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Apr 09

Posts: 8

defblade says:

CBF vs Varadero 125s

Hi guys,

I'm 6'4", 38 years old, long in the back more than the legs, and have held my CBT for a grand total of one day :)

I'm sort of in love with the Honda Varadero as it feels like a bike that's big enough for me; but the only decent local one 2nd hand is £2700 (which is a lot for my first bike I reckon).

I was wondering around a dealer today and swung my leg over a 6 month old CBF125 (black and silver, tasteful) and to my suprise the reach to the bars felt good (the CG I learnt on had me feeling like I wanted to sit almost on the pillion cushion), even if the seat height is definately much lower than the varadero. And it's only £1700. Mind you, it's clearly a little lower in quality throughout.... the dash pod to start with.

Whatever I get, it's going to be mainly used for commuting - one workplace is pretty much all 30mph for 14 miles, the other is a bit less distance with some countryside B road NSL. I don't have time for my 34 other hobbies, so random weekend hooning is unlikely.


I think I like the varadero more still, but that thousand pounds is a bit thought provoking. Either way, it looks like both bikes will hold their values reasonably well, and insurance is very similar.


How do I choose?! Help!

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  • Posted 6 years ago (10 May 2009 15:53)

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Sep 07

Posts: 1100

iancol says:

CBF versus Varadero

I'd have to go with the Varadero, especially for commuting, as it's a lot more comfortable on a run.  Have you checked out private sales?  However, take care, as you'll soon find that a 125 isn't really up to the commute unless it's all low speed stuff.

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Feb 09

Posts: 4781

philehidiot says:


Weather protection important? Budget parts on one bike but essentially top of the range (for a 125) for the other.

It's the classic choice between something that'll do and is cheap and something that's better but expensive.

If I had the cash, I'd be going for the Varadero but if you're strapped for cash go for the CBF.

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Jan 09

Posts: 61

tinktonk says:

For how long?

To me the choice would be whether you're planning on keeping a 125 post-CBT or it's just something to get you some skills. If you plan on using the bike long-term, it'd be the Varadero. If this is just for learning on, the Varadero may be a waste of money (even if they both hold value & lose only 10% before you sell them, 10% of £2700 is more than 10% of £1700!).
Also, assuming the statutory minor 'off' at some point for a newbie, the CBF should (!) be cheaper to fix :smile.

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Apr 09

Posts: 8

defblade says:

It's tough choosing - nice to have the choice!

I've every intention of keeping the bike for a while (like I said, no time for pure fun rides, and main commute severly speed limited) and as I've done many thousand miles on a push bike in the past, any sort of engine feels good to me :)

Anyway, other half seems happy that I buy something that fits and gets used (and mileages on 2nd hand varaderos are a lot higher than some things I've been looking at, which suggests they do get used) so looks like I'll be splashing the cash :)

As for dropping it..... cross fingers ;)

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Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:


Economy should be better on the CBF and the bike and the economy should be excellent (the famed 130mpg should be easy) for your 30mph journey. I really enjoyed the test one I had until I took it out of town as it was light, handled well and kept up with the traffic. Once out of town it was less fun and although it could hold 60mph most of the time it couldn't do much more. Servicing should be trivial and you should be able to do most of it yourself. Although its really basic they have equipped it with everything it needs so it has hugger, centre stand, good seat and a fairly good headlight etc. Only thing that is really poor is the exhaust which looks like it will rust in seconds.

I can understand the temptation to go for the Varedo though. It should be a little faster on B roads and drink more fuel and cost more to service. Headlight might be better and might not. Ditto with the comfort - since the CBF is a new model and Honda have really thought about these areas. I thought the CBF light was quite good in the day time (better than the CBR125)...

At our age (I'm 43) insurance isn't likely to be very different for either but check and  I would also phone up your nearby honda dealer's service department and ask them about the service intervals and costs. If they are any good they will be happy to give you a run down. If they aren't buy a different bike or from a different dealer...

Are you thinking about doing your test? If you are you should think about when you are likly to do it and what you want afterwards. I could probably justify holding on to the CBF with another bike - because it is so good for fuel and I could service it myself and share the milage between my bikes to reduce depreciation etc but the Varedo might be worth too much/ too similar to a big bike.

You didn't mention either the CBR or the (yamaha) YZR125. These are likely to be better on B roads than either the Varado or the CBF but worse on the 30mph. When I tried a CBR its handlebars really made my arms ache after about 10-20 miles until I got over 40mph but above this it was a few mph faster and had higher gearing so it could go much faster downhill... (But it didn't have a hugger or a centre stand). From what I have read the Yamaha is good for another few mph more than the CBR. If you do buy a CBR use the YZR as negotiation - some dealers think they are worth more than they are. In fact if you want it go to the varado dealer and say you are thinking of buying the CBF because its so much cheaper and suggest a lower price...

In the end its your decision. Enjoy making it but realise that we all make small mistakes and have to buy other bikes too - at least 2 a year (Haven't worked out how to tell the wife yet).  :smile

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