• 2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos

Experience the thrill of going balls-to-the-wall with abandon

LISTEN 10:37

“Cheap thrills” takes on a whole new meaning — or maybe just a revitalization of the old meaning — when it comes to the Z125 PRO from Kawasaki. It’s small and relatively fast for the thrills, good fuel economy, and a bargain-basement price. Sure, as a fun bike, it has that hands down. It’s also a commuter if you have to navigate congested thoroughfares because it’s small, lightweight, and narrow so filtering through traffic is a breeze. As a first bike for someone new to two wheels, this is a completely approachable bike, not intimidating at all and without the electronics that frequently get used as a crutch. On this bike, you learn how to ride.

  • 2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
  • Year:
    0
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    125 cc
  • Top Speed:
    100 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    3399
  • Price:

Kawasaki Z125 PRO Design

  • Classic Kawasaki styling
  • Compact size & weight
  • 2-gallon fuel tank
  • Multi-reflector headlamp
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 1080873
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 679838
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos Exterior
- image 679839
Going fast on a slow bike is a whole lot more fun that going slow on a fast bike.

The Z125 PRO not an especially fast bike, but fast is not the point on these mini-streetbikes. Small, yes, but the bike has that classic Kawasaki styling and sound that identifies it as one of the “Z” stablemates.

The Z125 Pro borrows from its larger “Z” siblings for much of its aggressive overall look. While the Z125 Pro hits all of the pertinent design points, the components are all in a compact build that keeps the various parts scaled to size so the proportions are more or less natural looking.

Like its big brothers, this machine rocks a molded front fender that contributes to the overall penetration. A cyclops headlight rides in a sporty housing with the turn signals mounted high out of harm’s way.

Up top is a vestigial flyscreen that does more for the look than protection for the pilot. The fuel tank section and cheek fairings are proportionally sized, and the bench seat comes with a soft shoulder to segregate pilot from pillion and complete the upper lines.

Jockey mount footpegs join a 31.7-inch high seat and medium-rise handlebar to enable an upright riding posture while leaving room for an aggressive tuck when it’s time to whip the ponies.

A mudguard-mount plateholder is joined by the rear blinkers with the taillight recessed in the tip of the tail. They even chucked on a little chin fairing to place some visual weight down low and make the overall look much more finished.

Being a short person, I am okay, but a tall person will want to raise the handlebars lest you bang your knees with the grips when you turn. It’s not a monkey bike, but if you’re a big guy, you might start to feel like it is with your knees high and the handlebars low.

Kawasaki Z125 PRO Chassis

  • Performance-oriented suspension
  • Relatively low seat height
  • Nimble and maneuverable
  • No linked brakes or ABS
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 867568
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 679855
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 679856
Even though the brakes seem rather small, they're plenty big enough for stoppies.

In order to keep weight down on this little mini hooligan, Kawasaki used a minimal, backbone-type frame with a stressed engine in place of the downtubes and cradle pipes. The factory also took steps to make the Z125 PRO as inherently nimble as possible with a steering-head angle of 26 degrees for 2.7 inches of trail and a compact, 46.3-inch wheelbase. Ground clearance measures out at 6.1 inches, plenty of room for deep leans and speed bumps, and the 31.7-inch seat height keeps the bike from feeling as short vertically as it is lengthwise.

A set of 30 mm forks support the front end on 3.9 inches of travel, and they are of the inverted variety, so not only do they look cool, they will stiffen the front end and resist the forces generated during aggressive (read: fun) maneuvers. The yoke-style swingarm is tamed by an offset, coil-over monoshock that comes with a four-way preload adjuster so you can dial in the ride based on the conditions, cargo and passenger load. The suspension is surprisingly adequate even for bigger riders — up into the 300+ pound range. The limiting factor is the engine that will determine how fast you can climb an incline under your weight.

Cast, 12-inch rims mount the street-style, 100/90 front and 120/70 rear tires. Braking duties fall to the single, 200 mm, petal-cut disc and single-pot, Nissin caliper on the front wheel, and the 184 mm disc with the same caliper in back.

Neither linked brakes nor any sort of ABS is offered for the Z125, but this is okay by me; new riders should learn to feel and use the brakes properly, and old salts already know how. Even though the brakes seem rather small, they’re plenty big enough for stoppies, if you like that sort of thing. I’m not a stoppies fan, but more power to you.

