It is that time again when we are going to be running down another top 10 of the best 125cc motorcycles available on the market and this time we’re going to be focusing on sports bikes
As usual, I will try to include a wide range of models so that whatever your budget or taste, we should have you covered. So without further delay, here are the top 10 125cc Sports Bikes of 2023!
7. Lexmoto LXS125
Kicking off the list and sitting at number seven, here we have the Lexmoto LXS125.
Now you may or may not be surprised by this, but Lexmoto released the LXR125 a few years ago, going on to become one of the best-selling sportsbikes. Following its success in taking the budget market by storm, Lexmoto decided to release its sibling the LXS125- offering even more bang for your hard-earned buck.
Sharing most of the same components as its LXR brother, the LXS comes packed with a Euro 5 liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine at its heart, putting out a respectable 13.8hp.
When it comes to performance, whilst it would quite match up to the other heavy hitters in this category. However, the power is still respectable nonetheless and should achieve indicated 70mph top speeds.
Priced at just £2,999 brand new, this is an extremely economical sport bike that looks pretty tasty too.
- Budget price
- Excellent looks
- Slightly lower power than premium models
- May not hold its value as well
6. Sinnis GPX125
Next up and in at sixth we have the Sinnis GPX125.
The GPX125 was released by Sinnis last year and I had an absolute blast testing it out hence why I believe it deserves a worthy spot on my list today. The trend for sports bikes these days is to be a bit more relaxed and accessible, both in their ride positions and their riding styles. The GPX does the opposite and aims to deliver as authentic a supersport experience as it can at 125cc capacity.
The ride position is aggressive and the bike likes to be ridden with a bit of precision, encouraging you to find all the sweet spots in the rev range to get the most out of every gear. If you are looking for something a bit more laid back, it may not be for you but if you would rather go all in on the supersport feel, then it could be an excellent option.
When it comes to the engine, the GPX packs a 12.7hp air-cooled single cylinder, with a wet weight of 158kg. Admittedly whilst this is a little on the heavier side, it will mean that the acceleration won't be able to keep pace with the more premium models here but with top speeds of over 70mph, but once you get going it feels great.
When it comes to pricing for 2023 the Sinnis GPX125 is currently going for £3,199 brand new, which is a very attractive price for a pretty unique offering. It has fantastic big bike visuals and can handle your commutes with some decent fun factors.
- Authentic supersport character
- Accessible price
- Big bike proportions
- Lower power to weight means slightly slower acceleration
- Again, Chinese bikes may not hold their value on the used market
5. Kawasaki Ninja
Next on the list and just missing out on one of the top spots has got to be the Kawasaki Ninja 125.
Kawasaki reentered the 125cc market back in 2019, and after four years the Ninja is still going strong as ever! Coming packed with a 14.8hp single-cylinder engine at its heart, this bike can put out the maximum allowed power for CBT licence holders and can compete with the best in class when it comes to performance.
The 2023 edition of the Ninja 125 gets a new lick of paint with a lovely lime green and ebony finish, it looks every bit like the Ninja with its full-size steel trellis frame and definitely has that wow factor.
By avoiding some of the fancier tech features and rider aids that other premium brands are adding to their bikes, Kawasaki has managed to keep the Ninja 125 at a more affordable price, coming in at £4,699 on the road. Having said that, it does have ABS brakes and a preload adjustable rear suspension which is pretty good at this price point.
All in all, the Ninja is a bike that ticks every box and offers high-level performance and build quality while still managing to stay affordable.
- More affordable than other premium options
- Iconic Ninja design
- Preload adjustable rear suspension
- No fancy tech features (could be seen as a pro to some!)
4. Suzuki GSX-R125
The legendary Gixxer line has been all but discontinued here in the UK as of 2023 but we do still have this sweet little 125 keeping the iconic name alive!
Suzuki has gone a similar route to Kawasaki and kept the tech features to a minimum in order to keep the price lower than its top rivals. It does have ABS, keyless ignition, and an easy start feature but that is about all. What it does have, is an extremely low wet weight of 134kg which, combined with a 14.8hp single-cylinder DOHC engine, gives it one of the best power-to-weight ratios in the class.
The GSX-R125 has fantastic big bike looks, really nailing the Gixxer vibe and despite focusing on its sporty and agile performance, still offers an impressive 122mpg. If you dig the supersport riding style and looks, this could actually still make a great town commuter, with plenty of pep for some fun on the back roads too.
