HONDA CG125 (1975 - 2008) Review
- Hugely popular learner-friendly 125
- Cheap to buy and run
- This is a bike you can rely upon
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£220|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Honda CG 125 was launched way back in 1975 and served as the ultimate commuter bike for over 30 years. It's a 125cc learner-friendly machine and sold in huge numbers, amassing ten million sales worldwide.
Nowadays it makes a great starting point for a life on two wheels, or budget urban commuter with low running costs and typical Honda reliability. It’s also become synonymous with custom motorcycle culture, with many now being snaffled up to become cafe racer and bobber projects.
- Related: Best 125cc motorbikes
The Honda CG 125 goes, it stops, it goes again the next day - simple as that. It’s quite literally the Spam of biking; a bit downmarket, stodgy and uninspiring, but ultimately does exactly what it says on the tin. In today’s tech-laden motorcycle market it’s a breath of fresh air, with its tiny proportions and no frills approach making it unthreatening and approachable for almost any rider.
Simplistic, minimalist and easy to use, they are a doddle to work on and even easier to ride. More than a commuter, they are also an excellent beginner's bike - with chunky, robust controls and plenty of spares available on the used market, thanks to the huge quantity of bikes sold across its 33-year lifetime.
- Related: Learn to ride a motorbike with MCN
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The best way to describe the Honda CG 125’s ride quality is: bouncy. Especially if ridden by a larger pilot. But that's okay, because only a complete madman would expect a Honda CG 125 to handle anything like an Aprilia RS 125 - the most desirable sports 125 of the late 90s and early 00s.
That said, it does the job and CGs have been known to haul more than just a large rider to and from work elsewhere in developing countries! If you are on the hefty side, there is the option to jack up the preload on the rear twin shocks, which should help give a little more control.
Away from the suspension, life on the CG 125 is comfortable and unintimidating. Sitting upright with a thick, generously-padded seat beneath you and a basic set of clocks up front, you can maximise its potential in even the most congested of urban cityscapes - turning every journey into your own hilarious gymkhana course.
Although not a problem for shorter riders, it is likely that the CG’s small proportions will feel cramped for a taller rider - feeling more like a BMX bike, with a buzzing four-stroke single cylinder strapped into the frame for a laugh than a full-fledged motorcycle.
Elsewhere, up until an update in 2004, braking power was provided by a drum at the front and rear. Weighing so little, they are perfectly adequate - hauling the bike up quickly, with a notable dive from the spindly front forks. A stamp on the rear will quickly lock the skinny rear wheel, too - which could catch out some novices in poor riding conditions. After 2004, the CG got a front disc brake, alongside a larger fuel tank and updated styling.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The air cooled, overhead valve single cylinder Honda CG 125 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 CG 125s have a vastly improved gearbox and slightly more power, but not much. Change the oil every 750 to 1000 miles and it should return years of faithful motoring - something easily done thanks to the inclusion of a centre stand and no fiddly bodywork to remove.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
OK, you need to run your motorbike on distilled chicken dung. No problem, buy a Honda CG 125 and it will probably get you home. The Honda CG 125 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.
Owners should also look for problems with rust on the wheels, exhaust and shocks. This is especially prevalent in the winter months, with the outer rim and inside of the standard exhaust quickly corroding in the salt. Be sure to apply plenty of ACF-50 if you’re riding all year round. This tester’s very 1996 CG 125 has also experienced issues with the rear brake light switch failing after being stored for long periods in the garage.
Maintaining a Honda CG 125 - change the oil regularly
CG 125s should have their engine oil changed every 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 lock nut’' 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.
A custom favourite
On top of being easy to work on, the basic nature of a Honda CG 125 makes it an ideal base bike for custom projects; with many now standing proudly as stripped-back low-capacity cafe racers.
If you're buying a used project, be sure to check all of the modifications have been done properly and safely. Likewise, as with any used 125, many of these machines will have been first bikes and commuters, meaning maintenance could've taken a back seat. When buying, check everything as it should be.
Over the years we've seen a Honda CG 125 scrambler with a more off-road look, and a popular conversion is a Honda CG 125 cafe racer.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Brand new, the Honda CG125 was an expensive motorcycle, especially when you consider how long Honda had been making it, and how cheaply the exact same bike retails in developing markets. Chinese manufacturers were able to produce Honda CG125 rivals 300-500 quid cheaper, but they lack Honda's dealer network or warranty back-up. They are also far less commonplace than a Honda on the used market in the UK.
On the used market, CG 125s are depreciation-proof. You can get a decent drum-braked model for around £800 if you look hard, however prices are starting to climb, as appetite grows for customisation. Around £1200 may just get the electric start version.
