Time to stash week­end kit un­der the seat

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

Be­fore I start ex­tolling the virtues of go­ing tour­ing on a scooter, I should prob­a­bly start by ad­mit­ting that I’m a big be­liever that you can do just about any­thing on any bike – I’ve rid­den an Yamaha MT125 to Scot­land in win­ter, lapped As­sen on a KTM RC125, and did 8000 miles in six months on a Chi­nese 125.

But de­spite my self-af­firmed be­lief in do­ing any­thing, I have to ad­mit that the Kawasaki J125 is prob­a­bly the best 125 I’ve rid­den when it comes to do­ing lots of miles at a de­cent pace.

First of all, there’s the huge amount of lug­gage space it pro­vides. I haven’t even fit­ted a top­box yet, although it comes with a mount­ing plate for Givi’s Kawasaki-branded option as stan­dard. But even with­out it there’s a ton of room.

Thanks to the huge rear seat and pil­lion grab rails, it’s the eas­i­est thing in the world to strap on my big Ox­ford bag, with no need to be cre­ative in find­ing piv­ots and an­gles to get straps se­curely in place.

And then there’s the un­der­seat stor­age. Enough to hold a week’s shop­ping or two full-face lids, it’s eas­ily vo­lu­mi­nous enough to lug my ruck­sack and ev­ery­thing I need for a week­end of cov­er­ing bike rac­ing for MCN, mean­ing an ar­rival with no lug­gage-in­duced back pain.

And when it comes to rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, the J125 has a lot more poke than you’d ex­pect. Con­sid­er­ing its weight – it’s a huge 182kg – it’ll sit more than com­fort­ably at 70mph. You just have to think ahead a lit­tle – it strug­gles with ac­cel­er­a­tion over the fi­nal 20mph of its range, and you need to read the road a lit­tle to make sure you’re not caught out by sud­denly find­ing your­self half­way though over­tak­ing a lorry when the gra­di­ent turns up­hill.

It’s not the per­fect tour­ing ma­chine, by a long way, but that doesn’t mean it can’t eat up the miles. My next step in mak­ing it a lit­tle eas­ier will be fit­ting a big­ger screen – I’ve got my eye on the Kawasaki-branded Givi ver­sion which should lift the wind­blast that catches me across the shoul­ders a lit­tle at present.

Once that’s done, the next step has to be find­ing an ex­cuse to get through the tun­nel and ex­plore Europe a lit­tle bit with the bike!

Si­mon loads up for 125cc adventures

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