Priced at £4,999, the little Gixxer is a top contender in the 125cc class and offers high fun factor and great value for money.
- One of the best power-to-weight ratios in the class
- Last Gixxer left standing!
- Decent price for a premium model and good fuel economy
- No fancy tech features (could be seen as a pro to some!)
3. Aprilia RS125
Taking one of the top spots on the list today has got to be the Aprilia RS125 (the Aprilia RS 125 is also part of our Top 10 best 125cc bikes for beginners so check it out)!
Perhaps the most recognisable name in the 125 category, the RS125 has been turning heads since the early 90s. The old 2-stroke glory days may be well behind us but the RS is still going strong in the 4-stroke era and maintains its position as one of the best 125 sport bikes on the market in 2023.
These days manufacturers are making more of an effort to give their 125 options a look more in line with the larger bikes in their range and that is perhaps most evident with the RS125. The visuals come straight from the RSV4 and for my money, are the absolute best in the class. This thing looks like a premium superbike at a glance, the only giveaway will be your L-plates!
A Euro 5-compliant 14.8hp engine ensures the RS125 isn't just for looks, weighing in at just 134kg, you can expect some top-of-the-line 125 performance here. It also features some pretty decent spec with a unique aluminium frame, inverted forks, and a radial-mounted brake up front. There is even the option for a quick-shifter but you will have to pay extra for that.
The Aprilia RS125 is a modern classic and with a price tag of £4,950 brand new, means that it stands among the top contenders in the class.
If you want to know more about the Aprilia check out our in-depth Aprilia RS 125 GP Replica Review.
- Amazing RSV4 visuals
- Strong performance and agility
- Nice optional extras are available
- While high spec, isn't quite as kitted out as the top rivals
2. KTM RC 125
In at second on the list today and just missing the top spot is the KTM RC 125.
KTM gave their RC 125 a complete overhaul last year, furnished with a newly updated Euro 5 engine and an awesome new look. Thanks to a new lightweight frame and open hub wheel design, the power-to-weight ratio is much improved and the result is a fantastic 125cc sport bike that competes with the best in the category.
The new 14.8hp engine comes from KTM's 125 Duke, re-tuned for a more high-revving supersport ride style. However, this isn’t the only thing the RC has taken from the Duke, it also comes packed with the Dukes' high-quality components such as the WP Apex suspension setup and Bybre brakes with two-channel ABS. Interestingly, the RC 125 gives the option to disengage ABS from the rear wheel to allow for a bit more aggression on the tarmac.
It isn't all about track aggression though, the clip-on bars are adjustable and can be raised up to 10mm for a slightly more relaxed position when you just want to chill about town and KTM reckon it can do over 300 miles on a single tank!
Overall, with a starting price of £5,199, KTM are looking to be a true rival to Yamaha's R125!
- New design looks great
- High-spec and quality components
- More flexible than you might expect from a sport bike
- Price may put some off for a 125
1. Yamaha R125
Taking the top spot and sitting at number one on the list has got to be the Yamaha R125.
The Yamaha R125 received a rather large overhaul for 2023, coming packed with a new improved visual design inspired by the R7 and class-leading spec that earns its place at the top of my list.
One of the main ingredients to Yamaha's huge success with their recent 125 motorcycle range is their excellent 14.8hp Euro 5 engine. Utilising Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) technology, it essentially uses separate valve timings for low and high revs and automatically switches as you accelerate for smooth and constant pull across the entire range - The result feels fantastic.
Coming onto spec, the 2023 R125 comes loaded with extra tech features, including a 5" TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity, KYB suspension, slipper clutch with optional quick-shifter, and even traction control. Whether you need that much kit on a 125 is down to you to decide but regardless, the R125 is one of the best-performing and best-equipped bikes in the 125cc category.
Whilst it is the most expensive option here at £5,302, you do get what you pay for and it is most definitely one to consider if you have the budget to do so!
- Class-leading spec
- High performance
- Tasty new R7 design
- Most expensive bike on the list
Ready to Ride?
So there you have it, here is our list of just some of the best 125cc sportsbikes available on the market, ready to take 2023 by storm!
Do you think the Yamaha R125 deserves the number one spot? And if not what would you put at number one? Feel free to let me know in the comments section below.
Lastly, if you have your very own 125cc motorcycle you need to insure, make sure to get a quote direct with Lexham!
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