of work to make this 125cc motorbike look and sound like its bigger siblings the R1 and R6, and they’ve certainly done a great job. Quick, well built and great looking, it’s perfect at combining the sleek sports bike style with the practicalities of a 125cc city bike, and hugely popular with it.

3. KTM Duke 125

KTM Duke 125

An awesome all-rounder the KTM Duke 125 combines aggressive naked styling, great power and advanced Austrian technology. Respectable and reliable, a nicely kept one of these bikes will turn heads wherever it goes and always gets good reviews. A new one is not cheap but you can often find a good deal on a second-hand one.

2. Yamaha YBR125

There are several iterations of the ultra-reliable workhorse that is the YBR125. There is the naked city bike version, the more cruiser-styled YBR Custom, as well as a sportier faired version. The chassis in all three cases is the same but the front of each model is different enough to suit several styles. A great winter bike, the YBR125 is as comfortable on little country lanes as it is weaving in and out of city traffic. Now that the amazing and indestructible Honda CG125 is no longer manufactured, the Yamaha YBR is the next best thing.

1. Honda MSX 125 Grom

Honda MSX 125

The little pocket rocket of 125cc motorcycles, the Honda Grom combines fun quirky looks with a bulletproof engine. With a top speed close to the national speed limit, exceptionally comfortable riding position, and massively cool style, the Grom is truly deserving of the number 1 spot on this list. It may be small but for commuting it is close to perfect and some owners find that security isn’t a worry and it’s small enough to fit in any front garden or even front door! The Grom can be modified to do almost anything, upgrade of BHP, suspension, or keep it to standard for the daily commute this bike brings a smile to every rider’s face and brings the fun back to rising. Shop around for a good deal, and if you have to travel some distance to get one, do so, it’ll be worth it!

Zenith Motorcycles is a 125cc motorbike specialist. We often have some of these great bikes in stock (lovingly serviced by us before they go on sale), because we want to offer the very best to our customers. Take a look at what’s on sale at our friendly North London shop right now, or come to visit and browse.

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