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Top 10 cheapest 125s*

*that we deem worthy of your consideration and definitely haven't featured on TV's Watchdog

Why anyone sits in traffic in a petrol-guzzling cage beats us. Especially when you can have all 10 bikes in this list for around the price of the average mid-sized family car.  

They may not be glamorous but they'll get you to work or college and you'll have some fun on the way. And don't knock them because they're not as good as your ten-grand 600. They could get thousands of people into bikes.

WK Bikes 125 Sport, £1,899

Whoa, a sportsbike for £1,899! Yes folks, this is the WK Bikes 125 Sport, a fully-faired 125cc motorsickle from China. If you’re looking for modern styling, top spec components and sex appeal, you’ll need to save your pocket money for a bit longer. What you are getting is 1980s styling with an uninspiring but economical four-stroke engine. Although it’s not a bad bike by any stretch of the imagination, it’s not likely to get you a new girlfriend down the local chippy either. The WK Sport is for the geeky teenager or middle-aged novice with rose-tinted visor. Go for the naked 125R and you’ll save £200, or the Trail for just £1,499.

KSR Code X, £1,799

If you want to be surprised at just how much of a good bike you can get for this sort of dosh, the KSR Code X is one to try. It’s a brilliant little bike. Yes, it may be a basic naked commuter but it rides very well, the engine is nippy enough to brave the dual carriageway or get you away from the lights safely and it’s actually enjoyable to use. KSR (formerly Generic) are an Austrian company and it shows in the design and overall quality. Production is in China but they’re built well and priced keenly too. They also come with a two-year warranty. This is our favourite bike in the list.   

Kymco K-Pipe 125, £1,699

This is the kind of budget bike that should get more youngsters interested in riding. The K-Pipe is from well-respected Taiwanese firm Kymco, and it’s a funky looking bike. With naked good looks, a tubular steel frame, digital dash and multi-spoke alloys, it deserves to get noticed. The K-Pipe has a semi-auto box. Although the engine isn’t as powerful as it could be, it does bimble along quite nicely.

CPI SUV 125, £1,599

Retro styling, five-speed rotational gearbox, chunky off-road tyres and a Taiwanese manufacturer make the CPI SUV a good proposition. CPI have had a chequered past in the UK, with a few changes of distributor, but the two year-warranty should be honoured. It’s a bike with a mild cult like status amongst owners and can handle the odd bit of off-road fun as well.

Pulse Adrenaline 125, £1,499.99

The Adrenaline has kept the people at Pulse Motorcycles happy for a while. It’s been their best seller and has topped the 125cc sales chart. The Adrenaline has super motard styling, spoked wheels, USD forks, discs at both ends and a five-speed box. It’s actually a great-value bike and owners seem to like them. Parts are easy enough to get if things do go wrong and it rides well enough too.  

Zontes Panther 125, £1,499

We’re talking about a perfectly useable, fully functioning 125cc commuter bike for just £1,499. When it comes to price, the Zontes might be towards the higher-end of our budget machines but it’s a perfect novice-friendly little bike. It even has a gear position indicator. High-tech or what? If you’re looking for no fuss day-to-day transport, this is the one to try. It’s one of the bikes we’d recommend to a novice or bike training school.  

Baotian Monza 125, £1,399

The Monza has Italian classic scooter styling on a Far Eastern budget. It’s not a bad little scooter though; it looks the part and rides well enough. The automatic air-cooled four-stroke engine isn’t hugely powerful but you’ll see speeds in excess of 50mph. The Baotian may not win you many friends at a classic scooter rally but ride your Chinese take away to the seaside with pride and think of the money you’ve saved.

Sinnis Max II 125, £1,299

Replacing the already successful Sinnis Max I, this mark II version isn’t a bad little naked bike. The engine makes 9.6bhp, it’s got a five-speed box, 18” wheels, front disc (rear drum) and even a digital speedo, rev counter and fuel gauge. It’s built to be practical so comes with a low 770mm seat-height and a rear luggage rack as standard. 

AJS Exactly 125, £1,049

This may not be exactly (sorry) the kind of AJS your dad reminisced about but it still bears the famous marque's name. That’s where the similarities end though; the modern AJS brand name adorns a budget range of motorcycles and scooters, rather than a classic British bike. With this low-priced scooter, you’re getting a brand new basic 125cc machine with a one-year warranty, simple Chinese cloned styling and a 6bhp engine to try and pull the skin off your rice pudding. It’s basic but affordable transport.

Lexmoto Arrow 125, £849.99

A helmet and textile suit can easily cost more than this brand new commuter-style bike. It might not be the best budget 125 on the market (and there are cheaper ones we wouldn’t recommend) but think of it as disposable biking. Run it for a couple of years before buying another new bike and it works out as a very cheap way to get around, especially with the claimed 134.5mpg. The bike's 10bhp air-cooled engine is low-tech but does the job, and you can’t really fault too much at this entry-level price.

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