-sellers – should they be worried? Continued over The mission The riders
You’re looking at the UK’S most important machines – the best sellers. And they’re record breakers for a reason because they’re the new– and urban – riders’ bikes of choice. These are the machines every learner weighs up before stepping into a showroom for the first time, their tickets into the two-wheeled world before steppingup to bigger capacity bikes.
And now Kawasaki want a slice of the pie with their new J125. But to be a best seller it must match the current 125cc champions on value for money, style, ease of use, practicality and accessories – the essential ingredients for any learner-friendly champ. So, to find out if it’s got what it takes, we go back to school to put it though its paces.
There were some nervous smiles that morning. I could see the reminiscent fear of 17-year-old newbie riders in the faces of these men who have long since passed their motorcycle tests. “What sort of tests? I’ve passed mine already!”, shouted James.
“Don’t worry, we’re testing the bikes, not the riders,” I said, trying to avert an early mutiny. As the fight to grab the Yamaha MT-125 keys kicked-off, James shoved Justin for the MT, Liam dived onto the Kwak and I was left with the little Honda PCX125. I can see why any learner would be well chuffed with the Yam; it looks nothing like the rest of the bikes here. It’s big, tall and imposing with aggressive styling, sharp angular lines and wide bars for a haunched look. It’s by far the coolest bike on test. Yamaha have done an excellent job of making it look like a middleweight with a swish, comprehensive threesection dash, 41mm inverted Kayaba fork, fake air intakes, a belly pan and a stubby tail unit.
Lumbered with the PCX, all I could do to regain some semblance of superiority was to point out that the Yamaha was the only bike to lack a centrestand, and show off the PCX’S underseat storage space, which is just about big enough to swallow a helmet. But nobody seemed to care. Kawasaki’s J125 scooter launches the firm into the competitive 125cc market. We pit it against the bighitters at a bike training centre to find out if the J125 has the skills to
be a learner-friendly best-seller.