Popular since the 80s, it’s their urban manners, off-road capabilities and sharp styling that still make the Motard motorcycle a firm favourite for many.

Whilst manufacturers now offer more than one option for this category of bike, you may struggle to tell the difference between some, I know I certainly had a hard time! Therefore, to make things a little easier, I’ve paired them up as joint entries. I’ve also made sure to include a variety varying in quality so there is an option for all, no matter the size of your budget.

Now, that’s enough explanations, let’s get into it and find out the best 125cc Motard motorcycles 2022 has to offer!

Aprilia SX 125 and RX 125

Flipping the list and reversing it, today we’re starting with the top dog, or dogs in this case. Aprilia is an extremely popular brand and they’ve gone and given us not one but two Motard-styled motors. As you can see from the spec below, there aren’t really any differences that jump out, however, dig a little deeper and you soon start to realise what sets the two apart.

Starting with the SX 125, it's their Motard motorcycle which means it brings a mix of off-road styling and components such as the forks, mudguard, front headlight, high 880mm seat height, exhaust and big wheels and typical on-road abilities including the use of roadworthy tyres. The SX is the model you’d go for if you’re after something that looks good but still behaves itself when out on the road.

Whereas, when compared to its sibling, the RX is the real deal when looking for a bike in this category. Just look at the raised 905mm seat height, wavy brake discs and knobbly tyres. You can see it’s been built to favour ripping up the green lanes and off-road, as well as any concrete ones.

As I said, there isn’t much massively different about the two, especially when you consider the £3,850 price tag, ABS and liquid-cooled motor that reaches 14.7 hp that they both pack!

SX 125

Engine 124.2cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 7L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Upside down fork with Ø 41mm stanchions, 240mm excursion
Rear: Steel swingarm, monoshock with progressive link system, wheel travel 210mm
Seat height 880mm
Weight 134kg
Price £3,850

RX 125

Engine 124.2cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 7L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Upside down fork with Ø 41mm stanchions, 240mm excursion
Rear: Steel swingarm, monoshock with progressive link system, wheel travel 210mm
Seat height 905mm
Weight 134kg
Price £3,850

Fantic XMF Performance and XMF Competition

With their XMF Performance and XMF Competition, Fantic is introducing us to yet another pair of troublemakers.

Thanks to their Italian styling that makes them look more than professional, high performing and powerful liquid-cooled engines and nearly 15 ponies, both are top performers and leaders in the category. Pair that with the wavy discs, VVA system and you will struggle to find any differences, aside from their names – but I promise you there are some!

It’s the XMF Performance that is the more road-going version of the two. Whereas with its racing suspension setup upfront and piggyback with hydraulic adjustment to the rear, racing brake system with adjustable reach and handguards, the XMF Competition has all the gear for more off-road endeavours. It also has a few more finishing touches added including the gold suspension, black and chrome exhaust and slightly louder graphics.

When it comes to the XMF (non-identical) twins, it all looks pretty premium and whilst that’s Fan-tas-Tic it also sadly, means they will come at a neatly £5k cost, which will stretch the budget for some.

XMF 125 Performance

Engine 124.6cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 7.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: FANTIC ø41mm USD
Rear: FANTIC 125– preload regulation
Seat height 880mm
Weight 112kg
Price £4,799

XMF 125 Competition

Engine 124.6cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 7.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: FANTIC FRS ø41mm USD, racing setup, forged aluminium fork bottoms
Rear: FANTIC FRS 125 Piggyback – preload and hydraulic regulation
Seat height 880mm
Weight 112kg
Price £4,995

FB Mondial SMX Motard and SMX Enduro

Moving onto FB Mondial’s offerings now and both the SMX Motard and Enduro have a great list of spec. From their liquid-cooled engines, 13.4 horses, 6-speed gearbox, high exhausts and in-your-face sporty graphics, they look good and are nice alternatives to the Aprilia’s – especially on the price side of things.

