So… your CBT has passed and the open road is calling you.
Of course, you dream of hopping one leg over a Hayabusa GSX-1300R and roaring out of the driveway.
But we all have to start somewhere and, more importantly, learn some road art first; after all, that means more chances to see Christmas.
Was it a sigh what I heard?
Do not be afraid. The 125s are much sexier now than ever and some even replicate the styling of larger, more powerful models. There is also something for everyone regardless of your budget.
Are you still confused about your options? Go here to learn about the different types of motorcycles.
Let’s dive into our twelve options.
HONDA CBR 125 Neo Sports Café
Appeal: The ideal machine for beginners. Defined lines and avant-garde style, with the attitude of a motorcycle balancing twice the horsepower.
The good: Far from starting from scratch designing this wolf in sheep’s clothing, the smart folks at Honda borrowed the CBR1000 blueprint to put it together.
The tubular frame, inverted forks, and an LCD on the dashboard that NASA would be proud of add to its appeal.
Is for me? This is a decent kit that will suit everyone from the slightly nervous 17-year-old new racer to a 30-something civil servant tired of traveling by car.
Power: 13 hp
Price: £ 3,989
Suzuki GSX S125
Appeal: This is the quieter and more level-headed little brother of the R125. If the R125 stays out too late and grounded for a week, the S125 laughs in the background while Mom does her swedish.
The good: uses the aluminum wheels and full LED lighting well, and if you like the look of the Johnny-5-style headlight cluster on the Triumph Speed Triple, the one on this machine is very similar.
It seems to me they designed the whole bike just for the guy in charge of the headlights to come in hungover and grunt, ‘Just stick them in the front somewhere.’
But this is a neat looking bike that shares the same engine as the R125, it just doesn’t have the full sexy fairing.
Is for me? If you want something that looks like a racing bike, this is not for you. Despite having a class-leading power-to-weight ratio
Power: 15 hp
Price: £ 4,099
KTM Duke 125
Attractive: This half-naked sports bike is easy on the eyes, not just because of its color. It looks bad and its lines and style look so sharp it could give you a paper cut.
The good: I like the sound of this KTM. It doesn’t put out the deep bass roar of the bigger beasts, but it sounds good and it definitely has that distinctive KTM growl.
For me, this machine is in the top five in appearance. It’s basically the same bike as the 200, only it has slightly less throttle from the smaller engine.
Is for me? Due to the less powerful motor, which can take up to 7,000 revolutions to rev up, this is one for the more no-nonsense motorist. So if your mom or dad is picking up the tab, you can find one in your Christmas stocking.
Power: 15 hp
Price: £ 3,499
Attractive: No frills, this will get you from A to B and that’s about it, but it’s still a decent first choice for the more modest, calm-spoken freshman rider.
The good: it’s comfortable, very comfortable if you close your eyes, not while you’re on the freeway, you could almost be sitting on the couch at home watching Peaky Blinders.
This is the most practical bike out there, so there will be no pedestrians and other drivers craning their necks for a quick look. You can play almost anonymously on this Yamaha.
Is for me? A sensible option for those in their 25s or 30s who enjoy the thrill of the open road at a comfortable pace.
Power: 10.46 hp
Price: £ 2,900
Appeal: You may just be sitting at the traffic lights on the ring road, but the Moto GP-inspired paint on the Suzuki mini-race replica will make you feel like you’re alongside Alex Rins on the Valencia grid.
The good: This is one of the lightest bikes in its class, it has the smallest projected frontal area, which increases its aerodynamics and fuel economy, and it also comes with ABS.
He handles himself well, happily sinking his nose into tight corners, and responding like a Jack Russell to the sound of the postman’s footsteps.
Is for me? If you are under 25, definitely yes. It’s great for getting to and from college or for earning miles and building experience.
Power: 14.8 hp
Price: £ 4,299