There are also plenty of projects available; from non-runners, to easy-finishers. Parts are also very cheap and with such a long production run, readily available. Look out for finished projects for sale though, with some customs listed with eye-watering price tags.
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 CG 125 is arguably still the one to go for. Other bikes from the era to consider include the Suzuki GN125 and Honda’s own C90.
The layout on the older Honda CG 125 brought new depth to the word 'basic.' Later Honda CG 125 parts include a much better saddle, mirrors, disc rather than drum front brake, plus a five speed gearbox instead of just four speeds.
Newer bikes also benefited from a fuel gauge and an electric starter, with bikes in the mid ‘90s still only furnished with a slippery kickstart, which can be surprisingly lethal on your shins when it’s wet. Replacement parts for newer models are easily sourced, too, with whole non-runners available for a couple of hundred quid.
One detail that isn't really progress is losing the fully enclosed drive chain on the older Honda CG 125s. The chain guard does a brilliant job of masking the tiny sprockets and links from the elements, with the inclusion of the centre stand making adjustments a doddle whenever required.
|Engine type||2v, single, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Steel tubular cradle|
|Fuel capacity||13.5 litres|
|Front brake||240mm disc|
|Front tyre size||2.75 x 18|
|Rear tyre size||90/90 x 18|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||95 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£21|
|Annual service cost||£220|
3 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||11 bhp|
|Max torque||7 ft-lb|
|Top speed||65 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||24 secs|
|Tank range||280 miles|
Model history & versions
- 1975: Honda CG125 launched.
- 1988: Main Honda CG125 production shifts to Brazil.
- 1996: Honda CG125 `clones' exported in volume from China.
- 2004: Updated Honda CG125 gets disc front brake, bigger tank, new styling.
- This one's in a class of its own.
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CG125 (1975 - 2008)
31 owners have reviewed their HONDA CG125 (1975 - 2008) 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:||£220|
Annual servicing cost: £100
Best CBT bike ever! I've taught hundreds of learner riders to ride on these and they are unbreakable! Round the world trip? Use the CG and any 'mechanic' can fix it at the side of the road.
Goes. Stops. Goes again. Great reliably and cheap commuter. Go for the later disc model for better braking.
Perfect for commuting. Don't expect more than a 50mph cruising speed... 40mph is good and still returns decent mpg.
Goes forever with regular care. Oil, filter and tubes are worth checking but that's it. Lube cables and chain and ride it.
Servicing costs are for CBT instruction so if I was commuting I'd drop to £50 per year for oil and pads.
What more do you need on a commuter?
Never has let me down starts (electric start ) with the turn of the key with hardly any choke needed
Fantastic little commuter bike really does what it says on the tin with no issues
For what it is the speed s good enough to clear the Sunday driver and HGV drivers with ease
Very well built never broken down on me at all
I love all the features .best kept standard
Buying experience: Private sale
Can go all day I'm 6ft
Annual servicing cost: £20
I have owned this bike for a Decade, I have taken it over mountains and toured over 5000 miles of Scotland and Wales. It has never let me down. I have recorded over 100 Mpg and with a slight upgrade it sits at 65-70 Mph. I like items I understand and can fix myself, and the CG is this bike. Honestly not sure if I will ever sell it.
I have rode this bike over 5000 miles touring the mountains of Scotland and Wales. The Ride is OK for what the bike is. It is not a Racer, and can be a little loose, but on the other hand is quite forgiving. The drum brakes are poor to say the least. The front IS on the list of upgrades for my bike, as you do have to change the way you ride to suit the brakes. The little 35W Front light is also quite poor. On pitch black mountain roads you really cannot see a lot. but round town its fine. maybe will upgrade this one day.
As standard the pushrod engine is not the most powerful. I have upgraded the exhaust and inlet to create a few more Hp. The problem as standard, I like to use this bike on dual carriageways and motorways for long distance. With the standard setup you are constantly playing with trucks, some are slightly faster, some slower. With a few Hp more this problem is greatly reduced. Other than that my bike feels and seems absolutely bulletproof !
I have taken this bike on 2 x 2000 mile touring holidays in the mountains of Scotland. 1000 Miles round Wales, Rode down dirt-tracks and over mountain rocky passes, and this bike has never let me down once.
The reason for keeping the bike is the cost and ease of maintenance. With a manual and a few tools, most items can be replaced or repaired cheaply and quickly. I have recorded over 120 Mpg sitting at 60 for 200 miles, though my bike is slightly modified from standard, another CG of the same year that was on the trip noticed the same.
