Top Five ‘Learner Legal rides’ from MoreBikes
Motorcycle Live Online asked Editor of MoreBikes, Ross Mowbray, to give us his top picks for ‘learner legal rides’ – here’s what he had to say…
Here at MoreBikes, we get the chance to ride and review the latest and greatest machines the motorcycle world has to offer, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get excited about small bikes and scooters too. Our On2Wheels learner section covers AM, A1 and A2 licence rides from some of the biggest – and smallest – names in the game, giving them a proper road test so you can make the most of your hard-earned cash.
To help you narrow down your search for your first (or next) ride, here’s a rundown of our top five learner legal rides of 2020:
TEENAGE KICKS: Bullit Hero 50
£2199 / www.bullitmotorcycles.com
If you’re 16 years old and you’re after a geared motorcycle, the options are few and far between. It’s been that way for years. But following the success of the Hero 125 which was released back in 2017, Bullit has created a 50cc version of its long-legged street scrambler – and it looks like learners have finally got something stylish to get excited about.
SUPER COMMUTER: Honda SH125i
From £3,459 / www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles
There’s been no better time to take to two wheels. More than ever before, commuters are looking for alternatives to often crowded public transport – and surely Honda’s updated SH125i is as good a choice as any?
Honda knows what it’s doing when it comes to scooters and has built a reputation for its not very exciting but thoroughly bulletproof machines. That’s no criticism; if you’re going to commuting year round in all weathers, you don’t need something that’s going to get your heart racing – you need something that’ll start, on the button, every time. The SH125i fits that profile perfectly. It’s been round in some form or another since way back in 2001 and has been updated every few years since – but the basic formula remains the same; an efficient motor, ‘big’ wheels and agile handling. And it’s still working; after the last update in 2018, the SH125 became Europe’s best-selling scooter (shifting a respectable 18,000 units).
LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING: Lexmoto LXR 125
£2,199.99 / www.lexmoto.co.uk
When I was 17 the motorcycle to have was Aprilia’s RS 125. Other bikes were available, but if you were serious about your racing and liked going fast, the Grand Prix-derived two-stroke pocket rocket was the one you wanted. Today if you want a 125cc race replica, you’re spoilt for choice. Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Aprilia all produce learner-legal versions of their full-fat race machines, but for the short on cash sportbike nut, there’s also a seemingly endless supply of machines from some of the smaller manufacturers on the market. If you’re on the hunt for your first motorcycle, looking for a sturdy steed to help you cut through city traffic on a daily commute, or want a small capacity sunny Sunday scratcher, Lexmoto’s LXR 125 might be just what you’re looking for.
LA BELLA VITA: Vespa GTS 300
From £4,899 / www.vespa.com
Vespa’s GTS has long been the top of the crop of the scooter market. It’s stylish and capable in equal measure – and although the design hasn’t really changed in years, the factory continues to make subtle but significant enough tweaks to ensure the latest scooter is the best yet.
I recognise there are probably more practical, capable and cheaper options on the market – but if you’re after a super stylish, round-town scooter that’s up for covering some big miles too, then a Vespa GTS is surely worth a look. You only have to look at the thing to want to sling your leg over it and set off for the Italian Riveria – that’s how it makes you feel. And while it’d be in its element bombing along in the sunshine, stopping for a coffee and a gelato, it’s just as happy tackling the rainy daily commute in rural Lincolnshire. It’s genuinely a joy to ride; quick enough to make good progress, agile enough to nip round town and splice through congested traffic and cool enough to get looks wherever you go.
ADVENTURE POTENTIAL: KTM 390 Adventure
£5,499 / www.ktm.com
What makes the perfect mini-adventurer? To me it’s one that can do it all – cruise effortlessly on motorways; keep you comfortable on crowded city streets; take on the potholed B-roads; get your knee down on twisties; and make you feel at home in the dirt. The 390 Adventure does all that. It may be lacking the ideal ADV essentials for some – including spoked wheels and a beak – but having ridden it on some fairly tasty trails, I can assure you that you, you’re not missing anything; except for a bit of torque in the low-range. Tinkering with the sprockets might change that. But either way, I can’t think of another motorcycle in the world which offers so much value in a no-compromise package.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT…
THREE’S (NOT) A CROWD: Yamaha Tricity 300
£7,547 / www.yamaha-motor.eu
Three-wheeled vehicles have some peculiar licencing requirements. You’d probably think that you’re obliged to pass a motorcycle test if you’re riding something that leans from side to side. But you’d be wrong. It all depends. If the front wheels are more than 460mm apart it is legally classified as a tricycle; meaning you can ride it if you’re over 21 and hold a ‘B’ car licence. That’s the case for Yamaha’s latest leaning multi-wheeler, the Tricity 300.
There’s a lot to love about the Tricity 300, even if you’re already a fan of two-wheeled travel. But that’s not really who Yamaha’s aiming at. It’s played a clever move by allowing car licence holders to get their hands on one – and swap commuting by public transport or a car for the convenience of a scooter. It’s agile, easy to ride, nicely-finished and is just as happy bobbing around cars as it is bombing down B-roads. If you don’t believe me, get along to your closest dealer and try one out. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Thinking about learning to ride a motorcycle or scooter? Working your way up through the licence categories to your first big bike? The On2Wheels section in MoreBikes is a one-stop-shop for all the information a new rider would need – covering everything from bikes to licencing and training to kit. Written by a team of experienced motorcyclists and accessible to all new riders, O2W is the inspiration you’ve been waiting for. And best of all, it’s absolutely free.
For more information on how to get your hands on a copy, click here.