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2007 Honda CBR125R First Impressions


by Pascal Bastien ,

Homestead Miami Speedway, Florida - Honda is finally launching the CBR125R on the Canadian market. This small sports bike enjoyed immediate success in Europe where it now finds itself among the best-selling 125-cc motorcycles. Quebecers have always had a thing for European-derived models; that's why the CBR125R should easily find many takers here.

This mount should enjoy great success in Canada.

A new clientele

The majority of small bikes sold in Canada use outdated technology. Certain models have not even been revised for over 10 years. They are all powered by carburetors and some are not even equipped with multivalve cylinder heads -- a must-have feature for any modern bike.

The folks at Honda Canada's motorcycle division have realized that they need to approach differently customers who are looking to purchase their first-ever bike. The new CBR125R is at the core of a new, revolutionary marketing strategy called "Honda GO", which the company says should have a major impact on the future of the Honda brand and its dealers. The challenge for the engineers in charge of developing this new model was clear and simple: to create a user-friendly, sporty and stylish motorcycle that offers the same quality and reliability as other Honda products but at a low price.

A surprising little engine
The CBR125R is motivated by a very advanced, 124.7-cc four-stroke engine using Honda's famous Unicam technology (single overhead camshaft that activates two valves). However, thanks to a host of technical innovations, the cylinder head delivers more power that many DOHC engines. This SOHC configuration significantly reduces weight and gives the CBR125R an extremely low center of gravity. In order to minimize vibrations, this liquid-cooled engine relies on an integrated balancer shaft. Moreover, eco-minded Honda's advanced PGM-FI fuel-injection system constantly delivers the precise amount of fuel. Combined with an oxygen-sensing HECS3 catalyzer in the exhaust system, the engine achieves better overall performance, even lower emissions and improved fuel economy.

This is one heck of a state-of-the-art engine.
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