For a lot of people, 125cc motorcycles are the machines that kickstart their passion for motorbikes.

There are many people out there from a variety of different backgrounds and scenarios who had or still have their beloved 125cc as their trusty yet economical method of transport.

In this blog we are going to be running down the beginner's guide to everything 125cc motorcycle, so whether you’re a fresh 17-year-old eager to get their first motorcycle, or perhaps someone who decided to make the switch to two wheels slightly later - this one is for you!

So without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?

What is a 125cc motorcycle?

A 125cc motorcycle is a motorcycle with a 125cc engine, with some of the more powerful 125cc models able to hit speeds of 70mph, whilst being able to cruise at 50-60mph more than comfortably. The cc is the measurement of the engine chamber and can determine how powerful the bike is. As the general rule goes, the lower the cc, the less powerful the bike is, and vice versa.

The different types of motorcycles

When you first made the decision to move to a powered two-wheeler, you probably assumed there were just motorcycles and mopeds. However, there are a range of different bikes on the market. The most popular types of bikes you’ll see are:

  • Naked
  • Cruiser
  • Sport Bike
  • Touring/Sport Touring
  • Adventure
  • Maxi-scooter
  • Scooter
  • Off-road

Where should I buy my 125cc motorcycle from?

When looking where to purchase your 125cc motorbike, realistically you have two options - you can either buy new or used from a dealer, or you can buy second-hand from a private seller.

If you’re concerned about the upfront cost of your bike, private sales tend to be less expensive than buying directly from a dealer. However, you won’t receive an additional warranty or the assurance that your bike has been checked over by a professional prior to purchase.

On the other hand, if you opt to buy from a dealer, your motorbike will typically come with either a 3 or 6-month warranty and will likely have been professionally checked over and likely to have been recently serviced. This is usually reflected in the price, with prices at dealerships being more expensive than private sales.

What are the benefits of a small-capacity motorcycle?

There are many reasons why people opt for a 125, this may be because that is all they are permitted to ride thus far, or perhaps it may be someone's personal preference.

Other reasons include:

Cheaper second-hand than other motorcycles

Typically, 125cc motorcycles can be picked up for cheap prices second hand, in comparison to higher powered machines that will set you back on average £3,000 or more.

Typically more affordable to insure

Generally, 125cc motorbike insurance can be far cheaper in comparison to higher-powered bikes. As they don’t have much power behind them, it makes them much easier to ride as well as reducing the risk of it being on the road.

However, the cost of your insurance will also be dependent on a variety of things such as your age, riding experience, where you intend to store it overnight, the value of the bike, etc.

125cc is the largest capacity motorcycle that legally can be ridden at 17

As we mentioned previously, 125cc is the maximum engine size of a motorcycle that you can ride at 17 years old in the UK. Although yes you can get much faster motorcycles out there, some 125cc are able to reach 70mph so whether you’re a 17-year-old getting his first motorcycle or a 55-year-old who fancies a slightly tamer machine - the 125 is a versatile bike to suit anybody's needs.

More cost-effective to run

One huge benefit of 125cc motorcycles is that they are far cheaper to run than cars. Road tax at the time of writing will cost £24 yearly, as well as a bike MOT costing roughly £30 - however, if you decide to opt for a brand new motorbike, new bikes do not need an MOT for the first 3 years (which makes your costs considerably cheaper)!

Onto fuel and MPG, typically 125cc motorbikes do an average of around 75-100mpg and will cost you on average £15 to fill up per time, again when you compare it to a car sounds far more appealing.

What licence do you need for a 125cc motorcycle?

You can ride a 125cc motorcycle from the age of 17 in the UK with a valid CBT, however, when it comes to a licence you'll need at least an A1 licence.

If you are unsure of how to obtain your provision licence and already own a full car licence, you will need to contact the DVLA to get this added to your licence. However, if you do not already hold a car licence, you will need to fill out a D1 application form, attached with a photograph, ID and £34 fee.

What restrictions are there on a provisional licence?

There are a few restrictions for those who ride on a provisional licence, these are as follows:

  • Cannot ride on the motorway
  • Cannot carry passengers (pillions)
  • Must display L-Plates at all times

CBT Training

It is worth noting that Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) certificates do expire after 2 years, so if you do not intend on taking your full motorcycle testing in the future, you will need to repeat your CBT as many times as you wish to hold an A1 licence.

The Best 125cc Motorcycles

If you are looking for some 125cc inspiration, we have compiled a few top 10s to help you out! Make sure to take a look at:

Ready to ride!

So there you have it, I hope you enjoyed our fully comprehensive guide to everything 125…

Last but not least, if you have your very own 125cc motorcycle you need to insure, make sure to get a motorcycle insurance quotation direct with Lexham!