One-Two-Fives. It is the motorcycle that everyone talks about in high school. It is the upper limit of what you can ride until you turn 18. Honda has now added its new CBR125R to its local range, a motorcycle that will surely be a topic of discussion during break time, and assembly.
As is the case with the CBR250R (that we will feature soon) it is the first three letters of the name that sets it apart from the other motorcycles in the Honda’s entry level range.
Honda has made a real effort to implement some of the design cues from the larger CBRs (600- and 1 000 cc) into the tiny 125 cc. As is the case with Honda as a car manufacturer (and basically all manufacturers) they want buyers to get attached to the brand as early as possible and grow up with it.
The first CBR125 was launched in 2004 and since then it has become the entry level motorcycle to Honda’s sportsbike range. One has to admit that in terms of looks they really got it sorted out. This new model has wider wheels and tyres. The meter display has been redesigned while the top bridge has been modified, and echoes the shape of the swing arm.
The engine is a liquid cooled four-stroke, two valve 125 cc single-cylinder unit with electronic fuel injection. With only 9,8 kW and 10,4 N.m acceleration is never going to be anywhre near as mental as the bigger CBRs, but that is not the point of this bike. Place yourself in the shoes of a high school kid, and suddenly it all starts to make sense. It is easy to ride and you can thread it through traffic more easily than anything else this side of a bicycle. I can vouch for this as we rode through Sandton gridlock and all the way along Rivonia road during the local launch. If you know what you are doing, and use the upper part of the rev range, the CBR will easily keep up with traffic, most of the time.
But this little sportsbike is more than just a smart commuting bike. It is about freedom. It is about going to rugby practice, chess (dare I say), or visiting that potential girlfriend you have been working on. It is about dicing your buddy with his not-a-real-bike scooter, all at legal speeds. It is about racing downhill with your whole body positioned behind the puny windscreen, looking a bit weird, but enjoying every moment of it.
If this all sounds a bit out of place, it isn’t, 88 per cent of this bike’s buyers are students and scholars, and this is what they will be doing, I guarantee you.
Engine size: 125 cc, 4-stroke, 2-valve, SOHC single cylinder
Power: 9,8 kW at 10 00 r/min
Torque: 10,4 N.m at 8 000 r/min
Fuel consumption: 2,67 L/100 km
Fuel tank capacity: 13 litres
Estimated tank range: 487 km
Service intervals: 3 000 km
Price: R30 999 (including training with Honda Academy)