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Long Term Honda CBF 125 Review

By Ren Withnell

I purchased this bike because it was the right bike at the right time and I had the right money. I've never hankered after a CBF 125 but when it came up for sale with 5,700 miles on the clock and my old 125 was looking a little shakey it just made sense. I've now owned the motorcycle for just over a year and put over 10,000 miles on it. I figure I've done enough to form an opinion about Honda's budget priced 125.

honda cbf 125 parked in windermere in the sunshine
CBF 125 in day-tripping trim. It's the future don't ya know.

The general consensus is the CBF was introduced in 2009 to replace the venerable and highly regarded CG 125. Those are very big shoes to fill. The CG was known for being bullet proof, simple to fix, cheap to run, reliable and tough. Over the years there were a few styling changes but it remained 2 wheels, a 125 engine, brakes and clocks and somewhere to sit. They weren't built to win races or fashion parades, they were built to be ridden, a lot. That sounds like my kind of bike, I hoped the CBF 125 would also be the same.

If you park a CBF 125 next to a CG 125 there is one glaring difference. The CBF has a fairing. It's not a full on sport fairing but it's there holding the clocks, headlight and a dinky screen. WHY? I guess if you're 17 then maybe it makes it look sporty and modern but to me it screams "expensive". It makes repairs take longer, if you drop the bike it breaks, it's more complicated and with a top speed of 70 mph downhill with the wind behind you it is very rarely required or effective. Sometimes I wonder what Honda are thinking but I never do understand styling anyhow.

cbf 125 front end showing the small fairing
I mean really? I guess it's somewhere to put me gloves when I (rarely) need to fill it up.

There's a whole new motor in place with overhead cam rather than the CG's pushrod setup. Pushrods do make cylinder head repairs a lot simpler but let's face it just about every engine these days is overhead cam. The fuel and ignition is also fully electronic, digitised and injected. Again this is much much harder to self-repair and maintain but requires less maintenance and is more fuel efficient. The CBF does not share the entirely DIY roadside repair simplicity it's predecessor had. 

In fact this is my first injected motorcycle. There's no choke lever to ponder over whilst assessing how cold and damp it may be. The computer "sorts it out". There's a sensor on the exhaust outlet so the computer can tell if it's running lean or rich. I later purchase a manual and learn there's bleeding sensors everywhere. Oil temperature, air temperature, engine position, throttle position. Oh my goodness I dare not fart while I ride for fear of the computer sensing it and being upset. I half expect a message to appear where the mileage is that criticises my riding style.

This bike has a low price due to the fact it's made in India. I'm uncertain where later models come from and I know Honda has started producing much of it's range in Thailand now but mine is definitely from India. And it shows if you look hard. The paint is good and the rest of the finish is up to the lower end of Honda's excellence. Yet remove the rocker cover to adjust the tappets and you'll find sharp edges and unfinished castings. The original TWS tyres are not just poor, they are positively dangerous (replace with Conti-Go's, later models come with these from new). The wheel spindles are skinny and cheap. None of these things will make the bike less reliable or fall apart quicker but it lacks that solid quality feel of genuine Jap models. 

continental conti-go! fitted to a cbf 125 rim
Continental's Conti-Go! is the only way to go on a CBF 125. 

So what has it been like to own? I do rather like the whole fuel injection thing now. I just press the starter button and it starts and ticks over. Warm and sunny and with a hot engine, or cold and wet and windy and miserable after being stood for a week, just press the button. No choke, no throttle just press the button. That is the case now and was the case when I first got it. Between it was not the case.

Honda recommends a service every 2,500 miles. For the engine oil that makes sense but this includes the tappets and that seems excessive. By about 9,000 miles my bike would not start unless I had the throttle on and would not tick over until it was warm. I pondered all kind of sensors and digital problems but eventually I stopped being lazy and set the tappets. The exhaust was tight. It now starts and runs perfectly once again. Another lesson learned the hard way.

The Conti-Go tyres were fitted around 9,000 miles ago and are still perfectly serviceable with good tread. I expect the rear will last another 3,000 miles and the front will crack up before it actually wears out. The tyres are a vast improvement over the nasty TVS's that it came with but they don't quite grip as good as some 125's I've ridden. Regrettably knee down grip cannot be expected from a tyre that lasts as long as the Contis do. They're not scary and for a commuter and day tripper like myself I'm satisfied with them. 

Everything else is on a par with other 125's I've owned or ridden. The brakes are simple but effective. The performance of the engine is just like any other 125 but I can say the injection provides clean, linear and accurate throttle response. There's no flat spots or nasty fluffyness. The handling is neutral, natural and easy just as it should be on a bike aimed at novices. The twin shocks at the rear are no longer fashionable but having ridden them I see no problem at all with the way they work. It is a basic bike but Honda's experience shows through in that everything works as it ought to.

I ride a mundane 25 mile route to work on it and it is easy, unchallenging and comfortable. I take myself off on days out and I can either cruise and relax or thrash it senseless and laugh my heart out bouncing around the countryside. I use it 2 up to run the gf and I around town on chores or days out and it impresses me with it's tenacity and performance. I've been on nights away camping and it takes a load and a half without complaint just a little shimmy. Hell it's even been off roading a couple of times.

honda cbf 125 with a large camping gear load
The CBF in "World Traveller" mode. Who needs a BMW?

But most 125s will do all this, so what separates the CBF 125 from the rest of the crowd because it really excels at nothing? 130, 140, even 150 mpg. My last 125, a Honda CLR 125 City Fly with carburettor, would achieve between 110 and 120 mpg. That seems to be the ball park figure of a carb 125. All those sensors, all that computing on the CBF 125 mean that just the right amount of fuel and no more is injected. Enthusiastic motorway riding and 2 up hill climbing will return 130 mpg. I've never been below 130 mpg. Normal commuting and pottering around gives me 140mpg. The gf's been learning to ride so being slow and careful with her behind has seen a maximum of 153mpg. That is impressive.

I do love this bike. It has served and is serving me very well and very economically. Finally I love the tank. I can do 300 miles before the needle gets close to the red. I normally fill up around 330 miles. I read overland travellers websites and they dream of 300 mile tank ranges on their BMW's and KTM's. With massive modifications they achieve this, I do it all the time. They must spend 40, nay 50 pounds to fill theirs, I spend £14. 

Enjoy your ride. Spend the money you've saved on fuel to buy cuppa and a slice of cake at a pretty cafe instead. Is it better than the CG 125? No...no not really...but it's no worse and even more fuel efficient.

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Reader's Comments

Patchy said :-
Ren that is a great write up of your 125, nuff said
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Latchy said :-
Who is this patchy bloke ?
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Patchy...I reckon 'e's a bit dodgy like
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john de ville said :-
Finally I love the tank.


he does you know, we often catch him stroking and cuddling it and whispering sweet nothings in its filler cap..................................lol
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Ren - The Ed said :-
I do love the tank and I whisper sweet nothings into the filler. That's why I achieve 140mpg not the 87.5mpg that MCN reports. I can only assume they never bothered with 3rd, 4th and 5 gear.
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Johan said :-
Great review, thanks!

But mpg is confusing without specifying if US mpg or British mpg.

Your is British i guess, and maybe 87.5mpg that MCN reports is US.


Everybody should follow the same standard and use l/10km ;)
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Johan.

I'm using UK gallons @ 4.54 litres per gallon, not the US gallon.

MCN, being a UK magazine, I ASSUME they'd be using UK gallons too. I do note that MCN's fuel figures are typically appallingly low. MCN testers I guess are used to riding GSXR's and Ninja's to within an inch of their ability. So when they step off a 160 bhp motorcycle to a 11 bhp one they will find it slow. As such they'll rev the nuts off it in an attempt to get it to go as fast as the super sport models they're used to.

Normal people, such as myself, ride on real roads with busy traffic and keep to the speed limits. I cannot comment on what other people's fuel economy is like but I'm as accurate and pedantic as I can be with my measurements. The biggest error will be in the actual reading from the fuel pump.

140 mpg is my typical figure. I'll stand by that. I'd like to achieve 200 mpg!
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Johan said :-
Im sure youre right about that...

Other than that, would you say the cbf 125 is fast enough, or do you feel the need for a stronger bike?

Me myself is not a tuff guy, i just wanna cruise around and have a good time, no need to push the 100 m/h mark. Ive had som riding on other 125s and when going uphill, the bike struggles and im losing speed. Don´t like!


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Johan said :-
One more!

Whats your top speed. No wind, not downhill...
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Johan.

Flat out, flat motorway, no wind...maybe just maybe 70 mph. Usually 60 to 65 is achievable.

I have a Fazer 600, 95 bhp, top speed 140 mph. And...I use the CBF most of the time and I LOVE IT!. Why? The Fazer can NEVER be properly thrashed on the open roads. Not only would I lose my licence very quickly I'd probably end up dead. The CBF and other small bikes can be ridden hard without falling foul of the law. And when I don't want to ride hard? The little bikes are so light, so gentle and so easy to ride.

Yeah, yeah there are times up a steep hill or into a strong headwind that I really wish I had more power. But then is that not part of the challenge? It's a small price to pay for what is otherwise a whole lot of fun. I rode up one of the steepest roads in the UK, the Hardknott Pass, on the CBF. It's so steep and so difficult I'd have dropped a bigger bike.

Finally, when all you're mates can't ride out because they've spent all their pennies on big bikes, fancy leathers and expensive fuel bills, you'll still be buzzing around doing well over 100 mpg and they'll never open their throttles wide open like you can. Enjoy 125s!
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Davey Dave said :-
125's ROCK! My CBR 125 gives me over 100mpg and 10,000 laffs per ride.
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said :-

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Pepid said :-
Just bought one a little CBF 125, can't wait to get out and about on it. I love the fact that it's only a 125cc. Back in the day my father owned classic Norton, Goldstar & Ariel Leaders etc before moving on to a Honda 250cc then a 400cc Superdream. His last proper bike was a Honda CX650 and it was so dull that he gave up biking. He finally bought a Honda C90 which he drove everywhere on. I now understand his reasons for liking the C90. The more powerful the bike, the smaller the world gets. I have seen so many dull and unhappy looking professional types getting off their big BMW "Ewan McGregor" 2 wheeled Landrovers that I wonder if they are as bored as they look. I thought the Borg had cloned the things. I like the challenge of day trips on quiet roads, lots of little places to see that are too easily passed by at speed on a bigger bike. I'm just happy to be out again on two wheels trying to be safe and not get in anybody's way, just doing my thing. Living in Central Scotland I'm blessed by having almost empty roads to Oban and the West Coast. Biking shouldn't be only about speed, "Knitting Club", you know who you are!!!
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Roland said :-
I commute 40 miles daily through London on a CBF 125. After 1,700 reasonably careful miles my average is 162mpg. Reckon 200 would be achievable with yet more care.
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Wow Roland! 162 mpg is impressive. I do get better fuel around town and being in London I guess you're around town a lot. A 40 mile commute is fair going in the big smoke too.

