Long gone are the days when we had about three options when looking for a 125cc motorcycle and they all looked exactly the same!

The 125cc motorcycle market has really evolved and with the booming heritage and café racer styled motorbike scene doing well, we now have an extremely competitive 125cc café racer market with so much choice out there for prospective owners.

We all know from the café racer scene that modifying a motorbike to a café racer is very popular – people like to make their own, so we have covered this with our selection! Yes, our list comprises mainly of straight out of the factory café racers lookalikes, but we have included some examples of bikes that don’t start life as a true café racer styled machines for those with modifications and tinkering in mind.

AJS Cadwell Clubman 125

If you are wanting a true British styled café racer that looks like it is straight out of the 50’s or 60’s then the AJS Cadwell Clubman will definitely grab your interest. The Cadwell Clubman packs some decent features to increase that level of café racer authenticity too including; clip-on handle bars, upside down front forks, that rather cool looking Clubman padded seat, stainless steel exhaust system and those traditional spoked wheels.

If you’d like to know more about this model you can check out Alex’s full video review of the AJS Cadwell Clubman.

The AJS Cadwell Clubman is a great start to this list.

Price: £2,699.00
Seat Height: 740mm
Brakes: Front & Rear Disc (Combined Braking System)
Tank Capacity: 11.2 litres
Engine: 125cc, 4 Stroke, OHC, Air Cooled, Single Cylinder
Weight/Mass: 113kg (unladen)
Suspension: Front: Upside Down Front Forks. Rear: Reservoir Alloy Rear Shocks

Bullit Spirit 125

Most likely one of the lesser known bikes around, the Bullit Spirit is an entry aimed right at the hipster market. Choosing your colour should be easy with the standard Spirit 125, as you simply have the colour options of Green or Gold Black, though it is worth checking out the stunning Gulf Edition!

Two noticeable pieces of spec here is the stated seat height of 840mm for those who are vertically challenged, definitely have a good sit on the bike and make sure it isn’t too tall for you, as that is quite a high seat height for a 125. The claimed 7 litres fuel tank might put a few people off who are looking to travel reasonable distances regularly. These small points aside, the Spirit is a good air cooled all-rounder.

Price: £2,399
Seat Height: 840mm
Brakes: Front & Rear Disc (Combined Braking System)
Tank Capacity: 7 litres
Engine: 125cc, 4 Stroke, Air Cooled, Single Cylinder
Weight/Mass: 118kg
Suspension: Front: Upside Down Front Forks. Rear: Rear Swing Arm Spring Oil Damper

FB Mondial HPS 125

I mean wow - just look at this thing! The HPS 125 is a truly beautiful 125cc motorcycle. The Café Racer 125cc market is full of stunning bikes but I would definitely say the F.B. Mondial is one of the best looking available. The HPS is a merge of classic meets modern, so you have some aspects of classic styling but mix that in with a powerful (for a 125) 13.4 bhp liquid cooled engine, custom style shotgun exhausts and led indicators you get quite a package!  FB Mondial are creating some truly breath-taking machines currently.

Price: £3,299+OTR
Seat Height: 785mm
Brakes: Front & Rear Disc (Combined Braking System)
Tank Capacity: 9 litres
Engine: 125cc, 4 Stroke, Liquid Cooled, Single Cylinder
Weight/Mass: 130kg
Suspension: Front: Telescopic Upside Front Forks. Rear: Double Shock Absorbers 

Herald Café 125

Offering true classic café racer looks mixed in with modern day tech including LED lighting and adjustable rear shocks the Herald Café offers a great looking bike at a reasonable cost. Being air cooled the Café by Herald is one of the cheaper options on the list starting from just £2.5k. But, as it is air cooled, the Café 125 is slightly down in the power charts – and comes in just shy of 10bhp at 9.9 horses, it is a trade-off but it is also on the cheaper end of the market (and there’s always compromises).

Price: £2,499+OTR
Seat Height: n/a
Brakes: Front & Rear Disc (Combined Braking System)
Tank Capacity: 12 litres
Engine: 125cc, 4 Stroke, Single Cylinder, Air Cooled
Weight/Mass: 126kg
Suspension: Front: Upside Down Forks. Rear: Twin Coil Springs,

Honda CB125 Neo Sport 125

One of the biggest sellers in 2019 is the awesome and very futuristic looking CB125R - a stunning modern Café Racer. OK, admittedly, this isn’t likely going to be one for fans of traditional looking café racers, but for those that want something a touch more modern and stylish the CB 125R is a great shout.

At £3,989 the CB125R is the most expensive bike on this list, but with that Honda badge, and packing loads of spec including that 13bhp liquid cooled engine it is not a surprise that CB125R is as popular as it is. Also great to see the CB125R having ABS instead of the CBS.

