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No, I know, not my normal form of transport, a 125, but if it’s got two wheels (or occasionally three), then I’m willing to throw my leg over anything… well, apart from a wheelbarrow, but they normally have only one wheel I s’pose.

Anyway, may I present to you the UM Renegade Vegas. Looks classy, doesn’t it, and it rides like a, er, 125 should. That is, not very fast, but then, as I say, it’s a 125, but albeit plenty fast enough for Britain’s A and B roads. You need to progress through the five gears fairly rapidly to reach any sort of comfortable level of speed without the box screaming at you to change, but that’s kinda normal, again, for a 125.

UM Renegade Vegas

This one, however, is different to other 125s I have ridden over the years, in that it has a striking cruiser-style look to it. It’s streamlined, and refined, with all the right bits in all the right places. Yes, if looks could sell it alone, it’s a winner.

I’ve tried to research UM, and I apologise if I’ve had my head in the sand for a while, but the brand is new to me. It was only because my friend Ross Mowbray over at MoreBikes had one on test recently that I thought I would look into it further. As it transpired, UM’s HQ was only a 40-minute drive from my front door, and the friendly people there kindly arranged for a Renegade to be delivered to me so I could hop aboard and see what it was all about.

UM Renegade Vegas

Interestingly, most of the press coverage on the UM range has been done through social media… all them influencers, y’know. I believe MCN has had one on test, but nothing has been published as yet, and Ross’ feature is due for publication as we speak, but that’s about it, which is a shame, because the Renegade, and UM in general, deserve more recognition.

Now, I’m going to reproduce/pinch some of their introductory website blurb, not that I am too lazy to make a paragraph up myself, but because it will give you a good insight into the brand: At UM Motorcycles we design and develop unique vehicles with the single purpose of offering our customers the biggest sense of freedom that only a motorcycle can offer. We are recognised for the production of high-quality, feature-rich, small and medium displacement motorcycles from 125cc to 300cc. From the iconic range of Renegade American-DNA cruisers, to our dual-purpose DSR range of models, the XTREET RS urban-warrior naked series and a wide range of scooters, for everyday rides. Through our models we want to ignite the spark within people so that every day, no matter the road they take, they can experience the feeling to conquer the world on our bikes.

UM Renegade Vegas

Well, I don’t think I’ll be conquering the world on a Renegade any time soon, but you get the drift. From cruiser to scrambler, dual-purpose, street and scooter, UM have the small-capacity market pretty much covered. The Renegade stable includes the Sport 125, Vegas 125/300, Freedom 125/300, Classic 125/300 and Classic Deluxe 125/300. Bikes due in 2024 include the Renegade ST 125/300. If your penchant is for Scramblers, check out the X Café 125 and X Naked 125, Renegade Command 125/300, and Renegade Classic 125/300.

I have to say I like the look of the Dual-Purpose range, too, with the DSR EX 125, DSR SM and DSR TT Adventure 125. For 2024 we can expect the DSR EX 300, DSR SM 300, DSR Rally 300 and the DSR Road 300. Street, you got the, er, Street RS 125. Scooter, there is the Chill 50/125, Chill Classic 125, Chill Sport 125, Xpeed 125 RX, and the Flash 125 LZ, with an image on the website of a rather dashing young lady in a helmet, slit skirt and high wheels, seated on a Chill, so not entirely appropriate as riding gear but what the hell, she looks great on the scooter, so that’ll do for me.

UM Renegade Vegas

The brand was founded in Miami in 1999 and soon entered the motorcycle market in the early 2000s by forging agreements with the largest motorcycle manufacturers in China, South Korea and Taiwan to introduce its products into the global markets. Today, the company has a distribution network in over 40 countries, with more than 2,000 UM dealers that sell and service their motorcycles. In 2017, UM expanded their presence by entering the European market, and today UM is led by its U.S.-based executive team and board of directors, with the UM products designed and engineered in the U.S.A. as well as in Turin, Italy, where the company has a global design centre and runs its sales and marketing operations for Europe, and cooperates with several factories based in Asia where the products are assembled.

Back to the Renegade Vegas, and that classic cruiser styling. It’s an attention seeker, no doubt. Powered by a single-cylinder liquid-cooled 4-stroke engine, with a 5-speed gearbox and chain drive system, it weighs in at a mere 172kg, and with a low seat height of 770mm, most riders should be able to flat foot easily. Light and agile, it flicks through corners with ease, and once moving at a brisk pace the suspension is compliant despite some bloody awful road conditions we have a suffer on a daily basis.

UM Renegade Vegas

The only issue for me was the set up of the left foot-peg/gear change.  I was finding myself having to raise my foot off the peg in order to engage the top of the boot with the gear change. Similarly, it became instinctive to raise the heel off the peg to downshift. Whether this was a quirk of this particular bike and the way it had been set up I don’t know, as I didn’t have time to investigate, but it caught me unawares the first time I rode it. And, of course, a budget bike doesn’t come with a bunch of gizmos, but then I like the fact that I don’t have to get tangled up in all that modern wizardry. I own a Ducati XDiavel S and still haven’t worked out all the multitude of controls available to me. Might be a garage day on a wet Sunday, perhaps, to check into that.

So, in conclusion, this is a great bike for youngsters with their CBTs and looking for something more off-the-wall as opposed to off-the-peg. But then it’s not just youngsters that this is aimed at. If you are downsizing, and looking for a classy-looking, small-capacity cruiser, give one a go. Be bold and park one alongside a Harley Road Glide or an Indian Chief Dark Horse. They’ll no doubt smirk and leave you for dust, but al least you’ll look the part.

UM Renegade Vegas

SPECIFICATION

UM RENEGADE REBEL 125CC

Price: £3199 + OTR

  • 4-stroke single cylinder liquid-cooled engine
  • 9kW @ 9500cc
  • 57.8 x 52.4mm stroke and bore
  • 5 speed gearbox
  • Chain final drive
  • Hydraulic front telescopic forks
  • Double rear shock absorbers
  • 280mm front brake disc
  • 240mm rear brake disc
  • Combined braking
  • 100/90-18 front tyre
  • 140/90-15 rear tyre
  • 770 mm seat height.
  • 172kg weight.
  • 21L fuel capacity

Contact: www.um-motorcycles.co.uk

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