Pepid, I love the phrase "The more powerful the bike, the smaller the world gets." Indeed it's true. On a 125 the world is enormous with so much to explore, on a big bike everything else is small and flashes by unseen. I am so jealous of you living up there in Scotland, it sure is God's own motorcycle playground.
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Roland said :-
I don't have to try hard to reach over 160mpg. Owing to the nature of city riding I'm limited to 30mph (so no full throttle), and I've found the safest and quickest way to weave through dense traffic is gentle acceleration and coasting in top gear whilst tracking everything 50 yards ahead on the road. I don't find 40 miles per day of congestion particularly easy or enjoyable!

My 200mpg belief would is based on not using the brake at all (i.e. without traffic). Will try a 4am journey one day.

The fuel economy means I'm spending £1.30 on fuel each day. With insurance that comes to around £2. A return train fare, even with Oyster, is £12.
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Roland

I think you need to find yourself an empty running track that allows you on with the CBF and spend and hour or six cruising around at 30mph. You'll get top economy then!

I often feel motorcycling is being pushed out of popular reach by new regulations. For the urban dweller such as yourself small motorcycles like the CBF, Wave and countless other machines could be both economical to run and incredibly environmentally beneficial.
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D said :-
Hi Ren,

Very nice review of the bike!

I'm thinking about getting a CBF125 but read about lots of rust issues people have had with relatively new bikes. Do you ride it a lot in the winter/rain? Have you noticed if it rusts faster than you'd expect or do you use something (WD-40, etc.) to protect it?


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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi D

Rust...hmmm. To be honest, I personally have not had any serious rust issues. My motorcycle was made in India and you can tell it's not up to the usual Japanese Honda build quality. I have read somewhere the later models are made in Thailand and I don't know what the build quality is like on then.

My CBF has been used through 2 winters by myself. It has seen salt, enormous amounts of rain and usually at the end of the ride it is just thrown into my shed, not lovingly cleaned. Yes there is rust here and there but it is no worse than any other motorcycle I've owned.

A lot of people trust ACF 50 to keep the rust at bay. I'm not a clean freak so I'll use WD-40, grease, old engine oil or whatever else comes to hand.

The most important thing is mechanical maintenance. Change the oil often as per the service schedule and be sure to check the tappets too, they go tight if left too long.

Cheers, Ren.
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Rick said :-
what are those panniers and where ca i get them? :) thanks

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Ren - The Ed said :-
They are Hien Gericke panniers Rick, of quite some vintage! I very much doubt they're still in production I'm afraid. They are rather splendid.
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Lee said :-
I've just bought a honda cbf and it's the best bike that I've bought am 42 years old my first bike was an AR 50 that was good then the AR 80 and that was over 20 years ago don't no if an having a mid life crises but I saw this bike and fell in love with it now I've had it for two weeks and been everywhere on it if your thinking about getting one then do so it's amazing and the people that's stopped me and said the bike looks amazing people just love the look of it mines still brand new and already got 70 out of her with no rattling no wind just pure bike amazing 100% brill 5***** A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Mr barry said :-
Bought a cbf and it was the best ever thanks honda and lee love you xxxxxx
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Terry Farrell said :-
Thanks for the write up. You have the same impression as me! I find it easy to ride, economical on fuel, service, RFL and insurance. It cruises happily at 55/60 mph too. Not sure about top speed though: it sounds a busy engine once you get to 8,000 revs, so why thrash it any harder!

It's a fantastic commuter bike whilst still being excellent for off-auto route touring if you're not in a hurry!
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Terry. Yip, touring should not be about blasting past all the things you've come to see. I like to bimble, to dawdle and to soak it all in.

PS. The bike's now got 29,000 miles on the clock. If you read the blog regularly you'll know I've had to change the clutch basket and set the tappits, that's all. I still love the bike.
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Lyrron Ridepn said :-
There is a 145 cc big - bore option that was offered in the past . don't know if the kit is still made. Also the honda GL145 is the same engine but that capacity.
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Lyrron

145cc!! Pure POWER!! The only problem with a big bore kit or even fitting a CBF 150 motor is that of insurance. Some dweeb somewhere in a darkened insurance office won't like people tinkering with their bike.

Still, it'd be great fun to try.
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samson said :-
the bike so economical I wonder if it actually uses the petrol I filled it with, I am happy with mine done 268miles to full tank
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Ben said :-
Hi,

Great article thanks.

I would not describe myself as a "biker" as I also cycle and drive a car

I am thinking of getting a CBF 125 for my daily 28 mile round trip commute to Central London as I want a newer bike for commuting.

I have a couple of bikes, a BMW K75S (1987) and a CB 250 nighthawk 1996 model.

The K75S is a beautiful machine with very smooth turbine sounding engine. The CB250 is used throughout the year to commute on.Its a great little bike. On a 3(3.5 including reserve) UK gal I get approx 350 miles before switching to the reserve tank. The only problem is that all the 125's and mopeds are much faster and the CB is getting a bit old.

I dont know if its me, but when I run the bike on BP or Esso fuel, I seem to get more mpg than when I use supermarket fuel & the bike runs much much smoother!!

One of my main bug bears about the CBF 125 that annoys me is the price. In India, a similar version sells for approx £600 inc taxes @ £1 = INR100.
Even with shipping(£200 per bike if shipped in a container of say 20 bikes), how can Honda justify the £2700 price !!!

I may ship a new one over from India!!!

Keep up the good work

Ben

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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Ben.

The CB 250 Nighthawk, if I have the right model in mind, is a continuation of the amazing and most excellent CD200 Benly. Having done over 80,000 miles on a Benly I've hankered after a CB 250 for ages but the right one has never come up. It should be a GREAT bike.

Your CB 250 may be getting old but I can't believe it's slower than most of the 125's. I suspect something's amiss with your 250 if that's the case. I know they ain't fast but I've owned the similarly engined CMX 250 and that was quicker than my 125.

The CBF 125 would be ideal for your 28 mile commute though. Light, nimble, 140 mpg and just a good solid bike. Maybe you ought to test ride one first though, they're very light and the handling may come as something of a shock after riding bigger bikes. As for getting one from India...great idea! What about the warranty though?

Cheers, Ren.
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Ben said :-
Hi Ren,

Thanks for that.

Yes its a CB250 Nighthawk. Hardly any power (I wonder if its restricted?) But its great, economical to run and can be used in the rain/snow/Ice when bigger bikes I see on my daily commute suddenly disappear until the sun comes out!!. Its like riding a motorised push bike!!

I should be okay with a 125 as I used one for my motorbike DAS.

The K75S is a Great narrow machine, but for commuting, with London's pot holes I have to be very careful. It comes with me mainly at weekends(for Insurance purposes £102 fully comp ins for both bikes with a £250 x's)

I plan to test ride one very soon.The thing that puts me off the CBF125 is having to adjust the tappets EVERY 2500? miles!!!

As for the warranty, Honda should cover that. Most reputable manufacturers give a world wide warranty nowadays.

I was thinking of an Diesel or even an electric bike/bicycle for commuting as many of the cyclists that I see at the traffic lights soon catch up with me when i am stopped at the next set, then I wouldn't have to worry about MPG :).

Have you seen the one wheel electric MB capable of approx 600mpg equivalent?. Check out Ryno Motors

I look forward to your updates on the CBF125

Cheers
Ben







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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Ben.

Yes I've seen the Ryno, it looks like a very curious and fun bit of kit! I kind of think it's more aimed at the Segway type of user rather than motorcyclists but I bet it'll be a hoot to play on.

There's something up with your 250 for sure. My Benly 200 would easily cruise at 60 all day long and keep up with 125's, 250's and so on.

The CBF does have this 2,500 mile service interval with the valve check. I...I check mine every 10,000 miles and I've hardly touched them. I reckon 2,500 miles for the first few checks while everything beds in then leave 'em a bit longer. Mind you, to keep the warranty from Honda it will all have to be done properly and to the book otherwise they'll not play ball if you've got any problems.

I WISH, I HOPE AND I PRAY for someone to make a Diesel motorcycle! 500cc, about 25bhp, simple, basic, slow revving and reliable. Indian Enfield did one ages back, a 300 or 350cc dumper truck motor. It was slow, yes, but it was reliable and returned almost 200 mpg apparently.

The electric cycles are very good these days but most seem to have a 25 mile range. Your 28 mile commute would mean a little extra effort at the end of the ride and you'd have to be able to recharge at work. The tech is improving all the time though, it'll come to you soon enough.

Cheers, Ren.
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Garvin Timmann said :-
I am just about to purchase a new Honda CBF125, so looking up what costs direct from India is appealing to me, £600 is cheap compared to £2700

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Ben said :-
Hi,

Re Purchasing a Honda in India.

I have done some research online, and apparently you may have to own it before you can export it.

There maybe additional tax to pay when you do bring it over as its coming from outside the EEC

I will look into it when I get some time...

Does anyone know anything about the Honda Wave 110i?

Cheers
Ben
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Ren - The Ed said :-
I can imagine purchasing and importing a CBF 125 from India will be hard work! I'd be intrigued to see how you get on if either of you manage it. Good luck.

The Honda Wave 110i is, as far as I can tell, the successful successor to the inimitable C90 Cub. The main advantage is the motor is "interchangeable" with countless Chinese, Taiwanese and other engines. Pit bike engines....C90 engines...the list would be endless. Parts wouldn't be an issue too.

My main dislike about the Wave is just like the C90 it's got a tiny piddling tank. I know they're economical but I reckon 100 miles max before another dribble is required in a petrol station. Hell in the UK some places might not even serve you with less than 5 litres. If Honda would fit a larger tank (7 litres would do) then I think I'd get one tomorrow...
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Monk said :-
This is a deeply interesting 'blog'. I bought a CBF 125 a couple of months ago and to be honest I've only done 285 miles thus far. It costs me £17.00 to fill the tank and it is a fact that whilst not fast it does have an attractive sense of being able to feel your surroundings and actually 'smell' the air around you as you slowly hurtle through the countryside being overtaken by push bikes!This happened to me the other week.

I passed my CBT very recently so I'm new to biking and find the CBF does everything I want it to do.It's a relaxing ride and very fuel efficient and with fully comp insurance at £75.00 I feel it would suit almost everyone who needed an efficient ride to work or for leisure purposes.I'm not mechanically minded so at 500 miles, which could be some way off as I'm afraid I'm a fair weather rider, will have it serviced by the dealer from whom I purchased it new. So, at the ripe age of 63 I found myself on a CBF 125, throughly enjoying the 'buzz' of, what turns out to be, a pretty amazing little bike. It does it for me maybe it'll do it for you to. Happy riding.
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Monk

Glad you're enjoying the CBF 125, it is a great machine. There's nothing wrong with getting it serviced by the dealer, because if anything does go wrong you can blame them for not looking after it properly!
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Steve Thomas said :-
Hi there! Fantastic review first of all!

I recently got a 09 cbf125 and currently in love with the thing. Apart from having very hard grips (which will be changed to comfy ones) the bike takes me on a 80 mile work commute 4 days aweek in all weather!

I do feel that another comment advising the bike can feel a little down on power is correct. It's just a shame we are restricted to 125cc on a learner permit. I've ridden one of the newer cbf150"s and it feels like that the cbf125 should be. It's only got 3-4 bhp more but that makes all the difference whilst still returning around 135-140 mpg.

Anyway great review!!

