HONDA CBR125R (2004-2010) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"A tidy little motorcycle with a reliable four stroke engine, safe handling and brakes"

Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Riding

"A tidy little motorcycle with a reliable four stroke engine, safe handling and brakes"

  • At a glance
  • 125cc  -  13 bhp
  • 72 mpg  -  155 miles range
  • Medium seat height (776mm)
  • Suitable for A1 licence

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Honda CBR125R is an excellent ‘mid market’ 125. There are cheaper to buy / run bikes, like Honda’s own CG125 but they lack kudos. There’s a flotilla of fancy, mainly European motorcycles like Aprilia’s gorgeous RS125 but they’re silly money. But the Honda CBR125R's a tidy little motorcycle with a reliable four stroke engine, safe handling and brakes.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Honda CBR125R is safe and easy – ideal for learners or lazy commuters. There’s no getting away from the Honda CBR125R’s tiny dimensions and very modest power output but you can push the Honda CBR125R hard and it doesn’t bite back. Brakes are ideal – progressive with enough power but not too much to catch out the unwary.

Engine 3 out of 5

Liquid-cooled single cylinder four stroke engine works well in Honda CBR125R, producing 13bhp in a easy, useable manner. It should last well if the oil’s kept topped up (many won’t get that luxury). The Honda CBR125R gearbox is based on Honda’s off-road XR125 means the jump between first and second is rather large.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Honda don’t make tat – even their smaller bikes are well thought out and nicely finished, and the Honda CBR125R is proof of that. As with any used 125, Honda CBR125R problems are more likely due to neglect / crashes / theft that the last owner inflicted.

Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5

There are cheaper 125s out there but the Honda CBR125R provides about the best balance of fun and practicality per pound spent. Honda CBR125R running costs are low too and Honda aren’t about to disappear overnight – unlike some new, far eastern brands. Find a Honda CBR125R for sale.

Insurance group: 6 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Taller riders may find themselves a fraction cramped on th Honda CBR125R but unless they’re attempting longer journeys it shouldn’t be a problem. Electric start is handy and even the Honda CBR125R's headlight (twin 35 watt bulbs) isn’t too puny.

Owners' Reviews

26 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBR125R (2004-2010) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 3.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.4 out of 5
Equipment 4.0 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great first bike

21 June 2012 by matthewdaytona

I bought my CBR125 in May of 2010, it was my first geared motorcycle. before this i had a moped but that's not even a resemblance to a motorbike. To sum it up its a fantastic first bike that you will learn alot on. The handling is fantastic, i had... Read more Pilot's on mine and although they wore out pretty quick (3,000 miles) they were worth it. The standard tyres are not good at all and are dam near dangerous. as its a thin tyre it doesn't allow for any lean angle at all. The pilots however are that little bit wider and count for alot! The engine might not be the most powerful but its sure the most reliable. never had any issues in the 2 years and 15,000 miles i covered. Its a perfect bike for a 125, forget owning a ratty 2 stroke because no-one gives you any respect on the road (i know i rode one!) and they are soooooo unreliable even if they are looked after! In conclusion it may not be the most powerful but i will never forget my first times on this bike, and it also makes the jump from a 125 to a 33bhp alot more exciting and therefore stopping you from wanting to take the restrictor kit out!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

As good as a CBR600 (nearly)

