HONDA CB125F (2015 - 2020) Review
- One of the UK's best-selling bikes when new
- Cheap to buy and run
- Ideal for new riders
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£120|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Honda has a long, proven and successful history with its affordable, economical, 125cc commuters dating right back to the 1970s and the Honda CB125F, introduced new in 2015 as a successor to the preceding, half-faired 2009-2015 CBF125, was a worthy addition to the family and became an instant best-seller. Its air-cooled, four-stroke, single cylinder engine was updated; it gained fuel injection and, as a result, was more economical than ever. It also got a new look, albeit without the fairing, to more closely resemble Honda’s then CB500F and CB650F. Production was also switched from India to China.
- Latest news: All-new Honda CB125F for 2021
The result was a very simple and straightforward lightweight roadster, albeit one still with a few neat design touches such as a gear indicator, that was so ridiculously easy to ride and unintimidating it made a great first or learner bike (indeed, the CB was the machine of choice at many training schools) but also so affordable and cheap to run, with a claimed mpg in excess of 150miles) that it makes a bargain commuter as well.
As a budget-orientated machine the CB is fairly basic and quality in some areas, particularly metal finishes, isn’t the best. While with its 10bhp translating to a realistic top speed of just 65mph allied to workmanlike suspension, brakes and tyres, it’s by no means the most exciting of 125s to ride, either. But as an affordable first bike or economical transport there are few better.
On top of that, the CB’s a Honda, with a proven reliability record, good dealer network, cheap servicing, insurance and running costs and, being so popular, also means there are plenty of used examples available. Replaced in 2021 by a further updated CB125F with an updated engine and chassis, the 2015-20 CB remains a popular, reliable, affordable and in-demand 125 with generally glowing owner recommendations. As long as you don’t expect the performance and features of more high-end 125s and keep an eye out for some corrosion issues you won’t go wrong.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Invitingly small, with a low seat height, slim proportions and light overall weight, the CB125F is both ridiculously easy to ride (which, along with being cheap and reliable is why it’s so popular with riding schools) and yet also so nimble, with fantastic manoeuvrability around town, that it also makes a great commuter, more than able to nip through congested traffic.
Those improved traits were the result of Honda giving the CB125F an all-new tubular steel frame along with 18in six-spoke wheels (slightly larger than the old CBF’s 17inch versions). The new CB also received an ever-so-slightly fatter 120mm telescopic fork up front to go with the same twin rear shocks (which were now painted red for added speed!).
Admittedly those suspension components are fairly budget and the ride is slightly firm but they do the job. The rear shocks have five adjustments and the front fork takes most things in its stride. The seat, however, is merely OK and could be more comfortable (although discomfort only arises after well over an hour in the saddle) but the 18 inch wheels ride do well over bumps etc.
The single disc brake up front and drum brake at the rear are competent enough to stop you in a hurry and are more than adequate for both the learner rider and those whizzing through London’s rush hour. There's also a complete lack of vibrations from the engine. Singles traditionally suffer more from primary vibes than most engine configurations but the CB’s added balancer shaft has reduced vibes in every gear, even at top speed.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Although still a conventional, straightforward, air-cooled, four-stroke single, the 2015 CB125F’s motor was virtually new with very few parts retained from the old. One of the most important additions was Honda’s latest fuel injection system, which, coupled with a revised cylinder head and exhaust system, increased both the bike’s low to midrange torque and also fuel economy.
As a side effect, the power and torque figures are down from 11.1bhp to 10.46 and 8.2ftlb to 7.52. But working with such low numbers in the first place, you’re not going to feel it. But the revised mapping and FI certainly adds more of a poke low down which makes it stronger when pulling away from lights than the previous model anyway. Plenty of owners comment about how grunty and flexible it is for a 125, being able to pull away from traffic lights and the like impressively briskly.
The other bonus is improved fuel economy, with Honda claiming 155mpg, although in real world use this is nearer 100.
The only downside is that that 10bhp also translates to a maximum speed of 65mph, or 60mph if you don’t try to tuck out of the wind. But while that seems sluggish compared to racier, more expensive, 15bhp 125s such as Yamaha’s 80mph YZF-R125, it’s ample for most, especially commuters and it will also cruise at 50mph for as long as you want.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Honda deservedly have an almost peerless reputation for build quality and reliability, certainly among the big four Japanese manufacturers, and the CB125F maintains that tradition – however it’s not without fault.
Although the uprated, air-cooled, single cylinder four-stroke engine has proved almost completely reliable – as its predecessors did before it – with absolutely no failures reported by owners, there can be problems elsewhere, largely due to its budget nature.
Honda insisted at the bike’s launch in 2015 that the-now built-in-China machine (it was previously assembled in India) had a decent hike in quality, too, underlying the fact by stating that it’s “been built to endure the rigours of European weather.”
The reality, however, has in some cases proved different. Although when new the little CB125F retains the usual Honda build quality, with everything feeling well put together, and nothing standing out as being overly cheap, more than a few owners report that the black-painted exhaust pipe is very susceptible to corrosion and rust, as are most of the chromed parts. One owner reported that the chrome parts of his barely six months old machine had already gone ‘scabby and rusty’.
Obviously novice or year-round commuter neglect can play a part in this, particularly if winter road salt isn’t quickly and thoroughly washed off, but it’s still disappointing.
On the plus side, other parts such as all the plastics and metal on the CB125F’s tank, fairings, tail unit and headlight all bear up well, there has been no problems reported with any of the electricals such as its lights or instruments and new or near-new purchasers also benefit from the CB’s two years warranty and free recovery Honda offers.
Overall, as a budget, novice-friendly commuter, the CB125F’s durability and reliability record is far better than most and you should have no causes for concern but if buying used there are so many out there it pays to seek out a good example.
Our Honda CB125F owners' reviews show an overall score that's not particularly impressive, and buyers are less than impressed with some aspects of the bike's build quality. We suggest you have a read before heading out for a test ride.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The 2015-2020 Honda CB125F is one of the cheapest of all bikes to run and maintain due to the combination of its low purchase price, even lower running costs and overall reliability.
When launched in 2015, priced at just £2499, the CB125F was actually £200 cheaper than its CBF125 predecessor, which made it, even better value for money than the bike it replaced. Used examples are obviously cheaper still although such has been its success and popularity residual values remain high – it’s an in-demand bike, after all. We’ve seen even higher mileage, early examples from 2015 with in excess of 15,000 miles on its clocks go for in excess of £1800.
- Related: Best 125cc motorbikes
Honda also claimed up to 155mpg for its revised CB, although in the real world this has proved a little optimistic. That said, we’ve also had no problem achieving well in excess of the 110mpg on the little CB, even with fairly sustained, hard use, which means you’ll easily get over 300 miles from a tankful.
At the same time annual servicing should only cost around £120, a pair of replacement tyres will set you back little more than 60 quid and the CB125F is also impressively cheap to tax and insure.
None of that, however, is unique to the CB. Yamaha’s YS125, introduced in 2017 as a successor to the YBR125, is a very similar proposition and offers similar performance, handling and value, although there’s not quite as many available on the used market and nor can it quite match the frugal Honda’s economy.
While, if you can stretch to a new purchase, and therefore benefit from the manufacturer warranty and peace of mind that comes with it, Honda has improved the CB125F even further for 2021, updating its engine to be even more fuel efficient and combining that with a lighter, leaner chassis. It's set to cost £2799.
At the end of the day the CB125F is a budget bike that’s been built down to a price to be affordable and conceived to be lightweight, simple and cheap to run. As such the equipment you get as standard is fairly basic. There's no sophisticated or fancy cycle parts, no electronic rider aids or ABS and, since the change from the CBF125, no fancy, weather-beating bodywork, luggage provision or creature comforts, either.
All that said, however, the CB125F is also a Honda and, as such, usually expected to not only have slightly better build quality than most rivals – but surprisingly good equipment levels, too – and it has.
So, although the CB125F’s instrument console may be a simple, analogue affair, it is still better than most by virtue of having twins dials (speedo and rev counter), a fuel gauge (although some owners report it’s a little erratic) and even a gear indicator.
On top of that the mirrors are good, as is the switchgear, and there’s a welcome centre-stand to go along with the usual kick stand – useful for when you want to adjust and/or lubricate the chain. In short, the CB125F’s equipment levels may be fairly basic but it has all you need, especially considering its price.
Popular accessories depend on what type of CB125F rider you are – a novice learner or an economical year-round commuter. Learner bikes will benefit from engine bars or other crash protection. Commuters often fit a top box to aid luggage carrying or heated grips or handlebar muffs plus a ‘fenda extender’ to aid year-round riding.
|Engine type||Air-cooled, 2-valve OHC, single|
|Frame type||Steel diamond|
|Fuel capacity||13 litres|
|Front suspension||120mm telescopic fork|
|Rear suspension||Dual rear shocks with 5-step spring preload adjustment|
|Front brake||240mm disc, double piston caliper|
|Rear brake||130mm drum brake|
|Front tyre size||-|
|Rear tyre size||-|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||107 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£22|
|Annual service cost||£120|
|Used price||£1,800 - £3,200|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||10 bhp|
|Max torque||7.52 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||310 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2015 – CB125F introduced, replaces previous, half-faired CBF125
- 2021 – New CB125F due to be introduced replacing previous model.
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CB125F (2015 - 2020)
18 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB125F (2015 - 2020) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£120|
Its a good, but meh bike. Everything on it is good, but nothing is brilliant Gearbox feels great, and is solid, but shift lever is slightly to low & lacks a 6th gear Engine is great on fuel, and reliable, but has 1/3 less power than the CBR ect. Yes its a cheap bike, but surely it would have been better to build just the cbr engine instead of 2 separate ones, and even increase the CBF price a little. Hills are a killer for all 125’s, but having going up them in 3rd is daft.Its basically a good enough learner, but upgrade as soon as possible
Suspension is good, rear can be harsh over rough road, but vast majority of the time is perfect. seats good but does get sore after an hour or 2 Brakes are a real pain, especially in the wet, front is good for a learner, as its so weak it can never lock up, but rear is the complete opposite, way to sharp & loves to lockup
For real life, engine is absolutely perfect, loved every minute on it. Never failed or struggled to start. But for a performance test its screwed, granted mine was in the soaking wet, but for A1 Mod 1 ride around a corner and hit the speed trap at 30, mine was scraping through at 31-32mph, Low end torque for getting away from lights is great, nothing whatsoever top end, lack of 6th gear is chronic. 45mph in 5th sees you sitting at around 9k rpm Even with stock exhaust does sound pretty good though
Was fortunate to have found one in good enough condition, hardly any rust ect, but is still pretty cheap. Paint is extremely thin, with 6k miles on mine paint is already badly scored on the tank from knees & Jacket, main stand is sketchy at best, would twist and shake when lifted onto it. Seat is actually pretty well put together, but after an hour or so your butt will be sore. Speedo was a joke, after a month realised that it was inaccurate, in order to do 45mph irl had to be reading 52 on the speedo. Gearbox is an absolute gem, seriously well put together, its a solid click when changing gear, but not agricultural. Gear lever does sit a little low however, so if your wearing winter boots be prepared to over exaggerate your ankle movement when releasing the lever Apart from a dodgy bulb for 4th gear in the gear indicator, didn't have Any issue at all with the electrics.
Brilliant on fuel, about £10 per tank,
Gear indicator is amazing, not essential, but still a nice touch, dials are good & clear to read, even in rain, fuel gauge seems to sit at max for ages, and then the needle races down to red, so for a long journey, just check your tank. Electric start was bliss BUT who on earth thought it a good idea to not put a kick start on it?
Buying experience: Got it private, no MOT with 6k miles, for £1650, passed its MOT 3 days later with no advisories, couldn't have been easier
Was originally my daughter's bike, but she didn't have the motivation to continue riding, so I took it over in May 2020, and have put 1500 miles on it. I also currently ride an XL700 Transalp - and have over 250,000 miles of riding experience. Nowadays, though, I'm just a fair-weather rider, and I'm using the XL as a benchmark, as it is near perfectly aligned to my physical and mental requirements. The CB just gets used for slow-speed fun and generally faffing-about when I don't fancy the ripping torque, or the weight, of the XL.In short, the CB125F is a near-delight to ride - so light and nimble it's virtually impossible to fall off it unless you are seriously not paying attention. Good around town but best on smooth, twisty A/B roads on which you just want have fun but remaining within reasonable safety margins and speed limits. Not without its flaws, however, as the ride can be irritatingly harsh on poor surfaces - not helped by a rock-hard seat and a riding position that's almost there, but not quite (I'm 6ft tall and 90Kg). To add, the gearbox is very clunky, so you have to give it a good bootful when going up, but a fine-feathering on going down; making it somewhat tiresome in heavy, stop-start traffic. Maybe it will become more slick as it beds in.Could I actually recommend this bike? For the smaller rider, it's probably ideal. It seems to be physically larger than most of the other big-four branded 125s - yet it still isn't quite big enough for me to just slot into. I've always preferred the trailie-bike dimensions, yet modern manufacturers seem to have completely disregarded the segment for small-engined Adventure bikes - and it's annoying, almost to the point of hanging-up my riding boots.
