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125 On-Off Roaders?

Blog Date - 21 November 2017

As the CBF ages I'm aware that one day it will give up and move on to the great motorcycle heaven in the sky. Sad though this day will be I ponder what I'd like to replace it with. Ideally I'd like a semi-sortof-onroad-offroad 125. You know, an XLR125 or KLR125. Fully street legal and with street legal tyres that can, if the mood takes me, be taken green laning.

The rear of Ren's 125 is dirty, rusty and worn out
Something has gotta give eventually.

I've promised myself that I'm not going to buy another brand new motorcycle. There's no point because the last brand new motorcycle I purchased is now an 18,500 mile very used motorcycle. I'd like to find a tidy 125 on-off roader with perhaps 3 to 9 thousand miles on the clock and service history. But which one to go for?

Bearing in mind the CBF125 could last another year or three let's see what's presently available eh? What's available today will be what I'll be looking at in the future, you with me?

Honda. Erm. Errr. Well I cannot find a street legal 125cc on-off road Honda in their current line up. Having been a Honda man through and through that's a disappointment.

Honda CLR125 City Fly
Shame they don't make the City Fly anymore, that was a great bike too. 

Kawasaki. Kawasaki list the KLX125 but strangely as a 2015 model. That either means it was so blooming great in 2015 that it still requires no improvement or that development of the model has stopped. At almost 3 grand list price it ain't cheap too.

Suzuki. I suppose you could argue the Van Van is sort of kind of off road but it's not quite what I was thinking. At £3,400 it's hellish expensive too. Nope, no on-off roader listed for Suzuki.

Yamaha. Nope. Like all the others you can have a mad crazy bona fide off roader but not a street legal dual purpose machine.

That's "The big four" covered with only Kawasaki offering an out of date model. Triumph don't even do any 125s, Strangely Aprilia have the SX50 but it's 2 stroke and only 50cc. I can't think of any of the other long established marques that even do 125 let alone 125 dual purpose. 

That leaves the Chinese brands. Knowing Sharon's Keeway has been a good bike there's the TX125 Enduro that may fit the bill. The Sinnis Apache sold in droves and is the same as several other brands so parts shouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately it's a supermoto which is much more road biased. 

What happened to the 125 on-off roaders? The XR125L, the XT125, the WR125? I guess road legal 125 dual purpose models are out of vogue these days. The nearest I can thing I can think of is Honda's CRF250 and that's definitely not a 125. Hmmmmm.

Honda CRF250L
Just pop a nice 125 motor in there for me Honda will ya?

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Reader's Comments

Keith m said :-
Have you looked at a company called Rieju? In particular the Rieju Tango, done in 125 and 250. Their a Spanish brand that's been going since mid 1930s but are very unknown in the UK. They make lot of small bikes that the European seem to love, and the engines are made by an Italian company called Minarelli who make engines for Yamaha. They are rare here which is a shame because they make some cracking looking machines.
21/11//2017 8:16:59 PM UTC
Bob said :-
Get an XR125L.
I've got one of the last ones, 2008 registered.
It has a pushrod engine, tough as they come.
I really didn't get on with the CLR125, the engine proved fragile and needed lots of attention.
Reiju are on par with the Chinese bikes from what I've seen, a colleague bought one new and it dissolved over two winters.
21/11//2017 10:02:21 PM UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
I've just been searching for a 125 for commuting and general use, and even 2nd hand there is a dearth of dual sports.

I did try really hard this time, but almost inevitably I've ended up with another MZ! This time it's a newly rebuilt 1989 ETZ150 at a very favorable price thanks to the generosity of a fellow MZRC member. MZ's have a fantastic off road pedigree, and I know a few folk who take them down green lanes in standard road going trim. At some point in the future, I may consider giving it the 'enduro' treatment with a 21" front wheel (easy), folding footrests, bash plate and high level exhaust.

What's that funny noise I can hear? It must be Ren spluttering expletives about two strokes into his tea cup :)
22/11//2017 1:43:26 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I am open to the idea of "non big 4" motorcycles - Sharon's Keeway has been an eye opener. On FB it's been suggested I look at the Derbi - I've seen them at J&S and I do rather like them. I've heard of Reiju but I know nothing of them, I'll see what I can find.

I had no engine problems at all with the CLR125. I ran that up to around 45,000 miles. The exhaust was the issue, if you loot at the image you'll see I had to "create" my own.

Crazy Frog. Please! I have a customer who's MZ crazy and a member of the MZ owners club. He's always harping on about the merits of ancient Eastern Bloc engineering and that's fine. I...I....I just can't get past the whole 2 stroke thing. Economy wise I might as well use the 500.
22/11//2017 2:02:10 PM UTC
Bob said :-
+1 for eastern bloc metal.
I've had numerous MZ and Jawa and they were all fantastic machines.
I just assumed you'd be after something modern
23/11//2017 3:57:31 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Definitely something modern. Not necessarily cutting edge but as the post suggest I'll be looking for something a couple of years old.

I have no issue with the concept of an MZ (CZ, Jawa) other than the 2 stroke motor's relatively poor fuel consumption. Like I said if I wanted to do 80mpg I'd use the 500.
23/11//2017 5:11:13 PM UTC
Bob said :-
My XR125L is doing 103 MPG....
4/12//2017 10:44:27 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
103mpg Bob?! Pah - the CBF gives me 130-140. I'm smaller than you though and the CBF is fool injected.
5/12//2017 10:40:02 AM UTC

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