The market for used 125cc custom bikes and cruisers is relatively new, but growing every year. New riders with a desire for something that is a little more stylish than the usual commuter bike, but not wanting a scooter can now choose from a wide range of learner legal customs that take their styling cues from bigger machines, but which are easy to ride and economical to own and run.
Most often powered by single cylinder 4-stroke engines and with 4 or 5 speed gearboxes, 125cc cruisers are characterised by a low seat height, tall bars and often lots of chrome. They are particularly easy to ride, and perfectly suitable for commuter use, but lack the carrying capacity that many riders will require. Generally cheap to run and insure, most are reliable and practical bikes that can be used every day. Perennial favourites from the big Japanese manufacturers include the Honda VT125 Shadow, Suzuki’s GN125 Marauder and the Yamaha YBR125 Custom. As the market grows many smaller manufacturers now offer 125cc custom motorbikes in their range. A famous name from the past (though now manufactured in the Far East), AJS offer the Eco 125 and Regal Raptor models, the Haotian Vixen is great value, whilst the Hyosung range includes the GV125C model which features a 125cc V-Twin motor. Other ‘generic’ motorcycle manufacturers offer their own take on the theme. The Chinese Jinlun range includes the very well equipped JL125, whilst Keeway offer their Superlight 125 and Sinnis, the 125 Vista cruiser.
As with all used bikes check over any potential purchase before you buy. Powered by 125cc 4-stroke engines most are fairly strong but regular oil changes and general maintenance is important. As many customs have chrome parts it is worth checking that this is still in good condition, though you can probably expect a little rust on a well-used example. Check also if the bike you are buying has any accessories fitted. Many customs come with throw over panniers or tall windscreens and they certainly add a little to the value of a used bike.