Test ride: Twist-and-go turn-on – Suzuki Avenis 125

I’ve been riding motorbikes for nearly 50 years but had never ridden a twist-and-go scooter, says motoring writer Andy Russell.

I’d never felt the need to, nor did I think I had missed out… until I ventured out on the new Suzuki Avenis 125.

I’d dismissed twist-and-go 125 scooters as learner rider fodder or Mediterranean holiday runabout. Why, when I have a full licence and can ride motorbikes with gears, would I want a scooter?

I was quite nervous about riding the funky, youthful Avenis, which fits into Suzuki’s new 125 scooter range between the Address 125 and upmarket Burgman Street 125EX.

Within minutes, I was right at home, zipping around town on this scooter commuter.

It’s a doddle to ride.

Weighing just 107kg, it is well-balanced and feels both stable and nimble so inspires confidence in traffic which is its natural element.

The four-stroke 124cc single produces peak power of only 8.7PS at 6,750rpm, and 10Nm of torque at 5,500rpm, but it punches above its weight. It’s nippy off the lights, soon reaching 30mph, and happily going on to 40mph, so easily keeps up with traffic.

With no hesitation from the CVT transmission, it responds crisply to the throttle and should be good for 60mph in the right conditions. But speed is not what the Avenis is really about.

It has been designed as a frugal fuel-sipper and, with just 12 miles on the clock, I was getting 136mpg on the trip computer in town. That’s not far short of the official 148.6mpg so the 5.2-litre tank gives a useful range.

Commuter bikes are more about being agile and comfortable, able to squeeze through gaps in the traffic, and soak up roadwork-scarred urban roads.

The Avenis is pretty effective. It handles well, easily changing direction, and copes admirably with poor roads most of the time with its oil-damped coil spring telescopic front dampers and rear shock.

But, with a 12in front wheel and 10in rear rim, the ride can be a mite fidgety on really bumpy surfaces. At the speeds the Avensis is doing, it’s not an issue.

The left-hand brake lever works both front disc and back drum brakes combined, the right-hand one just the front disc. The brakes stop the Avenis safely without overpowering this lightweight bike. A second lever on the left-hand side applies a parking brake for use on uneven ground or a slope. You have the choice of centre and sidestand too.

There is a useful 21.5 litres of storage under the seat, but it’s not deep enough for a full-face crash helmet. Two small compartments, one lidded with a USB charging port, are in the leg shields.

The instrument panel gives all the information you need at a glance with digital speedo, fuel and temperature displays, mileage, fuel consumption and a clock.

I liked the Avenis a lot and, at just £2,799 – £200 more than the Address and £300 less than the Burgman Street 125 – or PCP from £46.82 a month, it’s a cheap and cheerful commuter bike.

Check out the Suzuki Avenis 125 at orwell.co.uk/suzuki/new-suzuki-motorcycle-range/scooters/avenis-125

Find out more about the Suzuki scooter range at orwell.co.uk/suzuki/new-suzuki-motorcycle-range/scooters