Top 10 A1 Licence & 125cc Motorbikes

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Motorbikes with under 15 bhp power output can be a fun route into the biking world and there has never been more choice, from premium machines to keep after moving up to those designed as a stepping stone.

If you are learning to ride and aged 17 or older, after passing your Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) certificate you can gain your provisional A1 bike licence. This allows you to ride bikes up to 125 cc on the road, producing a maximum of 15 bhp / 11 kW power output with a power to weight ratio of not more than 0.1 kW per kg.

Today you have a choice between a 125 cc powered model or the increasing number of electric bikes hitting the market. Most can reach 70 mph, some offer the 'big bike feel', many offer high spec components and many are built to last.

Of course those attributes often mean a price in the order of £4,000 to £5,000. For budget A1 bikes, ideal as a quick stepping stone, check out the top ten cheap A1 bikes.

Find out how to get your licence, how to choose the right helmet, how road tax works, how to clean your bike properly and the visual guide to which different styles of bike are out there. 

The Best A1 Licence & 125cc Motorbikes:

Yamaha MT-125

What Is It?

The naked version of the YZF-R125 sports bike is new for 2020 and now features Variable Valve Timing (VVT) for improved torque under 7,400 rpm.

There's a new inverted LCD dash, fancy central LED headlight, a slip / assist clutch, wider rear tyre and improved seat. The old model sold incredibly well and this update should continue the trend.

It's the best modern looking A1 Licence naked bike you can buy, but if fancy more of a retro look Yamaha now offer the XSR125 as well. Essentially the same bike with a round headlight, round dash, bench seat and a handy 1 litre more fuel capacity.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £4,650
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 125 cc
  • Power: 15 bhp / 11 kW
  • Top Speed: 80 mph / 129 km/h
  • Economy: 90 mpg / 3.1 L/100km
  • Range: 200 miles / 322 km
  • Seat Height: 810 mm / 31.9 inches
  • Wet Weight: 140 kg / 309 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.107 bhp/kg

Yamaha YZF-R125

What Is It?

Yamaha also offer a fully faired version of the MT-125 if you fancy a sports bike. The main differences are the wind protection offered by the fairing and screen, the high seat, the low clip-on handlebars and it's £150 more expensive.

Yamaha have been evolving it since 2008 with the latest 2019 model offering an improved chassis, new dash, new tank, wider rear tyre and a new engine with Variable Valve Timing.

It's a popular choice when it comes to learner friendly sports bikes and we think it's the best looking premium A1 Licence sports bike you can buy. 

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £4,800
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 125 cc
  • Power: 15 bhp / 11 kW
  • Top Speed: 80 mph / 129 km/h
  • Economy: 90 mpg / 3.1 L/100km
  • Range: 230 miles / 370 km
  • Seat Height: 825 mm / 32.5 inches
  • Wet Weight: 142 kg / 313 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.106 bhp/kg

Honda CB125R

What Is It?

If you like the Yamaha XSR125 it's also worth checking out the new Honda CB125R. Honda have cunningly fused modern and retro styling into a thoroughly up to date bike and it's easily one of the best looking naked A1 bikes you can buy right now.

You get LED lighting all round with a cool round headlight, decent suspension and brakes, wavy discs and a nice exhaust tucked under the bike for optimum mass centralisation.

For 2021 there's an upgraded Showa SFF-BP fork, new 124.9 cc engine with 1.6 bhp more power taking it up to 15 bhp, improved torque and a gold finish to the wheels / fork.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £4,300
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 125 cc
  • Power: 15 bhp / 11 kW
  • Top Speed: 75 mph / 121 km/h
  • Economy: 90 mpg / 3.1 L/100km
  • Range: 200 miles / 322 km
  • Seat Height: 816 mm / 32.1 inches
  • Wet Weight: 130 kg / 286 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.119 bhp/kg

Honda Monkey

What Is It?

Monkey bikes or minibikes are generally small in size and big on character. They were popular in the 60s and 70s then Honda cleverly reinvented the concept in 2018 with the Honda Monkey.

It's based on the modern looking Honda Grom and channels the styling of the original Z50J monkey bike. Just like the Grom it has a huge following, owners love it and the customisation options are mind boggling! 

As a bike to learn on it has a number of benefits such as a very low seat, super light weight and a low centre of gravity. It's underpowered compared to most of the other bikes listed here but the Monkey is about having fun, not going fast.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £3,800
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 125 cc
  • Power: 9 bhp / 7 kW
  • Top Speed: 65 mph / 105 km/h
  • Economy: 120 mpg / 2.4 L/100km
  • Range: 150 miles / 241 km
  • Seat Height: 776 mm / 30.6 inches
  • Wet Weight: 107 kg / 236 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.084 bhp/kg

Suzuki GSX-S125

What Is It?

The Suzuki GSX-S125 is worth checking out if you like the Yamaha MT-125 or KTM Duke 125 but want to save a bit of cash.

It was launched in 2017 and is now due an update but it well equipped with an LED headlight, easy start system and keyless start.

The fork is a standard design while most of the competition have moved to upside down forks. 

