For a 125cc motorcycle to have a punt at the adventure market is brave – let alone doing it for a touch over £2,500. Sinnis aren’t afraid of going where other manufacturers may be hesitant to go, and are more than happy to adventure down this unbeaten path…but does this 125cc live up to the expectations?
Coming as standard with loads of adventure bits including panniers and a top box - the Terrain is clearly a great looker and will please even the most hardcore adventure riders. With plenty of low end torque (for a 125cc) to get you going - although with a slight lack of power towards the top end, this adventure bike really knows how to put a smile on your face.
First things first, it’s refreshing to get on a 125cc and not feel like a giant – at 6’4” and 15 stone (~95kg) I’m certainly pushing the limit for a 125cc, but I have absolutely no complaints with comfort. My only slight concern is that the rear shock almost entirely compresses when I sit down – but on the road the suspension is no problem and absorbs all bumps and keeps you well placed and planted on the road.
Let’s start with the engine - at low speeds it has a good amount of torque to get you going, and the ZS125 motor has clearly been tuned to focus on acceleration and cornering to provide the most fun. Cruising at 40 and throwing the bike around some B roads is where it comes to life, and is by far where you’ll find the most laughs.
This Zongshen ZS125 engine is an air cooled 4-stroke single cylinder motor, despite the large radiator-like plastic, where you may expect to find a radiator for a liquid cooled bike. It puts out 11.2bhp at 9000rpm, and 11.2Nm of torque at it's peak. Whilst (as mentioned) it’s superb fun at lower speeds on back roads and in towns/cities, the Terrain is even capable at some light off-roading, which I gave a go in the local wooded area.
The only concern with the engine is the lack of a top end, as A roads and touring may leave you wishing it had a few more MPH to go in to - even for a 125cc. Top speed is noted as 55mph online, but I found I could get to (a digital-dash-indicated) 65mph given enough road. So sitting in the left lane on a dual carriageway will be about your limit! Acceleration up to 40/45mph is no problem at all, and finding the engine's limit is fairly easy when you get to the higher numbers, falling just short of some of the other high quality 125cc bikes on the market.
A good point to mention here is the screen, whilst it’s non-adjustable, the standard positioning does a respectable job at deflecting wind up-and-over your head, which is a good inclusion but not vital for a bike that won’t be getting past 65mph.
Sinnis have kept this bike at a very budget friendly price, and I can’t help but feel opting for a bigger motor with liquid-cooling may have seen the Terrain’s overall price sky-rocket, therefore losing that main selling point of the Terrain – which is an incredible price of £2,589.
Ours had a full Toro exhaust system, so it sounded incredible – but this is an extra modification put on by Sinnis. It looks fantastic and sounds even better, the baffle can be easily removed with a spanner if you want it to be even louder, but trust me it seriously sounds like a big bike with this on - so consider that if you will!
The engine is paired with a 5 speed manual gearbox, which works really well. The clutch is light, gear selector smooth and neutral is easy to find, so all in all pushing the bike through the gears is nice and easy. You may wonder if 6 gears would be worth it, but 5th gear is quite tall and you can happily sit there with the throttle pinned at 60mph(ish) – with this motor there’s just no need for another gear.
Suspension, Brakes & Euro-4
Suspension is provided by USD telescopic front forks and a single rear mono-shock. The brakes are front and rear discs, 270mm and 240mm respectively, linked with CBS (and squeaked a bit when braking at low speed).
Now, something I noted when riding this (and is seemingly a popular point made on this bike from other reviews) was that the suspension on the Terrain is quite soft, with no preload or adjustment possible. For me at 15 stone, sitting on the bike instantly compresses the rear shock by what feels like 80%, whilst the front USD forks still have some movement left in them (but are also very soft).
Now this isn’t really a huge issue as the bike still rides well on the road, goes around corners brilliantly and can handle any bumps well – but pair this with the CBS on the front and rear discs and you begin to get a slight issue.
As part of Euro 4 regulations, new bikes must have at least ABS or CBS (combined braking system) installed. The Terrain has CBS, which is common on many 125cc bikes. Whilst there were no real issues on the road with this CBS system itself, when under heavy braking using the rear brake, you’ll find that the front brake is also applied, pitching you forward and compressing the soft front suspension slightly.
