I asked my colleague Pascal Bastien, who was testing the CBR125R, if I could borrow it for a couple of days. This machine is intriguing: Honda wants to use this low-displacement CBR to attract new riders into the motorcycle world. As a scooter enthusiast, I was very much looking forward to the opportunity to put my raw motorcycle skills to the test.
|The CBR125R is a pretty unique bike.
Great to learn
I only rode this bike for a few hours since we had to bring it back to Honda the very next day. However, these amazing hours convinced me that the CBR125R is a perfect machine for beginners. After reminding me how to use the transmission and pointing the location of the brake controls, Pascal let me take the road. Faster than I can write this line, I was shifting and clutching with much ease. Thanks to his judicious tips, I spent a full hour in the streets of my neighborhood so as to get familiar with upshifts and downshifts, braking, takeoffs and the riding position. In the afternoon, I decided to hit the countryside and ride on empty byroads to find out more about handling and the bike as a whole. Sporty looks
The Honda CBR125R stays true to the brand's tradition. It has the soul of its ancestors while the rest is decidedly modern. It looks like a sport bike yet it doesn't scare you. That's the feeling I got during my entire time with this motorcycle. The CBR125R is easy to get used to and the controls are quickly mastered. My only complaint is the brake pedal, which I found too high and too firm to my liking. Riding position
On a scooter, you're sitting upright. Now, I was leaning forward in a more oblique position. I had no difficulty adapting to this new riding position. The seat is well proportioned and firm enough to offer a comfortable support. The mirrors are decently sized and extremely helpful. The instrument panel is quite rudimentary; yet, all the essentials are there: tachometer, turn signals and odometer. I would have liked a daily mileage indicator but there was none to be found. When riding a motorcycle, forget about your luggage. There's a small storage compartment underneath the seat, but you have to use a backpack to carry most of your gear. Having a luggage rack installed might be a good idea.
|The riding position is adequate.