2021 Honda CB125F is lighter and more economical without sacrificing performance

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Honda have pulled the covers off their 2021 CB125F, revealing a completely redesigned learner-friendly commuter that now weighs 11kg less than the previous model and is capable of a claimed 497 miles on a single tank of fuel.

Designed to be a reliable, comfortable, upright workhorse that’s unintimidating to novice riders with either a CBT certificate or A1 licence, the entry level CB was first introduced in 2015 – taking over from the part-faired CBF125 as a new model.

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2021 sees the recipe changed again, with the new bike receiving a fresh, 7kg lighter engine paired with a five-speed gearbox. Made it Italy, there’s also a 1.7kg lighter tubular steel frame, restyled bodywork, an LED headlight and digital dash, complete with an eco-meter.

A Honda CB125F finished in red

Starting with the engine, the new CB does away with the existing bike’s air-cooled two-valve four stroke single in favour of a Euro5-friendly 124cc 'enhanced Smart Power' (eSP) alternative (of the same layout), which Honda claim provides an increased 27% fuel efficiency, without sacrificing performance.

In fact, both power and torque figures are up - now generating 10.7bhp at 7500rpm and 8ftlb of torque at 6000rpm, as opposed to the existing bike’s 10.5bhp at 7750rpm and 7.5ftlb at 6250rpm.

Away from the Top Trump power figures, the new engine also comes packed with low-friction components to help boost fuel efficiency – including an offset cylinder to reduce energy lost between the piston skirt and bore. As such, Honda say the 2021 bike is 27% better on fuel, capable of a claimed 188.4mpg. 

Helping to save a little more weight is the Alternating Current Generator (ACG) which combines the jobs of starting the bike and generating electricity within one unit. Housing all of this smart money tech is the lighter new chassis, which helps bring the overall kerb weight down to just 117kg. 

Shod with a pair of skinny 18in five-spoke aluminium rims, suspension is provided by non-adjustable 31mm conventional forks, plus twin rear shocks, adjustable for preload. Seat height is up by 15mm, but remains a manageable 790mm.

Parked up on the Honda CB125F

Covering this is new look bodywork, which takes styling cues from larger-capacity CBs whilst remaining understated. Up front, there’s a new LED headlight, with the digital dash also including an Eco indicator and a live mpg readout.

Away from the plastics, much of the bike has also been finished in black, with the engine, exhaust downpipe, muffler, fork lowers and wheels all given the Henry Ford treatment. For added practicality, there’s a pillion grab rail and centre stand as standard, too. 

As always, check back soon for a full, expert review of the Honda CB125F.

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade