2017 - 2018 KTM 125 Duke
The battle of the flyweights rages on as KTM stays in the fray with its race-tastic 125 Duke. KTM takes much the same tack as the competition and builds its entry-level ride to resemble the machines it has to offer further up the licensing chain. The angular Duke bodywork and exposed Trellis frame set the stage for the key player, the 11 kW powerplant that keeps the 125 Duke within the A1 performance envelope and turns it into a weapon in the fight for the zenith of the nadir, ie, the entry-level masses yearning to breathe free. KTM has established quite a name for itself as the King of Thumpers with a proven off-road record, but today I’m going to take a look and see how the littlest Duke stacks up against the rest of the 125 cc streetbike field.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 125 Duke.
2018 Suzuki GSX-S125
While most eyes are on the battle for supremacy of the upper-displacement brackets, the fight between the flyweights rages on, and Suzuki’s newest weapon is its GSX-S125. Like the rest of the “Gixxess” family, it comes based on the “R” version but is stripped of its body panels to become a proper naked sportbike. The 124 cc powerplant stays within the A1 licensing envelope with 10.8 kW to serve as a true entry-level bike cum indoctrination piece capable of drawing in the very youngest riders, and that’s exactly how it’s set up; to be as rider-friendly as possible with a low curb weight of 133 kg and manageable, 785 mm seat height. Today I’m going to dig in a little deeper to see what all Suzuki has going on with this decidedly important little ride.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki GSX-S125.
2018 Vespa Sprint
Vespa refurbishes its venerable Sprint scooter family ahead of the 2018 model year in an effort to get even more mileage out of the name and adds an “S” model with some upgraded electronics. And why not? The Sprint has been around for half-a-century and more, and the factory made sure that the looks, however updated, pay proper homage to the original. Power comes from the “i-get” engines that produce 2.4 kW and 40 mph at the 50 cc break with 9.5 kW and 59 mph from the 150 cc mill. ABS makes a showing as well for a taste of the electronic wizardry and extra safety to meet the public’s growing expectation of same. As with all their products, the Powers That Be down at Piaggio/Vespa takes the little Vespino very seriously, so let’s dive in and see what else our Italian friends have in store for us.
Continue reading for my review of the Vespa Sprint.
2018 Honda PCX125
Much like Honda’s mid-size Forza125 got some love ahead of the 2018 model year with new body shapes paired with features that fans of the family will readily recognize. An all-new foundation supports the PCX125 from the wheels up through the suspension and frame with ABS as the icing on the cake. A more powerful, 12-horsepower engine drives the 2018 model that targets that hotly-contested, and all-important, entry-level market. Will it be enough to compete in this field? Let’s dig right in and see how it stacks up against the most likely contenders.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda PCX125.
2018 Honda CB125R
Honda looks to cash in on the resurgent interest in café racers with its all-new “Neo-Sports Café” design family that includes the entry-level CB125R at the very bottom of the totem pole. The CB125R packs big-bike features into a decidedly small-bike package with many of the same details as its slightly bigger brother, the CB300R. It comes with its performance restricted to 9.8 kW (13 hp) in order to meet licensing requirements across the European Union and serve to bait the table to draw in and indoctrinate new riders at the earliest opportunity. Did they hit the mark? Let’s dig in and find out.
Continue reading for my look at the Honda CB125R.
Honda has resurrected the Monkey Bike with a fresh new appeal
Honda had plans of sacking the original Z50 monkey bike last year with its completion of serving millions of customers for a good whole 50 years. But keeping that honor alive, the Japanese brand surprised all of us at the 45th International Tokyo Show when it rebooted the model albeit with a 125cc horizontal, single-cylinder engine that replaces the 4.5 hp 50cc mill.
Keeping up with the trend, the new Monkey 125 adopts features like the LED lights and digital instrumentation in a hope to keep the appeal alive and fresh. After what we thought of the-would be final-limited run of Monkey 50th Anniversary Special white and red model, this news of the 2018 model kindles all kinds of emotions attached to this iconic motorcycle.