Basic/standard "what you need" equipment, but then less to go wrong. The point of this CG seems to be reliability! The M1 comes with electric and kick start, This was one of the main reasons I brought this model. And i have used Both systems!
Buying experience: The bike cost £350 in a poor condition from a private listing in London, Has cost me £350 to fix up to a pretty decent condition over a few years (whist using). To keep this on-road for 10 years has most likely cost £1000 inc cost of MOT and tax. So £1700 for a decade of CG problem free riding. I cannot sell this bike.
Annual servicing cost: £55
I chose this bike purely for its simplicity, fun and charm-factor. It is affordable and simple to maintain and service at home. Used primarily for social riding from SOT to Wales.
Solo riding and best ridden at 50 mph. The seat is firm but I can travel 2 hours before needing a break. I ride mainly in restricted speed zones especially in Wales cos they have so many 40/50 mph limits, even in between towns that matches the CG's performance . Ridden on dual carriageways doing 50 mph. Occasionally taken on M6, but only when roadworks are in place with 50 speed limit. Front & rear drum brakes are fine for its performance.
Old pushrod engine. Easy to maintain, no special tools needs, use quality oil, and change every 1000 miles because it's cheap to do so. Runs out of puff on steep hills but will still make it albeit at a slower pace.
For a 17-year-old motorcycle, its reliability is down to the my care and maintenance of it.
MOT - £30, 2L Oil - £16, spark plug - £3 and air filter - £6. The economy exceeds 90 mpg. I changed the fork oil seals at home, straightforward exercise just need to be methodical and patient.
It doesn't have a rev counter but on the speedometer there are markings that indicate the max speed per gear. Worth finding a luggage rack, got a chrome rack off eBay for £60. Only has a centre stand, a side stand would be useful. I replaced the old tyres with Metzeler ME22 and they have very good road holding.
Buying experience: Bought 6 years ago for £700. No issues.
Annual servicing cost: £50
Great bike, for a 125. Perfect as something to commute on or just cruise along leisurely. Great fuel economy, simple to work on, comfortable enough, just don't expect high performance.
Nothing spectacular but does the job. Able to ride all day.
Performance is what you expect from a 125. Will happily sit at 55 and push towards 60 but nothing more. Fast enough to overtake a hayabusa if ridden write though
Very good. Easy to put right for pennies if anything does go wrong.
1000 mile service intervals is short but the oil can be changed for no money and 30 minutes. 220 miles to a tank when sitting around 60mph. Probably around 75mpg
Basic. Speedo and centre stand is about it.
If fuel economy, reliability and simplicity are the name of the game then quite simply this is the bike to have.
The CG125 isn't meant for long distance. I can go maybe 60miles before getting a bit fed up. The speed and power is the main issue but the seat is quite hard and the handlebar vibrations take their toll. This is a commuter bike meant for 20-30 miles a day, not a tourer.
It's got more "go" than you'd expect, so long as you don't expect to go above 50mph. It runs out of steam at 60mph which makes motorway just about safe. Below 40mph however it's as good as most cars and I can leave cars in my dust if I filter to the front of the queue.
No frame corrosion after four salty, cold, wet winters without a single night in a garage. I have had cycle parts fail but none of them were Honda's.
I do all my own servicing and it's really very easy for the most part. My rear brake actuating arm went a bit stiff which was a pain to loosen up, but that's happened once and shouldn't happen again. Excluding tax and insurance, my total servicing costs consist of oil (c.£50 p.a.) and brake pads (£6).
I definitely recommend a windscreen, particularly in winter. I use Metzeler ME22s which last 2years/10k miles and I've never had an issue with grip.
Buying experience: Bought it privately with 13k on the clock for £1200. It was a bit more than market price but it was in very good condition. It's got 33k now and still going strong.
Annual servicing cost: £1,000
I think it is the best motorcycle in terms of cost-benefit
good performance for the kind of motorcycle that it is
My motorcycle has 50 thousand kms and the original engine. Just replaced the clutch disks.
Very low maintenance cost
Poor lighting, no tachometer.
Buying experience: It's a very noble and durable motorcycle. It is very popular in Argentina.