As with our first two sets of pairs, the differences between the two SMX models are that the Motard is set up to be more friendly on the road and therefore comes equipped with road tyres and a slightly lower overall height. Whereas, with off-road tyres and a higher and very specific 946mm seat height, the Enduro has a bit more substance and the capability for green-laning and off-roading.

SMX Motard

Engine 124.2cc, 13.4 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 6L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Telescopic upside down Forks
Rear: Single shock absorber
Seat height 890mm
Weight 122kg
Price £3,799 (+OTR)

SMX Enduro

Engine 124.2cc, 13.4 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 6L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Telescopic upside down Forks
Rear: Single shock absorber
Seat height 946mm
Weight 122kg
Price £3,799 (+OTR)

Zontes ZT125-U1

Now, this next offering is one that is a little different from the rest. It has the strong looks of a Naked bike because it actually is one. I can hear you asking, ‘why have you included it on this list?’ And that’s because whilst it falls into the Naked category, it also has a lot of similarities with the rest of today’s contenders.

I’m talking about the slightly knobby and adventure-styled tyres, bodywork, long suspension, centrally mounted mono-shock and ABS. The crash bars are also a nice extra.

Zontes have clearly used the rest of their range as the foundations and inspiration when creating this high-level Chinese crossover. Yes, it might still be half Naked but with the finishes used, the quality and the resemblance of a Motard, that’s why we had to include it today.

Engine 124.7cc, 14.5 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 12.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 780mm
Weight 150kg
Price £3,199 (+OTR)

Lexmoto Assault

We’re approaching the end of today’s list and one of our final entries is the Lexmoto Assault.

Before we get into it, I just wanted to share a little disclaimer. I’ve included this because it’s so friendly for those still on ‘L’ plates and without the higher budget. I’m aware that it won’t fulfill the Motard needs of some, but I did say I would include a variety on the list.  

Getting straight into it now, and similar to Zontes, Lexmoto is presenting us with another crossover machine. You can see that with a long front mudguard, long suspension and front knobbly tyre (the rear tyre is a more road-focused tyre), the Assault combines both the look of a Naked bike with the influence of a Motard machine. But I will admit that it’s much more of a Naked bike than anything else.  

To be honest, whilst the air-cooled engine won’t kick out many horses, it does a good enough job for the extremely low £1,999.99 price tag. 

Engine 124.4cc, 10.7 hp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 14.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Telescopic Forks
Rear: Twin Shock Absorber
Seat height 780mm
Weight 130kg
Price £1,999.99 (+OTR)

Wildcards

To finish the list off, I’m including two adventurous wildcards which aren’t strictly considered Motards, but they are two models definitely worth mentioning because they include those all-important off-road personality traits we love to see and offer an alternative to the standard Motard.

MGB ATX

Starting with the MGB ATX. This new offering from the new brand, derived from Moto GB, is best described as a ‘learner legal adventure bike’. We don’t see many 125cc Adventure Bikes on the market so it’s nice to have a new kid on the block.

Categorised as an adventure bike in name, it then, therefore, is equipped for the green lanes and includes a 15L fuel tank, handguards, dual-purpose tyres and off-road suspension, as well as an engine guard, rear pannier racks and panniers all for £2,599.

Engine 125cc, air-cooled
Fuel tank 15L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 850mm
Price £2,599 (+OTR)

Sinnis T125

Our second and final wildcard comes in the form of the Sinnis T125.

With the Euro 5 version introduced to the market last year, this is another that’s technically classed as an Adventure Bike and one that Brett was able to jump on board and test ride the Sinnis T125 last year.

He pointed out the best bits of the bike were the fact it is so well-sized and further bulked out by luggage boxes and crash bars, 17” wheels, large brake discs, chunky USD fork and its nice-looking beak, slim seat and small windscreen that help it look the part and allow it to perform well on the road.

As with the other wildcard, I’ve included it on the list because it's well-equipped with slight Motard influence in the styling and a relaxed nature and therefore might well tempt those looking at Motards.

The last stop

True, it can be said that these bikes are part of a very niche market, but because of their hybrid nature they’re dynamic enough for any rider! What do you think? Would you or are you currently riding one of our top 10? Let me know in the comments below now!

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