When it comes to 125cc Motorcycles, the Sportsbike category has always been one of the most impressive, both in big bike visuals and in performance. From the venerable Aprilia RS125 to modern classics like the Yamaha R125, there are plenty of impressive models on the market and despite their impressive looks and fun riding styles, all you need is a CBT to get started!

In this blog, we are going to look at 10 of the absolute best 125cc Sport Motorcycles in 2022. Along with the latest and fanciest premium bikes, I've also tried to include some budget options, as well as a used wild card to make sure there is something for everyone on the list.

So without further delay, let's get into it!


Lexmoto LXR SE 125

The Lexmoto LXR SE 125 is a great budget offering from China, although it does receive some fine-tuning specifically for the UK market. Despite the budget price tag, the aggressive Sportsbike visuals are spot on and the LXR has already become a big seller in the UK.

The LXR SE was freshly updated last year with a brand new Euro 5 a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke engine with a 12.5bhp output. The performance is slightly lower than the class leaders but still handles well with a 69mph top speed.

As you would expect, there aren't many high-tech features here, although it does have USD forks and a full-colour TFT screen. Lexmoto have gone with a combined braking system over ABS as well, but the end result is a decent little motorcycle with modern sporty looks and a very appealing starting price of just £3,299, which makes it one of the most affordable options here.

Engine 125cc, 12.5hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 13.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Upside Down Forks
Rear: Monoshock
Seat height 820mm
Weight 167kg
Price £3,299


Lexmoto LXS 125

Next up, is Lexmoto's newest sport offering, the LXS 125. They already have one of the highest-selling Sportsbikes in the UK with their LXR 125 and the LXS will sit right alongside it in a similar spec and price range.

The LXS shares the same four-stroke, single-cylinder engine as the LXR but actually has an extra couple of horses squeezed out of it to reach 13.8bhp. It's also 12 kilos lighter, which should combine to give slightly improved performance all round. It still won't quite match the premium models here, but it should just about reach 70mph and for less than three grand, it’s a real alternative.

It's missing the USD forks and full-colour display of the LXR SE but has its own unique sporty aesthetics and a touch more power. With a starting price of £2,999, it’s definitely another budget option well worth considering!

Engine 125cc, 13.8 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 10L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Telescopic Forks
Rear: Monoshock
Seat height 790mm
Weight 155kg
Price £2,999.99


Sinnis GPX 125

This budget Chinese model is brand new for 2022 and aims to take some of Lexmoto's share of the market, as a slightly more aggressive alternative to their LXR.

The GPX has a much purer supersport riding position than some of the others here too, which may or may not be your thing, depending on whether you are after a more authentic, wrist aching ride or something a bit more relaxed. The aggressive design matches the ride position and certainly doesn't look budget either.

Having ridden the Sinnis Terrain on a road test last year (an adventure 125 with the same engine), I was impressed by how polished and easy to ride it felt, so I am expecting more of the same here! The only weakness is going to be the weight of the bike, at 158 kilos, the 12.7bhp engine will reach 60mph easily enough but won't compete with the premium models on the list. Having said that, it only costs £3,299, which is going to be the real selling point here.

Engine 124.2cc, 12.7 bhp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 12L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Upside-down Telescopic Fork
Rear: Swingarm, Link-Actuated Mono-Shock Absorber
Seat height 816mm
Weight 158kg
Price £3,299 (+OTR)


Honda CBR125R (wild card)

This one is a bit of a wild card as it went out of production back in 2019 and can now only be found on the used market.

The Honda CBR125R was hugely popular during its run and despite being a little bit dated compared to some of the newest models, it still holds up very well. Firstly, it is a Honda, so the build quality is excellent, and it's easy to find used examples in good condition. It doesn't quite have the big bike style of the modern sport 125s, but it still looks pretty good and the 13bhp engine can easily maintain 60mph speeds and achieve an 88mpg average.

Fortunately, these bikes are still in plentiful supply, and you can find a low mileage CBR125R for as little as £1,500 - £2,000.

Engine 124cc, 13 bhp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 13L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 793mm
Weight 136kg
Price £1,500-£2,000


Mondial Pagani 1948 125

The Mondial Pagani 1948 is perhaps the most unique bike on this list, offering Sportsbike performance and handling with a beautiful vintage style.

The 1948 is a combination of Mondial design, Piaggio technology and Chinese manufacture. Don't let Chinese production put you off however, the unmistakable Italian DNA is all over this model and it even packs an Aprilia-based engine.

Speaking of the engine, the single-cylinder DOHC four-stroke puts out 13.5bhp, which is just a shade under the top models in the category. Again, don't be fooled, however, thanks to a super light 133-kilo kerb weight, this 125cc can compete with the best of them and reaches speeds up to 76mph!

Once again there are no high-tech features, although that’s fitting with the retro design and 1948 uses a combined braking system over ABS. The end result is a drop-dead gorgeous motorcycle with very competitive performance and a highly appealing price tag of £3,599!

Engine 124cc, 13.4 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 9.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Upside down Hydraulic Fork
Rear: Double Shock Absorbers
Seat height 785mm
Weight 133kg
Price £3,599 (+OTR)


Kawasaki Ninja 125

After a lengthy absence from the 125cc category, Kawasaki finally returned in 2019 and brought the iconic Ninja name with them.

