HONDA CBR125R (2011 - 2019) Review

Highlights

  • Learner-friendly sports bike
  • Legendary Honda reliability
  • Entertainment at low costs

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Power: 13 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.2 in / 793 mm)
Weight: Low (300 lbs / 136 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £2,500 - £3,300

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Honda CBR 125 R has been yet another of the firm’s success stories. In its seven years of production, the sporty-looking learner 125cc has sold by the ship load all over the world, with good reason. It is easy to ride, comfortable, gives good fuel economy and, above all, it’s a Honda…

For 2011 the CBR 125 R was updated. The mini-emperor had new clothes and everyone could see they were considerably sportier. While not as sharp as the Yamaha YZF-R125, it carried off the ‘big-bike’ look very well. It rode just as well too. CBR 125 R: the success story lives on.

The CBR 125 R went off sale in 2019. This version replaced the 2004 model of the same name.

Once you've read this review, you could try heading to the Honda CBR Forum or the Honda Owners' Club GB Facebook group.

Video: Yamaha R125 vs Honda CBR 125 R vs Aprilia RS125

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The spindly almost bicycle feel from under the saddle has gone. A larger rear tyre (130-section) gave the bike a solid feel. Along with its new bodywork the bike rode and looked much bigger than a learner bike – unfortunately displayed-plates gave the game away. Suspension is built to price and a little soft but this wasn’t a bad thing on pot-holed city streets. Braking was functional meaning it’s par for the course and there’s no method of lever span adjustment, which is strange given that learner riders come in all shape and sizes.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Let’s face it; a restricted 125cc machine is going to receive abuse. Constant full throttle in an attempt to move along with the traffic will be met with heavy gearbox use, but Honda’s little lump has proved to be a reliable unit. It’s modern by way of fuel injection and water cooling and that’s all you need to worry about with basic checks of oil and coolant level along with the usual warranty service schedule. Power-wise it’s bang on the power-to-weight allowance and lacks initial get up and go – it’s a job to stay ahead of traffic from the lights. And what about the Honda CBR125R top speed? It’ll struggle to maintain 70mph but 60mph isn’t a problem. Ride with a sensible head and the CBR 125 R can return 60+mpg.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Built in Thailand under close scrutiny of Honda personnel so Honda’s legendary reliability shouldn’t suffer one jot. Spares can be expensive – like any motorcycle – and this is worth remembering when taking part in the Roundabout Challenge Trophy – the IRC tyres are made for longevity rather than outright grip.

We've got eight Honda CBR 125 R owners' reviews on the MCN site, and it scores 4.8 out of 5 stars overall, which is a very good performance. The Build Quality and Reliability score is the same, which shows how highly buyers consider this bike's sturdiness. The only negative comments are about the lack of equipment, but this is a cheap bike. You can't expect the world. 

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Honda was hoping the CBR would sell in volumes and priced it accordingly. Even so it was not as cheap as we’d hoped for – Yamaha’s XJ6 Diversion F ABS was only £6999 – but considering the rising cost of raw materials and poor currency exchange it wasn’t so bad, especially when the bike was as good as everyone expected.

Rivals from the 125cc sportsbike class include the Yamaha YZF-R125, the Aprilia RS125 and the KTM RC125.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

Good styling exercise and paint scheme… Er, that’s it really. What you have to remember is the CBR 125 R is budget but functional, and is built to last compared to the majority of cheaper machines.

Specs

Engine size 124cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, SOHC, 2v four-stroke single-cylinder. Six gears
Frame type Steel dual beam
Fuel capacity 13 litres
Seat height 793mm
Bike weight 136kg
Front suspension N/a
Rear suspension N/a
Front brake 276mm disc with 2-piston caliper
Rear brake 220mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 10/80 x 17
Rear tyre size 130/70 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 88 mpg
Annual road tax £20
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price £2,500 - £3,300
Insurance group 6 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 13 bhp
Max torque 7.7 ft-lb
Top speed 70 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 255 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2004 – Original Honda CBR 125 R launched.
2005 – Honda CBR 125 R in Repsol colours available for £100 more.
2007 – Major revision of fuel injection, oxygen sensor etc for emissions compliance. Bodywork restyled to mimic CBR1000RR Fireblade. Forks and swingarm now black.
2011 – Launch of revised model

Other versions

None

Owners' reviews for the HONDA CBR125R (2011 - 2019)

8 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBR125R (2011 - 2019) 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 CBR125R (2011 - 2019)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Engine: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 3.9 out of 5 (3.9/5)
5 out of 5 If a sports-styled 125 could be a sensible choice, this is the sensible choice
24 July 2015 by Alex

Version: Repsol

Year: 2015

125s have moved on a bit from what those in the previous generation (I am 24) remember of them. My parents, neighbours etc couldn't believe it was a 125, whether it is the bulbus fuel-tank, the larger rear-tyre or more generally the larger, chunkier appearance of the bike. If it didn't say 125 on the side you'd have a job differentiating it from a 300. Really all you need to do is get a licence so the terrible L-plates can get torn up and what you have is a good looking bike that is a perfect solution for a sporty London commute

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

More upright position than you might expect, which makes sense seeing as it's not a motorway bike where the wind would give your wrists some release. You don't exactly look like marc marquez sitting up like that but you are at least comfortable. Not had to slam on the brakes yet but generally they stop the bike fine. My commute is 1.5hrs of stop-start London riding and the only reason I might have to take a break is to change the battery in my Go-Pro. Soft suspension is great for a city, haven't tried it on country roads/motorways yet because i don't live in the country and I'm not allowed on motorways!

