Honda CB125F – Power Commuter
With all the hype on Honda’s new RC213V-S and Africa Twin, many of us probably missed the news that Honda released a new CB125F model. Given the region’s demand for smallercapacity versions of flagship models, the Honda CB125F is well-poised to do equally well in our region. The CB125F takes many styling cues from its bigger brothers, the CB400F and CB1000R. As with CB125E and CBF150, the CB125F is again a timely refresh for Honda’s stylishly-designed commuter motorcycle range.
The electric-start air-cooled SOHC two-valve 124.7cc engine with fuel injection and a balance shaft puts out a claimed 10.5 horsepower, along with 7.5nm of torque. These figures are enough to make riding the CBF125 a joy for a relatively new rider.
As expected, power is limited below the 6000rpm mark (redline is at 9000) as with all smaller capacity bikes, so you might find yourself staying in the higher RPM ranges in many instances on the CB125F. This is where Honda’s latest motorcycle shines as the CB125F’s engine doesn’t go into vibration overdrive at the high RPMs – a testament of Honda’s renowned engine and frame design capabilities. In fact, the CB125F comfortably and silently cruises along even when you are pushing the engine to its redline limit for fast ascends on steep carpark climbs, thanks to the balancer shaft in the engine.
Honda claims that the fuel efficiency is 50km/l, which means that a full 13-litre tank could easily cover over 500km of travel. As a commuter motorcycle, fuel efficiently ranks right up there as a critical must-have and the CB125F nails it further with easy-to-read (and highly maintenance-free and fuss-free) analog fuel gauges, speedometer and rev counter.
Riding the CB125F
Upon climbing onboard the CB125F, you’ll find that the riding position is extremely upright and natural thanks to the great placement of the foot pegs and handlebars. The 18-inch wheels give plenty of stability and feedback when riding the motorcycle. To put it in layman terms, the Honda CB125F is super easy to ride. The clutch is feather light and experienced riders could probably use one finger to engage it. The handlebar has plenty of steering lock clearance so you can easily tackle U-turns or tight spots without getting into any trouble.
The bike is very nimble and the weight disappears once you move to second gear so setting up an optimum steering angle is essential. The seat feels firm which is rightly so, as you need to get a good leg and hip grip on such a quick steering and versatile bike.
Suspension is well-tuned for road conditions and matched with rubber foot pegs is sure to take the buzz off your arms and back when the roads and traffic become more challenging. The conventional front fork and rear twin shocks are soft enough for comfort without adversely affecting handling. For heavier riders, they will be pleased to know that the rear shocks are actually adjustable, which was a pleasant surprise on a bike with such a tight (affordable) budget.
The 240mm single front brake disc and twin-pot caliper set are more than a match for the power of the Honda CB125F. The rear brake is a drum brake, which does its job adequately at speed stops and will probably handle with ease whatever else you choose to throw at the CB125F.
If you realise, much of the bike’s layout has been designed for new riders. There’s no engine kill switch so new riders wont have to figure out why their bike won’t start when its turned off (newbie or oldie we’ve all been there before).
Honda has even built the signal indicators to be extremely large and visible so that new riders won’t forget to cancel them.
Should you get one?
We can’t really find a fault with it at the stated price point. Reliability? Honda engines have tons of that. Performance? Have you ever seen a broken-down Honda?
The Honda CB125F will definitely appeal to two groups of people. Those who are looking for an affordable commuter motorcycle and those who are buying their first motorcycle. For a motorcycle that is so incredibly easy to ride, along with Honda’s record for reliability, the Honda CB125F offers brilliant value for money.