Born into an era of rebellion, Cafe Racers and their ‘ton-up boy’ riders were seen as figures full of attitude born to race.

Nowadays, these bikes are still loved by new and experienced riders, and with modern-day technology and classic styling create the perfect blend of past and present.

Now the modern-day take on the term Cafe Racers is much broader than it used to be, especially when relating to a 125cc bike, so for this list, we have 10 of the best Cafe Racer styled 125s currently available.

Jumping straight into this list we have a very modern offering, the incredibly popular CB125R Neo Sports Cafe from the Japanese giant's Honda. Though this is a very modern take on the Cafe Racer, we thought it necessary to keep this stunner on the list for 2021 (especially as it’s been updated).

Down to the bare essentials, an all-black engine, contrasting aluminum details, and hugging sump guard creates a sporty and aggressive-looking bike with a crisp throttle response. A distinctive round LED headlight and naked appearance emphasise that retro exterior. The CB125R is a great option for those wanting something a bit more modern with that raw Cafe Racer style and character!

With a liquid-cooled engine, 2-channel ABS with IMU, and 6-speed gearbox this finely balanced bike is perfect for all riding conditions. As you can probably tell from the amount of spec, you’ll really make a statement on this more premium-priced racer.

Engine 124.9cc, 14.7 bhp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 10.1L
Brakes Front and rear hydraulic disc
Weight 130kg
Seat height 816mm
Price £4,299

Paying homage to a golden age, this beauty reaches a maximum power of 9.9 hp so sits bang in the average hp for this category.

Priced at £2,499 (+OTR), with Racetek adjustable rear shocks, LED halo light, and an air-cooled injected engine, Herald’s Cafe 125 provides you with all the vintage charm and modern technology you could ask for.

Engine 125cc, 9.9 hp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 12L
Brakes Front and rear single disc
Weight 126kg
Seat height 740mm
Price £2,499 (+OTR)

The double rear shock absorbers, upside-down front forks, and adjustable suspension result in a relaxed riding position so gliding through city streets or gunning down country lanes on the HPS 125 is comfortable and smooth.

The stripped-down appearance creates a stunning, unique, and stylish exterior; team this with an electronic injection, and FB Mondial have achieved a modern bike with an old-fashioned soul.

As one of the more expensive entries on our list, with CBS as standard, this 125 is full of classic Cafe Racer flavour and an abundance of spec including a 6-speed gearbox and a liquid-cooled engine.

If you’ve got the budget, then you’ll live the dream riding this!

Engine 124.2cc, 13.4 bhp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 9L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 130kg
Seat height 785mm
Price £3,299

Designed with history in mind, the refined low-level exhaust, headlight fairing, and seat cowl give Lexmoto’s Tempest GT 125 a traditional and unique flair.

Brake discs to the front and rear with CBS and an air-cooled engine provide stability and reliability, inspiring confidence in the new rider.

Priced at £1,899.99, this is the cheapest choice on the list so is great for both entry-level rockers and those on a tight budget.

Engine 125cc, 9.7 hp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 13L
Brakes Front and rear hydraulic disc
Weight 126kg
Seat height 780mm
Price £1,899.99

With character-defining features including clip-on drop handlebars, aluminum side panels, and a prominent seat cowling, the Hanway has been designed to capture the true heritage of the Cafe Racer culture.

Reaching a maximum power of 10.5 hp, this air-cooled engine is tuned for speed so you’ll really ‘turn-up’ on one of these bad boys!

CBS, a compact speedometer and reliable single-cylinder power unit provides this CBT and budget-friendly motorcycle with everything you need so you can focus on the wide, open road ahead.

Engine 124.9cc, 10.5 hp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 15.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 102kg
Seat height 720mm
Price £2,199 (+OTR)

Silver matt bodywork, large headlight, and drop-down handlebars provide MASH’s appropriately named ‘Cafe Racer 125’ with everything these legends are known for.

With ace spec, including an 11 hp air-cooled motor and megaphone exhaust, this French manufacturer has created a very vintage-looking Cafe Racer styled 125, that’s perfect for those wanting a machine that looks like it has time-warped from the 60s.

Fitting right in the middle for everything on the list in terms of weight, height, and tank capacity, this is a decent option for a great price of £2,999.

Engine 124cc, 11 hp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 12L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 112kg
Seat height 780mm
Price £2,599

Brixton are really throwing it back with their Sunray 125.

With minimalist bodywork, traditional clubman handlebars, and an indented fuel tank, this will look perfect parked outside your local café. A lightweight frame, digital speedo and front, and rear disc brakes create a ready-to-ride bike with responsive handling great for anyone fresh to the Cafe Racer scene.

Available in two different colours, silver or a racy red, with an air-cooled engine and electronic fuel injection, you’ll gain status and really rock ‘n’ roll on this affordable modern city rider.

Engine 125cc, 11.1 bhp, air-cooled
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 134kg
Seat height 790mm
Price £2,999

This vintage MC lover’s dream features a crafted ‘lo pro’ seat, slimline ‘Thruxton’ style exhaust, and teardrop tank that really pays homage to the ’70s and delivers a timeless yet authentic look.

Upside down front forks absorb impact and 280mm drilled disc with triple piston calipers achieve safe stopping power, so there is no place this racer would rather be than bombing round a country bend.

At £1,999 Sinnis has really worked hard to create an extremely pocket-friendly weekend rider.

*Though this model is now discontinued some Euro4 models might still be available.* 

Engine 125cc, 11 bhp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 10L
Brakes Front and rear piston disc
Weight 120kg
Seat height 760mm
Price £1,999

Looking like it’s just jumped out of the 50’s or 60’s, this trend setter features smooth black panelling and intricate detailing, including gold livery, white piping, and side number boards, which really capture the spirit and celebrate the iconic roots ridden by this racer’s ancestors. True to British styling, it features a padded seat, stainless steel exhaust and traditional spoked wheels.

In a recent road test review of the Clubman, the BikeMatters team felt “like the coolest kid in town whilst riding this entirely standard 125cc” and found that “it’s the back roads, towns and cities where you’ll find the Clubman come to life.”

Engine 125cc, 9.9 bhp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 11.2L
Brakes Front and rear disc (CBS)
Weight 113kg
Seat height 740mm
Price £2,699

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This one-of-a-kind model, built for the hipsters, is certainly special.

Michelin skins provide excellent grip and comfort and an 11.6 hp air-cooled engine with bespoke ‘Gulf’ themed bodywork makes this an eye-catching hustler. With only 150 pieces available, we’re predicting that this will be a bike that will be sought after for years.

A few points to take away – a tall 840mm seat height could potentially mean that those who are more vertically challenged may need to take this out for a spin before purchasing. A smaller 7L fuel tank means that you might struggle to travel longer distances uninterrupted, but overlooking both of these, we think this is a great all-rounder that will be treasured for a long time to come.

Engine 125cc, 11.6 hp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 7L
Brakes Front and rear disc (CBS)
Weight 118kg
Seat height 840-890mm
Price £2,850

It’s clear to see that Cafe Racers have created a global style and reputation of their own, and we don’t see their popularity or influence ending anytime soon. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on social media.!

Looking for something with a little more power but with the same vintage good looks? Take a look at our top 10 cafe racers list!