The ride is lovely, on a good surface. As yet, nothing has upset or destabilised the bike - but boy is there a massive "thud" on some potholes. Overall the quality of the ride - on the rear - is too harsh for anything but reasonable surfaces. Quite how they cope in the countries for which this bike is primarily designed, I have no idea. The front suspension, however, is just fine and have no complaints about it. It doesn't twist or shudder, regardless of what gets chucked at it. The brakes all work superbly, with plenty of feel, progression and stopping-power. Such is their feel, I'd be confident about front-wheel braking in mid-corner.Bizarrely, the ride quality is so light - on a good surface - that the bike "drifts" very easily unless you are vigilant. Don't take your eyes off the road, otherwise you WILL end-up in the hedge.
It's a restricted 125, so you can't expect miracles with power delivery - but it's utterly smooth, vibration-free and rev-happy. First gear, though, is just way too short, but 5th is surpisingly flexible down to some very low speeds. It's actually difficult to give it full throttle, as the twist-grip travels such a long way before reaching its end-stop. Maybe that's deliberate so as not to blow its nuts off!If they fit this engine into an Adventure frame, I'm sure it'd be a winner.
I can't really comment on the reliability as I've only done 1500 miles on it - but it's always started first time, even after having sat in the garage for 6 weeks. I'm keeping an eye on the metal finishes, especially the casings and suspension units, owing to the fact my other daughter's 2017 Vision NC50 started to corrode within a few days of being exposed to rain - as did my own 2013 SH125 (certainly not what I expect from Honda).
Fuel consumption is astonishingly good, and getting between 115 and 140Mpg - and I don't exactly pussyfoot around when riding. My style is progressive but smooth, using the bike to it's full potential, but never violently. However, I don't know if I'm reading the tyre wear indicators properly but, if I am, then I'm only going to get about 2,500 miles from the rear, even though the front seems hardly touched. This is exceptionally poor tyre-life, even if the tyre costs only £50 to renew.With regard to servicing, I'll be doing it myself - which is one of the reasons for riding a 125 in the first place; I can access everything without having to do a total disassembly of my Granny's corset just to change the spark-plug. Furthermore, I'm of the school that, if there's nothing obviously wrong, then I leave things alone and do basic servicing only, such as plugs, oils, filters and chains.Personally, I'm not expecting to get much more than 5-7,000 miles from the chain. If it's substantially less, then I may go for an "O-ring" version instead. They may be more expensive, but the reduced maintenance and increased life-span is likely to be worth it.
This is a basic learner / commuter bike, but it's got all the instruments that you need, including a fuel gauge and a trip-meter. The gear indicator is a good additional feature - not least because it's almost impossible to tell which gear you're in. The only issue with any of the instruments, though, is that they are a unnecessarily difficult to read in daylight. What is it with these modern "designers"; building to a price doesn't dictate that your artistic licence overrides functional ergonomics. It's the same with the Vision NC50 instruments; they're just difficult to read at a glance. Why?What I was very disappointed about, is that Honda don't seem to manufacture any windscreens for this bike. It's a commuter, for Heaven's sake, and we're in the UK, so it's going to be used year-round, yet no OEM wind protection accessories! Going on the internet, there seemed to be just one option, and that's the Puig - and even that is only just about adequate to stave-off the major frontal wind blast. What I am glad about, is that it comes with a centre-stand as standard - and it can be raised using just one hand. Question for manufacturers: WHY do commuter bikes come with a centre-stand, yet the bigger bikes don't? A centre-stand is an essential piece of equipment, so stop being miserly and put them as standard on ALL bikes. Your bikes are expensive enough as it is.The OEM tyre choice (Cheng Shin) seem to be perfectly good in the dry, and never have encountered a butt-clenching moment. I can't comment about their performance in the wet, as I just haven't ridden in the rain. However, I can't understand why the profile of the front tyre is 80/100. Almost no other tyre brand uses this profile - so if you want to use a matching pair of a more recognised brand, you have to change the profile - which means that, technically, you've got to inform your insurance company. Another nutty choice by Honda.
