Peugeot PM-01 125 (2023) review - 125 Duke rival tested!

The PM-01 sitting in front of some graffiti on a wall

The Peugeot PM-01 125 is a funky-looking, learner-legal bike that is looking to take the fight to rest of the CBT sector

THE Peugeot PM-01 is the first geared bike from the French automotive maker since the XP 6 way back in 1997. Since then the focus has been on step-throughs and funky three-wheeled maxi scooters.

That changes in 2023 though, as Peugeot is back in the geared bike game, with not one but two bikes. Both are called the PM-01, and they come in 125cc and 300cc flavours. For this review we will focus solely on the 125cc version, although as the engine is the defining factor here, there may still be something to glean if you have your eye on the 300cc bike. We plan to test that once it lands in the UK later this year.

For this review we spent a couple of weeks with the bike. Testing it around town, on the dual carriageway, and out in the country on some nice B-roads. We didn’t touch any motorways on the Peugeot PM-01 125, as we wanted to test it in the way that most riders would use it.

Peugeot PM-01 125 price and colour options

The PM-01 comes in at £3,999 plus OTR charges of £150 for your registration and first year’s road tax. It is available in Jet Blue (as tested), Sharp White and Storm Black colourways. 

Compared to the OTR price of the bike against the competition the little Peugeot looks to be good value. It’s less expensive than the class-leading KTM Duke 125, Yamaha MT-125, Suzuki GSX-S 125, Honda CB125R, and the sporty Aprilia Tuono 125. 

Peugeot PM-01 125 engine

Powering the bike is a 125cc SOHC four-valve single-cylinder engine. It’s claimed to produce 10.2kW which is around 13.5bhp. While that is slightly lower than some in the class, which has a cap of 15bhp, it doesn’t initially feel that sluggish, and will happily scoot you away from traffic lights ahead of the traffic and out of harm's way. Peak torque is a claimed 8.1 lb-ft, and like any 125cc geared bike, revs are the order of the day if you want to make swift progress.

Once you get it up to speed the gearbox feels nice, with what feels like closer ratios in the first three and then tall for the final three cogs. Above 50mph the progress is fairly relaxed though, and I think the most I saw on the neat-looking TFT was 65mph with a little bit of a tuck to help it on its way. Impressively at those speeds the engine was nicely composed, and didn’t buzz my fillings out like some 125s tend to do.

Peugeot PM-01 125 chassis, suspension, brakes and handling

My first impression of the bike was that it was super nimble, extremely light steering and has a massive amount of steering lock - tight u-turns on this thing are a doddle. Out on the open road it’s just as good, and you can feel the hard work that Peugeot has put into the bike rising to the top. At 152kg it’s not the lightest 125 on the market - that gong goes to the featherweight CB125R at 125kg, but it wears it well and doesn’t feel cumbersome or hard to handle. The suspension comprises 41mm forks (non-adjustable) and a rear monoshock which is adjustable for pre-load only, and it’s very nicely set up. It’s an area that is often scrimped on, especially at this end of the pricing spectrum. There’s none of that with the PM-01 though, which rides bumps and potholes well and has enough pre-load and rebound damping to provide you with a composed ride when you do push on. 

OEM hoops on this one are Metzeler SportTech MS and again, it’s nice to see some decent spec tyres on a lightweight 125, and it definitely adds to the bike’s composure on the road.

The braking system features a four-piston caliper and 285mm petal disc at the front, and a single-piston floating caliper and 240mm item at the rear. Overall the braking performance is good, with a forgiving feel to the lever and an unintimidating initial bite but enough power once you get into the meat of the lever to have the two-channel ABS chirping even on a dry road.

Peugeot PM-01 125 technology

On the technology front, the PM-01 is nicely specced, and comes with full LED lighting, including funky scrolling indicators, a TFT dash, Bluetooth connectivity, two-channel ABS, and a USB charging port mounted in the top clamp.

Starting with the lights, I think they look great. That front end is probably one of the most distinctive in the class, with the three LED DRLs helping to make the bike standout while out on the road. The TFT on the bike is a nice touch, although in bright sunshine I did find it a little tricky to read. Bluetooth connectivity is a fairly premium feature of the bike, and while it doesn’t provide turn-by-turn navigation (as you’d find on bigger bikes), it does allow you to answer and decline calls if you are using a Bluetooth headset. How many newly qualified riders will actually use the feature remains to be seen, but on the bingo card of wants and needs, it’s a nice thing to have.

Peugeot PM-01 125 verdict

Peugeot has done a great job with the little PM-01. It’s not the fastest, most powerful of the lightest 125 on the market, but then again, I’m not sure it really needs to be. Having another name in the lightweight motorcycle class is always a good thing, and when that newcomer brings out a bike that is as well thought out, well specced and striking looking as this is, that can only be a good thing that helps get new riders out on two wheels.

The riding experience is good, it handles nicely and is about as easy to ride as a geared 125cc bike gets. If you or one of your children is thinking about taking to two wheels, the PM-01 will fit the bill very nicely indeed.

More information on the PM-01 can be found on the Peugeot UK website.