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Bike Chooser: Semi-faired 125s

By MCN -

General news

 12 July 2013 13:39

With so many riders using 125s for short commutes, the addition of some kind of weather protection, no matter how limited, is becoming more and more important in a bike’s design.

Honda CBF125

Launched in 2009, Honda’s CBF125 is an interestingly styled commuter with a small top fairing that does its best to keep some of the worst of the weather away from the rider.

Replacing the legendary CG125, which was a mainstay of Honda’s 125 range for many years, the CBF proved equally as popular at its launch thanks to a budget price tag of just over £2,000 and cool looks.

Four years later you can pick up one for around the £1,000 mark, making it a sound investment and considerably cheaper than a season ticket on the train.

Using Honda’s very latest four-stroke single cylinder engine, the CBF will easily return over 65mpg although this figure drops substantially should you take it away from congested streets. The little motor is lacking in grunt and with only 11bhp you have to thrash the living daylights out of it to gain any proper speed on a dual carriageway.

In a town situation the CBF does all that is required, although little more. The suspension is extremely cheap and soft, quickly bottoming out should you hit a large pothole. However, the bike is light and manoeuvrable and the steering lock nice and wide. A neat touch that the Honda has that so many 125s do not is the addition of a fuel gauge – although it is fairly inaccurate on the CBF…

While the build quality is anything but typical Honda, you can’t really complain when you are paying so little for a motorcycle. Like the CG before it, herds of CBFs will be merrily hacking through rush hour traffic for years to come.

Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull -
£144.15 (£350 excess)

Rider 2, aged 35 from London -
£200.88 (£350 excess)

Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh -
£80.22 (£300 excess)

Yamaha YBR 125

One of the UK’s bestselling 125s and therefore plentiful second hand, the YBR is lacking a screen as standard but aftermarket items are simple and cheap to locate. A great commuter that has reasonable build quality and CBF-equalling performance.

Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull -
£139.91 (£350 excess)

Rider 2, aged 35 from London -
£200.88 (£350 excess)

Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh -
£75.79 (£250 excess)

Piaggio Fly 125

If you want the best weather protection possible then it has to be a scooter. The Fly is a twist and go 125 from Piaggio that comes with a useful top box and the all-important leg shields that the step-through design necessitates.

Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull -
£111.35 (£750 excess)

Rider 2, aged 35 from London -
£132.02 (£50 excess)

Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh -
£75.47 (£150 excess)

All quotes correct as of 04/07/13 on MCNcompare.com. Compare prices from 43 leading insurance companies and if you purchase a policy before 31.8.13, you will get a free £10 eVoucher to spend on helmets and clothing at Sportsbikeshop.co.uk