Direct Bikes is a wholesaler of the inexpensive import machines you see badged under different names at dealers.
Rather than creating retail stores, showrooms, and catalogues, they feature all their bikes online, which are built to order.
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About Direct Bikes
This business model means fewer overheads for the company and cheaper bikes for the public. This is a good deal.
Just don’t expect these machines to have as long a life as a premium bike from one of the big three manufacturers. These cheap bikes are built to run reliably, if not spectacularly.
Comparing these to the latest small displacement offerings from KTM or Suzuki is a fool’s game. These bikes use old, cheap tech. That’s not to say they’re bad. They’re just not squeezing every last bit of power possible from their tiny engines.
Thankfully, a full range of parts can be ordered directly from the company. But there are no guarantees on how long a company like this will exist. When you buy a BMW, you do so with confidence that the company will still be around in a decade.
Direct Bikes one year’s unlimited mileage warranty on parts suggests they are confident in their product. Serious, catastrophic issues with the build quality would likely rear their head before this period is up.
Another thing about these bikes is their simple design means most people can learn how to service them. With parts available online, a forum for Chinese bike owners, and many hours of YouTube tutorials, these bikes are an excellent way to get your hands dirty.
Direct Bikes Range
The sharp lines and angles here look like a 2010’s Yamaha design. And that’s not really a complaint. Most of the design and construction of this machine borrows from older generations of scooters from Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki.
And the result is a reliable, if uninspiring, 50cc urban commuter. It uses a smooth, fuel-injected, 4-stroke engine that’s fully Euro-5-compliant. 10” wheels mean manoeuvrability in traffic and a disc brake system means controlled stopping power.
There’s a decent amount of under-seat storage too. With LED lights, a USB charging port, and a free top box, this is undoubtedly a lot of scooter for the asking price. It also comes with a one-year unlimited mileage warranty.
With a larger, wraparound-style fairing, the ninja still manages to look sleek. And it offers good weather resistance thanks to the more generous use of plastic around the sides. It uses the same reliable fuel-injected 4-stroke engine as the rest of the 50cc range.
With larger 12” wheels, this handles a little less twitchily than the 10” variants. Telescopic forks in the front and twin rear shocks are tuned for smooth road riding. LED lights, a USB charging port, and front and rear disc brakes are some modern touches to a scooter, otherwise based on slightly older tech.
The Tommy is designed to appeal to those who want a bit more retro styling in their scooter. And it nails this element of its design. Very much Piaggio-inspired, the Tommy opts for a tasteful mix of rounded lines, chrome, and solid colours.
This looks to be based on the Honda Joker/Shadow 90cc from the 90s. And if this is the case (and we suspect it is), it’s no bad thing. Some of those old Hondas are still on the road today.
The Tommy uses the same reliable, fuel-injected 4-stroke engine. Thanks to its relatively low weight, it doesn’t feel underpowered for its class. LED lights, a USB charger, under-seat storage, a top box, and a windscreen are all included.
The Viper opts for a cool, industrial look. It uses a chrome-coloured panel to break up the line of the step-through. This makes it look less like a scooter and more like a motorcycle. The rest of the fairing is equally angular and sci-fi-inspired. We like the large front wheel clearance and black, red and chrome mix.
The same Euro 5-compliant engine, disc brakes, and telescopic forks as the rest of the range are present here. 12-inch wheels offer smooth handling, and the brakes provide smooth, linked stopping power.
Like the rest of the range, LED lights, a charging port, and a top box are standard. The under-seat storage is already generous here, and with the box, you could fit a medium grocery shop.
Another 125cc scooter inspired by the Italian classics, the Milan opts for a sleek, retro-inspired shape. This kind of Vespa clone is almost ubiquitous in every company’s range. But this is a well-executed example. The matte black colour, slim seat, black alloy wheels, and round mirrors contribute to a stylish look.
The Euro-5 engine is the same workhorse as the rest of the range. Likewise, it features front and rear disc brakes, LED lights, and a USB charging port. Underseat storage is good for how slim the scooter looks, and a top box is included.