Front Suspension/Wheel Travel: Inverted telescopic fork/ 3.9 in
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: Swingarm, single shock/ 4.1 in
Rake / Trail: 26.0° / 2.7 in.
Front Brakes: Single 200 mm petal-style disc
Rear Brakes: Single 184 mm petal-style disc
Front Tire: 100/90-12
Rear Tire: 120/70-12

Kawasaki Z125 PRO Drivetrain

  • 125 cc single-cylinder engine
  • 6.5 lb-ft @ 6,100 rpm
  • 8.3 hp @ 7,800 rpm
  • Easy-pull clutch lever
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 867570
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 679852
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 679853
The lower gearing compared to the Grom makes it feel more spunky and a blast to ride.

The Z125 PRO pulls evenly through the powerband for predictable acceleration and behavior. Kawasaki powers its little Grom-killer with one-lung, air-cooled, thumper engine, not unlike the mill used by its main competitor, in fact. A 24 mm throttle body with digital fuel injection feeds the mill through the SOHC, two-valve head, and the Kawasaki Automatic Compression Release (KACR) system lifts the exhaust valve just a touch to bleed off a little compression for easy startups.

The oversquare, 56 mm bore and 50.6 mm stroke engine gives us a 125 cc displacement, and predictably brings the power on high in the rpm range. You can get 6.5 pounds of grunt out of it at 6,100 rpm, but you have to wind it up to 7,800 to develop the full 8.3 horsepower. Not exactly stellar numbers, but plenty to move butt and bike briskly down the road.

Kawasaki couples an easy-pull clutch with a four-speed gearbox that feels and acts just like the bigger bikes, even though it surely was tempting to run some sort of semi-, or even full-auto transmission, which Kawasaki did outside the U.S. market. The lower gearing compared to the Grom makes it feel more spunky and a blast to ride. An O-ring chain makes the final connection to the rear wheel, and even though its s little more maintenance, I vastly prefer a chain to a belt here.

Engine: 4-stroke, 1 cylinder, SOHC, 2-valve, air-cooled
Displacement: 125 cc
Bore X Stroke: 56.0 mm x 50.6 mm
Compression ratio: 9.8:1
Fuel System: DFI® with 24 mm throttle body
Ignition: TCBI with electronic advance
Transmission: 4-speed, return shift
Final Drive: Sealed chain

Kawasaki Z125 PRO Pricing

2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 867567
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 679857
2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 679831
The price of fun for 2022 is $3.4k.

The price of fun for 2022 is $3,399, just a skosh up from last year. For 2022, you can get it in a bright Pearl Shining Yellow, Metallic Flat Spark Black, or two-tone Pearl Robotic White/Candy Plasma Blue with a 12-month limited warranty. Kawasaki offers you the option for extended protection for 12, 24, 36 or 48 months through Kawasaki Protection Plus.

Warranty: 12 Month Limited Warranty (Kawasaki Protection Plus: 12, 24, 36 or 48 months)
Colors:
└ 2018: Metallic Graphite Gray, KRT: Lime Green/Ebony, SE: Candy Plasma Blue/Metallic Spark Black
└ 2019: Ebony, Candy Steel Furnace Orange
└ 2020: Metallic Matte Mysterious Gray, Pearl Storm Gray, Pearl Stardust White
└ 2021: Pearl Nightshade Teal, Metallic Flat Spark Black
└ 2022: Pearl Shining Yellow, Metallic Flat Spark Black, Pearl Robotic White/Candy Plasma Blue
Price:
└ 2017: Z125 PRO: $2,999, KRT: $3,199
└ 2018: Z125 PRO: $3,199, KRT: $3,399, SE: $3,399
└ 2019, 2020: $3,199
└ 2021: $3,299
└ 2022: $3,399

Kawasaki Z125 PRO Competitors

2017 - 2022 Kawasaki Z125 PRO - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 867571
2018 - 2020 Honda Monkey
- image 779430
Both bikes place the rider in the jockey position, arguably the best position for, ahem, enthusiastic riding.

The particular combination of displacement and disposition places the Z125 PRO in fairly rare company, and it lands in the august company of domestic foe Honda and its world-famous Grom. These two machines are like brothers from another mother with looks so similar they almost suggest a conspiracy between these two Japanese giants. With that in mind, I decided to see how the Z125 PRO stacks up against a proper monkey bike, the Monkey.

Honda Monkey

2018 - 2020 Honda Monkey Exterior
- image 782914

Honda resurrected its popular little pit bike with a modern engine and equally modern front end that rocks inverted forks for the strength and stability they bring to the table. Comfort and compactness were front-burner topics for the Monkey, and unlike the Kawi that looks like a naked sportbike someone left in the dryer too long, the Monkey has a low fuel tank and over-sized seat that gives it an unusual profile, to say the least. Not an ounce is wasted, and Honda shuns the little chin fairing that sets the Z125 PRO apart from its very own Grom model.

