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Zontes ZT125-U Review: The Best of Chinese Motorcycles

Updated: Jan 10, 2023



Introduction


This is the new Zontes ZT125 U. As the title states this is the best of the Chinese bikes for 2021 so far. It comes in 3 different variants: ZT125-U1, ZT125-U and ZT125-G1; and also boasts the most powerful engine legally allowed for the 125cc UK market at 14.48hp and 13N.m. of torque. When compared to the average Chinese 125cc motorbike at about 11hp, you will notice a difference in performance. The nearest spec bike on par with the £3200 price tag would be the KTM 125 DUKE (2021) - made in India - with a price take of £4499 + OTR. For some of the better-known brands, you pay a premium for the name.


Quality and ride


The first time I saw one in person, I was definitely surprised by the quality as you could just tell that there was a lot of time and effort making sure this bike looks and felt well built. All the plastics fit securely with no gaps and they were solid and of a good grade. If you put one in a KTM showroom, I doubt you would be able to tell the difference in the quality.


As for the ride, the extra power from the water-cooled 6-speed engine makes a big difference as it will pull you at 70 to 75 mph when the bike is run in. I have heard that some people are getting 80 mph, but that's most probably downhill. The suspension is about right, not too hard with a little bit of give and it handles corners well. The tires seem to be well suited to the style of bike and have ample grip. I rode this bike in the worst conditions for a rider: in heavy rain on a new bike with unworn tires, and it still handled well with no twitching at all. My Riding Review video of this bike is at the bottom.


The seating position is good as you are fairly upright (I'm not a fan of lying on the tank), the foam-filled seat is fairly hard but I'm sure this will soften slightly in time. You can have a pillion on this bike and it should still go around 60mph, but with all small capacity bikes I wouldn't recommend it.




Equipment


This bike offers a lot for the money. It comes with a keyless ignition, electric seat and tank, two mappings: one for sport and one for economy, LCD dash, LED lights, USD forks, a stainless steel exhaust with the cold touch end, can diamond cut wheels and an ally swing arm - there is nothing in the same league within this bike's price range.


Specs

Engine size125cc

Engine type liquid-cooled, 4v single

Frame type tubular steel spine

Fuel capacity 20 liters

Seat height 795mm

Bike weight 160kg

Front suspension 37mm USD forks, non-adjustable

Rear suspension single shock

Non-adjustable front brake - 300mm disc with twin-piston calliper

ABS Rear brake - 230mm disc with single-piston calliper

Front tyre size 110/70 x 17

Rear tyre size 130/60 x 17



Should you buy one of these?

The short answer is yes, in my opinion. There are lots of factors you have to consider when choosing your bike and for most people, the key factor is price. This is an in-between bike, so you are getting a lot for your money, and it is thousands cheaper than its direct competitors, but for a Chinese bike, it is one of the more expensive.


I have no doubt this bike will serve you well and run for thousands of miles and if it is in your price range, then great! However, if you are looking for a general commuter, there are cheaper options. This bike might also be a bit too heavy and tall for some, so definitely go see one and try it on for size before you buy.


Riding Review





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1 Comment


I've got a zontes ztu supermoto bike which I've had for about 5 months now and to be honest it's the best small bike I've had and I've had a few 125cc bikes in my time, it's never let me down and it holds its own on the road and gets a lot of looks from people and other bikers because they don't know what it is!! Now I've got a Kawasaki ninja zx6r g2 and a Honda fireblade foxeye model and a aprilia RS cafe racer custom bike with a KTM lc4 engine installed which is a proper nutters hooning around bike but I use the zontes ztu supermoto in town because it's so easy to ride and fuel…

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