Buying experience: Bought new from a main dealer. In the advert, it was discounted by a couple of hundred off the-then RRP, but they tried to sell it to me at full retail price. Mmm...not nice!
Annual servicing cost: £120
Best features being amazing fuel usage and lovely acceleration, a down side to consider is 65 mph really is the limit on these bikes (unless you plan on modding it)
Amazing brakes, suspension is perfect for fast braking with little worry about being flung off.
If I could make it do 70 I would.. but 65 for a stock bike with amazing acceleration is all you need for most to all journeys.
I see why people say hondas rust easily, never had a single mechanical problem with it apart from rust build up (more of an astethics problem then anything)
Easily visable gears on dash for new riders, seat is really comfy and I'd definitely recommend Oxford heated grips for the colder journeys you will be up against.
Buying experience: Got privately from a friend. Been trying to get my hands on it for a year.
Good quality entry level MC
Annual servicing cost: £150
Excellent bike for a 125cc. I am 45 and weigh 15 and half stone, and this little thing pulls me around. Excellent on fuel. Cheep to run. Perfect for beginners. Only issue I have is the seat not that comfy and the back feels a bit twitchy (poss need suspension adjusted for my weight)
Ride quality is good. Could do with a softer seat but it does the job. Can ride 3 to 4 hrs without a break.
The little 125 engine has plenty of pull at low to mid range. Going from 50 to 60mph is a struggle but does get there, but i am 15 stone. Has allot of engine breaking when slowing.
My bike is now 5 yrs old. The only corrosion I have is on the rear suspension, the chrome and the painted springs, and exhaust. Also I bought mine from wales near the seaside (salt) bolts and throttle body has the usual white corrosion marks but this is due to salt and I needed to replace the front calliper due to pad pins sized in and snapped. these could not be removed by the garage. So bought used calliper and no problem removing pins. so must of been salt air again. Apart from that Its never let me down yet
This is one of the cheapest bikes to run and maintain. Pair of tyres cost me 60 quid recently.
The equipment is basic but does everything you need. Also has gear indicator, rev counter and big indicator signals. Ideal for the beginner.
Buying experience: Bought private from a friend in wales for £1500
Annual servicing cost: £120
1st decent 125cc bike I've ridden massive step up from my old kymco pulsar 07/08, I only picked up bike 2 days ago , I did 108 miles on first day I had it , comfortable to ride , very economical on fuel , it's good for riding through a city but on long A road it's a struggle to get past 65mph (albeit it is a 125) my 2 niggles with this bike is the thin tyres , dont feel enough traction or grip and the headlight isnt powerful enough , even full beam is weak ( dont know if bulb is on way out) , all in all I would definitely recommend this bike , perfect for beginners. Already exceeded my expectations.
First day I had bike I did 108 miles comfortably
Brilliant acceleration but lacks the top end speed but due to being a 125cc and it's more economical in fuel to compensate for lack of oomph on the top end
Mine is 2016 and apart from cosmetic scratches , everything is sound,no corrosion, only did 2660 miles on the clock , when I bought it and regularly serviced once a year , surprisingly really reliable.
Cheap on fuel , very economical
I'm still in middle of choosing accessories, I dont know if it counts but I got a bluetooth headset for my helmet, very good , would recommend that , I also want a decent USB charger with fast charge for s9 and a mount for my phone.
Buying experience: was a bit weary as it was on ebay, I bought it for 1600 which included £60 delivery
Rock hard suspension and gutless. Perfect bike for a CBT and little else. Had one as a loan from insurance company and it is so boring i have gone from riding everyday for fun to only when I need to get somewhere. The moment I have another bike sorted out I want it out of my garage. It manages to take riding a motorbike and make it boring.
Awful suspension and weak brakes even for its lack of weight.
It's a solid engine that never misses a beat. But it is so boring! Twist your wrist and it just farts a bit louder and oh so sloooooowly speeds up a little. Disappointing even for a 125.
Seems to be a pretty solid build.
