Comparison test of 125 enduros: Honda XLR 125 R, Kawasaki KMX 125, Sachs ZX 125, Suzuki DR 125 SE


Comparison test of 125 enduro bikes: Honda XLR 125 R, Kawasaki KMX 125, Sachs ZX 125, Suzuki DR 125 SE

Flower children

Out of the musty living room and into a fresh enduro adventure. For two MOTORRAD readers, the dream became a reality. As a test driver at the big party with the little rascals.

The day starts well. The first river crossing is not a hundred meters away from the night camp. Ghostly wisps of fog hang on the rocks, the sun is stretching wearily behind the ridge, and we’re about to poke through the ice-cold water up to our buttocks. No matter now, man or mouse, our two young guests, Rico and Norbert from Saxony, have the right of way. A somewhat angry letter from the committed enduro riders provided the boys with an invitation to this trip. »Have you actually completely forgotten our 125cc? Where are the enduro tests in the entry-level class? «Asked the 17-year-old indignantly. What MOTORRAD did not ask twice for.

Now the spray is spraying up high, the throttled little motors toil hard through the water. Lint, wading, wet boots, wet socks, finally done. Thumbs up, applause, guys. Now the master comes, balances elegantly like a diva on the pegs, hits the right track with precision – and gets stuck in the deepest point of the flowing river with the engine rattling. Blow, blow, out, done. As I said, the water now comes up to their buttocks and the boys burst with laughter: “Master, always open the fuel tap before driving away, otherwise it won’t go so smoothly.” brings the step. “Thanks for the tip, guys. I’ll remember it. ”
Soaking wet, one of them still wetter, the enduro riders continue to climb through rocky gorges, tight bends wind their way towards the heights, slippery limestone rock forces you to acrobatic lunges and pirouettes, which are mostly confessed. Riding enduro like in a picture book. And all of this on the cheap with the 125cc in the throttled 1b trim. Just 80km / h fast, but not a bit boring. Except on the highway, of course. But the Grobstoller are in good hands here in the vegetables and on the small asphalt paths of the Swabian Alb. Because all four have a lot more to offer than you would think at first glance.

Honda XLR 125 R.
The right choice for real penny pinchers. No other is as squeamish about fuel as the Honda. Her simple four-stroke engine has been around for a few years. However, this does not prevent him from being among the front runners in terms of torque and acceleration. It’s also nice that the purring single comes to life with an e-starter. Provided that you feel the well-hidden choke button beforehand. But then – everything is fine. If only because the gear ratio and final ratio are correctly designed and allow rapid progress even in two-person operation through hilly terrain.
The XLR can comfortably cope with asphalt mogul slopes, it runs stubbornly straight ahead, speeds stable around curves of all kinds and with the powerful double-piston caliper on the front wheel also earns the gold medal in terms of braking safety.
However, on extended daily stages it gets uncomfortable on the Honda. Then the fluffy suite turns into a stool bench and presses properly on the coccyx due to the steeply sloping seat. The only solution: you change your sitting position in short intervals. Sometimes in front, then behind, sometimes left cheek, sometimes right.

When the XLR goes off-road, it quickly becomes clear that rough brawling is not their thing. The suspension and damping are too soft, the ground clearance is too low. On the other hand, the XLR has nothing against brisk enduro hiking through thick and thin. Here, too, the quiet, reliable motor and the perfectly shiftable, tightly stepped gearbox earn their spurs.

Kawasaki KMX 125
The green KMX is knitted according to a completely different pattern. The two-stroke engine equipped with all the attributes of modern engine technology sits in a long-legged off-road chassis. Long suspension travel, aggressive optics – the crosser for everyone. One should think. But the KMX has lost all liveliness in the 1b throttling. Which is less to blame for the legally compliant number of horsepower and more of a failed vote. If the gears one and two get stuck, that’s the end of fun. Not to mention the lack of an electric starter and by far the highest consumption in the test. It’s a shame, because the elaborately made engine has what it takes to do more.
It is also a shame that the front brake does not take its task seriously, but only with the most brutal hand force and even then does not slow down properly. A big thank you at this point to her colleague in the rear wheel, who actively supports many hopeless braking attempts.
Well, what is left on the credit side? A comfortable bench, generous equipment with a tachometer, solid workmanship and the best handling on and off paved slopes. The undoubtedly good terrain qualities of the chassis hardly come into their own under the slack engine. What a pity. Unfortunately, there isn’t much left of the promises of classy looks.

