PakWheels has always been keen to bring a detailed review of the newly entered automobiles in the local market. The start of 2019 has been all about the most-awaited model introduced by Atlas Honda – Honda CB 125F.
Atlas Honda Pakistan has been the most popular brand in the country for decades now. The auto industry of Pakistan has also grown in leaps and bounds from where it was 5 years ago. Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki have shifted gears in terms of technology and design. Gone are the days when only conventional motorbikes were available to the local rider.
Atlas Honda Pakistan, which already owns a series of motorbikes in the 125cc category has introduced the all-new CB 125F. The other models in the same engine capacity bracket are:
1. Honda CG 125
2. Honda CG 125 Dreamer
3. Honda Deluxe (discontinued)
Honda introduced its all-new CB 125F in a launch event held in Lahore on 4th January 2019 with a tagline #PowerkayTashan. The event was attended with a lot of expectations in terms of what the company had brought to the table, this time around. However, it ended up with a common perception that CB 125F was just another replacement of now discontinued Honda Deluxe with a few changes.
Atlas Honda has launched CB 125F in two variants:
• Honda CB 125F (Basic)
• Honda CB 125F (Special Edition)
It should be noted that the all-new Honda CB 125F is a direct competitor of Yamaha CBR125G, which was launched in 2018.
The two variants of this model are introduced in different colors. The basic variant of this motorbike comes in three colors including Red, Blue, and Black whereas, the SE variant comes in only Red and Black with a different color combination scheme.
The motorbike has an aggressive and sporty front with an angular stylish headlight, which comes with a single neon bulb under a modern visor. However, the indicators of CB 125F are disappointing. Honda has used the old indicators of its CD 70 in CB 125F, which don’t fit in with the bike’s aggressive front look. The extended side plastic cover of the headlight, along with the side covers and the graphics sticker on the fuel tank in the basic variant of the motorbike is silver colored. However, the bike’s front mudguard is body colored.
In the special edition, the extended side plastic cover of the headlight and graphics sticker on the fuel tank is red in color whereas the side covers and front mudguard are black. The front mudguard of the CB125 F basic variant is red colored whereas the special edition comes with a black one. CB 125F has a sporty fuel tank with re-designed stylish graphics on both sides.
Rather than having an inclined angle at the back to extend the sporty look of the motorbike, the seat of this model is way too flat. It also makes it a perfect family-oriented motorbike having a low height seat. The aluminum grab rail is a compact one as compared to the CB150F which extends behind the tail light. The tail light is a stylishly designed part that adds elegance to the back side of the motorbike. Overall, the motorbike has a sporty and aggressive front look whereas if you look at its rear, it looks more of a family-oriented two-wheeler. Atlas Honda has probably tried to merge the two designs in CB 125F.
As we talk about the information cluster meter of CB 125F, there is not much to highlight. There are two separate round shaped meters provided on the display. Honda is optimistic in its approach by providing a speedometer with a top speed of 160 km/h which is practically not achievable with this motorbike. Alongside the speedometer, there is a tachometer on the bottom of which a fuel gauge is provided within the same meter. There is a logo of Atlas Honda on the bottom of the two meters. Furthermore, there is a light indicator of neutral in between the signal indicators.
Unlike other models where a side lock is given for security, CB 125F has a lock within its ignition key. You just need to rotate the key to the extreme left to lock the handle. The side mirrors of CB 125F are disappointing. They are conventional in style, resembling those fitted in Honda CD 70. On the right handle, we have the red colored, self-start button which is not of good quality. The left handle has all the main controls such as the headlight, which is provided with a high beam option. The control for turn indicators is also provided with a two-way button along with a horn button as well.
Honda CB 125F 2019 comes with a 4 Stroke 125cc Overhead Valve (OHV) air cooled engine. Without a balancer, introducing a new model in 2019 with the OHV technology is a big disappointment from Atlas Honda. Having a direct competitor like Yamaha YBR125 that comes with Overhead Camshaft (OHC) technology, it’s not a smart move by the manufacturer. The two technologies differ in terms of the configuration of the cylinder head. OHV engine has a compact design with a higher power output but lags in efficiency as compared to an OHC engine. It clearly shows that Honda has focused more on the power of the motorbike rather than the efficiency and reduced vibrations. So, you should expect vibrations while you ride CB 125F.
However, it has an air cooled engine as in the case of almost all the motorbikes in Pakistan. The engine has a displacement of 124.1 cubic centimeters generally referred to as cc.
The transmission of Honda CB 125F is a 5-speed constant mesh in the forward direction. It’s a practice used in the regular touring motorbikes unlike the one used in sports bikes where the first gear is in the forward direction and all the rest work in the backward direction. The clutch of this motorcycle is a wet type multi-plate which is similar to the one that comes in Yamaha YBR125.
Atlas Honda has provided a self-start button along with the kick start option which is not present in the international version of the motorcycle. The self-starting option is an addition to the previously manufactured Deluxe model.
The compression ratio gives us a fair idea about the fuel efficiency of the machine. The compression ratio of CB 125F is 9:0:1 as compared to YBR125 that has 10:0:1 which clearly shows that Honda is somewhat underpowered than its competitor. CB 125F uses less fuel which in turn produces less torque thus enhancing fuel efficiency. But the OHV engine used in CB 125F is the same as used in traditional CG 125 which ensures maximum throttle. But it has a drawback in the shape of vibrations which are produced by the OHV engine.
Bore and stroke:
CB 125F has a 56.6mm bore and 49.5mm stroke. It is worthy to mention here that bore is the diameter of the combustion cylinder whereas stroke is the total length a piston covers in the up and down position.
