Firstly let's start with the economy. I am 15 stones and 6'1" tall and find the performance of this 125 to be very good considering the engine size. I have used it for a few hundred miles, mostly at 60 mph on a daily commute (15 miles each way). The economy for me has been 109 mpg, people report varying mpg figures, which can be confusing. I believe this is due to correct servicing and adjustment. I use fully synth oil (after using standard for the first couple of thousand miles - to help hone the bores and achieve optimal compression), the valve clearances must also be kept correctly adjusted, which must be done with the oil change every 2.5k miles. It is my belief that the MCN test bike shall likely have had a hard time and not have been kept at its best. It's not expensive to keep the bike as it requires, it only takes one litre of oil, and the valve adjustment is 30-60 mins at a relaxed pace and attention to detail. So buy quality and take your time ;-). another obvious adjustment is the chain, the bike has a centre stand, so it's a simple but essential job, to keep drive train power losses to a minimum.
The standard tyres have been slated, I have not tried them in the wet much, but in the dry I have no problem with them. I would replace them with the highest quality rubber I can, but only when they are worn. Honda's are always held in high regard for the quality of the finish, which is why I am so surprised that I can not be so positive about this bike. The metal paint, be it tank, frame forks etc, are all painted badly. The quality control must be almost non existent at the factory, and could have been easily avoided (Yamaha manage to do it just fine!). This said, I would still choose the cbf over the other 125's. I'm sure I am causing confusion at this point, so let me clear this one up. Ybr's and cg's are good bikes for round town use, but with the lack of streamlining /wind protection, you shall be lucky to see 60mph, let alone hold it comfortably. So why not go for the fully faired cbr or Yzf's then? Don't get me wrong, they look superb, especially the Yzf's, but they are not and shall never be fast bikes, so why would you choose to be leaning forward at an uncomfortable angle with your weight more on your wrists and genitals :-/
This is where the cbf slots in perfectly, it has good styling, good wind protection, punching a hole through the air and all done in comfort! Paint can be touched up, or even re sprayed, if you buy new you have warranty - so keep a close eye and use it if needs be. I would choose this cbf over all other 125's, but with a little * attached. If Yamaha were to create a 125 in the same mould as the cbf, that shall likely be better... But as yet (like Tigger) Honda is the only one!