The "Fat Sabbath" from Mutt Motorcycles
Born out of a small custom workshop in Birmingham, UK, Mutt Motorcycles entered the production arena with tiny, aggressive looking retro motorcycles underpinned by Chinese and Japanese chassis and motors. Add a host of custom-made components, and the Mutts have managed to cough up quite a decent line-up of some mean looking machines on two-wheels.
For their recent installment, Mutt has come out with the most badass 125cc motorcycle on the planet. Named after the pioneers of heavy metal music, who also come from the same town as Mutt, the “Fat Sabbath” is their brand-new entry into the line of black-themed neo-retro motorcycles that are the blackest of the black (if there is even anything like that).
Husqvarna unveils its new mini-motocross lineup for 2019
Husqvarna has just updated their two-stroke mini-motocross lineup to entice the future stars of the game. Offering some impressive features and top-of-the-line equipment list, Husky unveiled the TC50, TC65 and TC85 machines to take on the Kawasaki’s and the KTM brothers.
They will have a strict competition only specs: sans a headlamp cluster, indicators or license plates; for hence cannot be registered to be used on the public roads. These motorcycles specifically offer powerful engines, a significantly lighter chassis, high ground clearance, long travel suspension and slimmer ergonomics to be able to move around the dirt and jump hills without any hindrance.
2017 - 2019 Honda Grom
Introduced in 2014, the Grom from Honda is a compact bike with sportbike styling, two-up capabilities if you don’t mind having to Fred-Flintstone the take-off, has amazing fuel economy, and offers a little something more for folks who might consider a scooter in this size-range. Marketed in other countries as the MSX125, the Motrac M3, and the Skyteam M3, the Grom is a spunky little — “little” being the operative word here — motorcycle, good for folks new to two wheels or for anyone else who wants a fun ride. It’s not fast, but that’s not the point.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Grom.
Bandit 9 L.Concept
Started as an advertising art director in Los Angeles when he was 19, Daryl Villanueva attained massive valuable skill sets, and a decade later, in 2011, he got this idea of starting a motorcycle company in China before he moved to Vietnam. He noticed that motorcycles had the same design, tanks, seats, and everything; and he wanted to change that very notion and create some exquisite looking ‘products’ that can gouge your eye out and scratch your brain to believe that it is indeed a motorcycle.
Taking the red pill, he started Bandit 9 and took stuff out of the motorcycle graveyard and started building one product after the other. Easily mistakable to some sci-fi Terminator blockbuster prop, this cannon gun looking steel is one of the most challenging builds of Daryl’s. It’s called as the “L Concept”.
A cheaper Royal Enfield Continental GT from Thailand
The Continental GT 650 is Royal Enfield‘s way of making the most powerful and the lightest modern day cafe racer which blends retro style with modern appeal perfectly. Powered by a 650cc, parallel-twin, air-oil-cooled engine which generates more power than any other Royal Enfield motorcycle till date. Since its launch in 2010, the Continental looks and feel very much in the 60s’ and 70’s and is unique. Not anymore though.
A Thailand based motorcycle manufacturer called Centaur recently launched a Continental GT lookalike and named it as the Stallion Centaur Siam 150cc. When I say lookalike, I mean a carbon copy. They have basically taken all the retro elements including the body panels off the GT and fixed on a smaller chassis and a smaller 150cc engine.
2013 - 2018 KYMCO K-PIPE 125
The mini-streetbike market heats up with new competition to go head-to-head with the long-standing K-Pipe 125 from Kwang Yang Motor Co, Ltd — better known to us as the Taiwanese manufacturer, KYMCO — introduced not long ago to the U.S. market. Intended to be lightweight and fuel-efficient, the K-Pipe gives the pocket bike class — long dominated by Honda with the Grom and now with the Z125 PRO from Kawasaki — a viable, less expensive option. Entry level? Yes. Commuter? Sure. Fun? Definitely.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO K-Pipe 125.