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Honda XR125L Trail Motorbike Review

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Honda XR125L motorcycle review - Side view
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The Honda XR125L is not a 'true' XR (just check out the electric start and the large tank range) maybe, but this is a great little commuter and green-laner. It lacks power up top but there’s more than enough for town riding and a spot of weekend fun off-road. It looks absolutely gorgeous, too.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

The Honda XR125L has a grunty, four stroke single with enough power to propel you around town with ease. Open roads and steep gradients prove a bit too much of a challenge, however. Very similar to the engine of the CLR125 City Fly and XL125R: in other words, it’s extremely reliable and long-lasting.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Honda XR125L's tall-ish seat gives a commanding riding position (great for city riding) but isn’t out of reach for the average rider. The bike’s narrow and very light, making handling easy and fun. Long travel suspension works well, brakes are ample and it’ll cruise at 50mph comfortably. Fifth gear’s a bit pointless: no extra “go” in it.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 2.5

The Honda XR125L's seat’s actually quite comfy, surprisingly, but equipment’s generally on the basic side. There’s a small screen, spoked wheels and a steel rear carrier for tying bits and pieces to. Extras include a top box (which looks hilarious) and a belly pan.

Honda XR125L (2003-2010)

Detail Value
New price £2,349
Dealer used prices
£1,450 (2006) - £1,500 (2006)
Private used prices
£1,300 (2006) - £1,350 (2006)
  View full used price info
Engine size 124 cc
Power 11 bhp
Top speed 65 mph
Insurance group 4 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 3
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 2.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Plastic panelling ensures expensive dents are kept to a minimum whilst the Honda XR125L's engine is capable of taking any amount of abuse thrown at it. However, problems with ignition coils and bikes cutting out prompted recalls on some machines. Make sure your bike’s sorted.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Excellent. With the Honda XR125L you get Honda reliability and a top engine for a pretty good price. You can go for miles on a tankful of fuel, insurance is cheap and they hold their value well. Closest rivals are probably Yamaha’s XT125R and XT125X, each with a smidgeon more power and marginally higher prices. Find a Honda XR125L for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 4 of 17

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Model History

2003: Honda XR125L launched. No changes since.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 65 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 19 secs
Max power 11 bhp
Max torque 7 ft-lb
Weight 119 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 12 litres
Average fuel consumption 65 mpg
Tank range 172 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 4 of 17
Engine size 124 cc
Engine specification 2v single cylinder, 5 gears
Frame Tubular steel double cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes 240mm disc
Rear brake 110mm drum
Front tyre size 90/90 x 19
Rear tyre size 110/90 x 17

See all Honda XR125L motorcycles for sale

Honda
XR125L

2500 miles

£1,395

Honda
XR125L

3738 miles

£1,695

Honda
XR125L

3668 miles

£1,880

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(9 reviews)

  • oh dear!

    soulcrew1927

    Average rating rating is 1

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have been a massive Honda fan always had XR400'S CARS ETC the time came to get my son a Bike age 17. Odvious choice was a Honda XR125. bought a 2004 bike from the local paper which was a cheapish price. within 4 weeks we had sold it on, to me it was not a real Honda! It was a Nightmare everything fell off it I replaced the battery starting motor all cables Tyres and the fork seals then the bike still would not start. in the end we cut our losses. It was over complimated LOTS OF DAFT CABLES, heavy and not the usual Honda build.even though it was only 7 years old it was a wreck the rust was amazing for a Honda gutted my advice is get a Yamaha xt or DT.

    18 August 2011

  • this was my first bike

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    this was my first bike and im about to move ub to somthing a bit bigger so i thought i should say a few words abou it. in the honda xr there isnt much power to it i could get 60 on flat but on the other hand i waigh 14 stone but still its not the most powerfull bike. the handeling and suspention on the bike is fantastic! i ride on country roads to work and back and it has never let me down on the corners. i have rid this bike for around 18 months now and the engine has never let me down, it has done 35,000 miles now and the engine is still showing no signs of age, and the best thing about the bike is it keeps its price, i am selling it for almost what i bought it for.

