Top 10 '80s and '90s two-stroke 125s

Bargain L-plate performance

WHETHER you’re hitting middle age and looking to relive your teenage dreams or trying to advise your own kids on making the most of their limited funds for an L-plate machine it’s hard to look past the attractions of 80s and 90s era of 125cc two-strokes.

These days a new 125 is virtually certain to be a four-stroke, thanks to emissions laws, and while some might manage to hit the 15bhp power limit that L-plates limit you to, few have any scope to beat that figure. Compare and contrast with the bikes you could have bought a quarter of a century ago, which thanks to screaming two-strokes could claim to manage twice that power – albeit for a limited time before the inevitable piston replacement…

These days those old 125cc strokers are sitting in a sort of semi-classic hinterland, starting to garner a following but still lagging way behind bigger bikes, particularly two-strokes, from the same era. And each year their numbers dwindle further, making some of the machines on this list surprisingly hard to find.

You’re bound to have your own thoughts on which of the old 125s was the best – after all, it was the subject of many an underage pub conversation back when they were new – but here’s our pick of the 125cc two-stroke machines that you might find for a bag of sand or so today.

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