The Python has a premium look about its front end and headlight array. The twin bulbs and integrated indicators aren’t new to the market, but they’re also not something typically seen on cheaper scooters.
And the rest of this machine gives off the same impression. Classy, upswept fairings, a pointy rear end, and the black colour help give this a distinctive rocketship design flair. And it’s a reliable workhorse underneath, using the same Euro 5-compliant, fuel-injected engine that will get you 100 miles per gallon.
Disc brakes, a digital speedo, and LED lights are some nice modern touches. A top box is included too. This is a good deal for someone’s introduction to the two-wheeled world.
Modern, angular, and chunky are some adjectives to describe this machine. Its A-head stem and exposed handlebars are reminiscent of Yamaha’s BWS series, and the large wheel clearances give it a distinctive look.
Inside, it’s the same fuel-injected, 4-stroke engine as the rest of the 125 range. Expect smooth, reliable performance. The advertising copy tells us this thing tops out at 60mph. This should make it a competent urban commuter that can keep up with most city traffic.
It uses the larger, 12” wheel variant and large, wavy brake discs. These vent heat more efficiently than traditional discs. The usual top box, LED lights, and USB charging port are all included.
This is the same retro-inspired Tommy as the one listed above but in a 125cc variant. It’s a chunkier, more bubbly take on a Piaggo Vespa from the late 1960s. Style-wise, this bike works. The solid black colour with chrome highlights is striking without being over the top.
The digital displays are cleverly hidden in what looks like analogue chrome clocks. The headlight and indicators are designed similarly, using classic styling with modern components. The braking system is better than anything found on the scooters that inspired the Tommy. It uses linked front and rear discs for controlled braking.
The under-seat storage might be the best in the Direct Bikes range. Add the included top box to that calculation, and you’ve got a lot of space. 10” wheels and telescopic suspension should provide a smooth and agile ride on city streets.
The Cruiser model has a lot in common with the Python model. It opts for a mix of rounded shapes and angular cut-offs to create a futuristic impression. Inside, it’s not especially futuristic. Again, this is not really a complaint here.
Like the rest of the Direct Bikes line, the Cruiser uses a tried-and-tested 4-stroke engine. It’s fuel-injected, fuel-efficient, and perfectly serviceable. But it won’t win any innovation awards. Or drag races,
One thing that sets this apart from the rest of the range slightly is its 13” wheels. Combined with its dual disc brakes and telescopic suspension, these larger wheels should create a smooth, controlled ride – even at higher speeds.
This 125cc version of the Viper keeps the same futuristic, aggressive outline as the smaller-capacity version. The colourway remains the same, mainly using black and chrome. The industrial theme is helped by the large wheel clearances and bright red brake calliper pots.
The upswept, pointy tail sits high above the rear wheel, leaving the shocks visible. This is far from a naked scooter. But with some of the metallic panelling and exposed parts, it has elements of those designs incorporated.
Included are bright LED lights, a top box, and a USB charger port. Its 12” wheels are a sweet spot for agility in traffic and a sense of control at the upper end of its speed limit.
The Ninja 125 has a generous fairing around the front end. This drives wind and rain away from the rider and offers some basic weather protection. The larger front end also incorporates a cool-looking headlight cowl. The lights look like a robot cat’s eyes.
The is a lightweight commuter. Despite its racy aesthetic, the fuel-injected, 4-stroke engine will provide smooth and reliable performance. But it tops out at 60mph. Using the 12” wheel variant makes the handling less twitchy than on the smaller wheel variants.
Like the rest of the range, Direct Bikes include a top box and a one-year unlimited mileage warranty.
The high front mudguard looks great on the Cheetah. The angular section of the fairing sticking out at 45 degrees where the rider’s knee sits is also cool. It gives the scooter a harsh, spiky look offset by the spoked alloy wheels.
The Cheetah is a slick-looking unit that houses the old, reliable fuel-injected 4-stroke used across the Direct Bike range. Linked disc brakes mean controllable stopping power in emergencies, and 13” wheels offer a sense of stability on the open road.