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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Steve

I've never considered the grips to be "hard", certainly no harder than any other grips I've had on any other bike. Mine's fitted with heated grips now and they're a little larger, perhaps that might help?

As for the power, it is what it is. Yeah, of course we all want more power but I've simply adjusted my riding style to suit the performance, or lack of it. If you think the 125 is lacking you should try a fully restricted 50cc moped! I'd say the CBF 125 is pretty torquey for a 125 and the output is "typical" for this kind of bike.

Anyhow, an 80 mile commute will save you a fortune on fuel! You'll rack up some miles, be sure to service the motor well.
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Monk said :-
Hallo Ren...

Now had the CBF 125 about four months...it's a brilliant bike, apart from almost being blown off it the other day in a very strong wind doing about 60mph on a fairly empty but very open road with fields on both sides,the handling is excellent, although, I don't have anything to compare it with as this is my first motorcycle. I don't want to go back to driving a 'cage' biking is a serious buzz for me and very therapeutic, if ever I'm feeling down getting on the bike and buzzing off somewhere, anywhere cheers me right up and I forget all the bs life throws at me. I can't wait for the, potentially, warmer weather so I can get out on 'The Black Dog' more. Riding the CBF is so addictive that when the weather is not good enough for riding I actually get a bit 'depressed'! Buying the CBF is probably the best thing I've ever done, apart from a couple of things, ever. A great bike economical and a real buzz what more can anyone ask from life.Great blog, sorry if I've gone on a bit too much.
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Monk said :-
Nearly forgot...I have still not reached the magic 500, now get a service, miles!:-)Having fun getting there though...
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hello again Monk.

There's something about riding a motorcycle, any motorcycle, that stirs the soul. I'm thrilled you're loving it. Biking has been a big part of my life now for 25 years even though it's almost killed me and left me with a couple of scars. Once it's in the blood it's hard to get out again.

Now get that bike up to 500 (it's usually 600) miles and get that first service done.

Where do you come from Monk?
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Monk said :-
I live not too far from Watford...the Hertfordshire one.
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Watford near that there London place...innit.

Firstly when I'm next down that way you'll have to make me a brew :-)

Secondly if you want to write anything about your experiences on the CBF 125 I'd love to read them and with your permission put them on here for everyone else to read!
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Monk said :-

No problem Ren, you're always welcome just let me know. I get up to Manchester once a month. Travelling on the metro from Piccadilly to Timperley for some drum stuff ( I play drums)so... if you're about on a Thursday during the day, mind you I generally only have about half an hour before I get off the train, from near that Lundun place, grab a quick cuppa and go for the Altrincham tram... but... if you're about....

Yep... be happy for you to print any of my CBF 125 ramblings mate...possibly be loads to write about once the service miles have been achieved, to gauge how differently she runs after the service and the sun starts to warm the old bones again...wishful thinking...about the sun!
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Monk. Re Manchester you might recall but us young 'uns still have to earn a living during the week (sad face). But maybe one day.

As for ramblings all you need to do is type away!

As for sun...try living in Manchester... Sun is merely a legend, a myth.
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Monk said :-
Sorry mate forgot about the earning a living stuff, I remember it only too well!If you're passing through Watford at any time let me know there's always a cuppa waiting.

As soon as I do anything of interest, apart from coming off the bike, I'll write something on the blog or should that read 'ont't blog' :-0 sorry, couldn't resist it.

Manchester is a very happening place musically, and the people are great, as far as I'm concerned, I've meet some lovely friendly people oop there, but, you're right, the weather is not often 'good'!

All the best Ren, don't overdo the earning a living stuff... it can get a bit much at times.
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Ben said :-
Hi Ren,

I have just been reading through the posts above re Diesel motorbikes

See http://www.dieselbike.net/

Cheers
Ben

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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Ben.

I've been into the dieselbike.net pages on several occasions. I truly admire the efforts of those brave enough to construct their own diesel bikes, I think they're brilliant! However this is far beyond my skill level, I could make one but it would be a right old hash job.

They also have a few pointers to small time manufacturers where you can buy a ready made diesel, and perhaps a few of the old Enfield diesels from India. I just wish one of the big players would take diesels seriously and make a bona-fide motorcycle with full main dealer support.
www.dieselbike.net ...
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Ben said :-
Hi Ren,

I see the motorbike industry going down the Electric/Hydrogen Fuel cell route over the next few years....I dont see much of a future for Petrol/diesel..but hey what do I know :)
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Actually Ben you make a very good point. There are already several good electric motorcycles on the market and even Harley are tinkering with a new leccy bike. Why bother developing a Diesel when electric or some another "green" power source seems to be the future.

Still...I'd at least like to have seen one production diesel.
UTC
Kev said :-
Hi Fen I have been riding bikes 38 years and currently have anew old Cb 750. I wanted a small bike for work and was going to buy a Honda pcx 125 Scooter. I couldn't get on with it and got offered a cbf for the same deal. £ 99 deposit and £54 a month. Test drove the little bike and thought this is nice and I enjoyed riding it. I am very pleased to read your reviews and am happy with my decision.

CHEERS
Kev
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Kev. I reckon the CBF 125 will feel very light and tiny compared to the old CB750. It's a cracking machine the 125. I figure you got it new, so keep it serviced and I'm sure it will serve you well. Be sure to take it on a long ride one day, you'll be surprised how easy it is to go far and how much more you'll see at a gentle pace.
UTC
martin said :-
if i commute with my125cg honda at about 40miles everyday, how often should i do oil change i am new to motorcycles.

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Martin said :-
If i commute with my 125cg honda everyday for 40mile,how often should i do oil change,i am new to motorcycles

UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
You will probably find a CG 125 service manual online which will give you the details Martin. Initially I'd start at every 1,500 miles until you can find out for sure.

If you're completely new to motorcycling I strongly recommend you make friends with some experienced bikers or a local bike mechanic. Motorcycles need lots of regular maintenance. Has someone showed you how to lube the chain properly?
UTC
Jonny said :-
Hi Ren

Thanks for your informative and well balanced views! Very helpful.
I am a former 50cc scooter rider and since that was stolen 9 years or so ago, I have been a cyclist commuter. (In the London smog). I wondered if you might be able to offer some advice to me.

London is a scary place to be on a bicycle because you get overtaken by buses, vans, and lorries, often leaving only a few mm between us... all the time.

I am now coming back to my senses and looking to get a 125cc bike for my daily commute. I am leaning heavily towards getting a pre-owned Honda CBF125. Do you think that the power of a 125cc bike will be enough to pull away from the above mentioned vehicles? I know that on the 50cc scooter, it didn't have the ability to pull away fast enough in all situations. I am hoping that the extra power of a 125cc bike will make all the difference, but I have read in a few places that the CBF125 is sluggish. Can you possibly say anything to reassure me on this point?

Also, because of my past experience of the bike being stolen, I was wondering if you have any knowledge of fitting an alarm to this bike? Is it possible? Are they reliable? Whether it would be easily bypassed and a complete waste of money?

At work it will be difficult to chain to an immovable object, but the bike will be immediately outside the office window, so if the alarm went off I would hear it straight away. At home it would be parked in the driveway, chained to an anchor that I am having fitted.

Many thanks

Jonny
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Jonny

The CBF, as with most 125's, will keep up with the general traffic no problem but it's unlikely you'll actually beat a car that's being driven aggressively. Of course the CBF is sluggish compared to a 600 and it's not as quick as a sporty 125. It's all relative. In London the CBF will keep pace but you won't win any races.

There are alarms out there for the CBF125. In my humble opinion be wary of the ones that stop the bike from starting if it's gone off. I've seen too many folks stranded due to alarms not working. I'd prefer one that simply makes a noise if it's moved, especially if you're right next to it through the window. I can't recommend a particular model because I've no experience of using one myself.

Chaining to an anchor is a great idea. If, if it's at all possible I always think out of sight is out of mind. If nothing else get a cover for it. It stops thieves knowing what the bike is at least. I also know a baby monitor under the cover can act as a great alert to the fact that your bike is being interfered with.

But remember, if a professional thief wants your bike he's going to have it. There's only so much you can do. Just make yours harder to steal than the one down the road.
UTC
Henrik said :-
Jonny: I suggest the top-model Almax, if you can afford, only usefull at your address, to heavy to carry, but nice having your bike safe at its base. I got two of them, as expensive as a second-hand 125-mc, but worth it when you got sick and tired having things stolen, always lock to a steady point, evt an anchor,.. http://www.almax-security-chains.co.uk/
www.almax-security-chains.co.uk/ ...
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
VERY very interesting. Good link Henrik :)
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Jonny said :-
Thank you very much for the info. If anybody can recommend a particular alarm that would be great too.
UTC
Dave said :-
Your MPG claim sounds like hogwash. Are you affiliated with Honda? I get 87MPG as do a lot of people on these motorcycles.
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Dave. Are we talking UK or US gallons first of all, I'm talking UK gallons at 4.54 litres per gallon.

I might be talking hogwash, 'tis true. I would like to point out that I am not a fast rider which helps reduce fuel usage. I would like to also refer you to the link below. It seems I'm not the only person talking hogwash as some other CBF 125 riders are claiming 154mpg!

Please remember to set the units to "UK". I shall leave people to form their own opinions.
www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/honda/cbf125 ...
UTC
Paul said :-
Hi there, my grandson has just bought one of these bikes.
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Paul said :-
Hello again,sorry my first post was so brief and unexplained.
I did not want to construct a long post only to have it disappear into the ether due to laborious registering and signing in.
Anyways I can now expand a little.
I am so pleased that grandson has chosen this bike after his disastrous introduction to biking last year with a Chinese twist and go, poor lad did very few miles on it before it needing constant work and even then reducing reliability to the point of scrapping it.
So I find this blog searching for reviews on the Honda,and what with him starting again and reading here, I am inspired to have another bike myself.
(2 years not riding due to New hip and other health probs)
I like your site here and I must say I find it interesting and refreshing.
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Paul. I have often considered the merits and downsides of having a log in system. The thing is I don't want to be involved with collecting emails and storing passwords securely, too much responsibility!

It's a bad show with your grandson's scooter. Be aware though, my gf who also posts to this website has a Chinese Keeway 125 motorcycle and she's been very happy with it so far. 12,000 miles and barely a hiccup. We are becoming aware there are good and bad Chinese marques, it seems we were lucky enough to choose a good one.

My CBF 125 has been a great bike! It too however has had a few hiccups and if you read around the website you can find out all you want about those. Bear in mind though it now has 35,000 miles on the clock and leads a hard life as a workhorse and touring hack so I guess it's to be expected.

With regards getting back onto 2 wheels, if you can do it and you want to do it...then do it! If you're considering a smaller machine then don't be put off by the "Big is best" mentality some riders have. The best bike in the world is the one you're riding that day.

Cheers!
UTC
Paul said :-
Hi Ren
Thankyou for replying to my post so quickly.
Having a read round your site it looks like everybody is friendly, and done on trust that no one abuses that.
Yes I was aware that your gf has the Keeway,and am pleased it sounds a good bike.
I don't have a downer on all Chinese bikes, but my grandson was unlucky maybe with his.
And I admit to advising him to buy something Japanese this time, preferably Honda.
(although made elsewhere)
Mainly for reliability reputation and easy spares availability.
He seems to have bought well I hope, with a very clean 10 reg, with 4000 miles up.

