Posted: 16 Jan 2014
I’m after a lightweight good-looking trail-style motorcycle that I can us for just popping out on short trips to the shops on, occasional short trips to the pub, and that I can also strap to the back of my motorhome in the summer. I’m looking to spend around £1000. Can you recommend something please?
Michael Long, Peterborough
We reckon you can’t go far wrong with a Suzuki Van Van 125. They’re based on the old GN125 engine that are pretty much bullet-proof, are reasonably well put together and as strong as anything else in the market. You may have to spend a little over a £1000 for a decent one, but there’s plenty for sale on Bennetts Free Classifieds. Look out for all the usual signs of abuse that come with small bikes, head bearings, chain and sprockets, crash damage. You know the type.
Another good choice for that kind of money is a Yamaha XT125, available in both supermoto versions, or trail style. It’s a bit taller than the Suzuki, slightly better to ride, but somehow not quite as retro and charming as the Suzuki and its big fat tyres.
If you’re a bit of a keen spannerman, the other way to go is to buy an appreciating classic like an old Yamaha XT250 from the eighties, though for that kind of money you’d have to find a ratter and do it up.