Posted: 01 Nov 2012
Even in its infancy, Honda developed a reputation for building small single-cylinder four-stroke engines that were reliable and cost efficient. There probably isn’t a better bike in Honda’s vast range of lower capacity bikes than the CBF125.
Let’s start, for a change, with the price. At present Honda lists the CBF125 as available for £2699 on the road. Now, considering it’s a stylish bike for a learner-cum-city commuter, complete with a top half fairing and modern attribute of fuel injection, this isn’t a legal mugging whatsoever.
For £2500 you also get the means to be comfortable on a long journey – very important when top speed reality is 65mph. The upright seating position not only lends itself to comfort but makes it easy to control through nightmare city congestion. Imagine riding a sit up and beg bicycle and that’s the CBF125 down to a tee.
Expanding on the pedal bike theme, the CBF is easy to ride slow through the use of civilised engine response (okay, it’s a bit lacklustre but then it is only a restricted 125cc engine) and the chassis is agile and nimble enough not to scare the most nervous of first time learner riders. It is also easy to get on and off and put it on the sidestand – motorcycling isn’t all about power, speed and which tyres are the stickiest.
Not that you would on an ‘L-plate’, but there’s plenty of seat space to carry a passenger. No, best utilise that space to bungee waterproofs or work bag in place, besides, what little grunt the 124.7cc has would be sadly overwhelmed with a passenger riding shotgun.
Not that the old school air-cooled engine is outdated, it is just that it too has to suffer from the embarrassment of legal output and EC compliance. Many people will try to eke out every last drop of available power in the search for more speed but will ultimately gain little extra for the sake of killing decent fuel consumption, or worse the engine – hard worked small four-stroke engines will burn oil and the CBF125 is no different, so be sure to check oil levels on a weekly basis.
+ points – affordable, decent two-wheeled transport for everyone, holds resale values very well
- points – not many second-hand CBF125 that haven’t been thrashed by previous owners
Power: 11.1bhp, 8.3ft lbs
Kerb weight: 128kg
Seat height: 792mm
Colours: Black, Red, White
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