Have to admit great fuel economy.
First ever bike after CBT so although nothing to compare it to directly, it satisfies everything I was looking for in a bike in order to build-up my experience and skill. Yes I wish you didn't have to red line it to get over 60mph but apart from that i am really happy with my purchase.
Nice upright riding position. I "practice" regularly and include emergency stops and have not locked up or skidded [only dry surface], rear brake works well to bring to stop from traffic appropriate speeds.
Pulls away at traffic lights briskly to give you good space before they catch up then will cruise at 50mph for as long as you want.
I am aware of the comments regarding a tendency for corrosion but bought brand new and so far clean as a whistle.
I want to keep the dealer service book up to date so will be taking in soon for 600 mile service, been quoted about £70.
Gear indicator, as a new rider i wouldn`t have a clue beyond 1st! All reviews [You Tube] on tyres sound horrific so at first service will ask about upgrades
Buying experience: Looked at brand new 125cc prices from all main brands and rang Honda dealer who informed me they had a couple of pre registered CB125Fs with £400 off list price making it £2,500, came with 1/4 tank fuel and L plates fitted, Padgetts of Batley West Yorkshire.
Annual servicing cost: £150
When I bought my bike, it had already done 7500 miles but had only one previous owner. I had bought it from a respected Honda Dealer, for quite a good price (£1800). I would highly recommend this bike if you're a first-time rider (like me). The fuel economy is just idiotic, I got 350 miles out of a full (13 Litres) tank. The seat can get uncomfortable after riding for more than an hour or so. However, I am a frequent commuter and use my bike nearly every day and mine hasn't broken down yet, unlike other reviews. My total mileage is over the 10k miles now done 2500+ miles in 5 months, and i haven't had any problems so far, apart from getting new tyres and replacing chain and sprockets.
The seat can be improved upon and the exhaust pipe is very susceptible to corrosion and rust.
It is very cheap to fill up the tank with petrol. I spent nearly £15-£20 a month on petrol. Servicing costs are ok, for a respected garage you're looking at £100+, for a lesser known garage i think it is less.
I bought this bike after a decade away from riding, due to taking a new job involving a commute through and out of London. After learning the cost of insuring the Moto Guzzi I wanted I reluctantly opted to get a 125cc for a couple of years in order to build up some NCBs. Five months and 3500 miles on, I have to say I love my CB125F and I'm keeping it. It's small and agile enough to nip through most of the London congestion and get me out of town super fast, has enough torque for satisfying urban overtaking, and the engine seems to sip oil even though some of my commutes involve it being ridden up to red line for 30 miles of motorway.
Handles nicely and the position is very comfortable for all-day riding. No numbing vibrations, even when ridden at max speed (up to 67mph but only if there's a strong wind from behind). The slim tyres really don't like riding over the white lines when filtering, which is when the handling isn't so nice. That's the only time when I wish I had a bigger bike.
Good torque for urban overtaking. Lack of vibration at top speed is another plus point. The little engine is very tolerant of being ridden at max throttle. I'm happy to cruise along the motorway at 60-65mph.
The exhaust started getting rust marks at the slightest bit of rain, even though washed every week. Another niggle is the gear sometimes won't shift into neutral, which is a bit irritating during a long wait at traffic lights. Other than that, no complaints.
I get 400km between fill-ups, which means fewer stops at the petrol station than many bigger bikes. I could get quite a bit more but I never trust vehicle fuel gauges. Plus I'm lucky enough to have Doble as my dealer, who don't rip you off.
The dealer threw in a handy top box. It's good that the bike comes with a centre stand, gear indicator and rev counter. At this price you don't really expect a lot of equipment. Has all it needs, really.
Buying experience: Got the bike from Doble in Coulsdon - a reputable dealer who really know how to look after their customers. I got a good deal from them.
I didn't actually own this bike, it was a hire after I was knocked off my own bike. I really wanted to like this bike after previously owning a 2004 CG125 which I consider this bike's predecessor. As soon as I sat on the CB it felt familiar: same ergonomics, seat height, even almost the same colour. However, as soon as I started it, the criticisms came in, and I've ended up being really disappointed with it. But maybe that's because I went in full of nostalgia. Overall, for an affordable first bike for a young person (who's probably much much lighter than me) it'd probably be perfect, but this review is about how I found it.
