Suzuki GSX-R125

Suzuki GSX-R125

What is happening to Suzuki Motorcycles? When I saw the press for Australia I did a double take: it does read GSX-R125! all new for 2018. Welcome to the first 125cc learner legal GSX-R super sports – well so the branding indicates.

In terms of looks the GSX-R125 is cutting edge, sort of looks like the existing GSX-R bikes and perhaps a hint at the next generation styling? It’s not challenging to look or does it really offend and it is ‘sporty’ to look at. It’s primary competitors in the Yamaha YZF-R125 which is one of the best looking 125cc and immediately evokes sports motorcycle which unfortunately the GSX-R125 doesn’t match. The KTM RC125 is an even better interpretation of the 125cc super sports motorcycle as it does’t look like any other thanks to high quality parts, properly designed muffler and a composite rear swing arm.

In terms of technology, specifications and performance the GSX-R125 is not exactly brimming with obvious tech but it certainly has features like EFI, keyless ignition, full digital instrument panel, LED lighting and even ABS. It is missing the alloy frame and 3 cylinders of regular GSX-Rs which is disappointing but it’s on road pricing is the main feature that makes all this forgivable. The Suzuki GSX-R125 is priced $3,990 including on road costs! No other motorcycle in the class has these features.

In the end the Suzuki GSX-R125 is a great entry into the 125cc class. It also means it is LAMS approved for learner riders. Suzuki boasts that it is the best performing 125cc in the class, thanks to it’s power to weight ratio but it’s only by a tiny margin. However I think they should have gone a little further with the exterior fairing. The key selling point is the price, for a under $4000 AUD you can have a brand new Suzuki in your garage.

Suzuki GSX-R125 Key Specifications
Engine: 1 cylinder 4V DOHC (EFI)
Capacity: 125cc
Power/Torque: 11Kw @10000 RPM 11 Nm @8000 RPM  
Gearbox: 6 speed
Kerb Weight: 134Kg Approx
Performance: 0-100kph NA seconds Approx
Max Speed NA Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 11 litre fuel tank
Seat height: 795 mm
Dimensions: L2000 x W700 x H1070 mm
Recommended Retail Price: $3,990 (2018)


2018 Honda Valkyrie F6C

Honda Valkyrie

The 2018 Honda Valkyrie came to my attention in the showroom recently so here’s my review! The Valkyrie has been around for in this form for over 10 years but it is sold in so small numbers that I’ve never seen one in real life until now.

The Honda Valkyrie is the top range cruiser style motorcycle from the company. Fittingly it is based on the Honda Goldwing’s frame and engine. The Valkyrie’s traditional Cruiser classification is debatable as the Valkyrie does’t look or is specified like a traditional Cruiser in the vein of Harley Davidson’s. The Honda Valkyrie is a best prefixed with the category of modern style cruiser or even Japanese style cruiser.

The market for cruiser motorcycles in 2018 are on a general decline, just like the 600cc super sports motorcycle class. It’s arguably caused by ageing demographic, those who bought them where sold on the image in movies and mostly the noise. There is also the element of the anti-motorcycling lobby group however they are likewise literally dropping off too. Anyway in the end this group has only made motorcycling all the more desirable especially to accountants and actuaries.

In terms of looks the Honda Valkyrie is a good looking motorcycle and different to any other especially in size! However it’s only good up to 4/5 as the last 1/5 the rear end is typlically underdone or best described as awkward. The rear end oddness for Cruiser style motorcycles is not unusual and not just Honda models but all manufacturers except for Harley Davidson for some reason. However and at a guess the rear end is designed to accommodate the obligatory panniers!

The blacked out frame and wheels appeal to a younger buyer and certainly more European audience as they don’t particularly and generally like chrome.  That said you can go for the Honda Valkyrie Rune variant which is equipped with all the chrome – if you can find one.

Tn terms of technology, specifications and performance the Honda Valkyrie is best described a cut down Goldwing which means spritely performance and all the pros and cons of the engine. The low maintenance single sided swing arm with a shaft drive means low maintenance and I always wonder why they don’t show off this feature more often. I think they look great! The digital instruments also indicate that the Valkyrie is targeted at a younger buying group.

The engine is worth a mention as it is the only 6 cylinder that is arranged in a horizontally, meaning a Flat 6 cylinder engine and is unique in the motorcycle world. The Valkyrie’s engine makes the same amount of power as a regular 1.8 SOHC engine but weights over 1000kgs less than the normal car you’d find with this engine capacity. This means that this bike is fast, not supers sports fast but fast enough!  The technology and development for this engine is easily superior that the flat 2 cylinder engine in BMWs. The Goldwing’s engine is known for it’s longevity and reliability and with less weight the Valkyrie will arguably last longer than the owner.

The Honda Valkyrie is definitely a decent, almost cool motorcycle and an evolution of the traditional Cruiser class motorcycle in terms of looks and power.  I can only imagine riding a bike with 170Nm of torque under 4000rpm, even cars can’t do that! I liken it to Thor’s hammer and thankfully doesn’t sound like it’s name sake the Valkyrie which is probably a good thing.

The Honda Valkyrie is priced around the $22,000 AUD which is quite expensive but when you consider the your average 1000cc super sports motorcycle have reached the same price point and that this is a 6 cylinder motorcycle and unlikely that you’ll ever see on on the road it is easily justifiable purchase.

Honda Valkyrie Key Specifications
Engine: Flat 6 cylinder 12V SOHC (EFI)
Capacity: 1832cc
Power/Torque: 88Kw @ 5500RPM 170 Nm @ 4000RPM
Gearbox: 5 speed – Shaft drive
Kerb Weight: 341Kg Approx
Performance: 0-100kph NA seconds Approx
Max Speed NA Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 23.2 litre fuel tank
Seat height: 734 mm
Dimensions: L2473 x W942 x H1154
Recommended Retail Price: $ 21,990 (2018)