I have been riding a CG125-ES4 version since July 2014. Before that I was riding bigger BMWs (F650CS, R1150GS) and being a cheapskate and someone who doesn't like to go to the dealer or anything as well as transient in life, I found the CG fitted my needs and lifestyle the best. I had been previously riding a 52-plate CG125M1 version which I put aside when I moved onto the BMWs and it had a few MOT failures... but that still lives in my garage and I hope to bring it back to working order one day. I did almost all my own maintenance with my first CG so going back to a CG was a great for me as I knew how to do everything and I've done a few more of the advanced service items since (valve clearances, centrifugal oil filter). It's never going to be the best bike in the world for everyone, but to me that is EXACTLY what it is. Sometimes I wish I had a bigger engine or higher top speed so I could go further but then I remind myself how awesome this little bike is. It's very reliable, second hand parts always come up on eBay if you're looking to save even more money (I had to sort out a few things as I bought mine after it had aftermarket stuff installed due to being stolen previously) and it is very economical on the wallet. I can do London to Swansea and further still on 1 tank of petrol - and one tank of petrol costs about £12-14. I took it to the south of France when I went there for work and it was great for the local hills. It was a lot of fun. After my work finished I went up to Andorra down to Barcelona then followed the coast east to Italy, went up to Milan, Switzerland and back through France and it didn't skip a beat. It's such a nice little bike that locals are very interested in where you have been and I'm certain I wouldn't get that if I were on my GS - those are plentiful. I will always have my CG125. Love it to bits!!!
The brakes on my CG125-M1 weren't the best and I can't say the ES4 brakes are that much better despite being disc brakes. I read online and from other people's experiences that the EBC brake pads are better and gone through a genuine Honda set in not a lot of time and having used the EBCs for a bit, I would agree that the EBC are not only better but possibly may outlive the genuine ones. I'm really not a fan of the genuine set as they really didn't last (brake fluid was changed at the same time), and the brakes felt similar in terms of sponginess to how the drum brakes on the M1 felt. In terms of the ride quality and handling the bike is alright. Obviously there are bikes that handle better out there and the suspension is a bit basic for me but it's perfectly useable.
You aren't ever going to get motorway top speeds with this, but the bike is happy at a max of about 50-55 mph (80kmh). It will do more, and up to 70 with a wind behind you, going downhill but at the end of the day I'd say take it easy on the engine and it will get you there and look after you. Although you could use it on the motorway (and I do!) I wouldn't recommend doing it on a regular basis or pushing it above 55 mph for long periods of time. The engine power is great for country lanes or London/city riding - enough to overtake most cars at the lights.
Having owned both the CG125-ES4 and the CG125M1, I can say that it suffers a little bit if you don't give it some TLC. When we were looking for them second hand we saw a lot of rusty ones that had been neglected (and the sellers had the cheek to describe them as "good condition"!!). They are bulletproof but do require a little TLC. I would recommend a can of ACF50 (about £15-17) and 1 can goes a long way - use this to look after the CG125 and itll stay relatively rust and corrosion free. Our roads in the UK aren't the kindest. Other than that I am happy with the build quality.
I do my own servicing so it's hard to comment on running and service costs. I'm also very obsessive about it. Look after it well and it'll look after you - that's what I say. Mine gets treated to genuine parts all the time but I know not everyone wants or can afford this - eBay is a good source of NOS or used stuff though! If you are willing to learn some maintenance basics then the CG125 is very good for that - there are some good websites and videos on Youtube which show you how - it's a basic bike so you can watch videos for other bikes like the CBF125 if you can't find good videos to show you how to do what you want to do. I started doing my own maintenance out of a lack of money as well as being into taking apart things since I was a kid so it lent itself well to that. The ES4 version has one or two more things that need more attention than previous models so if you are considering this version then do consider the fact that the chain is uncovered unlike the previous ones. This will mean the chain needs more attention. The case covering it on my M1 was fantastic and helped a lot!! The ES4 variant also has a disc brake so occasionally you will be looking at one more thing to service - the brake fluid. It needs to be done every 2 years apparently, or when it's a honey colour.
It's a basic bike so doesn't have many big features but the single most useful accessory I would say is a rack and topbox. If you are new to biking, just be aware that a loaded topbox does change how the bike handles. I'm quite used to it though, and you will be too. Givi do decent topboxes that are good quality, water resistant and well built. Givi do make a specific rack for the CG125 but I don't see many of these about so might want to use the general all-purpose base plate and find a rack for it. The Givi model-specific rack also isn't cheap. For the long distance/adventure rider you may wish to consider a tank bag or change the normal BA20d bulb to a halogen one (try the Ring brand one rather than cheap no-name ones). Michelin Pilot Sporty tyres used to be the best until they stopped making them. Now I use Michelin Pilot Street which are not bad but not quite as good. Avoid Michelin M45's for purely city-tarmac riding. They are alright if you do some offroad stuff though but brake awful in the rain on tarmac.
