The 2011 Honda CBR125R is a learner friendly sports bike and is powered by a 124cc single cylinder engine which puts out 13bhp. It was first launched in 2004 and updated in 2007.
- Stylish, reliable and economical
- Cheap to buy and run
- Quality finish
- Hard work when it's windy
- Soft suspension and brakes
- Non-hinged fuel cap
The 2011 model was a major re-design and updated the looks in line with the latest CBR250R and VFR1200F. It had a higher seat height of 793mm and crucially a larger rear tyre from the CBR250R. In fact both 17" wheels and tyres are from the larger sibling.
- Steel twin spar frame
- 31mm fork with 120mm travel
- Rear shock with 126mm travel
- 276mm disc up front with 2 piston caliper
- 220mm disc at the rear with 1 piston caliper
- 6 speed gearbox
- Electric start
The four stroke single cylinder 124.7cc engine is liquid cooled and develops the maximum 12.75bhp at 10,000rpm. A digital console is included showing speed, temperature, rpm, fuel level and clock.
Available colours: red/white/blue, red, black and Repsol.
If we've missed something vital or got something laughably wrong about this model please let us know and we will love you forever.
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- Big bike looks for beginners
- Comfortable riding position and seat for longer rides
- Brilliant fuel economy - easily achievable 280 miles per tank
- Non hinged fuel cap
- Grips can be uncomfortable after a few hours, as they re made from hard rubber / plastic compound
The CBR125R is Honda’s learner legal addition to the CBR line up. It allows the learner to have big bike styling and Honda build quality from their first bike. True, the price point may put off a few of the younger riders - the CB125F is around £1000 less - but I suppose it could be said beauty comes at a price! When compared to other faired 125s - KTM RC125, Yamaha YZF-R125 etc, it is very reasonably priced.
The controls are straightforward and uncluttered - however, as with a number of Hondas, the horn button is a bit too close to the indicator switch - leading to some rather amusing moments at junctions or when changing lanes!
There is no kill switch fitted, but the CBR125R does have a tilt sensor, so if you do have an off, within seconds the bike will realise it has gone over and the engine cuts out.
The display is straightforward, with digital speedo and manual rev counter. Indicator and neutral lights all clearly visible from all angles. Fuel gauge and clock are easy to read. Some learners have argued that a gear position indicator would be a benefit - but I have found no issues when riding without. It just teaches you to listen to your bike and learn about its gear ratios, its very easy to then identify from the speed and revs which gear you are in. Underseat storage is located under the pillion seat - big enough to stow your lunch but not much else. The seat is lockable, so using the supplied helmet loop which hooks into this compartment, means securing your lid to the bike is a nice touch on a novice machine.
Seat height is 795mm, so will appeal to a broad range of riders. The seat itself is very comfortable, even on long rides and the seating position means a nice balance of weight between hands and feet.
One thing for new riders to be aware of on the CB125R is that it is easy to mistaken think you have released the gear change peg when moving through the gears, but in reality, sometimes the peg hasn’t fully moved. This can lead to a few heart stopping moments for a learner, when the bike either slips into neutral, or stays put in the previous gear. Its not the bike’s fault - the best way to overcome this is simple - when you change, listen for the ‘click’. This guarantees the bike has shifted, and you won’t be left in a flap in neutral!
Handling the CBR125 is a doddle through town. First gear can be a little harsh, so it is sometimes better when in crawling traffic, to bump it up into 2nd and feather the clutch. Its not a particularly wide bike, so those riders who are inclined to filter will have no issues there. Out of the city, the bike can take on twisty A roads no problem, with smooth acceleration and a confident rider position. Just watch out for crosswinds catching the fairing and prepare to knock it down a gear or two when faced with hills and you’ll be fine.
Night riding isn’t an issue, thanks to the bike light unit up front. The orange - backlit display is crisp and easy to see, without glare.
Servicing is cheap and cheerful - the first service is at 600 miles, which costs around £100. The next service interval ins’t until 2600 miles - at which point, many owners from new may have already ditched their L’s and moved on.
As an introduction to motorcycling, the CBR125R is great looking all rounder - simple to operate, very easy to live with and comes with the notorious Honda reliability. It might not make the most of the maximum permissible output for the Learner category and may not be the cheapest 125 around, but it does what is says on the tin and is a good starting point in the two wheeled world.
- Heather E, 2018
Check out this review from TwoWheelingBC:
The CBR125R originally launched in 2004 to replace the NSR125, powered by a 124cc single cylinder engine and producing 13bhp at 10,000rpm.
In 2007 Honda introduced new sharper looks from the CBR600RR, fuel injection, a black finish to the swingarm and some tweaks to comply with Euro3 emission standards.
2011 was a complete re-design of the bike and bought the looks into line with the new CBR250R. The rear tyre increased in size while the seat height increased by 17mm and the exhaust took on a more sculpted form.
2017 saw it dropped due to Euro 4 regulations.
How many bikes like this are around, by year of production, including those licensed for use on the road and those off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).
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