Niall's Spin: Suzuki Van Van 125

The Suzuki Van Van's appeal may be limited but there's more to the bike than you can see

Click to read: Suzuki Van Van 125 owners reviews, Suzuki Van Van 125 specs and to see the Suzuki Van Van 125 image gallery.

LIKE RONNIE CORBETT, the Suzuki Van Van is small and loveable rather than fast or sexy. But you're not going to buy one of these to cut a swathe at your local racetrack or win a traffic light GP.

Just like the old two-stroke RV but with four-stroke propulsion, the Van Van places its emphasis on fun rather than power. Balloon tyres and a long seat for three-up trips along the beach give it plenty of character.

Practical touches abound, such as luggage hooks which allow you to strap your shopping to the back after a leisurely assignation to your local supermarket. There's also a pillion grab rail, although you'll be travelling at an even slower pace than before with the addition of any passengers.

And it's this definite lack of speed that is the Van Van's big problem. On a road trip to Brands Hatch aboard a raft of 125cc capacity machines, I found myself wending my way down the M25 rather in fear of losing my life. Its 15bhp is far from sufficient for undertaking a short trip down your local dual carriageway, let alone a 60-mile journey along a busy, artic-strewn three-lane motorway. Maximum speed - on a downhill trajectory - was only 67mph. And the slipstream from overtaking trucks wasn't much help either, so I quickly left the motorway and headed for the nearest town for a nice cup of tea and a sit-down.

And it's in town that the  Van Van really hits the mark. The little Suzuki is a practical runabout, and it happens to be very cool to boot. Remember, it's a proper motorcycle for scooter money. Yes, its appeal may be somewhat limited, but at this price we just don't care.

Suzuki Van Van RV125

Price new £2999
125cc, air-cooled four stroke
Bore & stroke
57mm x 48.8mm
Compression ratio
Front suspension
Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Rear suspension
Swingarm type, coil spring, oil damped
Front brake
Disc brake
Rear brake
Drum brake
Dry weight
Seat height
Fuel capacity
Colour options
black, white, silver