Similar to Suzuki, Kawasaki has focused on making a minimalistic but high-quality motorcycle and avoided fancy add-ons and rider aids (although ABS is included). What they do have is a full-size steel trellis frame and a 14.7bhp single-cylinder engine that can compete with the best 125s on the market. The Ninja also has a great visual design with a classic Kawasaki green and black colour scheme that absolutely looks the part.

By focusing on the basics, Kawasaki has managed a very competitive entry price of £4,199 which makes it an attractive option in a stacked category.

Engine 125cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 11L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: 37mm telescopic fork
Rear: Uni-Trak, gas-charged shock with adjustable preload
Seat height 785mm
Weight 148kg
Price £4,199


KTM RC 125

The RC 125 from KTM has just had a major overhaul for 2022 with a beautiful new look and mechanical improvements in almost every area.

The RC still shares its basic components with the excellent 125 Duke, including a 15bhp Euro 5 engine, WP APEX upside-down forks and mono-shock and BOSCH ABS. One of the key updates is the addition of a new lightweight frame, wheel rims and ByBre brakes, which have all helped get the final weight down to 147 kilos. Along with the improved ergonomics, this is going to be one of the fastest 125s on the market and the new MotoGP-inspired bodywork looks outstanding too.

On top of the performance improvements, there have been a few tweaks to the practicality of the bike as well. The clip-on bars are now adjustable and can be raised a little for more comfortable day-to-day riding and the fuel tank has been increased up to 13L to help you cover more distance between fill-ups.

The new KTM RC 125 starts at £5,049, which makes it the most expensive on the list.

Engine 124.7cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 13.7L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: WP APEX 43
Rear: WP APEX - Monoshock
Seat height 824mm
Weight 147kg
Price £5,049


Aprilia RS 125

Aprilia's RS 125 was released back in 1992 and revolutionised the 125cc category. 30 years later, the legend is still going strong and continues its long history of being one of the best A1 motorcycles money can buy in 2022.

It seems to have become something of a standard now that manufacturers try to make their 125cc models look like their larger counterparts and retain the essence of the brand, despite being lower in power. When it comes to the Aprilia RS, it is perhaps the most impressive on that score. Line it up alongside its larger sibling, the RSV, and the styling is near identical.

Aprilia isn't just going for looks though, with a huge emphasis on ergonomics and handling, as well as their latest 125cc engine producing the maximum allowable 15bhp. This motorcycle is capable of speeds up to 80mph, assuming you have a long enough runway to get there. There is also a variety of optional extras available, including a quick-shifter and a race replica edition.

The base Aprilia RS starts at £4,850 and is still an excellent option in the 125 sports category.

Engine 124.2cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Upside-down fork
Rear: Asymmetrical swingarm, monoshock absorber
Seat height 820mm
Weight 144kg (wet)
Price £4,850 


Suzuki GSX-R125

The GSX-R125 was a very welcome addition to the low capacity ranks when it was released in 2017 and Suzuki has continued to update and refine the model, including a fresh Euro 5 version for 2022.

Suzuki has opted to avoid most of the modern rider aids and extra tech and focus more on the engine and ride quality of the motorcycle instead. In fact, there isn't really anything to speak of in the way of features aside from keyless ignition and Bosch ABS and that has helped keep the price down compared to some of its rivals.

What it does have is a brand new Euro 5 engine with fuel injection and a 14.7bhp power output. Weighing in at just 134 kilos, the GSX-R125 boasts the best power to weight ratio in the category and that means outstanding acceleration and all round performance.

Despite the MotoGP styling and aggressive power, when ridden sensibly the GSX-R125 can achieve an impressive 122mpg, which means it can still be an economical machine if you want it to be! The GSX-R125 starts at £4,499 and is another great addition to the list.

Engine 124cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 11L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Rear: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Seat height 785mm
Weight 134kg
Price £4,499


Yamaha R125

Finishing the list with one of the best, Yamaha currently produces some of the finest 125cc motorcycles on the market and the R125 is no exception. The latest model comes with a plethora of cutting-edge features including an assist and slipper clutch! In case you are wondering, a slipper clutch smooths out the revs during a downshift to make changing gear basically effortless and is a feature that until now has only been seen on much larger motorcycles.

The full-size frame, 825mm seat height and fat 140mm rear tyre all give it an authentic big bike feel but the crown jewel of Yamaha's 125cc technology is actually the engine itself. A liquid-cooled, Euro 5 compliant 4-stroke that puts out the maximum allowable 15bhp for CBT riders. Further enhanced by Yamaha's Variable Valve Actuation or VVA, it basically utilises separate valve timings for low and high revs and automatically switches across as you accelerate. The idea is to provide constant and smooth pulling power all the way along the range, and it works a treat!

The R125 looks, feels and rides like a big bike with a huge amount of refinement and starts at £4,900 – that’s why it had to be #1 today!

Engine 124.7cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 11.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Suspension Front: Upside-down telescopic fork
Rear: Swingarm
Seat height 825mm
Weight 144kg (wet)
Price £4,900

Before you go

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