Motorcyclists: 125 or DAS then 250?

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  • Motorcyclists: 125 or DAS then 250?
  • IMHO 125’s are too underpowered to be safe, sometimes you need a bit of power in rreserve to accelerate out of trouble – cars don’t have the acceleration of a bike so it’s not something car drivers think about. TBH as a regular ride, I woudn’t consider anything less than 250, and if you want to go out and play, you’d probably be better with 400 or 600 – so DAS.


    personally I went straight for the DAS, 125’s are very frustrating (to me anyway) the way I looked at it was, I had enough road experience already, in a car & a bicycle, so didn’t need the “road time” & the motorbike would only go as fast as I made it go, so nothing to worry about there. I’m still alive over a decade later, so it worked for me.

    I couldn’t commute on a geared 125, but on a 125 rev & go (if such a thing exists) I think I’d be OK, but my commute does include the centre of Birmingham in rush hour.

    or if you’re not just commuting, but using it for pleasure too, go up to 400/600cc my father in law made the mistake of buying a new 125 to commute, then sold it once he realised he couldn’t really use it for much more than getting to work & bought a 600, he never uses his car now.

    If you’re 17, <70kg and short then a 125 is fine, anything heavier or taller and they barely move. My CG was fine when I was 17, did my CBT again at 25 and couldn’t fathom where all the power had gone.

    Also there aren’t many big small bikes, the motorcycle industry makes 400’s for girls, midgets and the japanese and 600+ for everyone else, so if you’re of normal proportions then squeezing yourself onto a 250 will be a challange whereas 600’s are a bit more normal.

    Premier Icon DaveRambo

    I’d echo the others in that a 125 is underpowered.

    You do need to be able to get out of trouble by pulling away at times and it’s not really possible on a 125.
    You’ll also outgrow it quite quickly.

    I got a Bandit 600 as my first bike – you don’t have to ride them quickly.
    Just about to sell it as it happens as I ride my 1250 all the time and it’s not been out of the garage in 2 years.

    Premier Icon simon_g

    DAS, for the simple reason that it gives you a few days (rather than the couple of hours of CBT) under proper instruction on the road. You’ll deal with far more road situations and be more confident and safer as a result.

    If you really want to get going on a 125 ASAP, then do CBT and just hire one for a few days (most riding schools offer them for practice).

    Get a bigger bike. They are heavier and therefore more sure footed and planted when it’s windy for example, you’ll have a bit of power in reserve for getting away from lights/junctions etc 1st, and therefore more safely. You’ll also find people take you more seriously, and give you ore respect on the road….seriously.

    If you’ve no riding experience, a 125 will amuse you for about a week, then you’ll be bored and thrashing hell out of it to get anywhere briskly.

    400 or a 600 would be ideal, the usual suspects, bandit/fazer/hornet/cbr600f etc.

    b r

    IMHO 125’s are too underpowered to be safe,

    Normally I’d agree, except if you are mainly urban commuting it’ll have enough go for you to pretty much beat everything off the line and will top out at the national speed limit.

    Better to get the experience.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Yeah, the whole “DAS then little bike” theory is sound but the reality is that there’s a lack of good options for little bikes. There’s a few, but they tend to be expensive or, well, bad. So a lot of people make the jump to a restricted 600 or just a full power but sensible one- your SV650S, ER6s etc.

    I spent a year on a crappy 125 and learned a lot, then did my DAS and went up to a 650. I’d have struggled to go straight in and do DAS from scratch, ymmv.

    RS125 is a brilliant wee bike but not a great commuter! Oh and I don’t entirely buy the “You need to be able to go fast” argument, yes it can be useful but mostly after you’ve screwed up.


    Done my CBT and theory test and would have done my full licence next week but haven’t the funds. I’ve pretty much decided to run a small bike for a while to cut my teeth on and try to develop my skills. The question is whether to get a 125 then do my DAS next year or do my DAS in September and get a 250? I’m worried the 125 will get frustrating sooner but not sure whether this would really be the case. I would use it to commute (24 miles avoiding motorways, 22 with them) from SW London to Chertsey. Live near the train station which offers an option/getout in poor weather.

    I know a cg125 is very sensible but I’d rather an aprilia rs125 if going down that line. Not looking at scooters as whilst they’re very functional this is part of a learning curve that will eventually lead to a ducati 😉



    I’d echo everyone else. More is better. A restricted RS is just another 125. An unrestricted RS makes plenty of power, but isn’t legal. If that doesn’t bother you (it hasn’t bothered generations of teenagers), peaky 125s aren’t exactly relaxing to ride. Which may or may not be a good thing.

    I’d look at something bigger.


    I did the 125 route on a dt125 trail bike. Nice to get some gentle off road occasionally and it was great for my commute. Eventually got a restricted Yamaha 600.
    I think i would have got in to more trouble on a full capacity bike than I ever did from being underpowered.
    Once borrowed my mates Ninja, not smiled so much on a british road ever, amazing. But i couldnt have rode that everyday.
    Sold up in the end just wasnt for me, but glad ive got the licence.
    Out of the 2 bikes the bigger one drove like a porch compared to a tractor!

    it can be useful but mostly after you’ve screwed up.

    which you’re going to do at some point

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Absolutely… But it’s not always helpful even then, sometimes it just ends up combining your screw-up with the ability to accelerate to the speed of light faster than your brain is going.


    125s are great as long as you dance constantly through the gearbox and abuse the clutch 😆 it does get very tiring though.

    Finding an unabused Aprilia will be a task.


    Finding an unabused Aprilia will be a task.


    Premier Icon hot_fiat

    Do the DAS as soon as you can. A 125 on any motorway will be an annoying hazard to yourself and other road users. You’ll soon get annoyed / terrified at being unable to overtake dawdlers on NSL sections and the vibes from a bog-standard 125 lump are wearisome.

    There are more & more low-capacity bikes being offered by manufacturers in the EU thanks to the new licensing structures (check out the 200 and 390 KTM dukes, Kawasaki Ninja 300, Honda CB500f…) The quality of the components on these things is infinitely better than those on a 125 and once you’ve ridden a cb500 around a training centre you’ll never want to get back on a 125. Most manufacturers offer stupendously good deals on finance & insurance for new riders on low capacity bikes.

    I went a little nuts after passing my direct access back in 2007 & went out and bout a brand new KTM 950SM. Looking back it was probably a stoopid thing to do, but it’s such a big friendly pussycat that I got away with it. And as said before, you don’t need to go balls-out everywhere. Being a naked bike you’re really made aware of your speed which helped a lot. What also helped was the fact it had very similar handling to my stinky and latterly the alpine; so bizarrely, riding it has also made my mountain biking loads smoother & faster (wow you can counter-steer a MTB!) 😯

    What I would strongly urge any new (or experienced for that matter) rider to do is some police-sanctioned rider training like Bikesafe or Northumbria’s cornering clinics. Meeting and riding with plod is great: their riding techniques are amazing and you’ll never “make as much progress” nor as safely on a public road through self-learning. The lectures are very enlightening / shocking and tell you loads more about anticipation than you’ll pick up in normal training. Seeing the effect a gsxr had on a tractor and trailer full of hay at 130mph was properly eye-opening.


    Cant go on the motorway until have a licence anyway but point taken. I’ll sort out das I think…

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