Kymco CK1 125 - First Ride!

Author: Iggy Grainger Posted: 03 Jul 2014

Small capacity bikes may primarily be used for short journeys, often to work and back but that doesn’t mean they have to be excessively dull.

CK1 por homme

This new little number from Kymco is anything but dull looking and the price is quite attractive too. The bike retails at just £2071 on the road, that’s £600 less than the Yamaha YBR125 and you’ll pay £628 more if you prefer the Honda CBF125. Slightly closer on price is Kymco’s main Taiwanese competitor, the Sym Wolf SB125 N at £2471. That’s still £328 more than this tasty looking Kymco CK1 125 but are you getting £300 less of a bike? In a word, no.

Kymco's 125cc CK1 almost having its pegs 'bedded in'

As learner legal 125’s go the CK1 ticks all the right boxes, for starters it’s good looking and is different enough to appeal to teenagers but not too over the top, so it will also keep the grown ups happy. The bike is quite angular and like all the modern crop of Kymco machines it is also extremely well built and finished to perfection. The paintwork is lustrous and comes in three colour options, bright metallic green, oyster gold metallic, or flame orange. For my money I’d opt for the orange but I expect the green will be just as popular.

Orange, Green or Gold are your colour options

As with any bike of this nature it needs to be easy to ride and manageable, the 780mm seat height is just about right for my frame (5’10”) and the narrow seat means you can reach the floor fairly easily. The seating position is also natural and comfortable so there’s no awkward stretch to the bars. Don’t expect fancy digital clocks but the analogue dash includes a fuel gauge and a gear position indicator, although it’s hard to see that in bright sunshine. Front LED running lights help the bike to stand out though and add a nice touch to the front end.

Prod the starter button and the CK1 bursts instantly to life, it’s not fuel injected but does start exceptionally well, there’s a manual choke on the left bar for colder days but it wasn’t needed as we headed out into the Shropshire countryside in blazing sunshine. The clutch is nice and light and the five-speed gearbox is very precise and easy to use, perfectly spaced ratios means the bike picks up speed quite quickly, so it doesn’t feel slow and it’s perfectly capable of holding its own in faster moving traffic. Expect to see around 65mph on the clock without too much effort. I was quite impressed with the general ride of the Kymco, suspension is good and the rear is adjustable but felt perfect on the standard setting, the forks were good too. Brakes are up to the job, the front disc won’t cause novices to lock the front wheel but it’s got more than enough bite, as has the rear drum. It’s a good all round learner legal package. The CK1 is a bike you can enjoy blasting around on, it’s quick enough to provide a bit of fun, handles well and looks good too. Whether you’re commuting, needing some freedom or just want some dependable transport you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Ye olde instrument display

If you’re in the market for a great looking 125 and don’t mind being a little bit different there’s an army of Kymco dealers around the country who’d be happy to see you. The first batch of CK1’s sold out pretty quickly but they will be back in stock by the time you read this. Tell them Bike Social sent you.




 10nm @ 7,000rpm


 Front 80/100-17, rear 110/80-17


 Front disc, rear drum


 Front hydraulic forks, rear mono shock


 Length 2035mm, width 740mm, height 1050mm

 Seat height







CK1 close-up