Buying experience: I paid £650 for a 52-plate CG125M1 in 2008 and I paid £600 for a 06-plate CG125-ES4 in 2010 - these prices are on the cheaper end of the scale. Tips for buyers - you'll find a cheaper price out in the country - the kind of bikes you want to buy ideally are looked after ones by careful owners that aren't heavily modified and ridden by an older/elderly rider who looked after the bike. We found both of ours this way. There are a lot out there with rusty rims, aftermarket bits and bobs fixed on and whilst they work, try and get one with original stuff on it because long term it doesn't last!! Generally speaking, if you are looking in/around London, you'll pay a little more and possibly get a rustier model that may have had a harder life. If you have the transport (like a friend with a car or dad?) then it is worth going further to find a good one if you don't have any near you.
Annual servicing cost: £100
It goes and goes until you forget to fill it back up, getting it to stop as well as it goes is another matter, Starts with the first kick even for a 20 year old bike thats had a hard paper round from previous owners, The brakes are it's worst feature needing a fair bit of foresight to get it to stop where you want it when travelling anything over 20mph
It is one of the cheapest motorbikes ever for a reason and the ride is not too clever particularly in traffic, as mentioned the brakes are pretty rubbish and it's obvious why they traded up to a front disc on later models, saying this though I have had some quite pleasurable rides on all the local b roads, unfortunately mine can't get past 50mph but this maybe because i am 6,2 and 15 stone
It will keep going aslong as there is oil left to extract from the earth. Nuff said.
The engine seems virtually bombproof however all plastics have broken needing a fair few cable ties to keep on, fork seals seam to be a problem.
I paid 300quid for mine from a teenager on a council estate who used it to commute to work and had obviously neglected to maintain it during his ownership, however with 100 quid on tyres and a few other bits its done a sterling job getting me through my DAS and commuting to work. At 33 and a first bike it only cost 100 quid to insure.
As you'd expect on a cheap 125 turn and neutral indicator etc, my biggest problem is no fuel guage I have conked out numerous times forgetting to check.
Buying experience: Bought from a young lad who threw in a jacket, decent chain and some engine oil, bargain for 300 quid
Version: CG125 ES-4
I thoroughly enjoyed riding this bike. Used as a daily commuter for nearly 12 months, did a 400-mile round trip to Bristol on it, managed to get 73mph on the clock a few times (downhill and fully loaded for extra momentum)! Good riding position for a 6 foot overweight male with a dodgy back and knees at 20 years old! Probably would have been happier if I was 5 stone lighter though!
Being a heavy bloke I probably got the short end of the stick on bumps and potholes, and the overall cornering and feel changed significantly once it had new tyres. Brakes worked fine as far as I'm concerned, but there's not a lot of horses to reign in...
Solid as hell. Never had any problems with the engine itself. It's everything else I needed to keep an eye one! Ran it in properly (it was completely stripped down, cleaned and rebuilt shortly before I got it) on a trip to Bristol in November on A-roads (damn L-plates) and it was much happier after!
Only had minor issues with the bike. As a Sheffield rider, the potholes did most of the damage! Had to strip the starter motor once to get it to start without bumping, and a spring in the selector mechanism wore out so I could hit neutral or first gear for a while. Other than that everything seems original bar the front disc pads!
Well I spent around half it's value repairing it in my first year of owning it, so I decided it was time to move onto another. It may just be that all the original parts decided to go after I got it and I'm just unlucky there! Regardless, it should make it's next owner a very reliable runabout. Never spent more than £12 to fill it from nearly empty and it'd do around 2-2.5 weeks short commutes and going out on weekends on that!
It's a learner/small commuter bike. You get lights, engine, a frame and a fuel tank. There's grab handles/bungee attaching points too, but you'd need to be light riders for a two-up journey I reckon. I did buy a rack for mounting a top-box but it seems the mounts were designed for a slightly different model or were out slightly so it never went on.
Buying experience: Bought private for £1050 - £150 less than he asked for seeing as he was a friend of my uncle!
