Skip to content

Honda CG125 Naked Motorbike Review

Find By Make/Model

1 of 13
Honda CG125 motorcycle review - Riding
Click to enlarge
Previous image Next image

MCN overall verdict rating is 5

How can you argue with ten million commuters worldwide, still pootling to work in mucky overalls, some thirty years after the Honda CG125 was launched? The Honda CG125 goes, it stops, it goes again the next day - simple as that. The Honda CG125 is the Spam of biking; a bit downmarket, stodgy and uninspiring, but ultimately does exactly what it says on the tin.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Honda CG125 motor plods on remarkably well, often with very little maintenance. In fact you could probably run the thing on turnip juice for 1000 miles without it suffering engine failure. The later 2004 onwards Honda CG125s have a vastly improved gearbox and slightly more power, but not much.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The Honda CG125 is, in a word, bouncy. Especially if riden by a large lady in a tabard down to Netto. But that's OK, because only a complete madman would expect a Honda CG125 to handle anything like an Aprilia RS125. The basic suspension does the job and if you are on the hefty side, then jack up the preload on the Honda CG125's shocks.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

The layout on the older Honda CG125 brought new depth to the word `basic.' Later Honda CG125 models have a much better saddle, mirrors, disc rather than drum front brake, plus a five speed gearbox instead of just four speeds. One detail that isn't really progress is losing the fully enclosed drive chain on the older Honda CG125s.

Honda CG125 (1975-2008)

Detail Value
New price £1,999
Dealer used prices
£1,490 (2006) - £1,850 (2008)
Private used prices
£1,090 (2006) - £1,660 (2008)
  View full used price info
Engine size 124 cc
Power 11 bhp
Top speed 65 mph
Insurance group 3 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

OK, you need to run your motorbike on distilled chicken dung. No problem, buy a Honda CG125 and it will probably get you home. The Honda CG125 is - or at least was - the very definition of rugged reliability, although it's arguable that the original version had more durable cycle parts than later examples. 

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Brand new, the Honda CG125 it is an expensive motorcycle, especially when you consider how long Honda has been making it, and how cheaply the exact same bike retails in developing markets. Chinese Honda CG125 rivals are 300-500 quid cheaper, but lack Honda's dealer network or warranty back-up. Find Honda CG125 motorcycles for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 3 of 17

Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now

Model History

1975: Honda CG125 launched.
1988: Main Honda CG125 production shifts to Brazil.
1996: Honda CG125 `clones' exported in volume from China.
2004: Updated Honda CG125 gets disc front brake, bigger tank, new styling.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 65 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 24 secs
Max power 11 bhp
Max torque 7 ft-lb
Weight 114 kg
Seat height 781 mm
Fuel capacity 13.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 95 mpg
Tank range 280 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 3 of 17
Engine size 124 cc
Engine specification 2v, single, 5 gears
Frame Steel tubular cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes 240mm disc
Rear brake Drum
Front tyre size 2.75 x 18
Rear tyre size 90/90 x 18

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(20 reviews)

  • It's a keeper!

    wintthesprint

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought an 1988 CG125 for £150 "on a whim" about 4 or 5 years ago. I thought perhaps it would encourage my partmer to get back on 2 wheels, but she wasn't having it, so 2 years ago I started using it myself as a run around so I wouldn't have to get my nice bike (Harley)out of the garage for short errands, especially in bad weather. I ride it everywhere. Before I was familiar with it, I took it up to London on the A3 and it all but ran out of oil and broke down. I refilled it with a litre of oil from Screwfix, and it started running again, but smoked like crazy. I stripped the top end and discovered the piston rings had gummed into their grooves, so I installed a new piston and ring set and gaskets - £5.84 and £2 respectively from ebay - total repair cost £5.84. Next day I rode 265 miles to The Dragon Rally in North Wales, and 255 miles home the day after (in the severe weather, rain and gales of the february 8th-9th 2014 weekend)- the tiny Honda never skipped a beat! The following weekend I rode it to the London Motorcycle Show at the Excel Centre in the east end. I filled it to the brim before and after the 69.6 mile return journey and it used 2.9 litres of fuel (£4) which equates to 108.5 MPG - I couldn't believe it! Wow!! I have fitted a wind screen, carrier, top box, panniers and handle bar muffs. I use the bike all the time. As long as you don't expect it to do much over 50 mph, or 45 mph in foul windy weather, it will take you anywhere, but I would caution against motorway use and riding at night because of the poor lights. I have many bikes, but I can see myself hanging onto this one forever. It costs £17 to tax and pocket money to insure...

