The custom cruiser motorcycle has to be one of the coolest ways to travel ever invented. There's just something a bit special about these metallic steeds and the unique way they look and ride. Normally if you wanted this kind of experience, you would need a full A licence and a 1200cc, 200kg+ hog to handle. But what if I told you all you need these days is a CBT licence?
Sure, they may not have the raw size and power of the big bikes but these 125cc cruisers are becoming surprisingly authentic. You can now purchase an economical town commuter that looks like a modern bobber or a vintage cruiser while still being easy to handle, easy to manage, and easy to own!
In this blog, we are going to look at 10 fantastic 125cc cruisers on sale in 2023. We will be looking at some key (or is that kee?) manufacturers that are now specialising in these accessible cruisers and some of the coolest and most fun models they have on offer. Let's get into it!
You may have heard of Lexmoto thanks to their huge selling 125cc sport bike, the LXR but they also happen to have a pair of very cool cruisers that have been freshly updated for Euro 5 and come at a bargain price!
With names like the Michigan and Detroit its hard to believe these motorcycles were built in China but despite the budget price tag, they are actually surprisingly well put together and offer a unique riding experience for CBT holders.
Lexmoto Michigan 125
The Michigan 125 has been around since 2015, with this latest Euro 5 version arriving at the end of last year. It features an air-cooled, 4-stroke single-cylinder engine with a power output of 9.4hp. That falls a bit under the maximum CBT allowance of the highest spec models (14.8hp) but the Michigan does have decent early acceleration and can manage top speeds of over 60mph.
Being a cruiser you aren't really looking for power at high speeds anyway, you want an authentic look and comfortable ride and that is what the Michigan delivers. It also delivers value for money with excellent fuel economy (capable of 100mpg with a 13.5 litre tank), this is one of the most accessible bikes on the list starting at only £2,499.
Lexmoto Detroit 125
The Detroit is Lexmoto's latest offering and takes the same Euro 5 engine used in the Michigan and repackages it into a modern bobber design that is very reminiscent of the old Harley Iron 883. The result is a 125cc bike that looks like a legit modern cruiser, despite being extremely accessible!
In fact, accessibility is the name of the game here with a low seat height of 720mm, light wet weight of just 141kg, and the low price tag of £2,899. The result is a motorcycle that is easy to ride and easy to manage while still able to eat up your town commutes with excellent 100mpg fuel economy.
Once again low on tech features but at such an affordable price, the excellent styling speaks for itself on this one.
Another budget friendly Chinese brand, Keeway were one of the first manufacturers to start producing 125cc cruisers with their Superlight model. In 2023 Keeway is updating their range with some exciting new models and after seeing some of these on display at Motorcycle Live, I can report they are some of the most gorgeous 125 motorcycles I've ever seen...
Keeway Superlight 125
The original 125cc custom cruiser is still going strong and represents an excellent value for money motorcycle with some clean styling. The Superlight lives up to its name with its 134kg weight, although that is without petrol. It features a giant 15L fuel tank so the weight will end up at around 146kg but that is still extremely light for a cruiser. With fantastic 100mpg fuel economy, this bike makes for an excellent commuter.
The engine is a Euro 5 compliant, air-cooled single cylinder that can put out around 10.5hp. Not the most powerful in the category but still respectable, especially given its low weight. Coming in at £2,699 brand new, there is great value for money here. If you prefer a more classic design you can get the K-Light model for an extra £100. It uses the same engine and basic setup but with a lovely stylish retro look.
Keeway RK V125
Keeway's latest 2023 model the RK V125 is a step up in spec with a brand new V-Twin liquid-cooled engine that can put out 13hp with 14Nm torque. That puts it close to the maximum for the category, although it is a lot heavier than the Superlight at 179kg with its 15L fuel tank full.
Where the RK V125 really stands out is in its incredible modern bobber styling. This thing looks absolutely gorgeous with big bike proportions and even a chunky 150" rear tyre. By keeping things simple in the tech department, Keeway has kept the price at a very attractive £3,299. Another economical cruiser, it also happens to be one of the most authentic-looking bikes in the category
Keeway V-Cruise 125
The V-Cruise will be arriving later this year and its hard to do justice to just how good this bike looks in person. I saw it on display at Motorcycle Live and it completely blew me away. A modern bobber with plenty of extra detailing on the bodywork, a large LED headlight, and cool bar end mirrors.