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £4,200
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 124 cc
  • Power: 15 bhp / 11 kW
  • Top Speed: 85 mph / 137 km/h
  • Economy: 90 mpg / 3.1 L/100km
  • Range: 220 miles / 354 km
  • Seat Height: 785 mm / 30.9 inches
  • Wet Weight: 133 kg / 293 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.113 bhp/kg

Gear

Suzuki GSX-R125

What Is It?

Suzuki's GSX-R125 sports bike is the faired version of the GSX-S125 naked bike. It's perhaps not the best looking A1 Licence sports bike but it does have modern touches like a stacked LED headlight, easy start system and keyless ignition while also being £300 cheaper than the Yamaha R125.

Besides the fairing it differs from the GSX-S125 with a screen and low clip-on handlebars.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £4,500
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 124 cc
  • Power: 15 bhp / 11 kW
  • Top Speed: 85 mph / 137 km/h
  • Economy: 90 mpg / 3.1 L/100km
  • Range: 220 miles / 354 km
  • Seat Height: 785 mm / 30.9 inches
  • Wet Weight: 134 kg / 295 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.112 bhp/kg

KTM Duke 125

What Is It?

Going head to head with the Yamaha MT-125 is KTM's latest generation Duke 125 and it could be an excellent choice if you can live with the edgy styling.

It has a trick colour TFT dash, setting it apart from the competition, a funky LED headlight with LED lighting all round and decent brakes.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £4,500
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 125 cc
  • Power: 15 bhp / 11 kW
  • Top Speed: 70 mph / 113 km/h
  • Economy: 85 mpg / 3.3 L/100km
  • Range: 250 miles / 402 km
  • Seat Height: 830 mm / 32.7 inches
  • Dry Weight: 137 kg / 302 pounds

Lexmoto LXR 125

What Is It?

At the budget end of the spectrum is the crazy popular Lexmoto LXR 125. It looks fantastic and is a lot of bike for the money, including dual discs up front and LED indicators.

It should definitely be on your shortlist if you are looking for a sports bike or if you like the thought of the Yamaha YZF-R125 but want to save £2,100! 

For 2021 it get a new Euro 5 compliant engine with a small power boost, a 6 speed gearbox and upgraded rear shock.

Lexmoto also offer a £300 more expensive version in the LXR SE with a colour TFT dash, an upside down fork and Aluminium swingarm / yoke.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £2,700
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 125 cc
  • Power: 12.5 bhp / 10 kW
  • Top Speed: 70 mph / 113 km/h
  • Economy: 80 mpg / 3.5 L/100km
  • Range: 240 miles / 386 km
  • Seat Height: 820 mm / 32.3 inches
  • Wet Weight: 167 kg / 368 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.078 bhp/kg

Lexmoto LXR 125

What Is It?

The new for 2021 baby brother to the LXR is the LXS. It costs the same but it's physically smaller with a lower seat, has full LED lighting and arguably looks sharper thanks to the underseat exhaust setup.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £2,700
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 125 cc
  • Power: 14 bhp / 10 kW
  • Top Speed: 70 mph / 113 km/h
  • Economy: 80 mpg / 3.5 L/100km
  • Range: 180 miles / 290 km
  • Seat Height: 790 mm / 31.1 inches
  • Wet Weight: 155 kg / 342 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.090 bhp/kg

Sinnis Terrain For Sale

What Is It?

Adventure styled A1 models are rare but we think Sinnis are onto something with the Terrain. With all the protection and luggage as standard it is ideally suited to town commuting and owners love them.

For 2021it gets a new Euro 5 compliant liquid cooled engine putting out 12.7 bhp with a new 6 speed gearbox, upgraded battery, 'O' ring chain and dual-cable throttle.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £2,900
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 125 cc
  • Power: 13 bhp / 10 kW
  • Top Speed: 60 mph / 97 km/h
  • Economy: 80 mpg / 3.5 L/100km
  • Range: 250 miles / 402 km
  • Seat Height: 780 mm / 30.7 inches
  • Dry Weight: 150 kg / 331 pounds

Want To See More Bikes Like This?

Head over to the Choose & Compare Tool to see them all.

How Did We Rank Our Top Ten?

We looked at all the A1 Licence bikes you can buy new and picked the top contenders for each type, such as sports bikes and naked bikes, taking into account style, power, technology and value for money.

FAQs

What is the most powerful A1 Licence motorbike?

The A1 licence limits motorbikes to 15 bhp but within those limits there are a few things to consider. Some models, like the KTM Duke 125, are tuned for everyday usable low down torque while others, like the Suzuki GSX-R125, are tuned for high revving power.

Yamaha have recently introduced a clever Variable Valve System on the MT-125 and YZF-R125 models to give the best of both worlds. Below 7,400 rpm it's tuned for improved torque but above that level it shifts to another cam profile to provide the peak 15 bhp power.

How fast is an A1 Licence motorbike?

Modern A1 Licence models with the full 15 bhp tend to top out around 70 mph but sportier models with a fairing, which have a big aerodynamic advantage if you are tucked in, can top out nearer 80 mph.

Models with less than the 15 bhp limit, usually in the 9 - 12 bhp range, tend to top out around 55 - 60 mph.

Can I drive an A1 Licence bike on car licence?

You will need to take a CBT to ride a motorbike with up to 15 bhp, after which you can ride with L-Plates. Here's a guide to getting your licence.