Apr 1, 2008

15 Why 125 cc bikes are Popular in Europe.. Will Kinetic bring the 125 cc Cagiva bikes to India..??

Why are 125 cc bikes popular in Europe..?? Why are there hardly any 150/200 cc Street Bikes in Europe..?? Rumours of Cagiva coming to India with its "Sexy" 125 cc bikes..!!

What is common among the following bikes posted below..??

Apart from looking out of this world, they are all..

  • Popular and on sale in Europe

  • Maximum Power is upto 11 Kw or 14.75 bhp

  • Maximum Engine Capacity is 125 cc
Cagiva Raptor 125

Most European Street bikes comes with engine capacities of either 125cc, 250cc, 600cc or 1000cc..

Yes, Europeans it seems have a thing for 125 cc bikes. These pocket rockets are comes fully loaded with the kinds of bells and whistles, which even our (Indian) premium (??) bikes haven't yet offered.

So why do Europeans like riding 125 cc bikes..??

Lets first visit the European websites of a few motorcycle makers..

Just visit the Website of Yamaha UK: In UK Yamaha currently sells (in the supersport category), the YZF-R1, YZF-R6 and the YZF R-125..!!Yamaha YZF-R125

Just visit the Website of Honda UK: In UK Honda currently sells (in the supersport category), the CBR1000RR (Firblade), the CBR600RR and the CBR125R..!!Honda CBR 125R

Just visit the Website of Kawasaki UK: In UK Kawasaki currently sells (in the supersport category), the Ninja ZX-10R, the Ninja ZX-6R and the Ninja 250R (in the Sports Category)Kawasaki Ninja 250R

Just visit the Website of Hyosung UK: In UK Hyosung currently sells (among the street bikes), the GT650R, the GT250R (faired version), GT250 (naked version, the Comet which Kinetic once sold in India), GT125R (faired), GT125 (naked version)Hyosung GT125R

Just visit the Austrian Website of Cagiva Motorcycles: In Eupore Cagiva currently sells, the RAPTOR 1000, the RAPTOR 650 and the MITO 125- SP525..!!

Cagiva Mito125- SP525

As can be clearly see, the European Street bikes comes with engine capacities of either 125cc, 250cc, 600cc or 1000cc. Not even 150 cc (Which is a segment quite popular in India) or 200 cc.

So what's the reason behind the popularity of 125 cc bikes in Europe..??

For answers lets have a look at the Motorcycle Laws of Europe..

European Motorcycle Laws:

  • Most European Countries have motorcycle laws which restrict riders from the age of 16-18 to ride motorcycles with maximum of 125 cc engine capacity and producing not more than 11 Kw or 14.75 bhp. (Lucky European Teens..!!)

  • Kid on Yamaha YZF-R125

  • Another law which makes 125 cc motorcycles popular among European Adults is that anyone who has a 4 wheeler driving license can ride a 125 cc motorcycle without a motorcycle riding license.

  • For a motorcycle rider between the age of 18-21 there is no restriction in engine cc but restricted to ride a bike not producing not more than 25 Kw or 33.5 bhp. Therefore after 125 cc bikes, most bike makers sell 250 cc bikes with around 30 bhp power (like the Kawasaki Ninja 250R & the Hyosung GT250R)

  • Above 21 years old, a rider can ride motorcycles of any capacity and power but have to undergo a practical test by riding a bike at least 33.5 bhp or above.

It is therefore seen that due to this legal system, Street bikes in Europe are either restricted to 125 cc or 14.8 bhp (or less) for 16-18 year olds and for adults with 4 wheeler license, or 33 bhp (or less) for 18-21 year olds.

Probably this explains the reason why motorcycles in Europe are 125 cc, 250 cc or above..

[European Motorcycle Laws: Source]

Great..!! Now can't India get these 125 cc bikes..?? Surely there is a huge market for two wheelers here.

Well... these fast (by Indian standards) 125 cc beauties have a cool sticker price which is equivalent to around Rs.2,30,000(Excluding Import Duties)..!!

Game enough..??

Cagiva "Might" join hands with Kinetic:

The March 2008 issue of Bike India did carry an article about Cagiva looking to enter into an agreement with Kinetic Motors of India, in which Kinetic would manufacture the engines for its motorcycles like the Mito 125. But so far there hasn't been any concrete official announcement about it by either Cagiva or Kinetic.

