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Honda CB125F - best 125cc bikes

Honda’s CB125F offers smoothness and economy in a rider-friendly package

Launched in 2008 for new riders, older commuters and riding schools, the Honda CB125F quickly became Honda’s best-selling machine, shifting 2,000 a year in the UK alone.

For this latest model, the most obvious visual changes are a restyling for a sharper, more sporty appearance, and very nice it looks too, in a choice of three colours: black, red and one called Virtuous White.

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Under the tank, the air-cooled engine has a new balance shaft for smoothness and revised fuel injection settings, cylinder head and exhaust for more low to mid-range torque and a claimed 145mpg. A new more rigid steel chassis and wheels up from 17in to 18in are aimed at extra stability.

Climb on, and with the footrests are moved slightly forward and bars back compared to the old model, the riding position is nicely upright and surprisingly comfortable even for larger riders.

On the road, the brakes are well up to the job of hauling 128kg of bike to a halt in impressive fashion. On the open road, progress is seamless, thanks to a five-speed gearbox as tiny and precise as a Swiss watch. Performance understandably languid with only 10 horses under the tank, although it is accompanied by a surprisingly satisfying snarl from that new exhaust.

As you can imagine, with the engine only starting to get interested at 8,000rpm and the red line at 9,000, overtaking takes some planning.

Best 125cc bikes

  1. 1. KTM 125 Duke
  2. 2. Honda CB125F
  3. 3. Piaggio MP3
  4. 4. Honda Forza 125
  5. 5. Yamaha Tricity
  6. 6. Vespa Primavera
  7. 7. Aprilia RS4 125
  8. 8. Kawasaki J125
  9. 9. Suzuki VanVan 125
  10. 10. Peugeot Satelis 2 125i
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