As regards me back on two wheels, I am indeed thinking of a smaller engined bike, as the idea of getting good use out of a such a bike appeals to me.
I was thinking maybe a 250-500 as the 125s seem to be in high demand for the obvious reasons.
And maybe I can find a bargain that is too small for the road racers, and too big for starter bikes.
Having said that, I would be quite happy to have a 125 to ease me back into biking, and may have not understood today's market properly, not having bought a bike for a few years.
Ah well, pleased to meet you all albeit virtual, and will further read this excellent site ,and update on grandson 's Honda as he puts some miles on it.

UTC
Jonny said :-
Hi Ren,

Further to my post some time back, I have now acquired a second hand (2012) CBF125. It is day four, but so far very pleased with it.

I notice that in first gear the engine really wants to hold you back unless you up the revs very high, but the other gears give quite a lot of acceleration. Does that sound as it should be?

Also can you, or anyone else please tell me what the rev counter should show when idling? I mean once the engine is fully warmed up and running normally. Mine stays at around 1800 RPM which seems high, but perhaps is normal.

Thank you as always.

Regards

Jonny
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Jonny. I've never noticed my bike not pulling in first. Logic dictates that it should pull hardest in first, that sounds really peculiar. Clutch slipping?

And the tickover. My CBF doesn't have a rev counter, the early models didn't. I *think* 1800 revs sounds a tad high. Now unless you are very familiar with cables don't touch anything! You see the tickover SHOULD be controlled by the computer and the "Air Idle Control Valve". So if the tickover is wrong the cable may be too tight or something more serious is amiss. But you could get things desperately wrong if you don't know what you're doing. If not seek expert advice.

Maybe it might be worth investing in a genuine Honda service at a reputable Honda garage?
UTC
Jonny said :-
Thanks Ren. I don't think I explained myself well at all and made things sound worse than they are. The bike does pull in first gear, but the engine pulls me back unless I turn the throttle quite high. Not sure if that makes sense, but I will definitely take your advice about the Honda service.

As for the high revs, if any of your readers know what the correct idling rev count should be, please let me know. I can get that adjusted at the same time as the service if necessary.

Thanks again.
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Jonny - according to my Haynes manual the idle speed should be -

1500RPM +- 100.

This manual only covers up to '12 models but I'm sure yours will be the same.
UTC
Jonny said :-
Thank you very much for taking the trouble of checking that for me.
I will ask them to adjust at the service because it is high at 1800rpm.
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
No worries Jonny. Ideally the computer should control the revs itself, a good shop should know that and be able to work out why it's not doing so. Are you enjoying your rides?
UTC
Jonny said :-
So far I'm absolutely loving it, apart from the London traffic which has been atrocious the last couple of weeks. I'm new to motorcycles and still getting used to the bike.

As a cyclist, the experience of having the power to overtake other vehicles and get to a reasonable speed is exhilarating. Feels a bit like flying!

As the miles clock up I am getting more confident and hopefully will find it easier.

Thanks again for your help.
UTC
Jonny said :-
Hi Ren

Just had my first tank filled. According to Fuelly.com I managed just over 128MPG.
Very chuffed with that considering my commute involves a lot of stopping and starting, pretty much the entire way.

Interested to find out what the most fuel efficient speed is on this bike when travelling at constant speed.

Jonny

UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hey Jonny. 128 mpg is pretty good isn't it, especially around town. I have no scientific data about the most efficient speed but I guess about 35 to 40 mph would be ideal. If you could hold it there I reckon you could be looking at 150 to 160 mpg.
UTC
Chris said :-
Splendid insight. I currently have a Triumph Street Triple R, it's a great bike in it's own right but don't travel that far on it, nor do I go that quick either. Would I have as much fun on the above CBF? I'd probably say so. When I bought the Street Triple I thought I'd be missing out on something if I didn't have all the gizmos, radials etc etc but if you're just pottering on the roads it seems a little crazy.

There's much more to biking than outright pace, and in all honesty I think I had much more fun on two wheels when I rode a Gilera Runner 125 rain or shine, with a light wash every few months. Bikes like the CBF bring out the more adventurous nature of biking, and get you to wherever you want to go for a nominal sum.
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Chris. I have 2 friends with Street Triples and when I first started to read your post I was wondering if someone was taking the mickey!

I too always wanted the power, the gadgets, the handling and the kudos of owning a big bike. I...in some way...still want that but not as much as I want my small cheap light and fun 125. There are times when bigger is better but bigger also takes away the fun and the challenge.

As for pottering its my favourite way to see the world by two wheels. You don't see much at 100mph other than tarmac and hedges.
UTC
Bradley said :-
Hi Ren, I've just been reading all of the comments and your blog, and it has been very helpful indeed. I currently ride a Piaggio Zip 50cc as I am only 16, but I am 17 in a months time. I (well, my parents) bought a CBF125 for me and I have yet to ride it, but I am incredibly excited after hearing everyone's opinions. I have no income aside from pocket money so the 100+ mpg will be brilliant :). Cream of the crop at college soon :)
UTC
Chris said :-
Hi Ren, before getting my Triumph I did consider getting something smaller such as a Ninja 300 or CBR 500 as I knew that I'd never warrant the power of a 675, but with price tags of around £5K I felt a little short-changed considering how cheap they looked and felt (IMO). At the time, Bill Smith Ltd were selling the standard Street unregistered for £6.5k, and so ultimately the smaller ones didn't represent enough of a substantial saving.

The CBF125 however is cheap enough to forgive it for not having any fancy gizmos, nor would I have worry too much about it getting grubby in-between washes (as long as it has a good coating of ACF50 or the like). Subject to interview, I may be starting a new teaching post come September, which would mean a weekday 38-mile round trip. Therefore, given that the mpg figures it will go a little way to making it a viable second commute/rainy day ride/workhouse bike.




UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Bradley. So you're getting a CBF 125 huh? You're a lucky fella, wish someone would get me one. Give yourself time to get used to the gears and the extra speed, it'll feel quite nippy after riding the 50. Check the tyres too, if they're Continental's you're good to go but if they're the TKS they're blooming awful in the wet.

Chris, the CBf will be ideal for commuting. You may find you use it for much more besides too, depending on your "need for speed". ACF50 is a good idea, keeps the rust mites at bay, at least that's what they tell me.
UTC
Bradley said :-
Hi Ren, yeah, I'm incredibly happy and there's nothing more embarrassing than going down the dual carriageway at 30mph whilst the school bus passes you. Not gonna have that anymore :). And thank you for the help, I will check the tires and get back to you within a few weeks :)
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hey Bradley, if you read around the website you'll see I'm a supporter of gentle riding and sticking to the speed limits. Don't be getting all giddy on that there 125! I want you to be telling me tales of places you've been and great rides, not hospital beds or run-ins with the police.

You're young, I can't put my old head on your shoulders and I had my silly times too. From an old hack do me a favour and take it easy - but enjoy it!
UTC
Bradley said :-
Hi Ren, in about a month's time, my Dad (he has a Mt rushmore Harley RoadKing) and I are going on the coasts and castles tour (Edinburgh, Alnick and everywhere in between) so that's gonna be amazing! And yes, as much as I consider myself a speedfreak and an adrenaline junkie, I'll leave that for roller coasters and other extreme activities, not my bike :). Cheers.
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Bradley, you're just making me jealous now. Scotland is God's own county for bikers and it is soooooo beautiful. Grrrrr!
UTC
Peet said :-
Hi, I live almost in the center of Sunny South Africa and truly admire the fact that you enjoy riding your bikes in mostly what we consider bad biking weather. 90% of our days are sunny and the roads around my little town consist of stretches of up to 250 miles of almost traffic free driving with temperatures ranging from -7 to 45 degrees Celsius and with wind speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

I own and drive a 2011 Honda Flush WH 125-6 carburetor, basically a newer version of the original 1958 Honda Super Cub and what is known as a Honda Wave/Innova in your part of the world. I’ve just past the 11 000 mile mark and my average is 173 miles to the UK gallon. With a 0.66 gallon fuel tank I’m forced to keep to a snail’s pace in order to make it to the next filling station and have seen 240 miles to the gallon on an economy drive that I undertook covering 120 miles before filling up with the tank only needing 0.4949 gallons of fuel to refill. My worst fuel consumption is 127 miles to the gallon with a headwind that at times forced me to drive full throttle just to keep to a 30 mile per hour speed.

I must admit I rather like the snail’s pace for it allows me not only to enjoy the ride but the surroundings as well not to mention the advantages to be found in using only fumes of petrol. I’m still on my original tires, battery, spark plug, chain and sprockets and I reckon the credit must go to the slow pace I’m keeping, the rear tire would need replacement soon. I have covered 335 miles in one day on a round trip with 1 400 miles the most that I have traveled in one month. Before the Honda I had a cheap Chinese Honda look-a-like called a Vuka 110 XL that led me to the Honda Flush, same thing just the materials used were of very poor quality.

I do not travel as much as I would like to but when the opportunity presents itself I do make full use of it. I do not use my little scooter bike as a daily drive for that I use a Honda Airblade 110cc fuel injection which is more comfortable to drive faster but less frugal by not too big a margin.

Greetings from a fellow 125cc South African Snailer.


My little scooter bike at the Gariep dam, South Africa's biggest dam.
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hey Peet! 240mpg...that is unbelievably great. If you look around the site you'll see I've briefly tested the Innova and there's lots of comments from folks with the same bike as you.

Being a geek - the Innova was sold here in the UK as a 125 and I think that's what yours is. I've not seen them for sale here for a couple of years. The Wave is a 110 and still in the current line up and is injected.

I must admit these bikes would certainly benefit from a larger tank. I know they're sold as commuters but...but if Honda stuck a simple 5, 7 or even 11 litre tank on them you could ride almost forever! I've met a few folks who's fitted "additional" tanks.

Cheers :)
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Oh and Peet - stop making us jealous about the weather and the beautiful countryside and the endless empty roads will ya. Life's hard enough here without you pointing it out to us all. Pffffft.
UTC
Peet said :-
Hi Ren

Here they only sold the 125cc carburetor version till they had finished the batch and then they did not replace it with the new PGM Fi version, they just stopped importing it altogether. I did consider the new 125cc PCX with its 8 liter tank as a replacement because of my 3 liter tank limit but with the extra money that I have to spent for the upgrade I can travel at least 75 000 miles with my little Flush. I only use the tank and never carry extra fuel. I try to go as far as possible before filling up and on the 11 000 miles I already filled it up 123 times giving an average of almost 90 miles between fill ups. I would say its biggest drawback is its tank size.

We have lots of problems here in sunny South Africa but at least the weather benefits us travelers on two wheels, with only 125cc to keep momentum going, most of the time.

Kind regards
Peet




UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
What price is fuel over there? To me here in the UK South Africa seems to be a place of contrasts. I see travellers showing me beautiful scenery yet I also hear tales of abject poverty and serious crime. I can only guess that there is still an awful lot of work to be done even after apartheid was abolished. Lets hope that the struggle towards a better life for all continues apace.
UTC
Peet said :-
Hi Ren

1 Liter of fuel locally cost 0.65 British Pounds or ZAR13.25 or a UK gallon would cost you 2.95 British Pounds working with the current exchange rate.

