When it comes to the Cafe Racer, we know what to expect. Their incredibly stunning in looks and more-than-capable in numbers. They are real posers and an extremely popular style of motorcycle, so it’s fantastic to see manufacturers producing smaller-capacity machines to allow each and every one of us the opportunity to ride one (and show it off to our mates, of course!).

But when it comes to the 125cc Cafe Racer, a lot of the models are all very similar and with the selection on this list, it’s their unique finishing touches and badges that give them a personality and voice of their own.

So, with no further explanations, shall we find out who made the cut?

Lexmoto Tempest GT 125

Starting with the Lexmoto Tempest GT 125. I’m not going to beat around the bush, you’ll know Lexmoto as a budget brand specialising in CBT-friendly machines, so you won’t be too surprised to hear this is the cheapest option on today’s list.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that though as that cheap as chips £2,399 price buys you a decent learner-legal bike with a 13L fuel tank and 100+ mpg.

However, when we start to talk about its looks, it has Cafe Racer styling in the most basic way. Unfortunately, this is why it’s going to be outdone by many of the others as they have styled their offerings much closer to the heritage and history of this category of bike's style.   

Engine 125c, 10 bhp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 13L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 780mm
Weight 126kg
Price £2,399

Bluroc Spirit

If you didn’t know, Bluroc’s former name used to be Bullit. But whilst its brand name has changed; it loses none of its style. It looks especially lovely in its ‘Racing Green’ colourway and paired with gold finishing touches, a prominent exhaust and circular headlight, I think it’s a very gentlemanly and classically handsome-looking bike.

With not a lot separating it from the rest of the pack, the Bluroc takes #4 because, as the name suggests, it’s got a lot of charming Spirit!

Engine 125cc, 11.6 hp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 14L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 840-890mm
Weight 116kg
Price £2,999

Herald Cafe 125

At #3, the Herald Cafe 125 is another familiar face that you will have seen on our list once or twice and one that is also pretty familiar when compared against the other contenders. As I said in the introduction, the bikes on today’s list don’t have many distinguishing factors when you look under the hood, it’s their exteriors where we see the key differences.

With the Herald Cafe, those differences come in the form of a very stylish and quite modern red colourway, LED halo light, long petrol tank with its aluminium strap and black faux leather seat. In my opinion, the styling is spot on and what’s even better is it doesn’t come at too much of a price to look this good either!

Engine 125cc, 9.9 bhp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 12L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 740mm
Weight 126kg
Price £2,895 (+OTR)

AJS Cadwell 125

With 60s styling, the AJS Cadwell is more than fitting for our 125cc Cafe Racers list! The whole look fits perfectly and looks pretty genuine too. I also really like the choice of colours. There are 5 in total, in which ‘Blazing Orange’ is very nice!

With a 124cc air-cooled engine and 9.9 bhp, it isn’t going to scream the house down, but it will get to an average pace, and that’s the same for the majority on this list.

As one of the oldest names in British motorcycling, it’s nice to see AJS still bringing gorgeous retro styles up to date and to the masses!

Engine 125cc, 9.9 bhp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 11.2L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 740mm
Weight 113kg
Price £2,899 (+OTR)

FB Mondial HPS 125

Now, the FB Mondial HPS is a bike that truly looks the part. It may be Chinese-built but it's Italian-designed, so its styling is nothing short of stunning!

Appropriately nicknamed the Hipster, it brings a classic swagger and grown-up Cafe Racer looks to the 125cc market. As an added bonus, for £3,799, you also get the taste of a liquid-cooled engine reaching 13.4hp and ABS, depending on which colourway you go for. ‘Titanium Icon Stripes’, ‘Black Gold Stripes’ and ‘Grey Black Stripes’ all come with ABS but it’s CBS if you choose either the ‘Titanium Yellow Stripes’ or ‘White Red Stripes’.

The FB Mondial HPS is a strong competitor and one worthy of the title based on how good it looks and how capable it is!

Engine 124cc, 13.4 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 9.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 850mm
Weight 133kg
Price £3,799

Wild cards

I said it was a top 8 and I wasn’t lying, it’s just the remaining three contestants come in the form of wild cards! Today, I’m classing them as wildcards because they aren’t your typical off-the-shelf Cafe Racer.

Honda CB125R Neo Sports Café

It may have Cafe in the name, but the Honda CB125R Neo Sports Café is far from traditional. With its broad and muscular bodywork and metal-toned detailing, it’s basically a Naked Bike that has taken the most ultra-modern road you could possibly take when it comes to styling.  

I’m including it on the list today because it makes such a statement and with a few modifications, the CB125R could turn into an extremely cool futuristic Cafe Racer, imagine the reaction the Ton-Up boys would have had riding this bad boy!

Engine 124.9cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 10.1L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 816mm
Weight 130kg
Price £4,399

Mutt Akita

As kings of all things modified,  Mutt’s Akita is our second wildcard and another that makes the list as a Cafe Racer in the loosest form. But it doesn’t just earn its place based on that though, it’s here today because of how good Mutt is at retro. They really bring a strong look of customisation to the market and it’s truly hard to beat it.

They are giants in the modifying motorcycle world and that makes any of their offerings pretty special. They are yet to add a Cafe Racer to their range but imagine if you were to add a few more modified bells and whistles on top of the already custom tan seat, handmade stainless steel mudguard brackets Mutt's aluminium low-rise bars, fork caps and head stem nut, just how outstanding she’d look (*insert heart eyes emoji*)!

Engine 125cc, 12 hp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 16L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 780mm
Weight 127kg
Price £3,495 (+OTR)

Yamaha XSR125

Welcoming our last wildcard and it’s a very special model, indeed!

The news of this model’s arrival on the 125cc market was big, and what was even bigger was that BikeMatters got to road test the Yamaha XSR125 last year. Because of that (and because it’s a Yamaha) we know just how impressive it is.

It’s based upon its fellow stablemates the MT-125 and R125, so, on performance alone, the XSR125 stands out, but what makes it even more so is just how stunning it is. From its neo-retro styling to the teeny tiny finishing touches such as the XSR engraving on the headlight, this is a 125cc on another level!

Yes, it’s the most expensive and technically classed as a naked bike but, again, with a few modifications, you could really turn this into a beautiful Cafe Racer!

Engine 124cc, 14.7 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 11L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 815mm
Weight 140kg (wet)
Price £4,450

The last stop

As you can see, Cafe Racers are a mighty category and even though the 125cc variety may be small, it doesn’t make them any less mighty – I mean you’ve seen the styling on some of them! You’ve heard how we’ve ranked them, now I want to hear how you would. Drop your comments below now!

Before you go, if you're looking for an affordable insurance policy for your motorcycle, Lexham offers a range of policies on everything from 125cc bikes to adventure bikes. Cheap motorcycle insurance doesn't have to mean poor quality and, with over 20 years of experience, we are two-wheel insurance specialists, offering you great savings and exceptional service. Did I mention, that our best deals are direct!