For those looking for custom cool, take a look at the new machine from WK Bikes – the aptly named, 125 Cruiser.
With styling taken from the big boys and grunty-sounding exhaust note, it’s surprising that WK’s Cruiser only packs a 125cc engine. “We wanted to fill a gap in our range and a number of our dealers had asked about whether we’d be bringing in a small cruiser as it was something there was demand for” said Drew Marshall from WK Bikes.
Powering the pint-sized cruiser is a 360° parallel twin cylinder 125cc engine – and boy does it pack a punch. Often, I could have been fooled into thinking I was on a much larger bike as I comfortably cruised at 60mph and weaved my way around the countryside.
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WK had allowed us to borrow a brand-new bike, with under 40 miles on the clock, but the engine was smooth, gear changes apparent and the engine didn’t feel tight and restricted.
If you hadn’t already been fooled into thinking this was a larger capacity machine by its looks, then the sound is another red herring. Twisting back the throttle, there’s a low meaty grunt expelled – a noise that will encourage you to keep riding that little bit further and working your way around the five-speed gearbox until you have to switch onto reserve.
The Cruiser has a plush and comfortable seat – there’s an instant feeling of luxury as soon as you climb aboard. Sometimes on cruisers, they favour a feet-forward riding position, with your legs out stretched on the pegs – the WK doesn’t. It provides a nice neutral position, with your knees at 90°. Not only is this comfortable, it also gives you a strong feeling of control over the lightweight 160kg machine.
There’s plenty of room for a pillion with a passenger seat and backrest as standard – sometimes on machines like this it’s an optional extra. Braking power was progressive and confidence inspiring thanks to the disc brakes on the front and rear.
Throwing my leg over the 700mm seat, my first surprise was the well-padded it was and how nice it was to be able to place my feet flat on the ground. There’s plenty of movement of the handlebars so the turning circle is tight – handy if you take the wrong turn down a tight country road or have to manoeuvre into a tight parking space.
The dash was uncluttered and basic – in fact the speedo didn’t even have a rev counter on there. I didn’t mind this, as I tend to listen to the engine when deciding to change gear – I find this allows me to concentrate on the ride and feel more in tune with the machine; however, new riders may not be too keen on this and might want a bit more information from the dash.
Gears are selected with a confidence inspiring clonk – work your way around the box to make the most of the 11bhp produced. Large mirrors allow you to get a great view behind and obvious indicators make your intentions clear to other road users and a large front light ensures you’re seen.
It feels a larger machine because of the imposing 16 litre tank in front of you. It makes the whole bike feel secure and substantial and gives you plenty of fuel to play out with.
Should I buy one?
If you’re a new rider and are into the cruiser styling, or you’re an experienced rider who doesn’t have full licence but are looking for a bike that looks the business – then this could be the one for you.
The WK offers a great starting block for those wanted to progress onto larger capacity cruisers, but it also offers a great style choice for those looking for something different to a scooter or a sports-styled machine. Current colour options are now white only.
“The response we’ve had to the Cruiser has been really positive already. We’ve had fantastic feedback from customers and dealers already – even at these early stages. It comes with our two year parts and labour warranty like the rest of our range too.” said Drew
And quite rightly so….it’s a lot of bike for £1800 and it has a high standard of finish. I’d happily jump on the Cruiser for a weekend at the coast or my commute to work – now where’s my leather waistcoat?!
ENGINE: 360° parallel twin cylinder, oil-cooled, four-stroke, 125cc
POWER: 11.4bhp (8.5kW) @ 9500rpm
TORQUE: 6.8lb-ft (9.2Nm) @ 9000rpm
BRAKES: Front: disc / Rear: disc
TYRES: Front: 90/90-18 / Rear: 130/90-15
SUSPENSION: Front: telescopic forks / Rear: pre-load adjustable rear shock
SEAT HEIGHT: 700mm
WET WEIGHT: 160kg
TANK CAPACITY: 16 litres
PRICE: £1449 inc VAT
Images: Joe Dick