Bike India March 2008 Issue

Also according to Bike India, the Mito 125 makes around 30 bhp. But what Bike India did not tell was that the 2-Stroke engine of the Mito 125 makes around 30 bhp only in the unrestricted form (with performance mods), under European laws the Mito 125 has to stick to 11 Kw or 14.75 bhp in its stock form.

Mito125 - SP525

Also since the Mito125-SP525 has a 2 stroke motor, Cagiva might be make the switch to a more eco friendly 4 stroke motor in the future.

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


bambang said...

mito's 2-stroke engine meet Euro 3 emission standard, is that not eco-friendly enough?

Sankoobaba said...

I think...price vis-a-vis power may not excite many....and cagiva is not much of a exotic(or popular) brand as compared to kawasaki/yamaha etc

ashes_dad_1991 said...

why can't yamaha design r15 like r125???????(unlucky indian teens)

Anil Kumar said...

I feel happy to read this post because I myself am a 125cc owner.I am not saying that I would't be happy riding my Gladiator but I would be even more happier riding an R125.

Payeng said...


you are right teh new 2008 Mito has an Euro 3 engine.. but in the future there are doubts whether the 2 stroke motor would remain.


the Cagiva models looks very enticing.. even though brand awareness among common Indians might be less than the Japanese brands.

@ ashes,

The price of the YZF-R125 (at around Rs. 2,40,000)is be too high for us..

Also the Indian spec 150 cc R15 will be cheaper and more powerful than the 125 cc R125's 14.75 bhp..!!

But yes, the bodywork of the European YZF-R125 would have been really nice on the Indian R15.

first_synn said...

You forgot the best seller of 'em all: The Aprilia RS125. 33 horses derestricted. Nothing but the best equipment, including radial brakes, USD forks and a chassis MCN calls "The best in the world, in any class". Ya know what I'm saving up for... :-D

Apart from these there are others such as the Derbi GPR, a couple of models from Peugeot, Sachs, Simson and the likes.

...so yeah, euro teens have it good.

Sajal Chakraborty said...

Nice info dude!!!!

Siddharth Soni said...

great information.

srinidhi said...

Lucky chaps.They get really good bikes

gops said...

launch dis bikes in india as soon as possble

Anonymous said...

when you turn 18 you can't just jump on a 33bhp bike, we have to pass a restricted licence test first which costs over £700, so no were not as lucky as you think.

Anonymous said...

how can i get one in the usa? nogood1491@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

To drive in India Sales to be Banned for vehicles more than 150CC , Also For Indian city use Motorbike with Feul Efficient more than 50 kms on City driving conditions only be should be allowed. Also for Un-Geared Segment It should be 40 kmpl must.

Note: Present Indian licence system have changed like motorcycle less than 100CC where in Geared and un-geared cycles comes under one class.
And motorcycle with Gear. The Class of 50CC motorcycle and un-geared scottered is cancelled.

The union government should see that how much fuel India wastes out by having more Engine powered vehicle.


gops said...

launch dis bikes in india as soon as possble

Anonymous said...


In India the minimum age required for riding:

Less than 50cc(without gear) is 16 years
Such a vehicle DO NO EXIST in India. So technically your Sunny, Scooty, Activa, Aviator..... are ILLEGAL to ride without a valid license of next category.

Above 50cc geared/without gear is 18 years - Pretty much all the motorcycles & scooters(automatic or geared). Your 100cc CD100 to 1800cc Harleys or bigger :P

So no point in introducing more 125CC motorcycles in India. You must be 18 to ride any decent motorcycle LEGALly.

Please OBEY the laws. They are meant for your safety. I just hate seeing these 14-16 year old kids going crazy on the street in their Activas and Aviators without LICENSE or a HELMET !!!

As for a beginner-enthusiast-sport biker, the Yamaha R15 is the best choice. If you have bit more money get the Honda CBR250(Get the ABS model. None of you are Rossi Stoner or Lorenzo). And if you are rich the Ninja 250 Best Beginners bike for a really loooooooong time :)

I mentioned the above bikes for sport riding. If you want mileage and a good commuters, check all the under 1 lac rupees motorcycles and buy the one which suits your budget ;)

Ride Safe. Wear Full Gear & Helmet


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