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My Honda CG125 is an 06 plate bought from new. This is the fully up to date model, so has great features such as electric start and front disc brake (more about these later in the review). This bike was made in Brazil rather than Japan.
Overall the looks of the bike are a great improvement on previous CG125 designs, especially the smoother lines of the body panels and much larger fuel tank. The only other possible cosmetic improvement I would have liked would be alloy, instead of spoked, wheels (the spokes are a pain to clean!).
In terms of general performance it's o.k. but not brilliant, but it's a small 4-stroke 124cc bike after all. No problems at all in town, flat roads or downhill. You notice the lack of power mainly when going up steeper inclines, having to change down rapidly to keep some speed up. On a flat stretch of dual carriageway the bike has got up to 74mph (I quickly reduced to 70mph when I noticed though officer). If you have time to build up speed before an uphill section it's not too bad, I have managed to go up a steep hill at 60mph. Of course being such a small modern bike, it's extremely light and not good in very windy conditions, you often have to slow down quite markedly (40mph) to avoid serious instability. I would imagine this is the case with any smaller light machine.
Looking a more closely, begining at the handlebars/instrument panel, everything is laid out pretty well. The speedometer fuel, guage and "idiot lights" (Neutral, High Beam and Indicators ON lights) are easy to see and read in light or dark conditions. However, because the Full Beam / Indicators / Horn controls are so close together (at the Left handlegrip area), with cold hands and bulky gloves, it's easy to accidentally blip the horn instead of cancelling the indicators! As for the rear view mirrors, they are of a good size and spread out wide enough so that your shoulders don't obscure the view behind. They are also easilly adjustable while riding i.e. not too stiff and dosen't affect the steering while adjustments are made. Additionally, at no point have the mirrors vibrated even at top speed, so you have always got a good view of what's happening behind. At the right handle grip area is the electric start button. With manual choke on the bike has never failed to start first time even in cold weather, excellent.
Still in the handlebars area, the 12 volt headlight works extremely well, and unlike on some older CG models, actually lights the road up sufficiently at night so you can see where you are going. It should also be noted that the lights are now hardwired to come on when the ignition key is turned i.e. you cannot turn the lights off when running the bike. Opinion varies on whether this is a good thing or not, not everyone agrees that daytime riding with headlights on is safe. I'll let you make up your own opinion on that.
Looking below the headlight, the forks and front suspension have given smooth trouble free operation and have coped well on some pretty uneven surfaces and unexpected potholes. At the rear, the back suspension and swing arms work fine and I haven't had to adjust them from the standard setting.
Moving on to the important area of the brakes, as I mentioned before this model has a disc brake on the front and the older style drum brake on the rear wheel. I haven't had to adjust the front brake yet, the brake fluid hasn't leaked or dropped in level, and it works very efficiently. At the rear the drum brake operates fine, although I did have to tighten up the cable tension when I got the bike as I found the brake action a bit "spongey". Engine braking is quite useful on this bike as well when slowing down or descending a steep hill, I've never had a problem slowing down efficiently and smoothly.
A very important point worth mentioning here is, that all basic adjustments and checks are covered in the excellent owner's manual which comes with the bike, they even give you a free tool kit (fits in the left side panel below the battery compartment), which can be used for basic and roadside repairs (hopefully never needed!). Of course my bike is still relatively new so little has had to be done to it so far, bar lubricating and cleaning.
Looking towards the bottom of the bike, it is equiped with a fairly sturdy centrestand which is very easy to operate, pressing down the footlever with the bike properly balanced you can put it onto the stand practically with one finger.
One major gripe I have with the bike is the size and position of the gear change lever. Anyone with anything bigger than about a size 6 boot would struggle to operate it easilly and comfortably. As soon as I got the bike I had it modified to accomodate my size 9 boots, and even now anything bulkier than a Doc Marten boot makes it tricky to operate. I haven't had to modify or change anything else though.
In summary this is a fun, reliable, learner bike easy to handle and maintain, which I'd recomend to anyone working up to passing their motorcycle test.
259-14 Front Sprocket, 269-43 Rear Sprocket and 428-116 Chain. A winning combination of ... more
two proven products -Triple S chain and JT sprockets. Triple S chain as used and developed by Team Yamaha UK's Superbike and MX teams, is the perfect replacement chain for today's motorcycles. Available in X-ring, O-ring, HD and Standard options. To compliment the chain, Bikeit utilise JT sprockets to offer a comprehensive range of Chain and Sprocket kits. JT Sprockets are Japanese made from C45 steel (rear sprockets) and C45 steel/SCM415 chromoly (front sprockets) The listed chain and sprocket kits are comprised of the correct combination sprockets and chain type/grade for the bikes as stipulated by the manufacturer. Use of alternative chain will render warranty claims void - use the detailed chain grade only.