Yes it is for sure a place of contrasts, poverty and serious crime in some places even 21 years after apartheid has been abolished, but living here is not much different from living any other place in the world. People adapt and you will find people cursing the same place and circumstances that people just next door praise. If I switch on the news that thrives on bad news the world for sure seems dark but if I count my God given blessings and privileges the same world suddenly holds many opportunities. Some people on 125cc do with joy more than what many won’t even think of doing with a car and the same can be said about money and circumstances. I believe from abroad the news rather shows the dark side of South Africa more than all the beauty that is to be enjoyed in sunny South Africa and this even influence the local people negatively. But there are many nice roads leading to many nice places and if you have the privilege of owning a 125cc the fuel will always be cheap. There is an adventure that fits everyone’s budget for me it is my little Honda Flush WH 125-6.


UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Peet.

Fuel here's about £1.10 a litre at the moment. It's not cheap but as you rightly point out on a 125 that's not really the major issue. I understand what you mean about the news too - it's all doom and gloom and can often leave the watcher feeling like the whole world's gone to pot and there is nothing but doom and gloom on the horizon. While we don't enjoy your weather there is much good here too and more often than not the real people you meet are friendly and kind.

Have you travelled outside of your country? Again maybe you can dispel the myth that crossing boarders on the African continent is fraught with bureaucracy and bribery.
UTC
Peet said :-
Hi Ren

With my bike I have never crossed borders to other countries but by car I did but only neighboring countries with no trouble at all. But in Africa corrupt government officials seems to be the order of the day with South Africa no exception. A couple from Cape Town did the famous Cape to Cairo trip on two Chinese 200cc bikes and their story make for some very interesting reading and paint I reckon a more true picture of traveling through Africa, nearly 10 000 miles. http://www.crossingafrica.co.za/



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Ren - The Ed said :-
Wish you'd never sent that link Peet! Spending ages reading through it all now....grrrr. Good stuff.
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Bradley said :-
Hi Ren, I messaged you a few months ago and I've been riding my CBF for a month now. It is the most fun I've ever had! When my Dad and I went up to edinburgh we had a great weekend. I'd only been riding two days beforehand and riding through Edinburgh city centre during the fringe festival was certainly a learning (but scary) experience. If it wasn't for your handy tips i don't think I would have lasted! Both tires are the recommended ones, and I can pull 75mph out of the bike with me only weighing 8 stone. Everyone at college is jealous and its amazing!
UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Bradley. It's good to hear you're enjoying the bike. I reckon you're brave taking on a big trip to Edinburgh too at any time of year let alone when the fringe is on. Cities scare me still and I've been riding for 25 years and countless miles. Too big, too noisy and too much traffic.

Now don't be getting too giddy with the speed. You absolutely cannot afford to be getting points and a fine because not only will you have to pay the fine but more insurance too. Meh, you're young, you ain't gonna listen to an old fart like me. I didn't when I was young - hehe!

If ya can't be good, be careful.
UTC
Jonny said :-
Does anyone know if the CBF125 has a low fuel warning light?
I understand the fuel tank has a capacity of around 13 litres, but when the indicator says low, I can only fill around 8.5 litres at the station.
If there was a warning light, I would feel more confident in going a few extra miles before refilling.
Thanks.
17/02/2016 12:47:33 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
No Jonny, there's no low fuel light as you're expected to believe the fuel gauge. I'd suggest yours is somewhat out of calibration! When my gauge is down to the red I typically put in 10-11 litres meaning there's still some left in the tank.
17/02/2016 16:35:13 UTC
Ashleigh said :-
This thread is probably older than me, but what tank bag are you using, as I can't find one to fit my cbf anywhere?
25/04/2016 06:27:52 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Morning Ashleigh. The tank bag I am using is the "Cargo Basic Mini Tank Bag". I'll add a link for the item on Amazon and if you Google the name you may find other places to get one. It is not very large but it is good for my phone, wallet, e-cig and my camera.

I hope you're enjoying the CBF125 and if you look after it, it will look after you.
www.amazon.co.uk/ENDURANCE-CAR028-MOTORCYCLE-LUGGAGE-MOTORBIKE/dp/B00B4AJKTC?ie= ...
25/04/2016 07:34:32 UTC
Ashleigh said :-
me again!

I found the same tank bag but bigger (which is good news!) but i'm now trying to find a rear rack that is an official honda one as all the ones ive found are either aftermarket or givi topbox specific.

any suggestions, or even what one that you use??

cheers
04/05/2016 12:31:56 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Ashleigh. The rack as fitted to the rear of my CBF 125 is the Givi SR157 rack. If you google this most of the options show it with the Givi mounting plate. However it is just the rack. I'll add a link.

They're not cheap but few racks are. I'd also recommend Renntec, they seem to make some good kit for around the same price.

Cheers!
www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Honda-CBF-125-2009-2014-Motorcycle-GIVI-Luggage-Rack-Carrier- ...
04/05/2016 15:07:01 UTC
Henrik said :-
Why is "aftermarket" a problem ? On my Honda ANF125 in my expetience eftermarked is to be prefeted, simply becourse Hondas own "thai-quality" is nothing to write home about, for rear luggage I found a model in Grece, via Ebay, I gave around 15£, and besides saving a lot of money I got something likely better than Hondas own, as far as I can tell
05/05/2016 09:38:40 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I'm not sure if Honda themselves offered their own rack for the CBF so I suspect aftermarket will be the only option Henrik. The givi rack on mine costs around £55 and it must be well made, the amount of abuse and weight that mine has taken.
06/05/2016 05:22:54 UTC
ROY said :-
Howdy,
I was all excited about buying a brand new CBF125 from my local Honda dealer. I just called them and they reckon the CBF125 doesn't exist anymore... This surprised me as its still on the Honda website: http://www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/range/125cc/cbf125-2013/offers.html

The salesman said they have the newer / replacement CB125F in stock. Does anyone have anything to say about the CB125F? I think I read somewhere that its basically the same bike, but manufactured somewhere else?

Is the CBF125 really obsolete? Is the CB125F actually a thing??

Thank you very much in advance.

Great review by the way.

Cheers.
14/07/2016 09:29:12 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Morning Roy. Yes, the CBF125 is no longer in production. I suspect Honda is still listing it on their website to allow dealers to sell the last of the stock.

The CB125F is the replacement and to all intents and purpose it is a new motorcycle but in many ways it is "much the same" as the CBF125. I have ridden it and I will add a link to my review. I've only test ridden it, I haven't had the many miles and experience I have had with the CBF.

Honda initially made the CBF in India then Thailand. The CB125F is made in China. Make of that what you will, as long as Honda is managing the quality control then there should be no concerns.


www.bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=812 ...
14/07/2016 09:44:40 UTC
ROY said :-
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly!

Still very excited to go to the Honda showroom later today. Although, I did just call a few insurance companies for a quote...

£670 is the cheapest so far... seems a bit high! I have 6 yrs no claims on my car, and only two accidents in the last 5 years, both of which were not my fault. That said, I've not actually passed my CBT yet. That's booked for the 23rd... Watch this space.

Can anyone recommend a decent, value for money insurance company? Or indeed any tricks to get insurance costs down. (joining a bike club for example)?

Thank you!
14/07/2016 12:56:15 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
How old are you Roy? I'm an old fart (44) these days which makes insurance a lot cheaper. Insurance companies are - ahem - barstewards. Normally you can only earn No Claims on one policy at a time. BUT if you have a claim on one policy you loose the no claims on all of them!

Shop around using the comparison sites. Whatever you do - do NOT lie! Don't tell them you're bikes in a garage when it's not, don't tell them you do 2,000 miles a year when you do 10,000. It's all very well and good until you have to make a claim even if the accident is not your fault. They'll go through everything with a fine tooth comb looking for an excuse not to pay.

Enjoy the CBT and remember it's not a test and you don't pass. Some people complete it in one day, some folks need more time to get the hang of things. Chill out, listen to the instructor and keep smiling even if you can't manage them U-Turns. You'll get the hang of it.
15/07/2016 11:44:46 UTC
Jonnt said :-
Hi Ren
My CBF125 is around 4 years old now, and I'm finding the seat a bit firm. (After long rides, I'm suffering with sorus bottomus). I am wondering whether it's possible to get a softer, more padded seat. Is that something you've seen before, and do you or anybody here have any recommendations??
Thank you very much!

06/09/2016 09:13:30 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Jonnt. I'm not aware of any aftermarket seats for the CBF125. The typical route is to purchase a gel or air filled seat pad, google "Airhawk" for an idea of how these things work. Another option is to have your seat altered to suit by a local upholsterer that does motorcycle seats. My seat has an additional 1 inch of foam which helps a little.

Don't go mad spending a fortune though. Seat padding thickness alone is not the only key to comfort. We're all different shapes and sizes and have different strengths and weaknesses. Adjust your handlebar position, change the way you sit, move around more and take more breaks! I get saddle sore quickly too, the ultimate solution is to stop more often, have a brew, look at the scenery and try not to cover too many miles.
07/09/2016 09:19:51 UTC
Jonny said :-
Thanks Ren. Adjusting the handlebar has made some difference. Will see how this goes for a while. Best regards.
09/09/2016 08:35:43 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
No worries Jonny. Start with the cheap and simple things first.
09/09/2016 14:44:29 UTC
Bob said :-
Dear Ed.
I was wondering how many thousand miles a typical CBF125 CB125f engine would do before it starts to see serious mechanical problems. I read a report of someone needing a rebore/new rings at 35,000miles. From their passionate report it seemed like they had cared for the bike. I tried to looked at rebuilding a CG125 in the 1980's and found that the cam bearers had no proper bearings and were scrap-writing off totally the head. It was not built to last. I first had a BSA175 d7 bantam and that needed rebores about every 10,000miles. I have seen over 150,000 miles on an untouched Honda Deuville.
At 12,000 miles per year (car average in uk) a CBF125 would only last 3 years....
Have you any comments?
10/09/2016 11:55:18 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Bob. Presently the CBF125 featured in this review has 55,600 miles on the clock.

Of course it all depends......

Will you lovingly care for the bike? Will you service it thoroughly and regularly? Will you ride it gently? Will you make long trips or short runs? And so on and so on.

My bike has required an alternator stator and a clutch basket. Other than that it receives an endless stream of tyres, chains, sprockets, oil and abuse. Overall I have been very very impressed with the Honda but I have reached the stage where I am prepared for the inevitable demise sooner or later. Presently it feels like it will last forever though!

With care I'd be disappointed if a quality 125 did not last 50k. 60-70k seems achievable. I hear stories of then doing 120k on one engine, I cannot substantiate this though.

I consider the fuel savings to be their biggest fiscal benefit. I regularly cover 300 miles on one tank costing about £10. I've just come back from a ride. I consider the sheer pleasure of riding this amazing little bike to be completely invaluable.


