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Beginners Guide to 125cc Motorcycles


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Whether you’re a brand new rider or someone who has been riding for years, there are a ton of benefits of 125cc motorcycles—from price to ease of riding.

Learn everything you need to know about a 125cc motorbike. 

What is a 125cc Motorbike? 

A 125cc motorcycle is a bike with and engine size of 125 cubic centimeters (cc).

Cubic centimeters measure the engine chamber in a way that describes how powerful the bike is.

The lower the cc, the smaller the engine, and thus the lower the power of the bike. Learn more about motorcycle engine cc here.

Despite an old reputation for being slow, 125cc bikes are perfect to learn on and have plenty of merit for certain types of riding.

However, if you need something faster, suited for higher speeds, long rides, or riding on the free, you may need something bigger.

Benefits of 125cc Bikes

If you’re considering a smaller bike, here are some reasons to compare some 125cc models.

Specific specs of 125cc motorcycles vary between different makes and models of bikes.

Generally, you can expect bikes of 125cc to average between:

  • Tops speeds of 50 – 70 mph.
  • Weights of 100 to 250 lbs.
  • 10-15 horsepower. 

1. Perfect for Beginners

A 125cc bike is perfect for anyone who is new to motorcycles.

Because it has a relatively small engine, it is a great vehicle to use to hone your handling and engine control skills.

A common mistake beginners make is buying a bike with too big of an engine, which they leave sitting in their garage because they are not comfortable riding it.

Purchasing a 125cc lets you transition into bike riding slowly and work your way up. 

2. Great for Commuting

The small size of these bikes makes them great for weaving in and out of traffic.

The upright position of the seat makes it a comfortable ride compared to many other bikes.

They also have a strong mileage per gallon, which will save you money on long commutes.

If you have a short distance, but traffic-heavy city commute, a small bike can make a big difference.

3. High Variety

The engine size of this bike does not prevent you from getting the kind of bike you want.

In fact, there are many 125cc models—sports bikes, naked bikes, custom bikes, you name it – all available with a smaller displacement engine.

4. Lower Price 

Some advanced riders prefer a 125cc model over others due to its fuel economy.

Many models have a capacity of 70 to 100 miles per gallon on the road.

You will be able to get around anywhere you want to without having to burn a hole in your pocket for fuel.

5. Control & Speed

125ccs give you great control over your bike. The lower weight allows you to easily avoid traffic even better than you would with a bigger bike.

Most 125cc bikes can reach up to 70 miles per hour and can be cruised comfortably beween 50 to 60 miles per hour. 

License Required to Ride a 125cc

All states with require you to get a motorcycle endorsement to ride a 125cc bike.

You can learn how to get your motorcycle license here.

The general steps are as follows:

  • Complete an application, submit proof of your ID, and pay the required fees.
  • Pass the motorcycle written test.
  • Complete a motorcycle safety course OR pass a skills test.

Note that in some states, the bike you test on or complete the Basic Rider Course on will determine the size of the bike you are permitted to ride.

Popular 125cc Models 

Below are some great examples of 125cc bikes and what they each have to offer.

Honda CB125R

This bike is small but mighty.

It was constructed to feel like a high-quality big bike, and it delivers.

Its classy style is accompanied by stylish features and useful technology.

The nimble construction, low seat, and upright riding position make it a great bike to ride all around town.

Honda CBR125

This model offers great suspension, stable yet nimble steering, and skinny tires with a strong grip.

It can be easily mistaken for much more expensive models.

It’s more affordable than more recently updated bikes of its class. 

Yamaha YZF-R125

This bike was the first ever to incorporate a variable valve system into a 125cc motorbike.

It is well-suited for a range of speeds, provides plenty of torque, and is revvy.

The bike also features some useful updates, like an LED headlight.

Cost of 125cc Models 

There are a few cost variables to take into consideration to get a full-picture view of the cost of 125cc motorbike ownership. 

Like any vehicle, the total cost of ownership goes beyond the sticker price.

Cost of the Bike

The cost of a 125cc bike typically ranges from $3,000 to $8,000, depending on the model you choose and whether you buy it brand new or used.

Learn more about the average price for motorcycles.

Gas Prices

Fueling a motorbike is significantly cheaper than fueling a car. And smaller bikes are generally cheaper than bigger bikes.

Generally, it costs about $15 to fill a tank of a bike that gets 75-100 miles per gallon.

That will usually give you up to 250 miles per fill up.

Motorcycle Insurance

The cost of motorcycle insurance is usually cheaper than your car insurance.

Typically, you can expect to pay about $60-$200 a month.

The price is totally dependent upon the type of coverage you choose.

Learn more about motorcycle insurance.

Cost of Maintenance

Like any other vehicle, there are costs that come with maintaining a bike.

Costs are dependent on what fixes are needed over time and whether you tackle them yourself or bring them to a professional. 

You can learn more about motorcycle maintenance here.