2019 Kawasaki Z125 review

Kawasaki haven’t competed in the sporty 125cc market since the 1990s and now they’ve launched two new models for 2019; the sporty Ninja 125 and the distinctive Z125.

2019 Kawasaki z125 motorcycle riding through city

Feel the power

Obviously the Z125 is very similar to the Ninja 125 (you can read that bike review here).

They both house the same 14.7bhp single-cylinder four-stroke engine, even peak power and torque is the same.

Peak power is at 10,000rpm just 500rpm short of the redline, which means you have to perform ‘River Dance’ on the gear selector in order to keep the revs buzzing.

Without the aerodynamics of the fully-faired Ninja 125 the naked Zed finds it harder to top 70mph and is more susceptible to windy conditions – headwinds and inclines are your enemy.

However, the performance of the Z125 is on par with the competition, as is its eye-catching price, just over four grand at £4099.

A huge amount of buying decisions are solely based on appearance and image, and this is where the naked Z125 wins hands down.

It has a ‘grown up’ feel, unlike some of the competition, which can look like toys. It also feels quality made, it’s just a shame the rather dull clocks let the overall package down.

The taller seat, bars and riding position of the Z125, when compared to the sporty Ninja 125 equates to a more relaxed, roomier riding position.

It feels natural and easy-to-ride and learners and test schools will love the new Z125.

Green 2019 Z125 Kawasaki z125 motorcycle riding through town

What’s it like to ride in town?

In ever increasing congestion the Z125 feels at home. The Bosch ABS brakes gives peace of mind in tricky conditions. It’s just a shame you have to be so brutal with the engine to maintain traffic speed.

You need to keep the revs towards the top of the rev range, which does result in noticeable vibrations.

The chassis, as is the single-cylinder engine, is loosely based on the Ninja 250SL, which means a sporty set up which is firm, but you don’t get rocketed out of the seat on every speed hump. It will take almost all the urban environment can throw at it with ease.

2019 Kawasaki Z125 motorcycle riding in multi-story carpark


On looks alone the all-new Z125 (loosely based on the Ninja 250SL), should sell by the bucket load and is the bike Kawasaki dealers have been demanding.

Stylish, instantly recognisable as part of the Zed family, with a proven sporty chassis and at just over £4000 they are onto a sure winner.

It’s a shame about the basic clocks and you have to flog the engine to get the most out of it, otherwise an excellent naked A1 bike.

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