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2007 Honda CBR125R Road Test


by Amyot Bachand ,

Efficient powertrain
The 6-speed transmission seemed well tuned and the 4-stroke single-cylinder engine with injection delivered adequate power both in the city and on byroads. Shifting was easy. Of course, like any beginner, I stalled the engine on a couple of occasions, but even when I chose the wrong gear while downshifting, the transmission never balked. This is not a wimpy machine. You have to crank the engine a lot to get the desired power -- a Honda trademark. The CBR125R can take a good load on its shoulders and, as a result, forgive the rider's mistakes -- beginner or veteran. Before I forget, I averaged a fuel economy of 3 L/100 km.

Docile on the road
On dry pavement, I found the CBR quite docile. It knows how to thread its way in the city and maintain a steady line on byroads. By using the gearbox properly, you're rewarded with good accelerations out of corners or in the traffic. The CBR125R is not made to ride on highways. A short stint might not pose any problems, but generally speaking, this bike lacks the necessary power. That said, it performs reasonably well on metropolitan boulevards. Again, the only difficulty I experienced was the result of the brake pedal being too high.

This motorcycle is easy to get used to and pleasant to ride.

When I brought the motorcycle back, I rode through a rainstorm on the streets and metropolitan highways of the Greater Montreal -- for over 60 kilometers. The CBR125R behave like a charm. I was able to avoid virtually every water puddle and even managed to take off in second gear like it was no big deal. While thin according to many, the tires never failed their task. I was overwhelmed to see a huge Kenworth truck in my back, but the driver kept a safe distance so as not to put pressure on me, especially at stoplights where water had built up.

Track testing
The only thing I didn't have time to do. I would love to work with this CBR on a track like Circuit Mécaglisse (Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci) or the Shannonville Motorsport Park in order to learn how to get a better feel of the bike and literally become one with it.

Right on
Honda simply got it. With the CBR125R, the Japanese manufacturer offers beginners a back-to-basics yet proven motorcycle that's reliable and easy to ride. This is an excellent bike to develop your skills as a rider. I loved it. The government should promote such vehicles for novices who want to obtain their rider's licence.

Easy to ride
Well-balanced engine/transmission combo
A true motorcycle

No daily mileage indicator
Brake pedal is too high


Photo Credit : Olivier Delorme
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