10/09/2016 16:19:39 UTC
GJ said :-
A CBF125 has become available for around £1400 and two year old. Lightly used around 1700 miles. Only has 600 Mile service done. The pics of the bike make it look fine. What are the service intervals

Anything to be particularly concerned about if the Oil, oil filter/strainer have been undertaken by the first of it's owners.
19/09/2016 19:47:33 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi GJ

The price sounds fine. Service intervals are 2,500 miles.

"Doing" the oil and oil filter/strainer should be an easy job. The most likely issue is that the crankcase cover gasket might leak afterwards if it's been done poorly. That will be obvious though, it'll be leaking from the clutch side.

It is *possible* to put the strainer in the wrong way around. It won't mess things up and kill the engine within a few miles but it might be worth getting it checked out. Unlikely...but a possibility.

Enjoy the bike if ya get it.
19/09/2016 20:38:25 UTC
GJ said :-
Thanks for your comment regarding motorcycle.

Looking to do a test ride with said bike of a reasonable distance to evaluate issues leaving agreed price with owner in case I bin bike. Not likely but better to be safe than sorry.

I currently own a Chinese cycle and have had too many issues.


I have read about some of the issues with the CBF125 but it can't be any worse than the bike I own. Looking to use it for a period and then take my test. I like the look of the Kawa z300, Kawa z250sl and the Honda CB500x.
20/09/2016 14:36:49 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Well my CBF has 56,000 on the clock and yes...it's not been perfect but it certainly has not been a lemon. There ain't a bike out there that will last forever.

There's reviews on here about the Z250SL as Sharon, my girlfriend, owns one. Also the 500X as I own one. I have ridden the 300.

Have a great time with the 125 and doing ya test!
20/09/2016 14:56:12 UTC
GJ said :-
In the end picked up a new CB 125 F. Owned it for around 4 Weeks and have ridden 900 miles so far without it skipping a beat. Will be used over winter so will need to keep on top of maintaining bike. If the weather is too ropey will either take mountain bike or get a lift to work.

2016 CB 125 F
29/10/2016 19:39:39 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi GJ. The CB125F looks the business! Enjoy your riding and remember to look after the bike and it'll look after you. Lubricate that chain, check that oil, get it serviced and get to know the bike.

Wash it - often. Washing isn't just about making it clean it's about looking at the bike and all it's parts. One day you'll notice the chain is looser than it used to be. Is that right? Ask, find out, and then get someone mechanically trust worthy to show you how to adjust it. That screw never used to be loose? Ask, find out, get help and see if it needs fixing. Those brake pads are getting thin. Ask, find out, get help and see if they need changing.

I'd love to hear how you get on with the CBF in the fullness of time. Also how you get on with the biking. Keep in touch.
31/10/2016 10:08:20 UTC
GJ said :-
Looking to do a basic motorcycle course in regards to the maintaining brakes etc. Although Youtube & Haynes etc will show you how to do it I would prefer to be instructed correctly in regards to undertaking some maintainance tasks. Some tasks I would deem to be safety critical therefore proper tuition is necessary.

Chain maintainance I can manage both in regards to cleaning and adjusting. Have noted the correct chain slack. Check it at around 250-300 Miles as I have marked out the allowable chain slack on a piece of paper. Meaning rotation of rear wheel and quick check of chain play in a few positions along chain. I can check the oil and replace. The bike has had it's first service. I check the tyre pressures every couple of days. Daily check indicators, brake lights etc.

Due to the ownership of my previous Chinese bike it has allowed to me to be competent in some of the more simpler maintainance tasks. In time looking to be able to undertake the more complex tasks.
04/11/2016 13:26:33 UTC
GJ said :-
Living in Scotland means that it's time for the winter road salting to begin. So looking to keep bike clean. Looking into ACF50, Scottoiler FS365 etc to keep the worst effects of the road salt at bay.
04/11/2016 13:42:15 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I am so so glad you've got a handle on the maintenance GJ. I've seen some 125s that are completely neglected and they are frankly dangerous.

I think some proper training is a great idea. Yes youtube will show you things but be very careful of the advice you take from the internet. I've seen everything from the wrong tappet settings to downright dangerous bodges. It's fine to bodge a rip in your seat with gaffer tape but safety critical stuff like brakes....yikes!

Keep up the good work.

I personally have not tried any of the anti-rust stuff but there's been some comment on here regarding ACF50 recently. Be interested to see what you get and how well it works for you.
04/11/2016 14:42:36 UTC
manish said :-
HI there ..i was doing my research on the the most fuel effecient bikes and CBF 125 caught my eye..i am planning to get my Bike licence and also will be doing 100 miles a day commuting , of which most of the travelling will be on motorway.
some ppl i spoke to said ill b a fool to drive a125cc bike on a motorway, as it is too light a bike to take on a motorwy.
i need your suggestion ..is it true..?? or shall i go for a bigger cc bike but i guess it wont give me that fuel efficiency i am lookig for ..
any suggestions or recomendations wil b appreciated.
19/11/2016 12:40:56 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi there Manish. The CBF125 is most efficient at town speeds and it does use more fuel at motorway pace. That said even with full camping luggage I'd expect my own CBF to still return over 100 mpg at about 55mph.

It is worth noting Sharon's Kawasaki Z250SL will return almost 100mpg at a similar pace. The 250 option will also give you a little extra performance should you need it at motorway speeds.

There's no doubt the CBF125 is efficient, there's no reason it can't cover 100 miles a day and they can be used on motorways here in the UK if you have a FULL licence. I would seriously consider the 250cc options as well.


20/11/2016 07:02:10 UTC
manish said :-
Thnx Ren for the reply..could you recomend me some 250cc bikes which are also fuel efficint, affordable and cheap MRP too.
20/11/2016 12:18:54 UTC
said :-
Manish, I'd look at Kawasaki's Z250SL and Suzuki's Inazuma 250.

The Kwak is more exciting and sporty, also lighter. Think nippy 125 with extra grunt and poke. The Suzuki is bigger and heavier but more practical.

There are several reviews of both bikes on this website, just use the search option.

Both bikes are good value and efficient. There are some cheaper Chinese motorcycles on the market too. I can't offer any experience with these but don't dismiss them, there are some interesting options.
20/11/2016 22:14:49 UTC
Jonny said :-
Hi Ren. I've now been riding on my CBF125 for 1.75 years on a CBT learning permit. My riding is mainly my daily London commute, for which the bike has been fantastic.

I'm considering going for my full licence, not because I want a more powerful bike, but because I might like occasionally to take a pillion passenger, and also go on motorways sometimes.

I called a local bike training centre who told me that a three day course, including the test fees, bike hire, insurance and everything else will cost in the region of £700. That's quite a sum of money for me, especially when I can just renew my CBT at around £60 instead, and just live without motorways, and passengers.

I wondered whether you, or any of your readers have any advice on this. Does anyone know if costs vary significantly between different centres and different parts of the country perhaps?
Is three days necessary?

Thank you as always.
Jonny
02/12/2016 09:30:45 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I feel your pain Jonny!

Price wise £700 is - to be honest - for London prices - about right I reckon. Up here in the grim North West you'd only be a few pounds better off on a full "A" class big bike training course.

There are options. You can if you wish take your tests on your own 125. That will only give you an "A1" licence. This means you can remove your "L" plates, take a pillion and go on motorways but you are limited to ONLY 125cc motorcycles.

You *could* do this all on your own. Do the theory, do the Mod1 and the Mod2 without any costly training, just the cost of the tests. I'd recommend you think hard though and get at least some training because the tests are already hard enough with someone to guide you through them.

You could get training using your own bike, saving on the costs of bike hire. Like I said though if you take the test on a 125 you're limited to 125 bikes. If you're happy with that (and who wouldn't be) then that is a great option. I love 125cc bikes, but I'm glad I have a full licence too.

Be aware that £700 might not guarantee a pass. If you fail any test it's common for training schools to charge extra to take the test again. Double check what happens and additional costs if you fail

Finally one word of advice. Just because you fail a test doesn't mean you're a useless idiot. Luck plays a HUGE part. Practice, learn, ask, learn, keep your eyes open, learn and if you can afford it get training.

Yeah, the CBF125 is a great bike isn't it!
02/12/2016 10:24:37 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Jonny,

My 3 day DAS course cost me last year £670 so yes £700 is a fairly typical price I am afraid.

Three days is pretty much the minimum required. Day 1 learning to ride the bigger bike. Day 2 Module 1 (with a bit of practise before hand depending on time of test) Day 3 Module 2.

Like Ren said this price is purely if you pass both Modules first time. If not extra fees will be incurred. Details of charges just for the tests is set out below for you .

Test type Weekday - Evenings weekends and bank holidays
Theory test £23 - £23
Module 1 motorcycle test (off-road) £15.50 - £15.50
Module 2 motorcycle test (on-road) £75 - £88.50
Extended test for disqualified riders (on-road) £150 - £177

Although it is expensive it really is in my opinion worth it to go for a full licence. The training is invaluable and it can be quite an eye opener to ride a bigger cc bike. However as again Ren has said there is the option for just doing it on your own 125cc and reducing the costs.

If you do decide to take a pillion whichever class of licence you pass on do not forget to update your insurance to allow for a pillion passenger as they are not usually covered as standard.

02/12/2016 21:53:08 UTC
Jonny said :-
Thank you very much for the informative responses.
I will take some time to consider what to do, although the cost is prohibitive at the moment at least.
05/12/2016 11:42:41 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Jonny.

I do understand that it is a lot of money! I'm upset because I've just spent £70 on a new stator for the CBF125 and that's 1/10th of the cost of training. Urgh.

You can help yourself in the mean time. Learn your highway code inside and out for the theory test. Make sure you keep on doing your life savers and mirror checks. Practice slow riding for u-turns, figure 8s and so on. Keep to the speed limits. Stay safe.

And there's no rush. Sharon rode for 3 years on her CBT with "L" plates. We went to Scotland and back before she passed her test. Enjoy the ride and enjoy the CBF125.
05/12/2016 14:23:35 UTC
Jonny said :-
Thank you Ren. Will do...
Most of my driving is in Central London, at slow speed, often in figure 8s :)
I'll try to get hold of one of those highway codes and have a look.
12/12/2016 13:37:50 UTC
Antgeezah said :-
I brought a sinnis stealth but had a lot of problems with it. It was ready for the members when someone kicked it from a parking bay. I've put a deposit down on a 2013 cbr125 and just waiting for my insurance to pay out. Thanks for this review. I ain't a boy racer I just want to get to work so this has made me a bit happier. Thanks
09/02/2017 10:49:23 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Antgeezah. I've seen a few of the Sinnis motorcycles about and they've always seemed OK to me. What sort of problems were you having?

The CBF125 has been a great bike for me. While my bike may be very dirty and worn it does get a lot of mechanical love, any 125 that does a lot of miles will need a lot of looking after. They are a good bike though.
09/02/2017 12:30:40 UTC
Jonny said :-
Hi Ren- My CBF125 (2012 with 21k Miles on the clock) is working well, however for the past few months it doesn't always start first time. I thought the battery was reaching the end of its life so replaced it. But still if I leave the bike over a weekend, in cold weather, it doesn't want to start first time. And if I leave it for a week or more, it won't start without a boost.