Suspension isn't great, but then neither are the potholes around Sheffield. Still very bouncy though. The narrow tyres make corners interesting as far as I'm concerned, but I feel more confident throwing it into them than I did my CG so Honda must have done something right. The brakes on the other hand are shocking. The front disc judders every time you use it no matter what speed you're doing, and there's not much feel on the rear drum unless you're already stopped at lights and just want to hold position with it. And if it's even slightly damp, the rear brake screeches like an eagle
Somehow Honda have made it even worse than it used to be. It's now fuel injected and apparently been retuned for slightly more low down torque but it still feels like they lost 3 or 4 horses to Tesco's ready meals. It's saving grace is that there's next to no vibrations even when redlining it in 4th uphill, and on a nice day with a tailwind it'd do 45mph constantly. The clutch really lets it down though. It bounces out of 1st and 2nd without a care in the world, which is not good when you needed to make a quick change. It felt like I was setting off in 2nd gear from the lights at all times, and when setting off, the biting point was so vague 99% of the time I went straight through it and got thrown around as it suddenly threw power straight on.
Actual materials quality is questionable. It's only about 6 months old and almost all the chromed parts are scabby and rusty. The black painted exhaust is the same. The plastics and metal on the tank, fairings, tail unit and headlight look spot on though. The engine paint also seems to be holding up. Reliability-wise, it hasn't failed to start once while I've had it and any times it's stalled have been down to me getting used to the clutch. There's about a quarter turn on the throttle before it starts to pick up on this one which I never got used to.
Drinks fuel like no-one's business. My own bike, an MT-125 probably uses about 2/3 of the fuel this one does every month and has more power. This is probably down to me having to rev the CB to the redline constantly to get any kind of speed out of it. The MT also has a smaller fuel tank and I had to fill the CB up two times more in the month and a half I had it than I would have had to the MT.
Fuel gauge, rev counter, standard switchgear. Good mirrors, surprisingly. It's one of only two bikes I've been on where I didn't have to contort myself to see what was going on in them.
I bought a brand new Honda CB125F in June 2015. I have had the bike serviced twice since I bought it. In June 2016, the chain came off the rear cog. The chain came off just before the second service and I specifically asked the dealer to check the chain. On Friday 8 July 2016, the chain came off again. I managed to get it back on and continued on my journey to work. On the way home the chain broke. I am having the chain and sprockets replaced with aftermarket parts. I realise that this will invalidate the warranty but that is no great loss given that Honda's warranty does not seem to be worth very much anyway. I do not blame the dealer. I do however believe that the parts on the CB125F are not as good as most British consumers would expect. I would suggest that people considering buying the CB125F should look instead to buying something with a proven track record. Kind regards Al
The brakes work as expected and the ride quality is quite good with the shocks absorbing most of the bumps in the road.
The engine is quiet and the level of engine vibration is low.
I do not believe that the average British consumer would expect to have to change the chain and sprockets after less than 5,000 miles.
These are starting to add up given that I have had to replace the chain and sprockets after less than 5,000 miles.
The gear indicator is a very useful feature.
Buying experience: Purchases from a dealer who provided a good service.
Annual servicing cost: £100
I've done 1700km on it and I think it's a good, economic commuter. Not many parts are available yet, especially exhausts.
Brakes aren't anything special but do the job. Skidded twice when breaking hard, be careful. Ride quality is fine, only thing I find the seat is somewhat uncomfortable. I tend to slide forward into the gas tank.
Good low end torque for a 125cc. Max speed I achieved was 115kph, I weigh 61kg.
Had no problems yet.
Uses about 2.2l / 100km when doing urban commuting and is tax-free. I expect to ride about 3500km every year.
Very basic but has everything you need. Gear indicator is useful. Fuel gauge is somewhat unreliable. Mine stays at 100% voor 150km then drops to 0 within 250km but I got used to it.
Annual servicing cost: £100
Would not recommend this bike. Get the bike that has a history of reliability like the cbf125. My 2015 cb125f broke within 6,000 miles. I'm being blamed for not taking the bike for a service every 6 weeks.
When it worked it was good
Slow but smooth
Should a bike be written off after 6,000 miles? I say no.
First service at 600 miles a whopping £100. Just an oil change. Expect more from that.
