CAN YOU TOUR ON A 125cc SCOOTER?
Time to stash weekend kit under the seat
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