The powerplant is similarly laid out with a 125 cc displacement that cranks out 9 ponies and 8.1 pounds o’ grunt against 8.3/6.5 from the Kawi, and while that doesn’t look like much on paper, expect it to make a difference in seat-of-the-pants feedback. Honestly, the biggest break between these two comes down to aesthetics; do you want a modern-looking machine or one that looks like it rolled out of a history book circa 1960s?

Honda is definitely prouder of its little Monkey as it asks $3,999 for the standard model and $4,199 for the ABS version, but if you’re looking for that ABS protection, Honda has the only game in town.

Read our full review of the Honda Monkey.

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says, “Ya know, I see a lot of Z125 PRO and Grom models tooling around town, and I swear both have missed their calling as a one-design racebike for the would-be superbike-racer larvae out there. Agile and quick, but with a low curb weight and concurrent low energy levels to manage, I think they’re ideal for closed-circuit action, and not just as a pit-bike that tools around behind the scenes. Call me shallow, but I think Kawi’s little chin fairing finishes the Z125 PRO off quite nicely and leaves it looking more like larger-displacement machines.”

She Said

“No, this isn’t a monkey bike, I do protest vehemently. Mini hooligan? Yeah, I can see that. The price makes it easy to add one to your garage, heck get one for you and one for your kid. It’s a fun weekender. I can see this being an awesome commuter — easy to filter traffic, easy to park — and I know folks get uptight when you call a bike they like an entry-level bike, but it is that. Just because a bike is a good choice for new folks doesn’t mean experienced folks can’t love it. I thought it would feel scooter-ish because of the 12-inch wheels, but it doesn’t.

Kawasaki Z125 PRO Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4-stroke, 1 cylinder, SOHC, 2-valve, air-cooled
Displacement: 125 cc
Bore X Stroke: 56.0 mm x 50.6 mm
Compression ratio: 9.8:1
Fuel System: DFI® with 24 mm throttle body
Ignition: TCBI with electronic advance
Transmission: 4-speed, return shift
Final Drive: Sealed chain
Chassis:
Front Suspension/Wheel Travel: Inverted telescopic fork/3.9 in
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: Swingarm, single shock/4.1 in
Rake / Trail: 26.0° / 2.7 in.
Front Brakes: Single 200 mm petal-style disc
Rear Brakes: Single 184 mm petal-style disc
Front Tire: 100/90-12
Rear Tire: 120/70-12
Dimensions & Capacities:
Overall Length: 66.9 in
Overall Width: 29.5 in.
Overall Height: 39.6 in.
Seat Height: 31.7 in.
Wheelbase: 46.3 in.
Curb Weight: 224.8 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 2.0 gal.
Top Speed: 100 mph (est)
Details:
Chassis Management Technology: Smart Regulator
Warranty: 12 Month Limited Warranty (Kawasaki Protection Plus: 12, 24, 36 or 48 months)
Colors:
└ 2018: Metallic Graphite Gray, KRT: Lime Green/Ebony, SE: Candy Plasma Blue/Metallic Spark Black
└ 2019: Ebony, Candy Steel Furnace Orange
└ 2020: Metallic Matte Mysterious Gray, Pearl Storm Gray, Pearl Stardust White
└ 2021: Pearl Nightshade Teal, Metallic Flat Spark Black
└ 2022: Pearl Shining Yellow, Metallic Flat Spark Black, Pearl Robotic White/Candy Plasma Blue
Price:
└ 2017: Z125 PRO: $2,999, KRT: $3,199
└ 2018: Z125 PRO: $3,199, KRT: $3,399, SE: $3,399
└ 2019, 2020: $3,199
└ 2021: $3,299
└ 2022: $3,399

Further Reading

Kawasaki

no article
- image 795478

Read more Kawasaki news.

Allyn Hinton
Allyn Hinton
Writer and Associate Motorcycle Editor - allyn@topspeed.com
Allyn started early on with an interest in mechanical things and making things go. She pursued careers in both the automotive and motorcycle industries as a mechanic. Having shared her love of motorcycles with her husband, biker TJ Hinton, Allyn brings that knowledge to TopSpeed as writer and associate motorcycle editor. Allyn holds a degree in computer networking with certificates in A+ and Net+. Her other interests include raising chickens, homesteading, and textile arts.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

Top 10 Pocket Bike Motorcycles

2020 - 2022 Kawasaki Z900

2021 Aprilia RS 125

2021 TopSpeed’s 2020 Kawasaki Streetbike Buying Guide

2017 - 2020 Honda Grom

What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: