Zontes Tiger 125 Reviews

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Zontes Tiger 125
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“It exceeds expectations - a gem”


written by on 05/12/2015

One advantage of growing older is that the things once lusted over in youth but were unobtainable .... become obtainable. Back in the day, a motorcycle was merely a stepping stone for this once 17 year old, dreaming of the day he`d achieve the privelege of owning that first car. After that, the old Honda was forgotten, abandoned to history like the red chopper bicycle before it. New aspirations developed towards shinier, bigger, sportier four wheeled machines and it seemed pointless to take a test for a mode of transport that you had `grown out of`. As income increased and developing maturity and experience made higher insurance groups less of an obstacle, it was possible to enjoy ownership of cars I could only dream of back in the day. So, why, after decades of owning various BMWs and presently a Jaguar, why would I, as a fifties something father of three who enjoys the comforts of life, end up back on a .....bike? A Zontes Tiger 125 to be precise. Finding and patching up an old 50cc scooter, it seemed a good idea to use it for nipping to the shops and other duties that were an insult to the Jag. Despite the obvious health advantages of a bicycle, the local rural main road was a high speed race track and death by juggernaut seemed to contradict such considerations: so it had to have an engine. Twice the little scooter broke down in pouring rain and it almost killed me pushing it miles home : my blood pressure almost expoded as I tried to rebuild its engine. Yet something strange happened because (when it ran) I loved it and it reawakened a spark in me, that, just perhaps, I had not given motorcycling a chance. But the 50 was much too underpowered for the road outside my home even if it was a hoot to ride through the city. It`s one thing to ride a 50 on a car licence but to ride a `proper` motorcycle now was a different thing. In the 70s you could slap L plates on a 250 Kawasaki triple on the morning of your 17th bithday and end up in hospital by lunchtime. Surely I would look ridiculous turning up for the CBT amongst the kids? The CBT was one of the best experiences I`d ever had and I immediately felt at home on the Yamaha YBR125 training bike, frankly amazed at its capabilities and overjoyed as I followed the lines of my instructor as we lapped the grand prix circuit of Dundrod, one of the best road racing circuits in the world. I did not want to shell out £3k on a new machine in case common sense prevailed and the biking bug would pass so a nice second hand YBR or Honda 125 was a logical choice. As I had mangled the scooter engine rebuild, my wife enlisted Said of Mesaha Special Workshop of Finaghy to fix the little 50 before I set fire to it. He did so brilliantly, demonstrating why he is probably one of the best bike engineers in the country. It was he who sourced for me a brand new, unregistered Zontes Tiger 125, assuring me that this machine was a gem, despite not having a Japanese badge. I bought it and discovered that he was more than right. For a start it looked fabulous, resplendid in deep metallic burgundy paint and with old school lines -` soft chopper` I believe is the term in Europe, without looking over the top like the full blown pretend Harley cruisers that look great but are overly heavy for their 125cc engines. Paint work was virtually flawless, deep, rich and glossy and the build quality appeared to be high, as good as and even better than some new Japanese bikes I`d checked out in dealers. Weld points were of high quality and the thing seemed well put together with no loose bolts or controls made of cheese. Yet because Said had prepared and PDI`d the machine, I doubt main dealers could have delivered any bike to such a level as he is a man of very high standards, a Michelangelo of the spanners. If I thought the Yamaha was good the Zontes was even better. It was notably faster, comfortably cruising without vibration or stress at 60mph plus when the Yamaha would be starting to run out of steam. Its gearbox was a delight, engaging more cleanly than the Yamaha`s box, although it should be remembered that was a training bike and was looking like it. I have no idea of the Zontes` top speed and have no interest. It simply goes much faster than I expected and it is so unstressed at speed, despite my 15 plus stones, that I could well imagine it capable of 70mph, particularly with a lighter rider. The engine has a nice spread of torque, permitting the bike to take tight corners without a pressing need to change down, allowing you to get away with selecting the wrong