Good number of extras compared to other 125s
Buying experience: Careful, this is a new model, hence has not yet got any history of reliability. It is not the same engine as the very successful cbf125 and it suffers on two fronts. 1. It's slower 2. If the engine is damaged you won't be able to replace it with the older cbf125 and repair costs will be astronomical if you're not covered by the warranty.
Annual servicing cost: £100
Best features: Easy to ride, fantastic manoeuvrability around town, great fuel consumption, gear indicator is a nice touch. Worst features: clunky gearbox, uncomfortable seat, realistic top speed 62 mph
It's pretty good, I'm probably one of the heaviest users of this bike and I've got to say that brakes stop well and the ride is fine.
It's pretty smooth. So why it's working its impressive. Would like a little more top end speed but who doesn't.
Mine broke down after just over 5,000 miles. Still waiting to resolve the problem.
Built very sensibly with the beginner rider in mind. Gear display is a great touch.
Buying experience: Bought from dealer for £2,500. Came with AA breakdown and 2 year warranty. But be very careful, warranty is invalidated if you don't keep up with the service schedule. So depending on your daily mileage, really consider this hidden cost. Because if you do many miles as I do it will eat into any savings you make.
Seat is not very good. It tends push you forward into the saddle. This puts weight on your arms.
Possibly because of the skinny tyres the ride feels a bit hard & bumpy. I bought this bike because I got fed up with the small wheels on my last three scooters. Disappointing.
Mine had some slightly rusty bolts on delivery.
How come its £45 dearer on insurance (Honda Ins) than the 400cc Forza I px'd it for? Certainly be shopping around when it is due.
Even as an experienced rider I find the gear indicator useful. No cut out switch & no overtaking switch but not needed !!
Buying experience: Part exchanged 2 year Forza and got cash back. paid full price. Can't fault dealer.
This is the Perfect Geared Learner Bike for my son and I after a 50cc Moped, Its easy to ride, handles nicely, light steering with a 45 deg turn for around town and mini roundabouts, Useful things like a Gear Indicator are handy for novices and nice big indicator dash lights, headlights are powerful after dim scooter ones! With Fuel injection it runs perfect from cold. Low seat height and very nice upright position. The Gear box is very positive, light clutch, no false neutrals yet. The bike definitely inspires confidence. It looks really good in the naked style and isnt too small for my 6ft 4in Son, he thinks it looks cool and the Pearlescent White version looks great with the Black and Red detail. This bike is fun, you want to jump on to it on a Sunday Morning for a drive down the country lanes...the fuel Gauge just never seems to move either! 150 mpg I can believe.
Good front Disc and rear Drum is fine, 18 inch wheels ride well over bumps etc. Its a firm ride but the rear shock does have 5 adjustments which we have yet to try out. Front fork takes most things in its stride.
Very smooth, sounds good, revs very easily and effortlessly and with Fuel Injection it runs from cold faultlessly. Its got a nice thrum but is not too noisy either.
Well built, feels solid and usual Honda build quality, 2 years warranty and recovery gives peace of mind with Honda back up.
First service at 600 for about £80 so quite short then 2500 miles
Its a basic but nice Traditional Non digital Car like Dash, Big dials, Big indicator flashers, Gear indicator, easy to see everything. Has both a Kick and centre stand. Tyres are a bit skinny from a look perspective but nice smart Alloys in a Graphite finish. For the price its spot on.
Buying experience: Tippetts Honda were very good and helpful, £2499 but included a £150 helmet so I was happy as its quite a new model.
Had it just over a month now and is a joy to ride. Incredibly smooth engine for a single and doesn't mind being thrashed. Even at 65mph the engine is well over 8,000rpm but never feels it. Engine has a pleasing grumble to it as well. Good fun to thrash on the open road too!
Ride quality can be a bit harsh but handles surprisingly well for such a budget bike. You can really flick it through the corners.
Very smooth power delivery. No vibrations. Can struggle a bit with a headwind but plenty of torque to pull you up hills. Sits quite happily at 65mph on the redline.
Quality is top notch being a Honda and I don't see it going wrong any time soon.
Manages well over 100mpg even when thrashed. And cheap to tax and insure.
It's basic but what do you expect? Dials are nice and clear and the gear position indicator is a nice touch. An accurate fuel gauge too which is a novelty.
Buying experience: Top notch. Can't complain about Hondas customer service!