Top 10 best-sellers under 125cc

These are the machines that are feeding the next generation’s L-plate fantasies

Top 10 best-sellers under 125cc

YEAH, we know that if you’re reading this the chances are that you’ve dispensed with your L-plates and have no plans to ever return to anything as small as a 125. But everyone has to start there and looking at the best-selling sub-125cc bikes gives an insight into the sort of machines that new riders are opting for. Before we get into the list, it’s worth pointing out a couple of things. First, note that none of the bikes here are mopeds or 50cc models – that market seems to have completely disappeared in the UK. And compared to a few years ago, when the small-bike sales charts were nothing more than a list of city-bound scooters, it’s worth mentioning that most of these are ‘proper’ bikes – which suggests we’ve got a new generation of enthusiasts on the way up rather than simply a load of scooter-riding teens who will make the leap to four-wheels as soon as their funds and their insurance broker will allow. So, with no further ado, here are the ten best-selling 125s from 2015, as per the DfT’s recently-released registration figures for last year. 10: Qingqi QM125: 655 registered in 2015

A what? Tell someone you’ve got a “kinky queue ’em one-to-five” and they’re going to think you’ve either developed a stutter or you’re making reference to a sexual practise that they’re as-yet unaware of. In fact it’s one of those generic Chinese bikes, available in a host of different styles from cruiser to retro to naked sports. They’re pretty much disposable, and few owners are likely to gaze back at their Qingqi days with rose-tinged memories, but if they get people on two wheels, that’s good enough. 9: Honda SH125: 871 registered in 2015

Okay, so there are some scooters on the list. The Honda SH125 is one of those bikes that’s hard to argue with. Big wheels mean it copes with rutted city streets and a bit of pizza-laden kerb-jumping, while the fact it’s a Honda means that it will probably still be plugging away after years of abuse. Hard to get excited about, though. 8: Honda CBF125: 1,019 registered in 2015

Air-cooled, twin-shock, drum brake at the back – the CBF125 is pretty much the CG125 of the new generation and a favourite with learners around the nation. A small fairing means that it’s also got the benefit of practicality and makes a great cheap commuter machine, too. 7: Yamaha YBR125: 1,098 registered in 2015

In terms of spec, the YBR125 is basically Yamaha’s equivalent of the CBF125, and its appeal is much the same. Again, learners and training schools love them, even if they’re never going to be seen as classics in the future. 6: Honda CBR125: 1,235 registered in 2015

Most people with an eye to the bike market will tell you that sports bikes are dead and nobody is interested in race replicas. But nobody seems to have told that to the next generation of riders. The CBR125 looks cool, and surely the teenagers starting out on these are dreaming of the day they can own a 600 or a 1000cc super bike, not some retro naked machine or middle-aged adventure bike? 5: Yamaha YZF-R125: 1,309 registered in 2015

The YZF-R125 is even sharper-looking than the CBR125 and again clearly appealing to a new generation of sports bike fans. The Rossi effect has got to help sales, but despite being fairly long in the tooth the R125 is still about as sharp a smaller sports bike as you’ll find. 4: Honda CB125F: 1,457 registered in 2015

The CB125F is a bit newer and cooler than the confusingly-similarly-named CBF125, but it’s targeted at much the same audience. Best bet is that many of these sales were to training schools replacing or updating their fleets. 3: Yamaha MT-125: 1,473 registered in 2015

Yamaha’s ‘hyper naked’ MT line is hot property at the moment and the smallest of the bunch – the MT125 – is worthy of its number three spot if simply for the talking what’s arguably a dull bit of the market (after all, it’s a naked 125cc learner machine) and spicing it up a bit. Basically an unfaired R125, it’s got great looks so it’s easy to see its appeal to young riders. 2: Honda NSC110: 1,565 registered in 2015

Better known as the Vision, the NSC110 is the only bike on this list to be substantially below the full 125cc capacity limit. It’s easy enough to see its appeal as a cheap city commuter and runabout (a claimed 146.9mpg has got to help), but the 1565 people who bought them aren’t likely to be teenagers taking their first step towards a bigger bike. 1: Honda PCX125: 2,091 registered in 2015

The PCX125 is again a model that’s aimed squarely at the scooter set rather than a stepping stone towards bigger and better things, but again it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best-selling bikes, regardless of class, in the UK at the moment. In fact it’s the best-selling scooter in Europe. Perhaps it’s the claimed 133.9mpg that does it.


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