Sachs ZX 125
What a machine. Long-legged, powerful, like a grown-up cross motorcycle. Of course, at Sachs we know how something like that works, after all, it has been at the forefront of the Enduro World Championship for years. And that’s what you want to demonstrate with the ZX. Saddled up – but be careful, here you are enthroned almost a meter above the ground and off you go. The engine grabs tightly, pushes around vigorously around the bottom and really lets the pig out at the top. Not that the two-stroke engine brings a lot of power illegally, no, it is just perfectly tuned. No performance gap, no start-up choking, nothing. Another indication of the careful work done by the engine technicians: consumption. Only a little higher than the four-stroke Honda and well below the competition. Compliment. And one more thing: The ZX 125 has an environmentally friendly catalyst in the muffler.
The Sachs not only looks grown up, it drives that too. Great brakes, great suspension for road and terrain. The disadvantage: In tight bends and when changing lean angles, the ZX 125 is much more unwieldy than the three Japanese and suffers from the poor grip and rock-hard Pirelli tires. The tightly padded bench, on the other hand, is far more comfortable on long stretches than it looks on the first few meters. The price is not made of cardboard. At almost 8,000 marks, the Sachs ZX 125 is a good 2000 marks more expensive than the small Japanese.

Suzuki DR 125
The cheapest 125cc in the test is very similar to the Honda XLR. Reliable, tried and tested four-stroke engine, simple chassis, garnished with simple equipment – done. The biggest shortcoming of the DR 125 is the far too long overall ratio. Whether starting on a steep slope or two-person operation overland, the Suzuki lacks the necessary pulling power. The consumption values ​​are acceptable, but measured on the Honda XLR motor of a similar design, they are too high. And the brakes could be better. Just like the cornering stability, which tends to be poor on wavy asphalt. One thing that is primarily due to the insufficient damping on the fork and shock absorber. This screwed up the Suzuki then also the terrain assessment, in which the handy speedster again and again the insane long translation thrown the bill. The bottom line is: the comfortable space for the driver and passenger, the lowest price and the knowledge that you can make ends meet even with small imperfections.

S.Oh, the clothes are dry, our two boys are reconciled with the MOTORRAD editorial team and the test machines are a good thousand kilometers older. Driving, testing and taking photos for three days. On the cross-piste, the autobahn (yawn), super beautiful country roads, the smallest gravel roads. Three days of sport, games of excitement. It was really a great idea with the 125cc Enduro test, friends. Just about the thing with the turned off gasoline tap and the wet bum, we should talk again.

3rd place – Suzuki DR 125 SE

3rd place Despite the lowest price, the DR 125 easily stays in the slipstream of the competition. Their biggest drawback is the too long overall gear ratio, which unfortunately does not allow the lively, revving engine to come into play. Too bad. For everyday use and occasional excursions into the countryside without a sporting challenge, the simple and robust Suzuki is definitely sufficient.

1st place – Sachs ZX 125

Impeccable performance, a perfectly tuned two-stroke engine with restrained consumption, snappy brakes and the robust chassis in Moto Cross design make the Sachs the winner on points. The right device for adventurous enduro expeditions. On the minus side, the high price of almost 8,000 marks and the somewhat sluggish handling of the long-legged ZX 125 are to be booked.

4th place – Kawasaki KMX 125

4th place: The technically and visually delicious KMX is disappointed in last place. First and foremost, the off-road speedster suffers from the stalled engine performance. Bad draft, high consumption, no liveliness – the Enduro adventure quickly turns into a tired coffee trip. The technicians should also come up with something quickly on the subject of brakes.

Technical data Suzuki DR 125 SE

Engine dataSingle-cylinder four-stroke engine, an overhead, chain-driven camshaft, two valves, wet sump lubrication, round slide carburetor, 0 31 mm, no exhaust gas cleaning, electric starter, six-speed gearbox. Bore x stroke 57 x 48.8 mm, displacement 124 cm³, power 9.7 kW (12 PS ) at 9800 rpm Max. Torque 9 Nm (0.9 kpm) at 9,400 rpm. O 130 mm. Storage wheels 1.60 x 21; 1.85 x 18 tires 80 / 80-21; 100 / 80-18 wheelbase 1385 mm steering head angle 61 degrees caster 112 mm suspension travel front / rear 205/200 mm weight fully fueled 127 kg load 188 kg seat height 840 mm price 5890 marks mileage and measured values ​​acceleration 0-50 km / h 4.9 seconds 0-80 km / h 11.4 seconds passage 60- 80 km / h 18.2 seconds Top speed 85 km / h Consumption in the test Country road 3.5 l / 100 km Motorway 3.7 l / 100 km

