Like the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, the Honda CBR125R looks like it’s packing a punch thanks to its aggressive fairings and low seating position. However, its 125cc engine is a bit small compared to other motorcycles in this class and it can begin to feel underwhelming fast.
Our Honda CBR125R Review:
Many people say that there is no “perfect starter motorcycle”, and we tend to agree. People, like all things in life, have vastly different shapes, sizes, tastes, and preferences. To say that one motorcycle is “the best” would be implying that it’s the best for everyone, and we don’t really believe that particular bike actually exists.
Take the Honda CBR125R for example: it has a low curb weight (280lbs), a small 125cc engine, and an even lower price tag ($3,499CDN). It has definite curb appeal, with sporty body work and a low riding position. Like the Ninja 250R, the CBR125R is the starter bike that most people who aren’t into motorcycles wouldn’t know was a starter bike.
For an average or experienced rider, the CBR125R will feel very underwhelming right from the get go. Compared to a Kawasaki Ninja 500R, the CBR125R feels like a jar of molasses trying to run down hill. However, for someone looking for a motorcycle that is easy to learn, forgiving, and as safe as you can get, the Honda CBR125R could be the ideal choice.
If you are a bigger person, in either height or weight, the CBR125R will likely be too small for you. That being said, an average sized man or woman will have no problem finding the CBR125R comfortable, with a good seating position and great visibility all around the bike. Unlike some larger bikes, which force you to hunch forward (reducing visibility immediately in front of the bike), the CBR125R allows for a more relaxed seating position- a definite plus for a new rider.
As well, its small engine is more than capable of taking on traffic within the city. In fact, the fuel-injected 125cc motor will out-accelerate just about everything on the road (save for larger bikes and some sports cars). Many people forget that a small bike, such as the CBR125R, is still capable of quarter mile times of less than 15 seconds.
On the highway is where the CBR125R really feels the limitation from its 125cc engine. It will cruise all day long at 100 km/h, but taking much higher than that will result in a lot of noise from the engine as it spins along at 11,000rpm. Of course, if you are travelling within the city it’s unlikely you’ll ever go over 100 km/h anyway, and while you’re cruising along you’ll be enjoying 94 mpg!
If you are looking for a commuter bike, something that is hyper-efficient, good looking, reliable, forgiving, and easy to ride, the Honda CBR125R is hardly a poor decision. At under $3,500 new, with a warranty, and some of the most desirable traits among a motorcycle for a new rider, the CBR125R brings to the market what the market has been lacking- affordable, economical fun.
The Bottom Line:
Incredibly efficient, sporty, and fun to ride around town, the CBR125R is an ideal combination of performance and economy for a new rider. If you are a larger person, in either height or weight, you may want to consider something a bit bigger.