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Jun 12

Posts: 1

DrPressure says:

Good 125 for a learner?

Hi all,

I'm hoping to purchase a second hand 125 bike after completing my CBT but am keen to get one which will a) last well, handle well and give good mpg and b) be cheap/easy to get spares for as I want to do my own "mechanic-ing".

If anyone has any advice about any other pitfalls that I need to watch out for (training, clothing, insurance etc.) then please feel free to give me a heads up on those too!



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  • Posted 3 years ago (14 June 2012 12:36)

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Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:


CG125 ticks all your boxes, cheap to buy and insure, and will run forever.

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Sep 11

Posts: 45

MrKarl says:

I have

had a Honda CBF 125 (2011) for a year, I am not the biggest fan of 125s but as a whole it was excellent. It has given me over 100mpg. £10 would push me over 300 miles. Handles well, comfortable riding position. Spares are pretty easy to come by. The place I took my CBT used cbf's as they're cheap to repair etc. 

So just look around for different bikes. AdieR seems to be knowledgable as he's answered quite a few of my questions. But from firsthand experience my CBF was great!

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Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

Check for technical info now...

If you are not confident yet with major tasks  I would inspect the quality of the manuals etc you can get. If it reads easily and tells you clearly which parts to take off before doing things you stand some chance of following the instructions. I really recommend the Haynes Manuals although they are not available for many bikes. Check on their website (They appear to do CG125, CBR125, CBF125, YZF-R125. There is a generic manual which covers some Chinese bikes but this might be more difficult to follow as it covers so many.) If you are not covered by a Haynes Manual you can usually get Workshop guides from Ebay BUT these are written for experts and are quite brief.
Chinese bikes are of  variable quality. Some are quite good and some are horrendous. In general I would say stay away unless you have a good dealer nearby who has a good stock of parts and will assemble it properly for you to start with (You have to judge this yourself - Does the salesman sound like he is selling life insurance and drive a car or is he a bike enthusiast with a bit of oil under his fingers?). The experience seems to be that despite many of them being copies of Japanese bikes that they are made from poor quality parts and tend to fall apart. Also the original assembly is often suspect. The risk is that you will learn a huge amount about being a mechanic but be put off riding and motorbikes...
That leaves the Japanese four. Not always a safe bet particularly if buying old. Just like any bike they can suffer badly from neglect and second hand bikes can easily suffer from crash damage, lack of servicing (excess wear), worn tyres, worn, rusty or stretched chains, rectifier/battery problems and worn or rusty suspension. Have a real good look...
As Adie says the classic do it yourself bike is the Honda CG125. It was designed for the third world (where Honda saw that their motorbikes rarely got oil let alone services) and there is a huge amount of info on the web on how to do it. The major problem with them is neglect of the other cycle parts such as chains and forks etc - they are getting old now and any old bike will suffer from neglect in these places.
The CG125 was replaced some time ago now by the CBF125 which is another good little bike although is more attractive and upmarket. Probably the weakest point of this bike is the exhaust (which is not well finished and rusts). It has hugger and centre stand as standard which helps keep it right and you can even buy a full chainguard should you want one to keep the chain in tip/top condition (but you must inspect it and lube it regularly even so).
Another bike of a similar vein is the Yamaha YBR125. It looks a little less up market than the CBF but has a more classical (and less plastuic look). A very good reliable bike as well. But you can't get a Haynes manual for it...
The Honda CBR125 is a lot flashier and compared to the CBF suffers from no hugger, no centre stand and are more expensive. ditto the Yamaha YZF-R125. They are a bit faster (about 5-7mph) , much more expensive to buy, less good on fuel, more expensive to insure and uncomfortable to ride around town (but much posier).Also whilst both do have Haynes Manuals I would expect the fairing is going to get in your way more and be a pain (Plastic becomes very fragile as it gets older and is also expensive to replace).
Enjoy your bike.

If you buy a old Japanese bike it is likely to have not been kept well and it may not be as reliable you hope. In the end you have to look at individual bikes...

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