The Honda CG125 is, in a word, bouncy. Especially if riden by a large lady in a tabard down to Netto. But that's OK, because only a complete madman would expect a Honda CG125 to handle anything like an Aprilia RS125. The basic suspension does the job and if you are on the hefty side, then jack up the preload on the Honda CG125's shocks.
The Honda CG125 motor plods on remarkably well, often with very little maintenance. In fact you could probably run the thing on turnip juice for 1000 miles without it suffering engine failure. The later 2004 onwards Honda CG125s have a vastly improved gearbox and slightly more power, but not much.
OK, you need to run your motorbike on distilled chicken dung. No problem, buy a Honda CG125 and it will probably get you home. The Honda CG125 is - or at least was - the very definition of rugged reliability, although it's arguable that the original version had more durable cycle parts than later examples.
Maintaining a Honda CG125
CG125s should have their engine oil changed ever 750-1000 miles to keep things happy. The spring-loaded screen mesh oil filter also needs to be checked and cleaned if necessary. There is also a centrifugal oil filter on the end of the oil pump that should be cleaned periodically.
What's more, if you're ever stripping the clutch, you will need a Honda 'castellated locknut' socket to remove the centrifugal oil filter from the end of the crankshaft, otherwise you can't get the clutch basket off. You can make one up yourself using a spare 20mm socket. All you need is a hacksaw, a file and a sturdy vice or improvise with a G-clamp. It will probably cost you 20 minutes of sweat and an old socket but it’s cheaper than the Honda tool and it works.
Brand new, the Honda CG125 it is an expensive motorcycle, especially when you consider how long Honda has been making it, and how cheaply the exact same bike retails in developing markets. Chinese Honda CG125 rivals are 300-500 quid cheaper, but lack Honda's dealer network or warranty back-up.
On the used market, CG125s are depreciation-proof. You can get a decent drum-braked model for under £500 if you look hard, at least in London, where there are zillions of them. A grand gets the electric start version.
The Honda CBF125 is newer, but has had some issues (fuel pump failure is not unknown). The price for a good one is a grand, but the CG125 is arguably still the one to go for.
Insurance group: 3 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
The layout on the older Honda CG125 brought new depth to the word `basic.' Later Honda CG125 models have a much better saddle, mirrors, disc rather than drum front brake, plus a five speed gearbox instead of just four speeds. One detail that isn't really progress is losing the fully enclosed drive chain on the older Honda CG125s.