    27 February 2014

  • Fantastic bike

    db609

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought my cg from a salvage yard for 60 quid in 2007. it had 10k on it. All I've needed to do to its engine since is change oil,clean filters, new plug every once in a while although not mandatory. love it to bits. will never get another bike like it. it has never let me down always got me home even when i was so skint i accepted a tank of 50/50 petrol and diesel stuck it in and off she went. shell bumble away at 60 easy and i have had 75 out of it in the right conditions and that was when i was 16 stone! she is approaching 50,000 miles now and piston rings are worn now but she still starts and takes me where i need to go. If i was given £2000 to get another bike with i would rebuild the engine on this one and go again. I recommend this bike to anyone who is new to bikes. it is more forgiving than any scooter even though mines got 2 buckled wheels it still handles well. well done honda great bike. shame they replaced it with the crf :(

    30 January 2013

  • Mint First Bike!

    Michael Brown

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought my R-reg model in January 2011 and wow what a first bike! It was kick start too...the way bikes SHOULD be started ;) It did 120mpg around town(200 miles to £10!) and it was only £164 to insure TPO and I got 73mph (on the clocks haha). I would recommend one to anyone and the only thing that went wrong with it was a puncture! They may not be the prettiest or the best handling (although I could outhandle my mates when they were on their posh 125s hehe).Built to last, parts are plentiful AND very cheap! £35 for a chain and sprockets and £40 for a pair of rear shocks! Can't grumble at that! I did 3500miles on mine in just 4 months before I passed my bike test and bought a GPZ500. My trusty little CG was fantastic on the Mod.1 test and for the Mod.2, it was re-assuring to have a bike so easy to ride that you could just concentrate on the test in hand! I paid £580 for my CG and 4 months later I sold it for £600. --Mikey B--

    24 January 2012

  • (almost) perfect

    mcrmike

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Been riding since 1966,last bike was NTV650.Time to retire,duff knee from kicking too many brit singles into life, need a bike to keep me sane,chose the Cg 125, no regrets. Managed to find one of the last carb versions,3 years old with 157miles only,as new. First ride i couldn't stop laughing it was so much fun!Miserly on fuel,bit bouncey but good handling, just nail it through bends to keep your speed up and just smile.Mods; large wind deflector over headlight to improve drag and 1 tooth bigger front sprocket to raise the gearing just enough, to do that you doo have to file out the clearance on the sprocket guide plate, there is just enough slack on the chain! next mod is to put a remote choke cable on as the lever is buried deep under the tank,hard to find even when you know where it is,impossible to reach when youre moving.First service took 30 mins, drain oil clean filter, check tappets ok, the airvalve on the cover doesnt help one bit!Carb I can work on, pushrod engine tubed tyres,cable analogue clocks etc etc, it will never need to see a dealer! last NTV service cost£200plus,this one cost £5, i'm happy.

    22 October 2011

  • Impressed from Manchester

    fordlatch41

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought my 57 plate cg125es with only 65 miles on the clock 3 years of age with its first MOT,I have always promised myself one ever since I was given a ride on my foreman's back in 1979, sounds funny but I was gobsmacked by the power it had, but then again I owned a moped, anyway jump foreward to November 2010 and I am now riding one to work and back, the tank was full when I picked it up from the shop and the fuel guage just did not move after 70 or so miles I covered in the first week, and I still did not need to put petrol in after three weeks but I filled it up anyway.This surely has to be the future of commuting.As for the bike itself, well it is a beautifully built little bike fully modernised with its styling and new clocks which include the fuel guage as mentioned before.The front brake was poor when I first got the bike but I have noticed it getting better due to use/bedding in, EBC pads apparently improve the brake even more so I might try a set soon. I love my zzr1200, and my gpz900, but I now also love the honda and I am going to be using my cg125 as much as possible saving money on fuel and still biking at the same time. All in all a very impressed experienced motorcyclist.

