‘Even an en­gine this solid can only take so much’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - BUYING & SELLING -

“The prob­lems with all used 125s are down to the pre­vi­ous owner. If you get a sym­pa­thetic owner, the bikes are strong, but how many me­chan­i­callysym­pa­thetic 17-yearolds are out there? I’ve seen so many 125s that have come in for a ser­vice with vir­tu­ally no oil in their en­gines and the owner still ar­rived at 70mph with the mo­tor on its rev lim­iter!

“When view­ing a used bike, look for signs that the pre­vi­ous owner has a de­gree of me­chan­i­cal abil­ity. Ask them how you check the en­gine’s oil level and what oil to use. If you get a blank look, then be con­cerned. You will strug­gle to kill an air- cooled 125 like the XT, but even an en­gine this solid can only take so much abuse. Al­ways in­spect the chain and sprock­ets, I’ve seen 125s ar­rive with bro­ken chain links and the own­ers didn’t spot it – and one was even com­ing in for an MOT!

“When it comes to the chas­sis, you have to ex­pect the bike will have been down the road, so it is a case of how hard. Bent bars are very com­mon, so check for this on a test ride, and oc­ca­sion­ally wheels and head­stock bear­ings will need chang­ing, but this isn’t very com­mon. In gen­eral, 125s don’t wear bear­ings or sus­pen­sion units as they don’t do that many miles, but forks can get bent or twisted in the yokes. “Nine times out of 10 the elec­tri­cal sys­tems are OK on a Ja­panese brand, but the Chi­nese 125s can have huge elec­tri­cal is­sues. Al­ways check the lights, horn etc work and per­son­ally I’d avoid a cheap Chi­nese bike as the spares sup­ply can be an is­sue. If you buy a Yamaha you can al­ways get the spares, some­thing that isn’t al­ways the case on a ran­dom Chi­nese brand bike. “If you want a bar­gain, look out for one with a blown en­gine, buy it cheap and then get a used mo­tor for about £200. Swap­ping them is easy and there are loads of 125s out there this can be done on.”

‘I’ve seen so many 125s that have come in with no oil in their en­gines’

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Me­chanic at Stevelin Mo­tor­cy­cles in Ram­sey

CAMERON HARDIE

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