I bought an 1988 CG125 for £150 "on a whim" about 4 or 5 years ago. I thought perhaps it would encourage my partmer to get back on 2 wheels, but she wasn't having it, so 2 years ago I started using it myself as a run around so I wouldn't have to get my nice bike (Harley)out of the garage for short errands, especially in bad weather. I ride it everywhere. Before I was familiar with it, I took it up to London on the A3 and it all but ran out of oil and broke down. I refilled it with a litre of oil from Screwfix, and it started running again, but smoked like crazy. I stripped the top end and discovered the piston rings had gummed into their grooves, so I installed a new piston and ring set and gaskets - £5.84 and £2 respectively from ebay - total repair cost £5.84. Next day I rode 265 miles to The Dragon Rally in North Wales, and 255 miles home the day after (in the severe weather, rain and gales of the february 8th-9th 2014 weekend)- the tiny Honda never skipped a beat! The following weekend I rode it to the London Motorcycle Show at the Excel Centre in the east end. I filled it to the brim before and after the 69.6 mile return journey and it used 2.9 litres of fuel (£4) which equates to 108.5 MPG - I couldn't believe it! Wow!! I have fitted a wind screen, carrier, top box, panniers and handle bar muffs. I use the bike all the time. As long as you don't expect it to do much over 50 mph, or 45 mph in foul windy weather, it will take you anywhere, but I would caution against motorway use and riding at night because of the poor lights. I have many bikes, but I can see myself hanging onto this one forever. It costs £17 to tax and pocket money to insure...
I bought my cg from a salvage yard for 60 quid in 2007. it had 10k on it. All I've needed to do to its engine since is change oil,clean filters, new plug every once in a while although not mandatory. love it to bits. will never get another bike like it. it has never let me down always got me home even when i was so skint i accepted a tank of 50/50 petrol and diesel stuck it in and off she went. shell bumble away at 60 easy and i have had 75 out of it in the right conditions and that was when i was 16 stone! she is approaching 50,000 miles now and piston rings are worn now but she still starts and takes me where i need to go. If i was given £2000 to get another bike with i would rebuild the engine on this one and go again. I recommend this bike to anyone who is new to bikes. it is more forgiving than any scooter even though mines got 2 buckled wheels it still handles well. well done honda great bike. shame they replaced it with the crf :(
I bought my R-reg model in January 2011 and wow what a first bike! It was kick start too...the way bikes SHOULD be started ;) It did 120mpg around town(200 miles to £10!) and it was only £164 to insure TPO and I got 73mph (on the clocks haha). I would recommend one to anyone and the only thing that went wrong with it was a puncture! They may not be the prettiest or the best handling (although I could outhandle my mates when they were on their posh 125s hehe).Built to last, parts are plentiful AND very cheap! £35 for a chain and sprockets and £40 for a pair of rear shocks! Can't grumble at that! I did 3500miles on mine in just 4 months before I passed my bike test and bought a GPZ500. My trusty little CG was fantastic on the Mod.1 test and for the Mod.2, it was re-assuring to have a bike so easy to ride that you could just concentrate on the test in hand! I paid £580 for my CG and 4 months later I sold it for £600. --Mikey B--
Been riding since 1966,last bike was NTV650.Time to retire,duff knee from kicking too many brit singles into life, need a bike to keep me sane,chose the Cg 125, no regrets. Managed to find one of the last carb versions,3 years old with 157miles only,as new. First ride i couldn't stop laughing it was so much fun!Miserly on fuel,bit bouncey but good handling, just nail it through bends to keep your speed up and just smile.Mods; large wind deflector over headlight to improve drag and 1 tooth bigger front sprocket to raise the gearing just enough, to do that you doo have to file out the clearance on the sprocket guide plate, there is just enough slack on the chain! next mod is to put a remote choke cable on as the lever is buried deep under the tank,hard to find even when you know where it is,impossible to reach when youre moving.First service took 30 mins, drain oil clean filter, check tappets ok, the airvalve on the cover doesnt help one bit!Carb I can work on, pushrod engine tubed tyres,cable analogue clocks etc etc, it will never need to see a dealer! last NTV service cost£200plus,this one cost £5, i'm happy.
I bought my 57 plate cg125es with only 65 miles on the clock 3 years of age with its first MOT,I have always promised myself one ever since I was given a ride on my foreman's back in 1979, sounds funny but I was gobsmacked by the power it had, but then again I owned a moped, anyway jump foreward to November 2010 and I am now riding one to work and back, the tank was full when I picked it up from the shop and the fuel guage just did not move after 70 or so miles I covered in the first week, and I still did not need to put petrol in after three weeks but I filled it up anyway.This surely has to be the future of commuting.As for the bike itself, well it is a beautifully built little bike fully modernised with its styling and new clocks which include the fuel guage as mentioned before.The front brake was poor when I first got the bike but I have noticed it getting better due to use/bedding in, EBC pads apparently improve the brake even more so I might try a set soon. I love my zzr1200, and my gpz900, but I now also love the honda and I am going to be using my cg125 as much as possible saving money on fuel and still biking at the same time. All in all a very impressed experienced motorcyclist.
but I did my test on a 55 plate bike: its cheap to buy, cheap to run, and a doddle to insure, loads of spares available, won't kill you, filtering is dead easy, nothing to worry about if you drop it - what more can you ask for from a beginner bike? As a cheap and easy runabout, its perfect.
