Over the years we have all familiarised ourselves with the motorcycle manufacturer called Zontes. Zontes has been in the South African market now for several years and have built a good reputation for their unique design and reliability—they are also extremely good value-for-money propositions. Why are we bringing up Zontes? Well, this motorcycle manufacturer has a sister company, a company that caters to entry-level riders and the commercial space, we are talking about Kiden.
Just like Zontes, Kiden has been cutting its teeth in South Africa for the past 7 years now, starting with the popular KD125-K and now the KD125-J. Where the ‘K’ model takes care of all things commercial, the ‘J’ rides the fine line of doing both commercial and entry-level dual-purpose commuting. Just like Honda’s XR125, BigBoy’s TSR125 and Yamaha’s YBR125 G, the Kiden KD125-J offers riders an attractive scrambler look, with competitive specs and a compelling price to match.
Whatever you want to classify these dual/commercial bikes as, one thing is for sure, they get handed a beating on a daily basis. Imagine hammering your bike around the streets as if it was Red Star Raceway from Monday to Sunday and like most, you also don’t service your motorcycle. I can promise you now, your Italian exotica that costs close to a mil and even your king of reliability from Japan will not be too happy at the end of the racing season without a service. But for some reason, even out of warranty and going on 200,000 km, these little beasts just keep going like old-school Land Cruisers.
Knowing that you’ve got a reliable means of transport is everything, whether it’s to keep km off your big bike during the week, getting your kid from college and back or relying on a few dozen in your commercial fleet. When it comes to the J model, Pretoria, Bloem and the Cape are littered with them, with many several years later still puttering around with a healthy 100,000 km under their belt.
These days it’s almost impossible to find a good-looking 125 cc commuter and when you’re a youngster, looking cool and not embarrassing is very important. I’m sure we all went through the stage where we wouldn’t wear a bicycle helmet because they looked so silly. The J tries its best to look like a scrambler with its enduro headlight, high mudguard and knobbly tyres. Kiden has also made it look a bit sporty with the colourful livery and the faux carbon treatment on the mudguard and tank side fairings.
Just like its Zontes siblings the Kiden adopts the advanced foaming technology which becomes apparent as you see the lack of bolts and screws attached to the fairings. This gives the bike a very clean look and Kiden has gone a step further to integrate the front and rear flickers into the plastics—no more floppy flickers.
Although the KD125-J is a simple bike with its 125 cc single cylinder carburated motor and zero rider aids, the little Kiden has great features; tubeless wheels thanks to light alloy rims, centre stand, preload adjustable rear shocks, front disc brake and a full instruments panel indicating speed, revs, trip, gear indicator and a fuel gauge. Another perk when considering the Kiden is that it has a 14,5 L fuel tank, as opposed to the competition’s 12 litres—you can comfortably travel over 400 km on a tank of fuel at full send.
Comfort-wise the Kiden has low footpegs, a soft one-piece seat and wide bars with a decent amount of rise, making for a comfortable ride on the road. The J is extremely light at just 115 kg so the 125 cc motor never feels stressed and likes to cruise at around 80 km/h with a kamikaze top end leaning just over 110 km/h. On paper, the J should return you 2.2 l/100 km, but the reality is that these tests were done between speeds of 60 and 80 km/h with very few stop-and-goes. I would say in typical flat-out riding with our load-shedding traffic, you should get close to 3 l/100 km.
At the end of the day, Kiden gives the “lighties” an affordable and not-so-delivery bike-looking means of transport. Right now, Kiden has close to a dozen dealers nationally and has just received new stock for 2024. Selling at R21 900 we think the Kiden KD125-J is a good option worth swinging a leg over—that’s just R700 on finance per month! A top box can also be thrown in for an additional R3000.
For more information on the bike featured in this article, click on the link below…
For more information visit: www.kiden.co.za