2001 Gilera Cougar 125
A little difficult to master, but when you do you'll ride anything with ease!
Had to change the exhaust, but this was due to previous owner leaving it outside to rot and welding half of another exhaust on to a cut pipe, rather than removing the whole thing and fitting a new one!
Chain had to be tightened and lubed.
Most of the annoyances are purely cosmetic, and due to the previous owner not giving the time to stay on top of the servicing and polishing.
I've been around bikes since I was a youngster, but as a pillion; this is my first bike ever and I'm quite pleased I chose it.
The fact that it's a challenging little bike makes for a much more careful learner as opposed to being over confident, which I found the little Yamaha RS125 gave me.
It handles well if a little 'spongy' due to the handlebar bushes and has quite a wide turning circle compared to other bikes I tried (almost a soiled pants moment as I found this out at a mini roundabout!)
Slow riding is quite a challenge at first, but once you tuck your knees into the tank, it obviously puts you in a better position to balance, so deals with any 'wobble'.
The engine is bullet proof, I've never ever known a bike engine so reliable in all weathers, although the flip side is that the chrome and actual body work is not so great.
The brakes are fantastic, and I've been out in all weathers so tested them to the max.
Speedy it isn't, but I managed to ride to Donnington for the motor-cross on it and only snapped the speedo cable on the motorway, so it's not all bad! I had anticipated searching for bike parts as they flew off, but no such events.
I'd say I've only managed 70 top speed so far out of this bike, and that was before I changed the dodgy exhaust for a new one. I'm hoping a complete service and clean out of the carburetor will benefit as I said before, I got a bit of a raw deal from the previous owner about the true 'state' of the bike.
I'm hoping to tidy my little bike up and sell next year so I can move up to a Virago 535 now I've passed my test. Unlike my counterpart, I won't be selling until my bikes in much better condition than when I had it. After all bikers get enough of a raw deal without trying to get one over on each other selling 'dodgy' bikes.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 28th December, 2008