LED lights, electric and backup kickstart, A USB port, and a reputed 100 miles per gallon make this a good value proposition in the scooter market.
The Lynx is very much a maxi-style scooter in the body of a 125. By this, we mean that the bodywork is large and all-encompassing, the step-through footwell is removed, the wheelbase is long, and a windscreen protects the rider.
These features notwithstanding, the Lynx is a fairly standard 125cc commuter. It uses the fule-injected 4-stroke engine, dual discs, and telescopic suspension as the rest of the Direct Bikes range.
Under the seat is surprisingly spacious, and with the free top box, you’ve got a lot of storage space. LED lights, a USB port, and a digital speedometer round out the package.
Where the Lynx model is somewhat maxi-inspired, the Venom is directly influenced by maxi designs. Its long wheelbase, large, protective front end, and split-level seat make it look like a touring machine,
Not that you’ll be doing a lot of touring on a 125. But for riding in the city (even with a passenger), this should be a comfortable experience. The same engine is present as with the rest of the range. It’s safe to say that this is a battle-tested unit.
13” alloy wheels, telescopic forks, and disc brakes mean good handling and control in every situation. The Euro-5 demands made it so that even cheaper scooters like these have quality stopping power. This is a smart-looking maxi-style bike at a very affordable price.
If you feel like you’ve seen the Eagle before, it’s because you probably have. Initially designed by Suzuki for their GN 125 series, the engine, chassis, frame, and geometry here have all been copied extensively.
But that’s no bad thing. There are more of this style of motorcycle on earth than perhaps any other at the moment. The result of this is that parts are cheap, customisation is easy, and lots of people know how to fix them.
There’s nothing fancy going on here. Just a standard 4-stroke, 125cc engine, a lightweight frame, two brakes and a set of wheels. Also, look at that ridiculously low price tag.
The Daytona looks like a clone of Yamaha’s popular YBR 125cc learner machine. There are certainly worse bikes to copy. The headlight cowl and windscreen look sharp. The tank has a nice sweep to it, and the generally minimal design suits this style of small-displacement bike.
Its 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine will get you up to about 68mph – an improvement over the rest of the range. Wavy, heat-dissipating brake discs mean controlled braking in stressful situations and quicker cooldown times.
Full-size motorcycle wheels mean this machine feels in control on the open road.
Sports RS 125cc
The RS opts for a sportier look using the same DNA as the Daytona model. It achieves the same 68mph top speed as the Daytona too. Included here is a slick-looking fairing that should protect its rider from headwinds.
The RS’ split halogen headlamp is an original and winning design. We also like the black gators over the telescopic forks. These are slimmer than you might expect for a sports bike and the inclusion of gators helps to disguise that fact.
There’s a resemblance to Honda’s CBF model in the fairing and overall outline. That’s a classic design, so no problem there. The included top box is a nice touch too.
The Storm is a classy-looking cafe racer-style machine. It opts for small components and a practical look. So much so that you could make this look like a custom classic with a few modifications.
The rubber kneepads are already present on the tank. The seat is nice and flat, with a small bump at the end, and tracker-style bars are wide and flat. This is easily our favourite design in the range.
The reliable 4-stroke engine with a maximum speed of 68mph doesn’t dampen that enthusiasm too much. This cool-looking machine will allow you to commute in style while getting close to 100 miles per gallon.
Enduro S 125cc
There are more premium touches on the Enduro model compared. The gold, upside-down forks, adjustable rear shocks, LED indicators, and wide, gold-anodized handlebars aren’t seen on any of the other models.
The plastic fairing is also more involved, intricate, and of the moment than some of the other bikes. But disappointingly, this doesn’t reflect any performance boost in the engine, from what we can tell. The maximum speed is still 68mph.
Sure, the extra wheel clearance, better suspension, and wide bars will give you better control in the muck or on the trail. But are those differences worth the price hike over the rest of the range? Without getting our hands on one directly, we can’t say. But the Enduro is a cool-looking model. And it would make a stylish and unique commuter.