30 September 2011 by Anonymous

(Bear in mind I have a RS 125, a scooter, a CBR600, and a GS500E with this Honda) I bought mine a year back, after its previous owner discovered bikes and diesel don't mix. It is a happy little bike that was one of the first in the country,... Read more registered in early January 2004. and covered 17,795 miles. Cheap to fix, as replacement plastic is 500 quid for everything. Clutch lever is £7.50, compared to 37.50 for my CBR600. Brilliant little bike. As good as, or better, than the 600 through corners. Really lives up to the CBR tag, despite being on two different tyre manufacturers. Straights less so, then again it was over geared at some point, as it achieves top speed in 4th gear, not 5th as it should. Insurance is cheap, at £230 in lincolnshire, and £730 in Coventry (18 years old, 1 years no claims, test pass) definately compared to a RS 125, which wants £400 to insure in lincolnshire. ( Even when restricted. Engine lasts longer that way.) Goes for ages on a tank, provided you keep below 8k rpm, as consumption mounts up beyond then. Does over 100mpg in a city. Pulls from low revs in 3rd with ease. Mine does not like national speed limits. Vibration can be a problem beyond 9k rpm. 2T like powerband between 9k and 11k. Happiest at 50 - 55 odd mph in 6th. It chugs along forever. Your whole body will ache before the tank runs dry. Avoid motorways. You will feel like your holding people up if you don't want to rev it hard. Is as good as a CBR600 when road is twisty. If the road isn't twisty, take the 600. Don't go out in windy conditions, though that is said about every 125, 2T or 4T. The footpeg grounds out first. (after your knee is down) Starts first time, even after 6 months storage. Would be good as a first bike. Makes you remember mirror - signal - manover as you go along. Mirrors good, but vibrate slightly at high revs. Squeezes into gaps that just aren't there. Would I buy another? Yes, without question. As good as a CBR600 overall? Almost.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

4 stroke beaut

18 August 2011 by DuNkZz1993

I rode this bike on a cbt got straight on it and just went. its is an excellent example of a quality 125cc motorcycle. forget buying an rs125 or any other cheap 2-stroke tat. you can garentee the cbr 125 will start every morning on the button and... Read more ride like a dream, unlike 2-strokes which you will find will fall apart around you. smooth ride and with a nice exhaust it will sound like a much bigger bike. i used to be able to get 80pmh out of mine so their not slow. highly recommend this bike, probably the best 125 around!!!!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Does what it says on the tin

08 April 2011 by joshcherry93

Cracking little sporty (ish) 125 4 stroke. I purchased mine (and '05) late last year with the intention of using it as a test bike, its been a great fun piece of kit and has NEVER let me down. rear tyres lasted 4000 miles and the fronts still got... Read more some life in it. engine sweet as a nut and will easily keep up with my mates yamaha yzf-r125 on the straights and through the corners. Dont be put off by the bikes small dimensions too as it really makes it a fun bike to ride, as its so light. It can be put in to corners at some pretty impressive speeds and will take what you give it, grips very well even on the origional tyres (the amount of 'cbr125 knee-down' videos on youtube prove it really can be chucked). And lastly, the bikes cheap, I bought a minter for 1400 and it really is like new, 1200 miles on the clock!. Also, if you do scrape it, panels can be picked up for peanuts unlike the yamahas and aprilias £400 fairings!!! would recoment but dont expect a race bike, its a beginers bike which can be ragged and thrown into corners like no tomorow. really all you want at 17!!!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

reliability and fun

28 March 2010 by mte39

i have owned my bike for around 7-8 months, i am on a learner lisence so i am restricted to a 125cc, after looking around for along time i can across a 06 cbr125 with only 3200 miles on the clock, i picked it up for £1600 ish which i thought was a... Read more steal compared to how much the other 125's cost. the bike is excellent overall, its handeling is amazing even with the thin tyres. yu also dont need to do alot to the bike to keep it running. for example £8.00 for a full tank lasting up to 200 miles depending on riding style. now the weather is brightening up alittle bit i am starting to go out to bike cafe's. this weekend i have covered around 150 miles! :) not bad for 2 days riding. this bike gets up to 50mph really easilty but it does struggle after that. i have taken the bike up to around 75-80mph but that was with a major downhill with the wind behind me at 10K rpm.......not nice. overall abit more power would be nice and maybe some better tyres (had a new one fitted at 3200 miles and needs a new one now (7800 miles)). will be looking to upgrade soon as the lack of power for open road riding as everyone else just wants to overtake you. would highly recommend to any new biker but not so much to an older biker.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

2 cbr125's

26 March 2010 by gpnutta

first let me say i am using my old cbr-125r4 (2004) and my cbr-125rw (2010) as the reference for my review. i got my old cbr-125r4 when it was 4 years old and had 10,000 on the clock. the bike was incredibly solid and easy to throw around,... Read more amazing between the traffic amd good on the motorway. i had the bike for 2 years and put another 10,000 miles on the clock and NEVER had a moment where i lost control of the bike it was always predictable. my new cbr-125rw i got from new with 0 on the clock i have put 70 miles on it so far and it is identical in performance to my old bike, only the engine sounds a lot better and the parts are in better condition! ive not stressed the engine to max but still had 70mph out of it in 6th year at 8,000 revs. the new 10 bike is a good few inches wider at the front (fairing) and the headlights have completely changed (which i don't like, i prefer the old style) other than that its the best bike in its class in my opinion. if you are thinking about buying one, stop thinking and just buy it.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Good learner bike

16 March 2010 by JohnPierre

This little 125 from honda is suprisingly good quality. Parts are obviously costlyand the whole this is well put together. when riding the bike one thing is noticable straight away, its small! too small for most infact. The bike has good looks... Read more although getting slightly dated now compared to that of rivals. The engine is what you would expect of a 125cc 13bph, its sluggish and struggles to get much over 65-70 (dependant on wind) The Honda is brilliant to learn on as big mirrors and the ability to reach the floor easily inspire much confidence. however the steering lock is not as good as some more off road based 125's and there for may cause more hinderence when attempting a U-turn. good engine, good bike, great for learners

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Honda CBR 125

11 January 2010 by mattrawr

I bought my 2009 Honda CBR125R as a bike to take my full test on. It was my second bike and I was hugely impressed with it! The quality is amazing and the bike itself is so much fun! Good points: The build quality is amazing especially when you... Read more think about the price. The engine is powerful enough to get you to 70mph comfortably and can reach 80 without redlining (perfect for UK roads). The storage under the pillion seat is so useful! Dials are easy and simple to understand. Paint finish is lovely! Especially in the newest 2009 colours. Really like the new headlight on the newer bikes, looks much better. Wonderful fuel economy. Great seat height for smaller riders (I'm 5ft 10..ish and find it really nice). Very easy to maintain. Can get so many accessories to fit it (I have oxford sport side panniers and a Scottoiler). Really easy and cheap to get serviced. Just an all round great bike Bad points: *actually had to think then* Suppose top speed is a little less than 2 stroke 125s...but the CBR is so much cheaper and easier to live with and in my opinion sounds much better! Nothing

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

still impressed

24 December 2009 by cbr9429

Bought mine 2.5 years old with 16k and thought I bought a lemon. But actually, its pretty solid, just needed alot of wear n tear repair due to previous owner not servicing etc. Bad points: seat is firm and fine for a 30 min london town commute but... Read more not much more. 1st to 2nd gear jump huge, speed and acceleration largely dependant on how much you ate for breakfast, abit bumpy ride, lacks some road presence. Also seems to blow front bulbs every 2 months, the standard 35w bulbs are as useless as a smoke alarm with a snooze button. Spend £10 and buy a pair of xenon filled ones and be seen: might as well be riding lightless otherwise. GOOD STUFF?: very narrow and can fit through the smallest of gaps when people try and make your life a misery. Safe brakes, handling inspires confidence to lean into corners, instruments are good, rear seat has enough room to store a chain, engine is bulletproof, non-sporty riding position good for new starters i think.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

My '09 CBR

26 October 2009 by lewistrickett

I bought my CBR125R from new, and i absolutely love it! looks brilliant, sounds great and it's worth every penny. the best 125 bike around and ive had mine up to 83mph, dnt recommend that tho, i was on the red line briefly Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 26 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2004
Year discontinued 2010
Original price £3,170
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 6 of 17
Annual road tax £17
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 13 bhp
Max torque 7 ft-lb
Top speed 70 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 18.9 secs
Average fuel consumption 72 mpg
Tank range 155 miles
Specification
Engine size 125cc
Engine type 2v single, 6 gears
Frame type Steel twin spar
Fuel capacity 10 litres
Seat height 776mm
Bike weight 115kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension None
Front brake 276 mm disc
Rear brake 220 mm disc
Front tyre size 80/90 x 17
Rear tyre size 100/80 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2004: Original Honda CBR125R launched.
2005: Honda CBR125R in Repsol colours available for £100 more.

Other versions

Honda CBR125R in Repsol race replica paint available from at extra cost.

Photo Gallery

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  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Engine
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Suspension
  • Honda CBR125RR motorcycle review - Riding
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