But why is this an issue? Well, it’s not a huge issue really. It’s just a case of slightly adapting your riding on the bike as it is on any other bike with CBS. Once you’re used to how they work, you simply compensate by just riding a bit more cautiously when approaching bends. If you’re caught out and stamp on the rear brake, there’s a chance the unsettling of weight from pitching forward could throw your balance off a bit, less than ideal in a pinch. I’d love the brakes to be independent, especially for off road riding, but you have to appreciate that changing to an ABS system may up the price as well.
Commuter Friendly Bike?
This is a massively comfortable bike to ride around, so it’s almost the perfect commuter. Arguably a bike for all weather, with neutral riding position, comfy 800mm seat, economic enough at 80-100MPG… There’s even a very useful USB port on the dash for a sat nav or phone!
As far as MPG, the Terrain 125 has a 14L tank with an achievable MPG of around 80-100mpg, and that 11.2bhp engine does well at lower speeds in towns and handles very well, and can battle through at higher speeds in the left lane. At your destination you could even throw your riding gear in the panniers and top box if you fancy it, with the larger 48 litre top box (£70 + VAT) fitting a normal helmet in easily.
I’d say this bike will do incredibly well as a commuter bike. Of course, the panniers and top box are hugely useful, they passed our essential “can it carry two boxes of yum yums” test with flying colours! But in more serious terms, the storage is decent enough for daily use, although if you're planning on taking the kitchen sink you may struggle. For the Terrain overall, once you’re in the saddle it’s quite a comfortable place to be – especially if you’re anything under 6’4”.
What About Adventure Riding?
With a decent weight of 150kg for such a “big” bike, the Terrain comes with crash bars as standard (also hand guards) which really bulk out the look of the bike and give you the safety in knowing any drops will likely be covered by the bars. It handles nicely off road, planted but still light enough to pick up if you get in any situations.
The 17 inch wheels do fine on the road, but I think with any heavy off-roading they could be led astray quite easily by any sudden changes in surface. Tubeless tyres too, which is a good feature for off roaders. You also get the adventure styled metal foot-pegs with rubber inserts, which can be removed for full metal grip on your boots - but that may be a slight overkill.
Having sat on a few adventure bikes, I’d expect the tank to be a bit taller along with slightly taller handlebars, just to give it that real adventure control & feel when standing up on the pegs. At the same time this is a 125cc, so Sinnis have captured this essence of a user friendly 125 and an entry in to the world of adventure bikes rather well in the Terrain with those adventure bike extras thrown in.
Speaking of which, all of the parts on the bike can be removed and adjusted with Allen keys – a great little feature, and you could realistically remove all the added bits and go full “weight reduction” mode. I’d love to see how awesome a Terrain hypermotard would look (especially with that beak!)
You get a centre stand here as well as the side stand. It’s worth knowing the bike will not start on the side stand (you can see the pressed in switch when fully extending the side stand) but starts on the centre stand. The centre stand is tad upright, so when the bike is on stand you can rock it forwards and backwards with a light touch (to touch either the front or rear wheel to the ground). Works perfectly fine, but not as solid on the stand as I’d hope – but you can still get the rear wheel off the ground for chain and wheel maintenance.
The Terrain really is a bit of me, and considering the Terrain T380 is a bike that may well be hitting dealers soon, I think Sinnis have hit the nail on the head with this one. Whilst it may have one or two minor quirks, overall I have been pleasantly surprised with what the Terrain has to offer - and at such a good price. Riding this has really opened my eyes to the adventure bike style, for 125s and up.
Hugely fun on the backroads, a proper riding position with enough poke to put a smile on your face, and finally a 125cc that I fit on well (at 6’4” these are hard to come by)! Definitely a bike to consider if you’re a taller rider with a CBT or A1 licence in hand. I properly enjoyed my time test riding the Terrain, and feel it puts another really good option into the popular 125cc market.
So if you are looking at getting yourself a fun, functional and stylish 125cc adventure bike – be sure to check out the Sinnis Terrain, brand new prices start at £2589.
|Engine||125cc, 11,2 bhp, air-cooled|
|Brakes||Front and rear disc|
|Price||£2,589 (Euor 5 - £2,999 +OTR)|
Before you go, why not watch the full review on Youtube!
Sinnis Terrain 125 (T125) Review - 2021 Euro 5
Will the new 2021 T125 maintain the Terrains popularity?Read more