If you need to commute to work then let’s be honest, public transport isn’t always the best option; unreliable and expensive. There’s also the Covid-19 risk to think about. So the solution may well be travelling by scooter or motorcycle. If you’ve never ridden one before then a 125 automatic scooter is a good way to start, with a nice mix of power and lightweight handling. Plus you can carry stuff under the seat.
Honda’s kinda upmarket, grand tourer Forza 125 has undergone a refresh for 2021;
Cosmetic updates applied to the front and side fairings, mirrors, rear side panels and engine cover refresh the Forza 125’s styling, creating a sleeker overall look, and improving aerodynamics. The re-shaped electric screen adjusts with an extra 40mm travel to maximise wind protection. And a USB socket replaces the ACC charger.
The chassis is unchanged, but the four-valve water-cooled SOHC engine receives Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) to maintain rear tyre grip. It also gains EURO5 compliance.
The Forza 125’s Smart Key – as well as controlling the main ignition switch knob and compartment locking – also manages the optional 45L Smart top box. With the Smart Key in the rider’s pocket the box is unlocked, and automatically locks when the rider walks away. It can also be locked from the key. To maintain the internal volume of the box the actuator mechanism is located in the rear body of the machine.
It’s a four stroke, super fuel efficient engine by the way. Typically you will get about 60-70mpg commuting on a mix of urban 30-50mph roads in the real world, which compares nicely to small cars.
Do You Need A Motorcycle Licence?
No, you can ride a 125 scooter on a car licence, indefinitely if you passed your car test before Feb 2001. If you passed your car test after 2001, then you need to take CBT – Compulsory Basic Training to get on a 125. CBT isn’t too difficult and you have to complete some basic moves on the machine to prove you can handle it. This is done off-road, typically at a training centre. It will cost you some cash, and so will decent riding kit. Budget about £700 for a good helmet, wet weather clothing, boots and gloves. You can skimp by buying a Millets anorak and a secondhand KBC lid on eBay, but really, is your safety worth so little?
You’ll save money commuting by scooter compared to a 5K season ticket, but the downside is you get cold and wet in winter. If you can handle that occasional discomfort, then you’ll soon appreciate the pure freedom of not waiting for busues, trams or trains. Not sitting next to smelly people who refuse to wash in the mornings. Enjoying freedom basically and being in charge of your own destiny. Try it. It’s kinda refreshing.
Insurance? Shop Around With Specialists
There are two big names in bike/scooter insurance, Carole Nash and Bennetts. Other brokers/insurers with a long history in this field include; Lexham, Devitts, Adrian Flux, Hastings, The Bike Insurer, MCE and Principal Insurance. New companies like Zego also offer PAYG cover, if you plan to use a bike or scooter for delivery work then they are worth checking out.