This is with a brand new battery, and I have removed anything superfluous to the original spec that might have been taking power (Like an alarm). Also, I have been monitoring the voltage across the new battery and that is always 12.3V - 12.9V. Even this morning it was reading 12.5V, and yet the bike didn't start on first try. (it did on the third try).

When the engine is running, there is a steady 14.5V which tells me that the altenator is working correctly.

Do you have any advice?
could it be that the starter motor needs replacing?

Thanks as always.
Jonny
22/01/2018 10:32:02 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I'd need a lot more details Jonny because diagnosing from afar is nigh-on impossible.

My first question - has the bike been serviced! If the tappets are tight this can affect startup when it's cold -
http://bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=488
Also if the air filter is dirty this won't help. Give it a thorough service, I mean a full complete proper service. Replace the spark plug. Cheap and necessary. I doubt it's that but start with the cheap stuff. Also consider the spark plug cap - I've had issues in the past with mine.
http://bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=747

At 14.5v and 12.3 to 12.09 volts at the battery it *sounds* like the charging system is OK. However motorcycles can be tricky so do not totally dismiss this.

If the starter is cranking the motor over swiftly I doubt it'll be that.

Start out with the full complete service then if that don't help work through the cheapest and most obvious things.

Hope that helps.






22/01/2018 10:52:20 UTC
Jonny said :-
Thank you Ren. I appreciate that diagnosing from afar is impossible. Always good to hear your thoughts though and I will try that and see how I get on.
23/01/2018 10:34:52 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Jonny - do let me know how you get on. My CBF125 is now up to 71,000 miles and I hope yours will reach that too :)
23/01/2018 11:42:53 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Seems a great bike. Why change the design to much from model to model.
But with such goods reviews why did I get the 500x. I can only hope this proves as good.
24/01/2018 09:38:31 UTC
Jonny said :-
Does anybody know about using LED replacement bulbs on this bike?
And if so, where to find them?
Thanks.
02/03/2018 12:43:35 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I have looked into this Jonny. 2 things...

Firstly the CBF125 is quite unusual in that the lights are kinda...queue lots of contrary comments...inverted. They run at minus 12 volts half wave. It's complicated but suffice to say there's a fair chance the LED bulbs may not work.

Secondly even if they did beware the law. The bulb needs to emit light from a specific point for the reflector to produce a flat beam on dip. If the LED bulb doesn't emit the light from the same place then it's likely you'll end up blinding oncoming traffic and/or producing a very poor quality light to see with.

I'm sure it *can* be done but it is certainly not a case of simply popping in an off the shelf LED bulb.
02/03/2018 17:40:52 UTC
Jonny said :-
Hi Ren. You lost me at minus volts but I will replace with the standard bulbs. Thanks for your help !

04/03/2018 14:50:50 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Ha! It's good to explore the possibility of improving the lights Jonny but it's not easy. Stick with what Mr Honda started out with.
05/03/2018 07:28:00 UTC
Jonny said :-
Hi Ren. Just to update anyone who's interested. Going back to the problem where my bike just wasn't starting, even with a new, and full battery. The problem gradually got worse until the engine wouldn't even turn over at all when I pressed the ignition button.
I have since replaced the starter motor. It cost me £20 on Ebay, and was very easy to fit.
That seems to have done the trick because the bike starts first time, every time I have tried since.
One thing that concerns me is a slight grating sound when I press the ignition button. It isn't loud and the bike is starting - so I am hoping that it's not normal for a new starter wearing in, and not causing any damage at the same time.


21/03/2018 10:29:41 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
That's good news Jonny. I'd recommend having a poke around to see what that noise is though. My thinking is that it could be the gears that transfer the power from the motor to the clutch basket. Maybe something is mis-aligned a bit?

It's one of those - if it ain't broke don't fix it but then if it ain't right maybe it needs fixing before it gets broke.

21/03/2018 12:41:04 UTC
Fumbletrumpet said :-
Hello Ren and Posters

Enjoyed your review (and a few of your other posts - bit of a traveler myself - although couldn't cope with the camping route I'm afraid - wuss alert indeed !).

My 'story' is that I started out on a few learner bikes way, way back in the 80's (the limit just reduced from 250 to 125 as I turned 17 - bah !!) - An old Kawasaki KE100 was fun but had appalling electrics and I switched to a ratty, even older Honda CB100N after getting fed up of being stopped by Cops due to my dim lights at night. The CB100N was an excellent little bike really - although my poor maintenance and riding on the stop brought about its untimely demise. Did a lot of miles on it, nipped it up on a Sunday afternoon in middle of Wales, free'd it off with some oil down the plughole from a luckily open petrol station and with gentle, repeated turning over it rode home at 30mph with no top ring and a chunk missing from the top of the piston ! (I rebuilt it and sold it on okay though). I passed what was Part 1 back then but failed Part 2, bought a car and never (properly) rode a bike again.

Whizz forward 30 something years and having just scrapped a car ("cost more than it's worth to fix mate - best scrapping it") I came around to 'thinking bike' once again. On a short list that's probably more about what's available nearby than what I'd like I'm looking at the CB 125F having just done CBT.

My concern is that on the CBT 'run' (which was great - forgotten how much fun and how 'aware' a familliar-ish route becomes on a bike) I found the training Co's Yamaha (YBR ? YS ? - 2017 reg anyway) wouldn't propel a fat old toad like me at more than 50mph !! - We rode out of town and the instructor said "you can increase speed up to the national limit now" - we were on a George Cabbageway so 70 was the potential to aim for I thought. Okay, it was a bit windy and no, I'd not expect to have held that sort of speed, but, since the 125 will become my main transport until I get around to doing the full training and test (maybe keep a 125 for a while or get a slightly larger bike beyond) I do feel quite vulnerable wobbling along at 50 when most other traffic is doing a fair bit more. I'm hoping me on a CBF might be a little quicker maybe ?

You could say one of two things - "lose weight" or "get a sportier 125" I guess - I'm a bit too old for a cramped up sporty Aprilia or race rep kinda machine I think. So, am I expecting too much ? My old CB100N would hold 60 all day (And I regularly did journeys of 150+ miles on it, with some luggage - although I probably weighed a bit less back then !) So the question is, what was the CBF like in speed terms when two up ? I've no idea how much I weigh - maybe 15 stone. Maybe the YBR/YS was a bit limited in some way - don't know that either. But I'd be happy with something that at near flat out can maintain 60 to 65 for a longer run - just for safety's sake as much as anything. D'you think the CBF's for me ? Should I push the funds out a bit further and go for the Yammy MT125 or a KTM Duke in order to get a bit more poke to lug my excess baggage about ? Not been to a dealer as yet but don't imagine they let you test ride (at all ?) certainly not on a long enough lead to stretch the bike's legs anyway. And magazine/internet reports of all sorts of top speeds for various bikes seem a bit.....well.... variable I guess.

Interested in your (and anyone else's) ten cents anyway.

Stay safe people..
05/04/2018 19:02:55 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Fumbletrumpet. Lose weight AND get a sporty bike!

Sorry, I'm being mean. For the most part the not-so-sporty 125s are all roughly 11 to 12 bhp. I'd say the difference between the CBF125 and the YBR (or YS) would be nominal at best. Unless you're prepared to pay for something "faster" like the MT125 you might need to adjust your thinking.

I weigh around 12.5 stones. My CBF125 will achieve 65 on a good day downhill with the wind behind me. Uphill into a headwind? Don't ask. These are not fast bikes. I can ride at 60mph on a flat motorway with no wind so it *can* do it. I tend to stick around the 55mph mark simply to protect the motor.

The way I see it you've got 3 options.

1. Get a regular 125 and alter your riding and your attitude to suit. I've covered over 100,000 miles on regular 125cc motorcycles and I still enjoy riding them. I have learned to accept the limitations and alter my expectations.

2. Spend the money and get a sportier 125. Thing is yes it will be a little faster but don't be thinking you'll be cruising at 75 down the motorways and leaving sports cars behind. On your CBT you are limited to motorcycle with a maximum power of 11kw or 14.7bhp. Anything more powerful than this (that includes something you've "tuned" ) would be illegal.

3. Pass your test and get something bigger.

I firmly believe you DO NOT need a big bike to go places and enjoy riding. Of course we are all quite unique so I wish you all the best in finding that which works best for you. Do let us know!
06/04/2018 09:28:17 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Why not go down the Direct Access route?
06/04/2018 13:34:31 UTC
Fumbletrumpet said :-
Thankyou Ren and Ian for replies.

I like analogies/similies/metaphors/whatever - Apparently I compare one sort of thing with other unrelated stuff and (often) confuse people (frequently I'm told), but here's a bit how I see it (because my head works that way):

I'll go computers since I understand that's where you're at professionally, Ren; I once had an old 286 with 1 Meg of RAM. It ran WordPerfect 5.1, Lotus 123 v.2 (I think), dBase III+ and EasyCAD (or called something like that) perfectly. Between 1992 and 1995-ish it did all I needed.

But in 1996/97, now with a laptop running Windows 3.1 (with 8 Meg of RAM I think), I bought a modem and 'connected' to the 'information superhighway' (as it was called back then). Albeit on dial-up. And now, on my 8th consecutive laptop, with 1000x the RAM capability and broadband (supposedly - it's a bit slow out here in the countryside !) I'm in a completely different computer world compared with what I had back in the early 90's.

But, I'm still (only) requiring capabilities that could (mostly - perhaps 70% of the time, with some adaptation perhaps) easily be met by the old DOS software I initially mentioned. The context of the internet, to some extent, changed things. (Actually, in this particular realm, it changed EVERYTHING !) Who'd want to go back ?

With the bike scenario it's a bit like this: A moped would get me around fine. (If I were fitter a pushbike would too). If I need to go on a longer journey I could just get up much earlier ! If I lived in a large city (I live in a fairly rural Midlands village) the moped really would be all I needed in (mostly) 30mph zones anyway. But, one day, I need to go a way outa the conurbation. I'm probably going to train it in that scenario, or hire a car perhaps. Because the context has changed. The distance is farther and I know there's a quicker way (Okay, I hate timetables so the 'fixed' nature of the train or bus would annoy me, but bear with me, it's the vehicles relative speed that is the point here).

The thing is, my work (such as it is !) is a bit unpredictable. I have a customer who is 16 miles away and a site I need to visit fairly regularly which is 20 miles away. These journeys are however quite different - one involves going through two towns (both very congested in 'rush hours' when I'm going 'to work' too) with a fairly fast stretch of dual carriageway between. The other is a journey through fairly rolling countryside, on two lane roads which, time of day and tractors depending, can be fairly nippy. And it's quite hilly in places. Actually, having just done some Googly measurements (which surprised me a little) most of my typical journeys are in the 15 to 30 miles range. All moped-able, all CB125F/YS125-able for sure. But ones where 60 to 70 mph is possible in places and, personally, I'm always a bit late setting off (add in jacket, overtrousers, helmet, gloves, getting bike out of crowded shed and warming it up a little before setting off and the comparable scales are tipping against me once again).