2nd place – Honda XLR 125 R

2nd place It is amazing how accurately the aged XLR motor does its job. Very economical, quiet and smooth-running, the two-valve engine is a really useful representative of the inexpensive hiking enduro. In addition, there is an agile chassis with reliable brakes and sufficiently high suspension comfort. The weak point: the uncomfortable seating position for the driver and pillion passenger.

Technical data Sachs ZX 125

Single-cylinder two-stroke engine, diaphragm inlet into the crankcase, exhaust control via mechanically operated slides, separate lubrication, round slide carburetor, 0 28 mm, uncontrolled catalytic converter, electric starter, six-speed gearbox. Bore x stroke 56.0 x 50.7 mm, displacement 125 cm³, output 8 kW (11 PS) at 7250 rpm Max. Torque 11 Nm (1.1 mkp) at 6500 rpm. Single piston caliper, O 220 mm. Spoked wheels 1.80 x 21; 2.15 x 18 tires 3.00-21; 4.00-18 Wheelbase 1420 mm Steering head angle k. A. Follow-up k. A. Suspension travel front / rear 240/250 mmWeight fully fueled 129 kgPayload 191 kgSeat height 900 mmPrice 7890 MarkDrive performance and measurementsAcceleration 0-50 km / h 5.2 sec0-80 km / h 17.0 secDirecting60-80 km / h 7.9 secMaximum speed 92 km / h Consumption in the test country road 3.2 l / 100 km Motorway 3.4 l / 100 km

Technical data Honda XLR 125 R –

Engine dataSingle-cylinder four-stroke engine, an overhead, chain-driven camshaft, two valves, wet sump lubrication, round slide carburetor, 0 22 mm, no exhaust gas cleaningBore x stroke 56.5 x 49.5 mmHub volume 124 cm³Power 8.4 Kw (11 HP) at 8300 / minMax. Torque 10 Nm (1 kpm) at 7000 rpm Chassis data Single-loop frame made of tubular steel with forked beams, telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 37 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel profiles, central spring strut, articulated via a lever system, front disc brake, double-piston caliper, 240 mm diameter, rear drum brake, 110 mm diameter spoke wheels with aluminum rims 1.40 x 21; 1.85 x 18 tires 2.75-21; 4.10-18Wheelbase 1375 mmSteering head angle 64.2 degreesCaster 95 mmSpring travel front / rear 225/230 mmWeight fully fueled 119 kgPload 188 kgSeat height 860 mmPrice 6545 MarkDelivery performance and measured valuesAcceleration 0-50 km / h 4.8 sec0-80 km / h 12.4 secDirection60-80 km / h 8.7 seconds, top speed 81 km / h, consumption in the test, country road 2.9 l / 100 km, motorway 3.4 l / 100 km

Technical data Kawasaki KMX 125

Engine dataSingle-cylinder two-stroke engine, diaphragm inlet in the crankcase, exhaust control via electronically operated slide, separate lubrication, round slide carburetor, 26 mm diameter, no exhaust gas cleaningBore x stroke 54.0 x 54.4 mm, displacement 125 cm³, output 4.8 kW (6.5 HP) at 6600 / min Max. Torque not specified Chassis data Single-loop frame made of tubular steel, telescopic fork, stanchion diameter 35 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel profiles, central spring strut attached via lever system, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, single-piston caliper, O 230 mm, rear disc brake, single-piston caliper, O 210 mm. Spoked wheels 1.60 x 21; 1.85 x 18 tires 2.75-21; 4.10-18Wheelbase 1375 mmSteering head angle 62 degreesCaster 111 mmSpring travel front / rear 230/230 mmWeight fully fueled 115 kgFuel load 185 kgSeat height 865 mmPrice 6040 MarkDelivery performance and measured valuesAcceleration 0-50 km / h 6.7 sec0-80 km / h 27.4 secDirection60-80 km / h 18.3 seconds Top speed 82 km / h Consumption in the test country road 4.8 l / 100 km Motorway 5.2 l / 100 km

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