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Bunleashing the Power of Honda CB125R: A Compact Marvel

BUnleashing the Power of Honda CB125R: A Compact Marvel

The Honda CB125R is a compact marvel that packs a powerful punch in a small package. This blog post explores the features, performance, and design of this dynamic motorcycle. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, the CB125R offers an exhilarating experience on the road. Join us as we delve into the world of this extraordinary bike.

Introduction to Honda CB125R

The Honda CB125R is a sleek and stylish motorcycle that combines performance, agility, and affordability. It is designed for riders who crave power and speed while still maintaining control and comfort. With its sporty design and advanced features, the CB125R stands out as one of Honda’s most popular models in its class.

Powerful Performance

Despite its small engine displacement of 124.7cc, the Honda CB125R delivers impressive performance on the road. The liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine boasts a maximum power output of 13 horsepower, allowing riders to accelerate quickly and tackle challenging terrains with ease.

The six-speed transmission ensures smooth gear transitions, providing optimal control over various riding conditions. Whether you’re cruising through city streets or embarking on long-distance journeys, the CB125R offers efficient fuel consumption without compromising on power delivery.


At the heart of the Honda CB125R is a peppy, 125cc 2v SOHC liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that produces a peak power of 13.1bhp. Although this is up to 1.7bhp lower than its main rivals such as Yamaha’s recently updated MT-125, in reality, it is more than capable of accelerating and maintaining a lead in urban areas.

Satisfied owners have reported that in real-world conditions, the CB125R has ample power to keep up with traffic and stay within legal limits. However, it’s worth noting that the updated 2021 version of the CB125R has a new engine that compensates for this power deficit.

This is mostly due to its linear and predictable power delivery, which allows the CB125R to perform well. The engine’s impressive low-to-mid-range torque pulls comfortably all the way to the redline at 11,000rpm, producing a distinctive warble reminiscent of a low-capacity trail bike. Interestingly, this unique exhaust note is audible at all times thanks to an intentionally upturned muffler designed by Honda to assist novice riders operating a motorcycle for the first time! If you hold on long enough downhill with favorable wind conditions, you can reach a top speed of 70mph on the Honda CB125R.

Agile Handling Of Honda CB125R

One of the standout features of the Honda CB125R is its agile handling. With a lightweight chassis and low center of gravity, this motorcycle excels in maneuverability. Riders will appreciate how easy it is to navigate tight corners and handle quick turns with confidence.

The suspension system consists of an inverted front fork and mono-shock rear suspension, providing superb stability and responsive handling even over rough surfaces. This ensures a comfortable ride regardless of road conditions or rider experience level.

Ride quality & brakes Of Honda CB125R

Honda has a well-deserved reputation for building learner-friendly machines that are known for their excellent ergonomics, easy handling, durability, and versatility. The CB125R upholds this tradition and more.

In urban areas, the CB125R offers a comfortable and confidence-inspiring riding position that helps navigate through traffic. The high-quality suspension in both the front and rear provides a plush and forgiving ride, smoothing out most road creases and bumps with minimal effort.

Not only is the CB125R comfortable, but it is also remarkably agile. It boasts light and precise steering, excellent balance, grippy Dunlop Sportmax GPR-300 tires (including an impressively wide rear tire), and a claimed weight of just 125.8kg. All of these factors make maneuvering through congestion effortless.

However, the CB125R is not just an impressive, stylish, and comfortable bike for city riding or commuting. Once outside the city center, this little Honda proves itself to be competent on twisting roads as well. It offers ample ground clearance for leaning into turns and features a mildly aggressive riding position.

The high-quality suspension truly shines in these situations. The ride is firm enough to provide enjoyment in corners while remaining impressively stable. Additionally, the engine’s tractability means you don’t have to constantly shift gears.

It would benefit from slightly more power during intense riding sessions – but that’s where the new 2021 version comes into play. Although acceptable, the brakes don’t quite match up to their appearance. However, overall there is very little here to complain about.

Stylish Design Of Honda CB125R

The Honda CB125R is not only a performer on the road but also a head-turner with its sleek and modern design. The minimalist bodywork, coupled with aggressive lines and sharp angles, gives it a sporty appearance that sets it apart from other motorcycles in its class.

The LED headlights and taillights not only enhance visibility but also add to the bike’s overall aesthetic appeal. The sculpted fuel tank and slim tail section contribute to the CB125R’s aerodynamic design, making it an eye-catching presence wherever it goes.

Cutting-edge Technology

Honda CB125R never falls short when it comes to incorporating cutting-edge technology into their motorcycles, and the CB125R is no exception. Equipped with a fully digital LCD display, riders have access to essential information such as speed, fuel level, gear position, and more at a glance.

Furthermore, the Honda CB125R features Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), which enhances traction by minimizing rear-wheel slippage in challenging conditions. This advanced technology ensures maximum control and safety for riders of all skill levels.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Long rides can be tiresome if your motorcycle lacks comfort features. However, Honda understands this concern and has designed the CB125R with rider comfort in mind. The ergonomically designed seat provides ample support for both rider and passenger during long journeys.

The handlebar position promotes an upright riding posture that reduces strain on the wrists and back. Additionally, the footpeg positioning allows for a natural riding stance, contributing to overall comfort during extended periods of riding.

Safety Features

Safety is paramount when it comes to motorcycles, especially for beginner riders who may still be honing their skills. With this in mind, Honda has equipped the CB125R with several notable safety features.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) ensures optimal braking performance, even in emergency situations. This prevents wheel lock-up and ensures stability during sudden stops. Additionally, the CB125R is equipped with a hazard light function, enhancing visibility to other motorists in potentially dangerous scenarios.