My CG is a 1985 model and is so reliable! When I first bought the bike, it had been stood on someone's farm for the last 5 years and was looking pretty bad. I rebuilt the whole thing, including the engine, and repainted the frame. Now it's as good as new! When I took it out for the first run, I was wondering why it was only doing 37mph, but when looked into it, I found it had been under jetted since it came out the factory. Fitted a slightly bigger jet in it, and now it goes up to 60mph for the first time in it's life! Such a lovely bike to learn on though
My CG125 was a 1982 model which I had in my early days, had it for years and when I had finished with it my brother took it on for a time until he bought a CBR250RR. We both took our tests on it, in those days you could take your test on a 125 and then ride anything. It had done nearly 50000 miles when I sold it, I changed the oil and cleaned the filter every 1000 miles, only replaced the chain & sprockets once (enclosed chain gaurd did not look cool) but I kept the chain soaked in oil all the time and it never seamed ware. They did need replacing when I sold it though. It was riden all year round rain,snow,floods and it really was a faithful friend. It did however occasionaly wet the plug which was the only fault the CG had, so I always carried a spare dry plug and when it happened quickly changed the plug and off again. It is proof that basic is best for ease of maintainence and reliability, I still like air cooled singles although with more CCs. I did have a 50cc moped at 16 but it was the CG that started it all for me all those years ago, still motorcycling and enjoying it. If you fancy a trip to France but are unsure or a bit aprehensive have a look at www.longwayroundbrittany.co.uk
Like a lot of people, this is the bike that I did my CBT and tests on. The bike was perfect. Very light clutch and completely undaunting. The gearbox was fine and the brakes weren't too sharp which is good for novices. The handling was good, but you wouldn't want to bank the bike right over. I geuss it was due to the skinny tyres. The bike was great in the city, but on dual carriageways or the A/B roads from the school to the test centre, it seemed very underpowered. I geuss it is the same with most 125s but I could only get 45mph going into a headwind. Also, you dont choose where to go on a windy day, the wind tells you. Overall, the bike is a perfect novice or commuter bike.
I've both versions of the Turkey produced cg125,kickstart and the electric/kickstart, wouldnt part with either of them, simple, easy to home maintain, the cdi version a vast improvement over the points ignition. If you are starting out riding and first started years ago on old brit bikes then this is the starter bike for you. the drum brakes are progressive making you think about braking rather than just grabbing a handfull of disc brake at the last minute. The gearing can be changed simply by changing the back sprocket, early turkey models had a 36 tooth, M1-4 a 43 tooth both are interchangeable (with chain)depending on what gearing you are looking for. Parts, insurance, fuel economy make running and maintainance very cheap. Only improvement i would suggest is a bulb upgrade to the halogen bayonet type, the original std bulb is very poor. For commuting around town or pottering around country lanes with time to enjoy the view it cant be faulted.
Fantastic learner/starter bike, and great around the city. My 07 bike has got me to work and back reliably for the last few months in wind and rain. Speed wise i have had just over 60mph however, it was reving highly to do it and didnt feel comfortable to maintain for long. Accelerates ok up to about 50mph but hills can be a bugger. I do wish it had a choke lever on the handle bar but i have managed ok.Allways starts fine even in sub 0 temps. Brakes are good and fuel comsumption is a dream. Mine is showing signs of rust however, i do leave it outside. I have been very pleased with the bike in general and they hold there resale value well too. People say there slow but mine does fine around the city, but its hard going on main roads. Recommended for learners like me or commuters who dont need to do high speeds.
So cheap and easy I can't even be bothered to find a new bike for the two year restriction. Would recommend to anyone but you'll have to find you own cos I'm never selling mine! It will be my apocalypse bike! Seriously light traffic attacker, this bike has forgiven me transgressions that should have put me in hospital. Never has failed me in 9000 miles of loyal service. Easy to home maintain so no need for expensive longhead mechanics. Even the Haynes manual is cheaper than the other ones! Superb.
my '97 cg has not let me down once in the 10 months that i have owned it. very good on fuel (60 mpg while ragging it). parts are so easy to find. would recommend it to anyone.
I bought my CG a few months ago in November '08 and have ridden it in nearly all weather, sun, rain and snow, and i've only been let down by it's reluctance to start when cold. One major niggle i have though, is that fact that to see how much fuel you have, you need to look in the tank. While this does give you the most accurate picture, the view is greatly limited by a steel bar jutting through the tank, and has once caused me to run out of fuel on a long ride. Putting this niggle aside however, it is an absolutely faultless bike, a back to basics bomb proof little machine.