The context-changing issue is that I'm used to doing these journeys in a car. (open door, chuck stuff on back seat, turn key and go). I'll crawl at sub-walking speed listening to radio nonsense through town and (in my head) make up a bit of time by driving at 70 (if I can) on the cabbageway. On a bike I'm going to be a little colder, more vulnerable, using less fuel of course, able to filter through the congestion I hope (when confident at doing so - scares me a bit just now). But, when faced with those open stretches I'm still going to feel that I could be going just a little faster ! Because, like the internet (especially fibre v. dial-up) going back to less always feels wrong somehow !

It's a poor argument I know (it sounded better in my head than in words here). I actually bit the (financial) bullet and bought a KTM Duke 125. Apart from the fact that I think it looks amazing, I also think that, since this is going to be my main transport for a while forwards, it will do the day to day journeys just fine and I won't be crouching down with my elbow at my right knee 'wishing' a couple more mph out of it when trying to nip past a tractor on a country road or something. So, that's my 'case' over with !

Ian's point is well made. I want to pass the 'full' test but don't see how (for me anyway) I'd get confident and reassuring enough (for an examiner) on a 650cc bike after just a few day's training. I can and have ridden bikes but I'd feel better prepared (having just done CBT) with a few months of riding a 125 as background I think (the older you get, the more time it takes to learn, apparently).

Ren's points are well made too. Way back, when contemplating a mid-life (crisis some have said !) return to a bike I'd thought something of around 250 - 400cc would suit me fine (eventually) - enough to safely nip past slow traffic at times, would 'keep up' on the motorway and not frustrate when wringing the living soul outa of it in between. I've no interest (and yes, been there on back of friend's bikes a few times - resisting the wind pressure is hard work and was actually more scary than exhilarating for me) in travelling at very fast speeds. I (really) need to keep my licence. I don't drive very fast in a car actually. One can (and has - Saab 9000 to Fiat Doblo) adapted.

Once riding for a while I might change my view entirely. Maybe it's not about broadband v dial-up, maybe it's to do with more concise code, or more brevity in emails. Or, perhaps, with more confidence, I will be convinced by super, super fast fibre. I'm already aware that the 'bike' state of mind is quite different - it's so easy to 'drift off' when driving a car (concerningly in boring town traffic of course) and not concentrate, while the biker's direct involvement with surroundings make for far more interesting journeys anyway.

I'll see how it goes and report back.
Thanks for your comments as of now.
09/04/2018 10:08:41 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Interesting points.

Modern "bigger" bikes are less formidable than they used to be and there are some fairly soft options around (although I have to confess to not being familiar with them myself having passed my own test when it was merely a quick couple of runs round the block).

If I was in your position I'd probably run around on L plates for a few months to get familiar with the differences between riding a bike and driving a car, then investigate the DAS route. Doing this doesn't mean you have to jump on a rip-snorting race replica of course but it does keep all your options open. It's also probably the cheapest option in the long run.

Don't discount your car driving experience either. You will have developed a fair amount of road sense from this and much of it is transferable. What you don't have are the bike handling skills and the different levels of observation and prediction that are necessary to stay safe on two wheels.
09/04/2018 10:52:10 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Yeah I reckon you're both about right - get on and get a few miles under your belt on the KTM. You can decide how you feel and what you want to do in the fullness of time.

Do let us know how you go on with the Duke. I've ridden the 390 and that was a sweet bit of kit.
09/04/2018 16:51:02 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Fumbletrumpet,
Like yourself I began riding in later life. Also like you I preferred to gain experience on a 125cc before progressing to bigger bikes.
In fact I spent 2 years on my 125cc. 2 years I would not change for the world as I had so much fun and gained invaluable experience and confidence.
I always advocate that as good as it is to seek advise in the end we all have to find our own way to do things. You I am sure will find out what works best for you.
The downside of age can be that our ability to learn new things quickly is decreased. However the advantage of age is we are usually not so self-conscious. We are happy to measure ourselves by our own yardsticks and not those of others.
Learning to ride is an amazing experience. Yes it has its ups and downs but on the whole, wow what a ride it is. I wish you many safe and happy smile miles. Enjoy your new bike
09/04/2018 23:46:17 UTC
Fumbletrumpet said :-
Thank you Ian, Ren and Sharon for your feedback

It's very much appreciated - since you've been there, done it and ridden out the other side. (Yes, Ian, I did a 'round the block' Part 2 way back - failed it - but I love all the urban myth stuff about the examiner stepping out in front of the wrong biker for the emergency stop !!)

I'm also aware that I've slightly hi-jacked a topic about the (venerable ?) Honda CB(F)125(F), turning it into 'chunky old git wants fastest possible legal bike on CBT only without compromising his arthritic posture', leading onto 'strategy for actually (one day) getting a bike more suitable to my bulk' :) !!

So, as a PS that might gently (counter) steer back towards the Honda I'd comment that in many ways the CB 125 may actually tick more boxes than I'd initially imagined when it came to arranging insurance. I was staggered at some of the prices quoted to me as a faffed around phoning and web-form-filling-in to brokers trying to insure me to ride the Duke.

I've subsequently learned that any newbie (and having stepped off a KE100 then CB100N three year stint back in 1986 I hardly considered myself a newb ! - but in truth I am !) is considered a BIG risk in their first year of biking. Things will settle down once a year plus of NCD kicks in I'm told. Actually passing the Mod 1 & 2 will help as well I'm told. But one broker did comment that the premium would've been cheaper if I'd been riding a "different sort of bike". By which I interpret he meant "the Duke's a bit quicker/sportier, attracts a certain sort of rider (maybe) and therefore riskier (as an insurance statistic)". Maybe he meant scooter ? But just maybe he meant 'commuter' ??

My starting out thought was (before quote seeking) that with some 15 years of car NCD to my credit I'd get a bit of a leg-up, so to speak (it's quite a tall seat on that Dukey). But not with most insurers it seems. Finally found (if anyone's in the same situation) that the RAC have a drop-down which asks about your car claim history and this seems to then have been reflected in their offered premium (which was at least affordable for me - not approaching a grand as with many others !!). But the person at the LV call centre (I'd insured a car with them up until end of January) I spoke with did suggest (at least infered) that it was the Duke (rather than my lack of experience alone) which was pushing the premium up. So, if I'd have chosen the more sensible Honda, perhaps, I might not have been so shocked by the insurance quotes. Maybe.

I'll sign off (for a while - waiting to pick up the bike now, but then have a few days away immediately after so won't be riding for a week or so) by giving a (possible) point to the Honda for its dependable sensibility (which in an age of risk aversion and general un-sureness is a very valuable 'thing')

Happy, safe, (dry ?) riding to you all.....
12/04/2018 11:30:42 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
We...no...I don't worry too much about hijacking posts here at Bikes And Travels. I am of the opinion that conversations turn off down random paths in real life so I expect them to do so here in the comments section.

Sharon on the other hand believes people come to read about the subject of the original post and wouldn't be interested in the random diversions the comments section often takes. It has been a point of contention in the past.

Buuuuuuuut! You'll all kindly note I'm always asking for contributions. Why? While this is presently Sharon and I's blog we don't want it to be just about us. In fact we'd love nothing more than for it to expand and involve many writers with varied interests and points of view. So if you have a something to say regarding motorcycling and it fits in with BAT's ethos (I'll have to put together what our ethos might be!) then send it to me :-)
12/04/2018 12:21:29 UTC
Tim said :-
Hi Ren, I bought a Gsx750f back last year as a bit of a mid life crisis!(44 yrs old) I only started riding it this spring after around 20 years since my last bike. All my lifelong friends have had similar time away from riding bikes but have seen mine and Have bought bikes too, one friend in particular has just bought a cbf 125 and it's being delivered tonight, he is so excited to be back on 2 wheels and having read your excellent review I'm sure he will enjoy the bike and our days out in South wales!! He was worried that only being a 125cc he might get left behind but I have told him that at our age it's more about enjoying the ride than goin flat out. He is re- sitting his CBT on Monday so I think a quick spin around the gower peninsula is in order! I will let you know our thoughts on the little cbf after the ride with maybe a pic or two! Safe riding everyone!!
05/06/2018 15:29:46 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Your friend on the CBF125 will have to accept he's not really going to be out-performing you on your 750! But he will use around 1/3rd of the fuel, it will be a lot cheaper to run and he'll be giggling inside his helmet just as much.

On the narrow lanes of the Gower he'll find it ideal. It's a lovely area, Sharon and I enjoyed ourselves greatly when we were there last year.
06/06/2018 08:29:06 UTC
Tim said :-
We are lucky enough to live right on the gateway to the gower so we have great beaches within a 10 min ride from us and we have the black mountains and Brecon beacons to play on too, my friend is impressed with the Cbf125, he said it's light and well balanced, he has only ridden it on a private estate so far because his CBT is in the morning but he likes it so far. See how it goes on our run tomorrow and I might be tempted into buying one as a commuter bike for work.
10/06/2018 19:13:12 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
They are a good commuter bike. But I hope your friend takes it further afield as it is perfectly capable. Mine has been around Southern Ireland, Scotland, The Netherlands and a large chunk of England and Wales.

Sharon and I had a look around South Wales last year. We were both very impressed with the area so I think you and your friends are very lucky to have those playgrounds in your back garden. Gotta be better than Manchester and Liverpool.
11/06/2018 06:56:25 UTC
Tim said :-
Well our ride went well!! We did 50 miles around the Gower and the little Cbf125 performed really well, my friend Alan is not a small guy shall we say but the bike dragged him up all of the hills with little effort and held a steady 50-55 mph no problem which is fine for the area we were riding.His bike used hardly any fuel and like you said the grin on his face said it all!! Think there will be lots more days like that to come!

Me and Alan at Port Eynon, Gower.
11/06/2018 15:06:56 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
That's a great picture Tim. Which beach is that at? It looks kind of familiar...I'm guessing here at Port Eynon?
11/06/2018 16:18:54 UTC
Tim said :-
Spot on mate! We stopped there for a coffee before the ride home via the mumbles!
11/06/2018 17:36:38 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Wow! I thought it looked familiar - check the link
bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=1119 ...
11/06/2018 18:00:22 UTC
Tim said :-
I just read your story in the link and all the beaches you visited are the places I used to ride to on my pushbike as a child. We used to camp in the valley at three cliffs bay and light a camp fire in the castle up on the cliff top. Makes me realize how much I take my surroundings for granted, what I see as everyday normality is a world away from someone brought up in the Midlands miles away from any coastline. I really am lucky!!!!
12/06/2018 09:05:11 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Yes you are lucky Tim - and perhaps unlucky too. You'll have missed out on things like having to entertain yourself with a lump of coal for weeks until the cold weather came and then you had to burn it to keep warm. What about the delights of trying to play football on a busy main road? And when you were at school in the countryside was there a supply of hard drugs to be found?

I dunno mate...hehe.
12/06/2018 10:56:26 UTC
joe crennan said :-
mpg as mine albeit only 121mpg on the 240 mile trip home, the day I bought it. 8000+ rpm all the way with a foray into the red line to achieve 77mph. Tach is optimistic though ((by 600rpm above 5000rpm). I reckon speedo is and think perhaps 68 mph. I did get 157 mpg later (measured with 2.5 litres empty to empty)
I also have a Hayabusa but much prefer this
20/09/2018 20:42:41 UTC
 

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