    07 December 2010

  • Ok, it won't win any style awards

    AdieR

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    but I did my test on a 55 plate bike: its cheap to buy, cheap to run, and a doddle to insure, loads of spares available, won't kill you, filtering is dead easy, nothing to worry about if you drop it - what more can you ask for from a beginner bike? As a cheap and easy runabout, its perfect.

    31 October 2010

  • Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    My CG is a 1985 model and is so reliable! When I first bought the bike, it had been stood on someone's farm for the last 5 years and was looking pretty bad. I rebuilt the whole thing, including the engine, and repainted the frame. Now it's as good as new! When I took it out for the first run, I was wondering why it was only doing 37mph, but when looked into it, I found it had been under jetted since it came out the factory. Fitted a slightly bigger jet in it, and now it goes up to 60mph for the first time in it's life! Such a lovely bike to learn on though

    12 September 2010

  • Faithful Hound

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    My CG125 was a 1982 model which I had in my early days, had it for years and when I had finished with it my brother took it on for a time until he bought a CBR250RR. We both took our tests on it, in those days you could take your test on a 125 and then ride anything. It had done nearly 50000 miles when I sold it, I changed the oil and cleaned the filter every 1000 miles, only replaced the chain & sprockets once (enclosed chain gaurd did not look cool) but I kept the chain soaked in oil all the time and it never seamed ware. They did need replacing when I sold it though. It was riden all year round rain,snow,floods and it really was a faithful friend. It did however occasionaly wet the plug which was the only fault the CG had, so I always carried a spare dry plug and when it happened quickly changed the plug and off again. It is proof that basic is best for ease of maintainence and reliability, I still like air cooled singles although with more CCs. I did have a 50cc moped at 16 but it was the CG that started it all for me all those years ago, still motorcycling and enjoying it. If you fancy a trip to France but are unsure or a bit aprehensive have a look at www.longwayroundbrittany.co.uk

    19 May 2010

  • Great novice bike

    Dan Pert

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Like a lot of people, this is the bike that I did my CBT and tests on. The bike was perfect. Very light clutch and completely undaunting. The gearbox was fine and the brakes weren't too sharp which is good for novices. The handling was good, but you wouldn't want to bank the bike right over. I geuss it was due to the skinny tyres. The bike was great in the city, but on dual carriageways or the A/B roads from the school to the test centre, it seemed very underpowered. I geuss it is the same with most 125s but I could only get 45mph going into a headwind. Also, you dont choose where to go on a windy day, the wind tells you. Overall, the bike is a perfect novice or commuter bike.

    25 April 2010

  • cg125 turkey models '98-04

    MikeRotherham

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I've both versions of the Turkey produced cg125,kickstart and the electric/kickstart, wouldnt part with either of them, simple, easy to home maintain, the cdi version a vast improvement over the points ignition. If you are starting out riding and first started years ago on old brit bikes then this is the starter bike for you. the drum brakes are progressive making you think about braking rather than just grabbing a handfull of disc brake at the last minute. The gearing can be changed simply by changing the back sprocket, early turkey models had a 36 tooth, M1-4 a 43 tooth both are interchangeable (with chain)depending on what gearing you are looking for. Parts, insurance, fuel economy make running and maintainance very cheap. Only improvement i would suggest is a bulb upgrade to the halogen bayonet type, the original std bulb is very poor. For commuting around town or pottering around country lanes with time to enjoy the view it cant be faulted.

    22 February 2010

Page

Discuss this

Add your comment

There are currently no comments

Most popular

Rate my bike