Kawasaki AR125-B7 Review from United Kingdom

1992 Kawasaki AR125-B7

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1993
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2000
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.1 / 10
Distance when acquired7200 miles
Most recent distance22000 miles
Previous motorcycleKawasaki KH125

Summary:

Watch out for tuned ones

Faults:

When I bought the motorcycle from a cowboy dealer due to naivety of youth, the bike, despite its fairly young age at the time, was in a poor state of repair.

This dealer did not even check the bike over. I could have been killed, so beware they are out there!

During the first few days of riding the machine, I noticed the engine was running very hot as illustrated by the temperature gauge. Later investigation found the radiator was covered in grime.

This was due to a careless owner beforehand when topping up the oil tank.

I also found oil everywhere to my disbelief. I decided, on a spare day, to remove the tank, engine, radiator etc. in order to thoroughly clean the machine.

Oil pump cover screws were sheared off, thus cracking the water pump and clutch cover. This was present beforehand. The entire right hand covers were renewed from a breaker. Cost £35.

Expansion tank cap had been omitted.

Cost £1 from breakers.

Exhaust cracked at 10000 miles. Remedy was to braze it. This worked and was far better than paying £262 for a genuine system.

Exhaust finally gave up after 14000 miles. Only remedy was to renew it. I opted for a Micron at £160.

Engine seized at 15000 miles. New piston, rings and rebore necessary. Cost £60 and no labour.

Caliper seal leaked at 18000 miles. Remedy was to overhaul the caliper and replace the one fluid seal (single piston caliper). Cost a few quid.

At 19000 miles, frequent engine stalling was experienced.

A few weeks later, clouds of smoke and constant drop in gear box oil was experienced. This was due to worn main bearings and worn crankshaft oil seals. Also a broken piston ring due to redlining at 13000 RPM. Engine rebuild was necessary. Cost £150 and no labour.

"Unitrak" link seized at 20000 miles. Some good grease and an hour to repair. No cost of labour.

Three new batteries in a space of a month due to constant discharging. Decided to use different dealer with fourth battery. Problem solved.

At 22000 miles, the front tyre needed to be replaced due to perishing, not tread wear. This was not the original tyre that the bike was built with. Therefore I suspect the machine had been

"clocked".

General Comments:

In restricted form, the engine pulls well low down. Fitting an aftermarket exhaust such as a Micron, gives a pronounced power band between 7000 RPM and 10000 RPM (rejet the carb as necessary to eliminate any flat spots). This makes the bike a whole lot faster and louder.

Rear panel (document holder) often gets omitted due to poor plastic quality.

Side panel pegs often brake off.

The AR125 was introduced in this country in 1982 and ceased production in 1994. I have not seen one for years, and can only assume that the numbers are dwindling.

The AR125 had a major update in 1984 with regards to the electrical system.

The AR125 was available in many countries with different power outputs.

It was available in SA with 21BHP.

It was also available in Switzerland with about 17BHP. I would be interested to know how quick these other versions were.

Pre 1984 models had the headlights running off the generator. Later models ran the headlights off the battery.

Another major update in 1985 with regards to the styling.

The AR125 does look too small for my liking compared to the NSR etc.

The AR125 is relatively cheap to run and insure.

My AR125 would happily cruise at 70mph.

Fuel economy around town was 60mpg.

If kept standard, the AR125 is reliable and should be very little hassle. Tuning above 25BHP, expect trouble.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th June, 2005

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 1 review