Price: £3,989
Seat Height: 816mm
Brakes: Front disc with 4-piston caliper. Rear 220mm disc with 2-piston caliper
Tank Capacity: 10.1 litres
Engine: 125cc, 4 stroke, 2-valve, 13.1bhp
Weight/Mass: 126kg
Suspension: Front: 41mm telescopic, Rear: Single-damper

Lexmoto Valiant 125

If you are looking for a cheap retro 125cc then the incredibly low price of the Lexmoto Valiant of just £1599.99 will likely draw your attention. Ok so the Valiant isn’t a true café racer in style, though it does have old-skool heritage looks. If you want a budget friendly project then the Valiant might be for you!

It might be a cheap option on this list, but some of the spec is pretty impressive including USD front suspension, disc brakes at front & back and stainless steel peashooter exhaust, Lexmoto give you a decent spec motorcycle at a bargain price.

Price: £1,599.99
Seat Height: 835mm
Brakes: Front & Rear Discs (Combined Braking System)
Tank Capacity: n/a
Engine: 125cc, 4 stroke, air cooled
Weight/Mass: 118kg
Suspension: Front: USD Forks. Rear: Twin Shock Absorber

Mash Café Racer 125

Onto French brand Mash and their offering is the appropriately named ‘Café Racer’ 125. With a 11.6hp air cooled motor Mash are another manufacturer targeting that £2.5k price mark.

With colour options of Silver matt or black matt, the traditional looking Café Racer packs decent spec including a megaphone exhaust. The Mash Café Racer seems to fit right in the middle for near enough everything on the list – seat height, tank capacity, weight, price… so a great option at a good price.

Price: £2,499.99
Seat Height: 780mm
Brakes: Front: 300mm disc. Rear: 220mm disc
Tank Capacity: 12l
Engine: 125cc, 4-stroke, air cooled.
Weight/Mass: 112kg
Suspension: N/A

Mutt Mongrel 125

Mutt are specialists in the custom and bespoke 125cc market. The British brand have been dabbling in bike customisation for some time and that evolved into producing production models which include the very popular Mongrel 125. Now although the Mutt Mongrel in it’s normal stance isn’t a Café Racer it is more of a flat tacker, if any 125cc bike can be transformed into a café racer the Mongrel can.

As standard the Mongrel is rather stealthy in a mostly satin black finish including the custom built megaphone stainless steel exhaust, along with those deep tread knobbly tyres and low weight of 105kg.

Price: £2,590
Seat Height: 780mm
Brakes: Front & rear discs
Tank Capacity: 12l
Engine: 125cc, 4-stroke, single cylinder.
Weight/Mass: 105kg
Suspension: N/A

Sinnis Bomber 125

In at just £2145 the Sinnis Bomber is a great looker with that retro headlight cowl. Only available in Revival silver, the Bomber also sports some nice gold features too including piggyback rear suspension and USD front forks.

With an 11.5bhp engine the Bomber has respectable power for an air-cooled motor, and it’s certainly a head turner – with the 760mm seat height placing this café racer in comfortable consideration for a learner rider.

Price: £2,145
Seat Height: 760mm
Brakes: Front & rear discs
Tank Capacity: n/a
Engine: 125cc, air cooled, 11.5bhp.
Weight/Mass: 125kg
Suspension: Front: USD forks. Rear: Twin shock adjustable.

Hanway Muscle 125

The Hanway Muscle is another budget friendly air-cooled 125cc Café Racer. With a traditional bikini fairing the Muscle 125 is available in either black or silver colourway options accompanied with a stainless-steel exhaust and spoked wheels.

With a 720mm seat height the Hanway Muscle is the most accessible bike on this list, so a great option for shorter riders who want a lower seat height. The Muscle 125 also sports a huge 17L tank – it’s not often you see such a large tank on a 125cc!

Price: £2,299
Seat Height: 720mm
Brakes: Front: 298mm disc. Rear: 220mm disc
Tank Capacity: 17l
Engine: 125cc, air cooled, 10.5bhp.
Weight/Mass: 110kg
Suspension: Front: Inverted Telescopic Forks. Rear: Double shock adjustable.


So there you go, these are my 10 choices for cafe racer styled 125s for this year! A right mix of heritage and cafe racers 125s from the full 1950s looking retro machines to the ultra modern equivalents. The list has also been worked to cover a mix of budgets; the cheapest bike on this list is the air cooled Lexmoto Valiant starting at £1,599.99 going all the way up to the latest liquid cooled neo racer the Honda CB125 R which is priced at £3,989.

What is you favourite cafe racer 125cc motorcycle? Make sure to let us know in the comments. If you're looking to get yourself on the road with a 125cc motorcycle make sure to get a quote direct with Lexham Insurance - you can get an insurance quote online or if you prefer you can speak to a member of the team on 01379 646 504.