It’s often said that if you can’t impress them with your performance, dazzle with your style—or something along those lines. Whatever it is, you get what I mean. This is usually the case in Europe’s 125cc beginner-friendly segment, a category which I think is particularly interesting because the question of performance is pretty much eliminated, and manufacturers are forced to come up with creative ways to differentiate their bikes.
The result is a category of motorcycles that really isn’t much faster than some e-bikes available stateside, but is loaded chock-full of techie features that put some bigger, more powerful motorcycles to shame. Styling is a big thing here, as well, because if your bike can’t go faster than 70 miles per hour, might as well make it look like it’s going 150 miles per hour standing still. Take for example the 2023 Piege from Italian motorcycle brand FB Mondial. Now, the Piega has been around for a couple of years now, and it’s certainly an interesting alternative to your Dukes, Z125s, and MT-125s.
Take a look at its side profile, and you’ll easily mistake this thing for a sportier supermoto with at least 300 cubes of displacement. The 2023 version is dressed up in new colorways, too, so the bike retains its sporty styling while giving off a refreshed aesthetic to attract first-time riders this year. On the technology front, FB Mondial bestows the Piega with LED lighting all around, front and rear disc brakes with combined braking—there’s also a premium version with ABS, and a fancy gold-anodized inverted fork.
Granted, these styling elements are all for show, as the forks are non-adjustable, and the rear suspension only has preload adjustability to show for. Nevertheless, you don’t really need any of that performance focused tech, especially given that the Piega’s pint-sized 125cc mill churns out no more than 14 ponies. Nevertheless, first-timers are treated to a full-color TFT display to sweeten the deal. A pretty good one, at that, considering the Piega retails for 4,240 Euros (approx. $4,603 USD).