HONDA XLR125 (1997 - 2002) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Honda XLR125 was launched to appeal to the sub-15bhp learner market, it was a shame Honda didn’t make full use of the regulations and give the little XLR a few more bhp. As it is, it’s got its flaws but still provides lots of fun for newbies as well as proving a useful town hack for more experienced riders.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The Honda XLR125R's rront suspension’s very soft, diving under even mild braking on the road and rather unstable during off-road riding. It’s fine for a bit of green laning though. The rear suspension’s a lot better. Brakes aren’t great but the bike weighs so little you can throw it around with ease. Tallish seating position aids a decent view.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Proven and reliable, the Honda XLR125R's engine’s been around, in one form or another, since the 1970s. It’s a bit basic and clattery but has enough power for punchy town riding although wheezing it up to 60mph+ is a chore. There’s an electric start but you need the help of the carb-mounted choke to get it to tick over from cold (it can be a bit stroppy).
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
As mentioned, the Honda XLR125R's engine’s not a problem although they need regular oil changes and decent servicing. Nice bits are borrowed from other Hondas: the frame’s based on that of the XR200R and the silencer’s taken from the XR250R. Tough little things, these bikes can take a bashing… which is probably just as well.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
When launched, the Honda XLR125R was up against Yamaha’s DT125 and Kawasaki’s KMX125. Both were dearer but had similar specs. The Honda has the advantage of excellent reliability so, if you can find a model which hasn’t been nicked or totalled by over-enthusiastic teenagers, it could well be worth a look. Find a Honda XLR125 for sale.
The Honda XLR125R's nicely finished, with a paint job straight from the attractive XR range of Hondas. Basic but clear clocks, adequate mirrors, a grabrail (you wanna take a pillion?!) and a handy, colour-coded tail pouch for tools and bits. The saddle’s comfy and the bars are wide for decent leverage.
|Engine type||2v single cylinder, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Steel semi double cradle|
|Fuel capacity||9 litres|
|Front brake||230mm disc|
|Rear brake||110mm drum|
|Front tyre size||2.75 x 21|
|Rear tyre size||4.10 x 18|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||46 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£20|
|Annual service cost||-|
6 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||11 bhp|
|Max torque||18 ft-lb|
|Top speed||87 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||128 miles|
Model history & versions
1997: Honda XLR125R launched.
2002: Honda XLR125R discontinued.
Owners' reviews for the HONDA XLR125 (1997 - 2002)
2 owners have reviewed their HONDA XLR125 (1997 - 2002) 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:|
Would definitely have another one
More Reliability than performance, but built to last....
Not as good quality as other bikes in the honda trail/enduro range......eg CRF, XR versions....
Dont know how they work the fuel costs but they are way off the line from my experience....!!! The 9 Ltr tank is just under 2 gallons (UK) I was getting 110 miles before hitting the reserve tap and pushed as far as 170 miles before filling up. So in my experience it was more like 85 mpg
Buying experience: Local Dealer
had this bike for 2 yrs a good learner bike no power to overtake good riding position and comfy bad brakes front end dives alot it rusts badly if you dont look after it i bough second hand for £1100 just traded up and still got what i paid for it so i am happy