- Queen of cities
- In the saddle
- In the city
- On departmental
Queen of cities
The CB is a dream, whatever its displacement, undoubtedly the fact of a long history since the Benly model of 1959. And if we think then first of the CB500 for its sporting past or the CB750 for its longevity, but also the whole family of the new CB500X, the CB650 to the CB 1000 without forgetting the CB 1100. Honda naturally also released a CB 125 which significantly improved in 2015, on all levels, aesthetic, technical and economic. Why such an evolution or even a revolution for such a small model? Because a little over a thousand are sold per year in France and double that in the United Kingdom. It sells mainly 3 million in India, under the name Shine. So, to try the new model, head to the United Kingdom, the cheapest European market for the small 125.
The CB 125 evolved notably in terms of the line in 2015, moving from a sporty / streamlined model to a more roadster-type model. The fairing therefore disappears in favor of a headlight which takes the lines of the latest Honda models. The new model, however, retains an added lateral curve that makes it look bigger than it actually is. The double saddle gives way to a single long saddle. It is especially refined compared to the previous model, making it easier to put your feet flat, while the saddle height has changed little. With the front curve, the legs can comfortably curl around, even for the tallest.
Closer, the finish is impeccable especially as there are some aluminum side parts. At the rear, the light takes the style of the NC 750.
At the heart of the bike is a small 124.7 cm3 air-cooled 4T single cylinder whose torque has been reworked at the PGM-FI injection level to provide more torque at low revs. But what will contribute to the fishing at low speed, it is especially the new gear ratios, shorter on the ratios 2, 3, 4 and the last one, the 5. No tires of big manufacturer here like the old ContiGo , but CSTs, the tires of which are found on many small displacement.
We then find a new frame, but still in the form of a simple steel hoop. Then there are larger wheels, with cast aluminum rims, now 18 inches, as well as a shock absorber now adjustable in preload in five positions..
In the saddle
Low at 775 mm, the saddle is above all undeniably thinner and suddenly, the 1.70 pilot can put his feet perfectly on the ground, while on the old one he was on the soles of his feet. Small riders will therefore be more comfortable on the handlebars more quickly, even if the weight of 128 kilos fully loaded already greatly facilitates the grip..
The hands fall naturally on the handlebars, offering an almost upright position, especially compared to the previous model, more leaning forward.
Under the eyes, there is a fully analog dashboard with the counter on the left and the rev counter on the right. Even the Trip and the totalizer are based on the historic roller version. On the other hand, we find, exceptionally on this displacement, a gasoline gauge and especially a gear indicator engaged. Then there are the injection and neutral indicators, while the turn signal indicators are placed on either side of the meter.
Mirrors appear tiny compared to those found on larger engines.
The small single cylinder snorts smoothly, without any vibration … Help by a new balance shaft. Throttle grip, the CB springs up instantly, responding immediately to the throttle.
In the city
Lightweight, the new CB 125 has also improved handling. Suddenly, the grip is done naturally from the first few meters. The maneuvers even at very low speed are natural and are carried out without any difficulty. It is therefore easy to slip into traffic. Thin and with small mirrors, we slip into the slightest mouse hole. But despite their small size, the mirrors offer excellent rear vision..
The first takes a long time to reach the red zone and 35 km / h even if it is more naturally heard around 30 km / h. The second then brings you up to 60 km / h. And in fact in town, you will alternate between the second and the third, never above, to benefit from the optimal engine speed around 7,500 rpm compared to the 9,000 rpm at the start of the red zone while the CB switch at 10,250 rpm.
The CB 125 voluntarily engages on the motorway, chaining the breaker in 3rd at 80 km / h, then that of the fourth at 100 km / h. The fifth and last report brings a few additional last kilometers to tickle the 112 km / h (counter). With less than 1000 km on the clock, the CB must be able to titillate the 115 km / h, even undoubtedly the real 110 km / h, solo. Because in duo or especially at the slightest false flat, the fifth report quickly runs out of steam to drop below 100 km / h and we then gladly go back to the fourth report. On the other hand, even at its maximum speed, the single cylinder hardly vibrates and no vibration is felt in the feet or hands either. You can then relax and let the landscape scroll. The CB has benefited from shorter reports which give it real fishing on the intermediate regimes to meet the needs of its main customers, those who will use it on a daily basis to go to work and do mainly in the city and a little peri- urban. There is no need to display top speed but on the contrary to offer a pleasant and fun model for daily use. And the CB succeeds particularly well.
The CB 125 naturally finds a more adequate playing area as soon as it is found on the small departmental roads. And the pilot is then always the handle toc, to chain the turns and especially to chain the climbs and descents. She then prefers to alternate between 3rd and 4th gear, depending on the slope of the coast and have enough recovery to maintain a good pace. You can arrive quickly and rectify at the last moment when faced with a bend that closes a little more than expected. In the dry, the tires play their part and even heat up. The rear brake is a real help to possibly put the bike down before a turn and is almost sufficient in town.
The rear brake offers the right solution of … bearing … drum, 130 mm. It is effective and almost sufficient in everyday life in the city, provided you do not push it completely, under penalty of making a comma, absence of ABS requires. With its unique front disc brake (but 240mm with double piston caliper anyway), the CB does an excellent job because it offers a good feeling and more than enough power. But if the tubes of the front fork have been reinforced with a larger diameter, a guarantee of solidity, the whole plunges strongly on the brakes supported. In the end, the CB offers braking largely up to its claims and easy to grip.
The saddle offers good comfort and is especially well supported by the double shock absorbers. The defects of the road are rather well erased, without causing any particular sausage afterwards. It deserves to be adjusted to the most flexible for normal daily use (and not knock on small roads).
There is no place under the saddle, nor tensioner hook which can however benefit from the rear arch and its footrests.
The practical aspect is more at the maintenance level. The high engine can be dismantled in 3 minutes flat, after removing 6 screws. In fact, Honda designed this bike for very simple and very quick maintenance, which should limit maintenance costs in dealerships afterwards. A significant cost compared to a scooter when you think about the time required for disassembly to access the smallest part of a scooter.
Honda has accustomed us to now offer small mills consuming very little and often below the bar of 2.5 liters per hundred. This is still the case with CB. Over the almost two hundred kilometers of our test, carried out mostly handful, final consumption ended at 2.6 liters per hundred. There is no doubt that a more urban and less extreme use should allow this consumption to drop significantly below 2.2 liters per hundred … in line with Honda which announces a 1.9 liters. Suddenly, with a 13-liter tank, the small offers a large range of more than 500 kilometers !
With the passage of production from India to China, we could have feared a drop in quality. Honda controls its production very well and the result is at the usual level of the brand’s production. With a nice and roadster look, it reinforces its urban side compared to a sporty side too marked before. And its low price (2349 euros, introductory price) associated with its low maintenance cost should make it a good all-rounder on a daily basis, with in addition the historical reliability of the model. To be chosen in white, red or black … only yellow will not be imported. We wonder why…
- urban engine
- consumption and autonomy
- top speed
The technical sheet of the Honda CB 125
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