gear. It handles securely and safely in the dry or wet and can be confidently leaned over in corners. Braking is good and the lights are satisfactory even on unlit country roads. Instrumentation is comprehensive with a useful gear indicator but self cancelling indicators would`ve been desirable as it is easy to leave the signal on in bright sunshine. The seat and riding position I find comfortable although some prefer lower level handlebars. Sixty mile round trips are a doddle without undue aches or pains and I am prone to backache after physical work. The machine is light with good turning ability and is just brilliant for filtering in traffic. That is the one thing I just adore about small bikes! Economy is excellent - 100 mpg is easily achievable and I love the large tank which allows a considerable range - I only fill it once a month and for a lot less than my Jaguar! I read claims of 140 mpg + for Japanese fuel injected 125s and perhaps that is true or maybe not. The Zontes has an old tech carburetor and perhaps the better for it as a friend believes the latest injection YBR is a shadow of the earlier carb version he once owned. The bike starts first time everytime and I`ve never used the choke - just as well as it is hidden in the engine and impossible to find in the dark. I find myself grabbing the Zontes keys more than the car keys but this means the car is kept for family transport and motorway work that it loves and excuses it from slow town work that it hates. It also keeps wear and tear down on the car. I have added leather saddlebags, a tool roll bag under the front headlamp and a 32 litre top box which not only makes the bike a practical option for the grocery shop but also gives the bike a rather heavier stance. White rim tape on the black wheels and a little chrome bike clock above the left hand switch gear are a finishing touch to a bike that often attracts compliments. I removed the painted cowling above the headlamp and it now looks so much better, showing off the single chromed lamp. Fortunately this, the mirrors and forks are the only chromed parts and easier to maintain than the excessive chromework on some bikes that tarnishes so badly. I ran the bike in as instructed and treated it to the best grade oil for first post run in service. It today has 2200kms or 1367 miles on the clock in 6 months of ownership. Not a great mileage but enough to get to know this bike. Problems have been zero. I had the rear brake pedal adjusted to my liking and the chain tightened otherwise nothing. Paint, metal, frame, electrics, everything is mint despite riding in all weather and on rural roads muddied by tractors. However, the bike is stabled in a dry barn with my other toys and is cleaned regularly. It will be interesting to see how it survives this winter but I think if the thing is cared for it should be fine. I suspect that the exhaust may not match the quality of the rest of the bike but it is black and easily touched up with high temp paint but I might upgrade it in a year or so. Additionally, I am observing the chain as I was surprised that it needed retightening so soon. I am debating taking the full bike test. I wish I`d taken it when I was 17 and when it was so easy! I have no interest in upgrading to a superbike as I have grown up, a little bit, perhaps. If I need fast motorway travel on the Autobahn the Jag is capable of 150 odd mph although to be honest I`m rather embarrassed by the adolescent obsession with such irrelevancies. I would like a nice project maybe, like a 1970s Honda CB 750 FOUR , an old classic to restore and the full bike test would allow riding such an old warrior to a bike shows on sunny summer Sunday afternoons. But for everyday commuting? I`d still have a 125cc for the sheer fun and its abilities and I`d still have the Zontes. It really does exceed expectations.

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“zontes tiger 125 motorcycle”


written by bikez10 on 10/02/2015

Hi,I bought my zontes tiger 125cc 4 months ago and I've covered 2500 miles (4000km as the milometer reads or is that kilometerometer?)I have quite a long commute everyday 52 mile round trip so thought I'd write a review as there aren't many on this make,anyway I'm getting 95mpg and top speed is around 65 down hill with the wind behind me with a 5mph optimistic speedo.I've fitted lower handlebars with a 2 inch rise opposed to 5 inch standard which make the riding so much better with no bad back! I've also fitted fork gaiters as the finish was chipping off.The only problems I've had are a side stand switch failing which I disconnected and when changing gear from 1st to 2nd I occasionally get neutral otherwise great bike.

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