Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 14th March 2017

Forget Fireblades and GoldWings, this is where Honda really built its reputation. Small, reliable and inexpensive to run, the CB125F is a Honda in the truest sense of the word.

Heavily revised in 2015 and updated with the addition of linked brakes for this year, the £2799 CB125F is a rare breed. Japanese manufacturers have largely abandoned the 125cc roadster classes, leaving the market open to a host of emerging Chinese brands and choosing to focus on scooters and more expensive junior sports bikes instead.

Along with Yamaha’s recently announced YS125, this is the only entry level 125 roadster on offer from one of the major manufacturers and while on one level the bikes have a need to be cheap to buy and cheap to run, they have to be credible too.


And credible is exactly what the CB125F is.

2015 CB125F

For many riders, the CB125F will be their first form of transport, so it’s important that the look is right. And while the learner-legal Honda may not have the same presence as its older siblings close up, at first glance it bears more than a passing resemblance to the bigger CB500F and CB650F in its styling. It’s also built by the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, the ones behind the super rare RCV213V-S, and the guys who developed the bike upon which Marc Marquez won the MotoGP world title. Yep, this is no Chinese knock off, it’s the real deal.


The technology is well proven. At the heart of the Honda is a 124.7cc air-cooled two-valve single that’s so easy to ride. The engine delivers 10.5bhp, making it A1 licence friendly – you can ride it on L plates after passing your CBT – and it has plenty of torque in the low to mid range.


Top speed is around 70mph, a little more with favourable conditions (downhill, tailwind etc.), but it starts to run out of puff at 60. The superstar performance figures are to be found at the fuel pump. You’ll easily get 120mpg on the CB125F, and that equates to around 250 miles between fill ups.


That’s important, because it’s not just learners who ride CB125s. It’s a perfect motorcycle for anyone looking for a straightforward commuter. For nightshift workers and those off the bus route, bikes like these make so much sense. It’s not only cheap to buy and cheap to run, it’s easy to ride and inoffensive too. You won’t be waking up the neighbours with a CB125F. The fuel-injected engine fires up on the button and can be ridden off without the need to warm it up. It’s whisper quiet too.

The chassis is simple and easy going too. It’s light (128kg) and has a low (775mm) seat. The riding position is upright, giving good visibility over cars and making slow speed manoeuvring a cinch. Honda changed from 17” to 18” wheels to aid stability and the rear shock absorbers are adjustable for preload, meaning that the ride can be adjusted to suit the rider’s weight or to compensate for any luggage or pillions. While there is no ABS, the brakes have also been upgraded this year to include Honda’s linked combined braking system (CBS) which applies front and back brakes together for added security.


Honda CB125F Dash


The clocks are basic but do exactly what you need them too. The analogue speedo and rev counter are extremely easy to read, while the fuel gauge and gear indicator are both useful features that aids practicality, which really is the whole point of the CB125F, it’s practical with a capital P.


It’s interesting to note that Honda has a wide range of 125s, showing their commitment to getting new riders onto two wheels. As well as this, they also offer the half-faired CBF125 and sports styled CBR125R. There’s also the fun little MSX125 ‘Grom’ and a host of scooters that include the best selling PCX125, SH125i and top-of-the-range Forza 125. That’s quite a line-up, but whether you’re drawn to the CB125X for its price or its look, you can’t go far wrong. It’s Honda doing what it does best.


Alternatives: Yamaha’s newly announced YS125 is the only similar 125 from a mainstream manufacturer, while Chinese brands like Lexmoto and Sinnis offer a good range of work-a-day 125s, albeit without the reputation and dealer network of Honda.





Air-cooled four-stroke two-valve OHC single with balancer shaft






7.8W (4XXbhp) @7750rpm


10.2Nm @ 6250rpm


31mm telescopic forks






13 litres




*Based on our average customer 52 year old, 9 years NCB, garaged, WA14 postcode, no claims/convictions, 4000 miles Comp cover is £196.20 with a £250 excess. Get your Honda Motorcycle Insured with Carole Nash