The Honda XLR125R's rront suspension’s very soft, diving under even mild braking on the road and rather unstable during off-road riding. It’s fine for a bit of green laning though. The rear suspension’s a lot better. Brakes aren’t great but the bike weighs so little you can throw it around with ease. Tallish seating position aids a decent view.
Proven and reliable, the Honda XLR125R's engine’s been around, in one form or another, since the 1970s. It’s a bit basic and clattery but has enough power for punchy town riding although wheezing it up to 60mph+ is a chore. There’s an electric start but you need the help of the carb-mounted choke to get it to tick over from cold (it can be a bit stroppy).
As mentioned, the Honda XLR125R's engine’s not a problem although they need regular oil changes and decent servicing. Nice bits are borrowed from other Hondas: the frame’s based on that of the XR200R and the silencer’s taken from the XR250R. Tough little things, these bikes can take a bashing… which is probably just as well.
When launched, the Honda XLR125R was up against Yamaha’s DT125 and Kawasaki’s KMX125. Both were dearer but had similar specs. The Honda has the advantage of excellent reliability so, if you can find a model which hasn’t been nicked or totalled by over-enthusiastic teenagers, it could well be worth a look. Find a Honda XLR125 for sale.
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The Honda XLR125R's nicely finished, with a paint job straight from the attractive XR range of Hondas. Basic but clear clocks, adequate mirrors, a grabrail (you wanna take a pillion?!) and a handy, colour-coded tail pouch for tools and bits. The saddle’s comfy and the bars are wide for decent leverage.