I bought my 1983 CG125 for two hundred pounds. It had been in storage for 7 years. Didn't run when I got it, but within a week I had it up running. It runs perfectly. What more could you ask for from a beginner bike. I've come off this bike on a wet road, bent the foot pegs and twisted the forks. I still managed to ride it home and simply bent it all back to shape. It just keeps going and going. I would recommend it to anyone.
bought it used for £900 at 5100 miles, learned to ride on it, bought the rack and then a top box, would help really if the rack was included as standard. has not given me any big problems since buying, goes brilliant and costs bugger all to run, about £12 to fill up and it lasts at least a week. fastest ive ever had out of it on flat was 75mph, im gonna take my test on this bike and keep it until there is a need for something bigger, would recommend to anyone remotely interested in motorbiking :)
I bought this bike 5 months ago from a main dealer for £1,700 brand new - Bargain. I work in town and I decided to shirk pricey tube fares and put myself on two wheels. Having done my CBT on a CG125 I knew roughly what I was getting. The newer models have the massive advantage of a disc brake on the front, which stops you surprisingly quickly, very useful in London. Being new to bikes I was astounded with how easy it is to maintain, a useful owners manual and hidden toolkit are a couple of unexpected pieces of kit which make things like stiffening the (initially very bouncy) suspension to firm in a matter of 30 seconds. As soon as you get the bike, do this by the way!! For what it is (A 125cc commuter) I have been so pleasantly surprised with everything. Being a 15st lump I am still surprised that this little 125cc engine shifts me away quicker at the lights than most other things on the road. The Economy is great, I'm getting my 40 mile round trip a day at 95mpg. It costs me about £9 a week to do over 200miles! Thats about £37 a week cheaper than the train. Over the course of the year thats over £1,700 saved, thus the bike pays for itself! All in all I love this bike, I know it lacks power and I know I wont keep it forever, but it does everything asked of it and more. I have recommended it to anyone looking to start out.
I have a Honda CG125, 2005 year, owned from new I could tell you how good the bike is, like nearly every review of the bike. But I do not wish to bore you with another identical review saying exactly the same. I was amazed to find no websites that support the Honda CG125, so I have created one. http://hondacg125.awardspace.com/ I could write a very large review of the bike, since I am an experienced rider, I past my test over 10 years ago and have had several bikes, I have also done over 10,000 miles on the bike, including many trips between 150 and 250 miles in a day. I have also been reading everything I can about the Honda CG125 and other makes and models of 125cc bikes, including magazine and owners reviews and reports. I can honestly say, I would not buy any other make or model of 125cc bike. If my Honda CG125 was stolen tomorrow and I won the lottery, I would buy another Honda CG125 for the town/city and winter work, and a 500cc or larger bike for everything else. The Honda CG125 is far from perfect, but all the other makes and models of 125cc have far greater faults, unless you are on a race track or off road. The Honda CG125 is so good, nearly every manufacturer has tried to copy it and failed. The worst are the Chinese clones of the Honda CG125, brand new some are so cheap you could buy 3 to 4 of them for one new Honda CG125. But nearly all owners reports are so shocking, they tell you whatever you do, never buy one, they advise you to buy a 2nd hand Honda CG125 instead, even a 15 year old Honda CG125 will be far better than a new Chinese clone.
Having rode a CG in the past (about 10 years ago) when it was time to get back on two wheels i knew what i was looking for, a bike that was not going to let me down no matter what i, anyone else or the weather was going to through at it. It might not be sexy or fast but it does what it says on the tin again & again with the minimum of maintenance. reliably lugging my lardy 15st ass were ever & when ever i want to go. Being in production since 1976 means any drops, bumps, scraps etc that do happen then there is no probs in getting that spare part. In short a great bike to do your cbt on & keep after for a handy little run around. Smiles per mile.... I still have a stupid grin stuck on my face anytime i take it out for a blast.
I used one of these to past my bike test on,way back in the day when a 125 was a learner bike and a 500 would've been a second bike, not as you see today the gs500's being used as learners,?I find it weird! N E way... This is a bike you can jump on and ride with ease (as I past my test first time never havin' ridden one!) usable and pretty bullet proof, as it was used by every Tom Dick n Harry at the test centre. My learner bike on the road was an rxs100 yammy,2 stroke,nippy and wheelied easily...teehee!Very easy to maintain too. I'd recomend the CG though as the rxs is just too easy to be naughty on!!!