While it’s not a dirt bike, Kawasaki called us to San Francisco to ride their new model, the 2017 Z125 Pro. We were greeted at Hotel Zephyr by the Kawasaki crew and a fleet of brand new metallic graphite grey and candy lime green Z125 Pro’s for the press launch.

The Z125 Pro enters the entry-level streetbike realm with Honda's popular Grom 125. This four-stroke 125cc appearance is fun yet aggressive. It's relatively cheap for someone looking to get into the street side of motorcycles with an MSRP of $2,999. The bike is not scary, it is welcoming to a new motorcycle rider. Most streetbikes weigh much more than a dirt bike, while this bike weighs 224.8 lbs wet and is about 10 lbs shy of a KX250F to give you a sense of feel, yet the weight is lower center of gravity than an MXer. The bike's seat height is 30.7 inches. The 2.0-gallon tank is on the large side for this compact size of a motorcycle, and claims to have a 135 mile range per tank. While I didn't do any two-up riding, there is room for a passenger on the back of this bike and has a gross vehicle weight rating of 578 pounds. (Wow! That's a lot of weight.)

In Thailand, there is an automatic Z125, but we like shifting and are glad that the Z125 Pro is manual here in the US. The bike is in US dealerships now.

Following the technical presentation and dinner, I caught some shut eye as I knew we would be on the Z125’s from 8am to 8pm and wanted to be rested since we’d be putting many miles on, in the busy city of San Francisco. A street intro is much more of a less controlled environment than dirt intros are, which made me a little nervous for the day. Taking to the busy streets, I felt more comfortable than I’d imagine on the Z125 and was able to maneuver around traffic, up hills and down twisty roads with simplicity. In the morning, we shot photos and video in busy intersections, and zipping up and down Twin Peaks.

Lindsey Lovell's petite statue fits the bike perfectly.
Lindsey Lovell's petite statue fits the bike perfectly.Photo by Kevin Wing
Searching for dirt in the city aboard the new Kawasaki.
Searching for dirt in the city aboard the new Kawasaki.Photo by Kevin Wing

We stopped at the Blue Mermaid for lunch where we had a variety of clam chowders to pick from. From lunch we took a water taxi to Treasure Island, built in the 1930’s as a site for the world’s fair, then turning into home of San Francisco’s first airport hosting Pan Am Clipper flights and later became home to a US Naval Station which was decommissioned in 1997. It’s hard to imagine this land being the bustling world fair that welcomed over 17 million people; as it is now mostly abandoned with buildings that make the scene feel like Chernobyl.

On Treasure Island, we were reunited with our Z125 Pro’s and set free to roam the ruins and remains of the 500-acre man-made island. Exploring with a few other journalists, we found some large abandoned estates that used to house the Naval Admiral and other high-up Navy officers.

As the sun set behind the San Francisco skyline, Kawasaki had setup a fun, timed closed course competition which Motorcyclist Magazine's Ari Henning took the top of the podium. Following the Z125 challenge, we parked the bikes for the night and had dinner at the VIE Winery before returning to the city lights of San Francisco to conclude our trip.

Successfully "lane splitting" on the Z125 Pro Challenge course.
Successfully "lane splitting" on the Z125 Pro Challenge course.Photo by Kevin Wing

Small and nimble, the Z125 was perfect to adventure the small island and sightsee in the city. This motorcycle is made for around town fun and possibly a little dirt adventure; Two Brothers is already making aftermarket parts for the Z. While we’ll never leave the dirt, this tiny bike is a fun addition to your garage of two-wheeled machines.

Two Brother's aftermarket Z125 Pro build.
Two Brother's aftermarket Z125 Pro build.Photo by Kevin Wing