    04 July 2011

  • Honda XR

    2wheeledwonder

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I have learnt to ride on this bike and it has proved to me to be a very reliable and easy to ride bike. I have owned it for just over a year and I have had no problems with it. The only thing of which I can fault on it is its lack of top end power but for a 125 its acceptable and it can keep up with most other 125 around.

    09 June 2009

  • Great for Passing your Test

    chrislang

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I've had my XR for a while now and it is absolutely brilliant. If you are 17 and are planning to get 125 this is the bike for you. It is a guarantee first time pass. At slow speeds especially when it comes to U-turns and figure of eights the XR is easy to balance and control therefore it will blitz that part of the test. It is comfortable for long journeys and the suspension absorbs every bump in the road. It does have a lot of pull in the gears expected for 5th very disappointing however it will get up to a top speed of 75 mph. It is also good for running around with passengers, it makes light work of 20 stone on the back. The only bad point I found with it is that the choke is not really effective so starting on a cold morning requires 3-5 mins of a bit of revs to get it to tickover. It brakes very well and is very responsive. Styling is also a bit soft could have made it like the original XR 250/400. But it is a good buy and is highly recommended.

    12 March 2009

  • A few more points

    Retiredbiker

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Engine

    You may not believe this but the XR125L is comfortable enough for 250 mile days out. I can average 40 mph overall which means a trip to the Scottish Borders from Co Durham/ North Yorks (even to St Mary's Loch) and back in a day is easily possible. It's not logical that part throttle gives 100 mpg and full throttle (but obeying speed limits) only reduces this to the high 80s, but that's how it performs. A nuisance in this sunny weather is that the midday sun reflects straight off the instruments into my eyes, and wearing specs aggravates this. Having a speedometer that doesn't flatter your speed like most digital ones is useful. Overtaking is possible with care and planning. So I'm getting to like it more and of course it's relatively cheap to buy and run in these days of rocketing prices.

    11 June 2008

  • Better than you'd think

    Retiredbiker

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Engine

    I had one of these back in the 70s and it hasn't changed that much - better suspension, a front disc but worse instruments (very basic and really difficult to see when you are trying to keep to 30 mph). At least you can ride it all day without discomfort and do 200 miles or more. Top speed is low (generally 50-55 mph on the flat) but it is very economical. Thrashing it gives 88 mpg, pussy-footing around gives up to 110 mpg. Good range up to 170 miles before reserve needed. Considering I am 6 foot 2 inches tall and weigh 15 stone, I don't look a complete prat on it. Overtaking is a nightmare - as soon as a car doing only 40 mph gets in front you can forget overtaking. Please Honda bring back the XL185 or XL250 to remedy this!

    22 May 2008

  • The best learner bike for tall riders?

    Matt Earnshaw

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    This is my first motorbike and being over 6 foot very little works except the trailies but what an introduction! Yes fair enough after riding a CB500 on my assessed ride before I take my direct access next month it is slow and lacks grunt in comparison but it blasts through town and the twisties with ease and inspires confidence that when you start riding needs time to grow. Basically if you're new to bikes buy one of these and it'll put a smile on your face without killing you!

    14 March 2008

  • good, but could be better

    alanhumphries

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Engine

    I was commuting on my R6 but needed something more practical. Paid £1900 brand new last year, i've done 5500 miles so far. likes:- 100mpg, comfy seat, good steering lock, upright position, build quality, good fun. dislikes:- choke on carb, only 11bhp, tyres are slippy when wet and have inner tube. reserve too big (80 miles) I'd recommend this bike for being cheap and fun but i wouldn't buy another unless 15bhp (or more), supermoto wheels and choke sorted. Honda are you listening?

    05 July 2007

  • Great Commuter

    ejukes

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    Traded in a disintegrating GSX600F last year as commute to work is now much reduced. Honda were offering an excellent finance deal, so I bought new. Performance is perfect for town use with an excellent riding position, handling and mirrors. Around town I average 75mpg giving 150 miles to reserve. Max speed with a following wind is 65mph, but 55 – 60 is more realistic so not ideal for fast roads. Riding through winter showed up some corrosion, but spraying the bike with ACF-50 anti-corrosion spray put an end to the problem.

    07 April 2007

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