HONDA CA125 REBEL (1995-1999) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"125 cruiser from the '90s loses out a little bit"

Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding

"125 cruiser from the '90s loses out a little bit"

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

This 125 cruiser from the '90s loses out a little bit, mainly because it uses the old 1980s Honda CB125cc twin cylinder motor. If you're short in the leg, or short on cash, then the Honda CA125 Rebel makes an acceptable used bargain, as the build quality is a cut above some other 125 cruisers, but Honda's VT125 Shadow is miles better.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

Most 125cc cruisers have pretty basic suspension and frame technology and the Honda CA125 Rebel is no exception. But apart from a bit of choppiness and a slightly vague feeling at the front end, it commutes just fine. It just lacks the finesse of more modern motorcycles.

Engine 2 out of 5

The old four valve, twin cylinder engine in the Honda CA125 Rebel dates back to the CB125 of the 1980s - the baby Superdream as it was known back then - and just hasn't got the refinement, or the acceleration of some V-twin powered 125cc cruisers. The engine gets you there eventually, and is frugal on fuel, but overall the Honda CA125 Rebel is hard work.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Honda CA125 Rebel is a bit better made than the average 125cc cruiser from the Far East. Even today, there are some who would say that buying a used Honda CA125 Rebel would be a more reliable choice than an unknown brand new 125cc motorcycle off the internet. The Honda CA125 Rebel may be a bit dated, but at least it's a proven design.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

As a first time machine the Honda CA125 Rebel allows the learner biker to try out motorcycling on the cheap, and if they find it isn't for them, sell the thing on fairly easily, losing relatively little money. If you can find a used motorcycle which hasn't been dropped on a wobbly three point turn, then you've probably started motorcycling for under a grand. Can't be bad. Find Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycles for sale.

Insurance group: 5 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

The Honda CA125 Rebel is a one person cruiser, the pillion pad is just that - a small pad. There are basic mirrors, lighting and brakes fitted on the Honda CA125 Rebel. It's got everything it needs, but extras basically boil down to spoked wheels, forward foot controls and a grabrail.

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their HONDA CA125 REBEL (1995-1999) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CA125 REBEL (1995-1999)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great First Bike!

23 August 2016 by RUSKIBiker

First proper bike of my own. Upgraded from a CVT 150cc scooter. Makes a great noise at 10/15 km, like a mini-harley. Handles well, and gear-shifts are smooth and it looks like a stunner. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Brakes are responsive but forcing the rear brakes at excess speeds will force a skid.
Engine
3 out of 5
Engine is characterful and delightful but just not powerful. The 124cc (technically speaking) engine will do 0-60km in way that'll put a smile on your face, but long distance trips at its top speed of 100km become tiresome.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Mechanically speaking, near perfect. Metallic rims and parts do need regular polishing to avoid and curb rust. Clutch has to be adjusted every 500km or so to curb free play but other than that, reliable for 2000-3000km between services.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Services are pretty standard in cost, R1500-2000 ($150) every 3000/4000km. Every 3000km-4000km recommended based on engine health. A bit more hungry on petrol than display. Full tank will be enough for 160km (100miles).
Equipment
3 out of 5
Bought the bike second-hand. No standard equipment. Bikes two plastic side mounts, with the Rebel marking are gorgeous and pragmatic.
Buying experience

Bought the bike second-hand off a website. Bought it for R8000 ($750) with 5500km on the clock.

Read all 1 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1995
Year discontinued 1999
Original price -
Used price £1,200 to £1,300
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 5 of 17
Annual road tax £17
Annual service cost £1,500
Performance
Max power 11 bhp
Max torque 6.6 ft-lb
Top speed 70 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 24 secs
Average fuel consumption 65 mpg
Tank range 140 miles
Specification
Engine size 124cc
Engine type 4v, in line twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel tubular cradle
Fuel capacity 10 litres
Seat height 675mm
Bike weight 137kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 240mm disc
Rear brake Drum
Front tyre size 90/90 x 17
Rear tyre size 130/90 x 15

History & Versions

Model history

1995: Honda CA125 Rebel launched in UK.
1999: Honda VT125 Shadowreplaces CA125.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Top view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Top view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CA125 Rebel motorcycle review - Side view
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