Price and Affordability

One of the key advantages of the Honda CB125R is its affordability. As an entry-level motorcycle, it offers an excellent value proposition for riders looking to experience the thrill of riding without breaking the bank.

Compared to larger displacement motorcycles, the CB125R offers similar features and performance at a fraction of the cost. This makes it an attractive option for beginners or riders on a budget who still want to enjoy the benefits of owning a high-quality motorcycle.

Reliability & build quality

Honda has a well-deserved reputation for quality and reliability, and the CB125R is no exception. Nearly everything about this stylish 125 indicates high quality: its glossy and deep paint, generally good metal finishes (with one exception that we’ll discuss later), and top-notch components, cycle parts, and ancillaries such as switchgear and mirrors.

Furthermore, the owners’ reviews for the Honda CB125R are overwhelmingly positive, confirming that Honda’s legendary build quality lives up to the hype. Many owners even claim that it is a fantastic first big bike.

The single-cylinder engine has also been thoroughly tested with no significant reported problems.

However, it isn’t without its flaws. During our initial test of the CB125R at its press launch in Portugal, we encountered some instances where the transmission mysteriously refused to shift from neutral into first gear. Initially, we attributed this to being a minor issue with a low-mileage pre-production machine. Since then, we haven’t received any complaints from owners about this problem, so we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

As mentioned earlier, some owners have also reported that the front four-piston radial caliper can feel vague at times and lacks the initial bite that learners desperately need for confidence-inspiring braking. This issue has been mentioned by multiple owners, so it’s not an isolated incident.

There are a few more issues worth noting as well. The positioning of the battery under the tank is a common complaint among owners as it makes setting up a USB power socket difficult. However, the biggest complaint regarding the CB125R is related to excessive corrosion on the black exhaust paint finish. Multiple owners have noticed this within just one year of ownership. When considering purchasing a used bike, be sure to check for this issue and if you own one already, regular cleaning and protection with products like ACF-50 are recommended. Despite these cosmetic concerns though, there are no mechanical issues to speak of.

Value vs rivals

Honda’s stylish CB125R is not only a great bike, but it also offers excellent value for money. When it was first released, the Honda CB125R had the second lowest price in its class (only behind the Suzuki GSX-S125, which had less equipment). Despite its lower price, it boasted a similar specification to more expensive models like the Aprilia SX125, KTM 125 Duke, and Yamaha MT-125. The Honda CB125R is also impressively affordable to run and represents even better value as a used purchase due to its proven reliability and high quality. So, yes, you can have your cake and eat it too with this little CB.

Being a Honda, there is an added bonus of having access to a strong dealer network – something that is not as widely available for Aprilia or KTM bikes. Additionally, when it comes to running costs, there should be little cause for concern.

Owners have reported fuel consumption figures approaching 100mpg, and the CB125R’s slightly softer performance compared to rivals like the MT-125 means that it doesn’t consume consumables such as brake pads and tyres as quickly. However, it’s worth noting that the fat rear tyre may be more expensive than most when it eventually needs replacing. While Honda spare parts are not the cheapest on the market, the CB125R’s service intervals are fairly standard. Owners report annual servicing costs of around £150 (although this will increase significantly for major valve adjustment checks), which should not discourage prospective buyers either.

As a used purchase, this bike makes sense as well. Apart from some issues with exhaust paint durability, overall durability is good. Although Honda motorcycles hold their value better than most brands and the CB125R is a popular model, its low initial purchase price means that used prices are still reasonable. Find a well-maintained one and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.


Replacing the outgoing fully-faired CBR125R sportster as Honda’s flagship 125, the CB125R adds sophistication to the roadster genre. It offers big bike looks and components, claiming to have the lightest weight in its class and a near 300-mile tank range.

With an easy-to-read LCD dash and intuitive operation, the CB shares the same frame and 41mm upside-down Showa forks as its larger brother, the CB300R. This explains why the CB125R has more purposeful “big bike” proportions. These features also make it suitable for experienced riders seeking an affordable inner-city commuter.

Additionally, you get an appropriately damped, non-adjustable rear shock, full LED lighting front and rear (including indicators), IMU-operated two-channel ABS, and a fancy four-piston radially-mounted front brake caliper. However, it does not offer as much bite as expected.

But again, it’s not perfect. The fancy “reversed” LCD digital display is stylish, generally clear and easy to read. It conveniently includes a fuel gauge, gear selection indicator, and clock. However, in certain conditions such as bright sunshine, it is susceptible to glare.

Honda CB125R accessories

Nor are many official Honda accessories available for the CB125R yet. However, there is an increasing number of aftermarket options. Popular choices include nose cowls by Givi or Ermax, which help deflect windblast on longer and faster journeys. Considering the Honda’s quality and appeal to novice riders, crash protection would also be a wise move. Commuter types may be interested in a top box that doesn’t compromise maneuverability through traffic.

To enhance the styling at the rear end, you may want to consider a Honda CB125R tail tidy from RG Racing or Pyramid Plastics. For those who are more enthusiastic, investing in a sporty Honda CB125R exhaust can provide added entertainment.


In conclusion, the Honda CB125R is a compact marvel that delivers power, agility, and style in abundance. Whether you’re a beginner rider seeking an introductory motorcycle or an experienced rider looking for a nimble daily commuter, this bike has something for everyone.

From its powerful performance and agile handling to its sleek design and advanced technology features, the CB125R goes above and beyond expectations. With safety features and affordability thrown into the mix, it’s no wonder that this Honda model has gained widespread popularity among riders around the world.

So why wait? Unleash your riding potential with the Honda CB125R today!




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