The V-Cruise is essentially the Benda Fox 125 rebranded for the UK market, so despite not being officially released yet, we already have a good idea of its spec. The V-Cruise will use a 125cc V-Twin engine with an impressive 13.7hp output. That puts it straight to the top of the list in terms of raw power here and with a considerably reduced weight. With its 15L tank filled up, the V-Cruise will weigh in at just 152kg, so in terms of power-to-weight ratio, it should have the performance to match its looks.
We don't have a UK price just yet but considering it is coming from Keeway, I expect a relatively budget price tag - However I will update this blog when we get the full details and spec confirmed. Definitely one to be excited about!
I'm sure you are starting to see a pattern here but Sinnis is yet another Chinese brand offering some very tasty custom cruiser options that are surprisingly good considering their budget price tags. We've tested a bunch of motorcycles from Sinnis now at Bikematters and were impressed by all of them!
Sinnis Hoodlum 125
Brett did a full road test review on this sweet little cruiser back in 2020 and three years on, it is still a great budget option. The hoodlum is a stylish and authentic cruiser with high bars and a nice low saddle for that perfect laid-back ride style.
When it comes to raw power, the Hoodlum isn't the strongest here. Its Euro 5 single-cylinder engine puts out just over 9hp so this bike will be in its element as an urban commuter or town runaround. It does mean it's a nice beginner-friendly bike that is easy to manage and it definitely makes up for it in style factor.
Starting at £2,799, the Sinnis Hoodlum is yet another great addition to the list!
Sinnis Outlaw 125
The Outlaw is Sinnis' latest addition to the line-up and it manages to offer a slightly different flavour of cruiser to its Hoodlum sibling. The visuals are still outstanding but the Outlaw goes for a more sportster-esque vibe with lower bars and a slightly more vertical ride stance.
The Outlaw manages to squeeze an extra horse out of its engine too while also being 2kg lighter, so it will be a bit more responsive in its power and handling. On top of that it gets a chunkier 140" rear wheel which I always love to see on these 125s.
With a £2,999 price tag, the cost of these upgrades is only £200, so if you prefer the sportster styling this is a no-brainer!
UM Motorcycles have several different models available, ranging from more traditional classic looking cruisers to modern blacked out bobbers. For this list we will look at two of their freshly updated models as a double entry!
Renegade Freedom 125 / Vegas 125
Both of these motorcycles are available as 2023 models and I have decided to put them together because they are so similar in their styling and performance. There are a few differences and I will go over them later but for now, let's look at the similarities.
Firstly, both look excellent but then that is no surprise in this category. They both go the fully blacked-out bobber route with Authentic big bike proportions and cruiser ride position. Both feature an enormous 21L fuel tank which is one of the largest in the 125cc category, so you can expect excellent commuting power and economical performance.
Both the Freedom 125 and Vegas 125 feature the same basic liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine with a maximum 12hp output. That is pretty decent performance for the cruiser category although they are a little on the heavy side.
There are a few cosmetic differences between the two with the Freedom offering a pillion seat and larger headlight surround while the Vegas comes with a single seat and slightly lower straight bars. The Freedom weighs in at 162kg, while the Vegas is considerably heavier at 172kg. Despite using the same base engine, the Vegas has a larger cylinder diameter so it should have a little more grunt to move its bulky weight.
Both bikes start at £3,599 so they are a little more expensive than the Chinese models but still very much in the budget category.
Hyosung Aquila GV125S
We'll finish off the list with this beauty from Korean manufacturer Hyosung. The Aquila GV125S is perhaps the most premium bike on the list with a £3,999 starting price. Despite the higher cost, there aren't really any extra tech features either, it still uses a combined braking system and keeps itself pretty stripped down and basic.
What you do get for the money is one of the most authentic cruisers available in 125cc form. The Aquila GV125S nails that 'big bike' feeling thanks to its large proportions and wide 150" rear tyre and when it comes to visuals, Hyosung have knocked it out of the park.
The Aquila is powered by a 125cc V-Twin engine with a 13hp maximum output, tying it with the Keeway RK V125 as the most powerful model on the list. However weighing in at 165kg, it should just have the edge in terms of acceleration and agility. Even as the most expensive option on this list, the Hyosung Aquila GV125S is considerably cheaper than other premium models in the 125 categories!
The last stop!
So there you have it! Here are 10 great 125cc cruiser options that show you can have a cheap commuter on a CBT and still look darn cool doing it!
If you have your very own 125cc cruiser or perhaps another motorcycle you need to insure - make sure to get a motorcycle insurance quote direct with Lexham!