FOR MOST 125cc buyers the bike itself is a means to an end – a mere stepping stone towards something bigger, faster and more desirable. But there’s a subset of 125cc sports bikes that are beautiful and desirable in their own right, regardless of capacity or performance.
We’re being subjective here but this top 10 largely reflects the fact that the later 80s and early 90s were a high water point for 125cc sports bikes. Two strokes still reigned supreme and there were enough wealthy teenagers out there to support a competitive marketplace, with manufacturers vying to make the most radical, lightest and fastest bikes in a segment where every last mph really did count.
If you’re looking for a practical choice, turn elsewhere. Most of these have the usual two-stroke issues of regular engine rebuilds, often compounded by limited parts supplies. But they represent the closest relatives of the 125cc GP bikes that the world’s best riders cut their teeth on.
As usual, if you think we’ve missed something, let us know in the comments.