The frame of Honda CB 125F 2019 is manufactured as the backbone type similar to the other one in its league. Atlas Honda has worked on the ground clearance of this model and increased it considerably as compared to its other models of this category. The ground clearance of this motorbike is 120mm which ensures that it’s not only compatible with city riding but a good choice for the off-road adventures as well. The speed breakers or humps are not going to create much of an impact due to considerable ground clearance. However, CB 125F still lags behind Yamaha CBR125 that has a ground clearance of 142mm. Ground clearance plays a vital role in the handling of a motorbike. In this case, CB 125F has better handling due to lower ground clearance as compared to its competitor.
The fuel tank of CB125 F is capable of storing a maximum of 12.3 litres with a reserve fuel tank of 2.7 litres. CBR125, on the other hand, has a fuel tank of 13 litres. But, there is nothing wrong in having a bigger fuel tank as it will only help CB 125F gain the image of a touring bike.
Before we look at the dry weight of CB 125F, one should know that the dry weight of a motorbike is its weight when no fuel is added to the fuel tank. It’s an important factor that determines the power of a motorcycle. This newly introduced model of Honda has a dry weight of 122kg which in comparison is 8kg more than Yamaha YBR125 that weighs 114kg. The dry weight of a motorcycle directly affects the fuel economy as more weight needs more power from the engine. Atlas Honda has lagged behind in this area as the weight to power ratio of CB 125F is comparatively higher.
The distance between the centres of the front and the rear wheel is known as the wheelbase. A longer wheelbase results in a more stable ride due to a larger footprint on the road. The maneuverability, however, reduces as you require longer turns. CB 125F has a wheelbase of 1294mm which is sufficient for a stable ride and almost similar to its competitor.
The dimensions of CB 125F are nearly identical to CB 150F. With a smaller engine capacity, Atlas Honda has kept the same length motorbike. It has dimensions of 2043*742*1095 whereas; YBR125 has a length of 1990mm with nearly the same wheelbase.
The seat height of CB 125F is 789mm which is similar to its competitor but it has a flat-bed instead of an inclined one towards the back end which doesn’t support the front sporty look of the motorbike.
Wheels and Silencer:
CB 125F comes with 18-inch z-section die-cast alloy wheels identical to those used in the CB 150F. The front tyre has a thickness of 2.75 inches and an achievable speed of 150km/h. The rear tyre is a 90/90 – 18M/C (51S) sized wheel. The silencer of this motorbike is painted in black with a stylish silver cover which looks stunning.
Braking and Suspension:
CB 125F is equipped with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes that work fine with this particular machine. The suspension at the front is the 119mm telescopic fork installed and 76mm swing arm at the rear end suspension. In terms of braking and suspension, the motorbike works extremely well because it has adjustable shocks at the rear end.
The motorbike has a decent riding posture but the flat-bed angle of the seat makes it a little uncomfortable in terms of not having enough support for the posture. However, the seat of this motorbike is much more comfortable due to its improved cushioning as compared to the older model, CG125.
No doubt, Honda has come up with a quality product in the shape of CB 125F. The manufacturer has not compromised on the build of the engine and other parts. However, using indicators of old CD70, old-style side mirrors and the quality of the self-start button is a real disappointment. It seems the decision of adding the self-start option was made after the motorbike was manufactured.
Spare parts availability and cost:
A lot of people worry about the availability of spare parts when buying a motorbike. But in the case of Honda, there is no need to worry about the spare parts because the company has its own dealerships where all the genuine spare parts and accessories are easily and readily available. Same is the case with this all-new CB 125F. The parts are easily available in the market. The spare parts are a little expensive than the traditional CG 125 model but still affordable.
Fuel Average and top speed:
The fuel average of any motorbike or car depends on the way of your driving. But on an average, the debutant CB 125F is capable of achieving 40-45km/litre inside the city while a mileage of 50-55km/litre is possible on longer routes. The maximum speed that can practically be achieved with this motorbike is 120km/hour if you are not going against the wind.
The price for the basic and special edition are as follows:
• Rs.159,900/- (Honda CB 125F)
• Rs.161,900/- (Honda CB 125F Special Edition)
Its competitor, Yamaha YBR125 comes with a price tag of Rs.139,500/- and the top of the line variant YBR125G at Rs.144,500/-. Keeping in view these prices and the features offered by the two manufacturers, Honda is definitely over-priced.
Honda CB 125F is a stylish addition to the company’s line-up. However, it is largely seen as an upgraded version of Honda Deluxe with a couple of changes. The motorbike has a powerful engine that allows you to achieve fuel efficiency along with responsive power output. A good amount of ground clearance makes it an off-road touring motorbike too. It’s a comfortable motorbike for daily commuting purpose and can also accommodate a family easily due to its flat-bed seat. The longer wheelbase provides exceptional stability to the motorbike but maneuvering on the roads of Pakistan will be somewhat difficult with increased wheelbase.
This machine is certainly not for racing due to less maneuverability. For all the sound lovers of Honda CG 125, the all-new CB 125F also has a similar sort of roaring sound but with a different tone. All the spare parts and accessories of CB 125F are available at the official dealerships of Honda. Moreover, the motorbike has a strong build quality with room for improvement in the selection of quality spare parts in several areas. There is an issue with the weight to power ratio of this motorbike as it has more weight which reduces the fuel efficiency considerably. In accordance with the features and specifications of CB 125F, the motorbike is less value for money and over-priced. The company needs to work on this aspect to ensure that the sales are not affected due to the higher price tag.