Engine 4 out of 5

1st gear is crazy short, which is annoying as you're constantly changing gear even in slow moving traffic. However it forces you to learn to shift well since you're always doing it and it is a learner bike. I haven't felt slow yet, on roads up to 40mph you usually have an edge over most cars, by the time you're ready to take on motorways you'll be looking at bigger bikes so this point is mute

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Not had it for very long but it's a Honda so.....

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Can fill the tank for £16 with Super Unleaded and can get nearly 300 miles out of it

Equipment 3 out of 5

Fuel gauge is useful although a gear-indicator would be good especially since a lot of guys like me do a CBT on a moped and teach themselves gearing from scratch. When the gearbox and the rider are both new the shifting isn't always seamless and something to tell you your back in first gear and not still stuck in 3rd would be nice to avoid those embarrassing green-light stalls

Buying experience: I picked up one during a 0% finance promotion making it way cheaper than alternatives financed over 3 years since it is already £1000 cheaper than the R125, the RS4 125 or the RC125. Got it from Dobles in Croydon who are arguably one of if not the best Honda dealers in the UK (according to MCN). Great support and information and got some nice bonuses thrown in.

5 out of 5
10 July 2015 by Alex

Year: 2013

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5
30 May 2015 by whiter

Year: 2014

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

could do with better brakes

Engine 4 out of 5

could do with a bit more power

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

had my cbr since jan 2015 and it started to rust already

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 honda cbr125r
01 June 2014 by janbusby1

I have a 2012 cbr 125 in repsol colours..its quick,reliable ,and feels like riding a 500.its build quality is up to HONDA standard and i would highly recomend this machine.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5 honda CBR125R
01 June 2014 by

I have owned my CBR125 for 7 months,and i must say,what a gem....firstly its bigger than its previous model which is great as im 6ft and 15 stone..and putting the bike next to a bigger CC bike didnt look out of place.The ride is comfortable due to a larger seat,and even on longer distance i didnt get rear ache.the fuel consumption is superb,ive had over 256 miles on a full 13 litre tank.the ride is a joy,handling is forgiving and the machine likes to let the power loose,tho still showing it is afterall only a 125.the bike in REPSOL race colours which i have looks stunning.the tyres have been made bigger on this model and i feel it makes the bike look more grown up,the brakes are fine but maybe a good set of BREMBO would be better but this would make the bike more expensive.the CBR125R i would highly recomend as a starter motorbike.its over a grand cheaper than the YZF but does the same job.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 I had one
04 May 2011 by YORKSHIRE1003

Firstly, why don't the spammers sod off. Right. I had a CBR 125R which I loved but I am a small guy and even I thought it was too little, the bicycle tyres didn’t do it any favours. The barn door/ Mickey Mouse ear mirrors had to go but it still shifted as it weighed less than a bag of crisps which in turn made the fuel economy ridiculous; 80mpg on a good day. Great first bike but not really for anyone with an above medium build

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
5 out of 5 cheap nike
15 April 2011 by guaguazia

http://www.doestrade.com/ Continue to surprise for cheapest Nike,Air max,Jordan shoes,T-shirt, shopping online. April surprise---New stock constantly!Come on, dress it! Cheapest (TOP) Nike,Air Max, Jordan (1-24) shoes $31 UGG BOOT $50 Nike shox (R4, NZ, OZ, TL1, TL2, TL3) $31 T-shirts (polo, ed hardy, lacoste) $15 Handbag(LV,Chanel,Coach,DG,ED Hardy.etc.)44$ Jean (True Religion, ed hardy, coogi)$30 Sunglasses (Dior, Oakey, coach, Gucci, Armaini)$16 jersey $ 29 New era cap $16 Belt(ED hardy /LV) $15 Watch(Rolex) $80 Scarf $21 Bikini (Ed hardy, Polo,Gucci,LV,Christan Audigier,Affliction) $15 Accept Paypal Payment.Electronic bank transfer, credit card payment. Free Shipping Welcome to: http://www.doestrade.com/

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 cheapest shopping online
14 April 2011 by woaidegege

Continue to surprise for cheapest shopping online. April surprise---New stock constantly!Come on, dress it! http://www.doestrade.com/ Cheapest Nike,Air Max, Jordan (1-24) shoes $31 UGG BOOT $50 Nike shox (R4, NZ, OZ, TL1, TL2, TL3) $31 T-shirts (polo, ed hardy, lacoste) $15 Handbag(LV,Chanel,Coach,DG,ED Hardy.etc.)44$ Jean (True Religion, ed hardy, coogi)$30 Sunglasses ( Oakey, coach, Gucci, Armaini)$16 jersey $ 29 new era cap $16 Bikini (Ed hardy, Polo,Gucci,LV,Christan Audigier,Affliction) $15 Belt(ED hardy /LV) $15 Accept Paypal Payment.Electronic bank transfer, credit card payment. Free Shipping Welcome to: http://www.doestrade.com/

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
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