For over 25 years since its first introduction in 1976, Honda's compact, rugged and always reliable CG125 has steadfastly won the world's respect and admiration as one of the greatest all-round transporters, commuters and fun bikes in the compact 125cc class. A bike that gets the job done without fuss and bother, running reliably for years on end while requiring a bare minimum of care and maintenance. From west to east and north to south, on every continent of the world, the Honda CG125 has been a powerful force in putting the world on wheels.
Eschewing exotic styling and gaudy displays of flashy bits in favour of basic solid performance and design, the CG125 has always provided the fundamental necessities sought in a good, low-cost motorcycle. Those being strong, versatile performance, ample riding comfort and convenience and-above all-bulletproof reliability no matter what roads it's called upon to travel. So, it comes as little surprise that in virtually any long-term evaluation to be found, in any language and however the points are given, the CG125 always comes out on top with high marks for lasting quality and long-term satisfaction.
In fact, the CG125's low cost and durability have also made it a popular vehicle for use in riding schools, where its compact proportions and easy, forgiving operation instil new learner riders with a much needed feeling of confidence in their abilities early in their training, while injecting a large dose of fun into their introduction to the exhilarating joys of the sport.
One of the motorcycling world's best-kept secrets is the fact that the CG125 is also quite a powerful and quick-performing riding machine for its displacement class, and even experienced riders are often unexpectedly surprised by its peppy acceleration and agile, sure-footed handling. And what it may lack in top speed and power it more than makes up for in economy, dependability and sheer indomitable spirit. Still, for all its many points of merit, it's been many years since the venerable CG125 has seen much more than cosmetic changes, and while the years have certainly proved that there was little wrong with the CG in its current configuration, a significant upgrade of the features it has on offer was long overdue.
Compiling a list of user comments and requests gleaned over the years, Honda's CG125 development team set about bringing this well-loved small standard into the modern age with a choice selection of improvements to its performance and ease of use that would serve to greatly enhance its perceived value, while maintaining its strong appeal as one of the best all-round small bikes on the planet.
With its attractions of low cost and easy operation, the CG125 has always been targeted mainly toward entry riders and urban commuters, although its charms has been much more widely accepted by riders of all ages and tastes looking for a light and entertaining motorcycle, either as a second bike or as their primary mode of transportation. Still, the CG has noticeably lacked a few features that have become synonymous with 'real' motorcycles, and this absence has left this sturdy and dependable little bike looking somehow incomplete compared to its stable mates. Primary among these shortcomings have been its lack of both a convenient starter motor and a more powerful front disc brake, and these were the first things focused on in its new redesign.
For its new 2004 iteration, the new CG125 was first outfitted with an all-new electric starter which extends one-touch starting ease to this popular machine and totally eliminates its earlier kickstart lever. It was also given a lightweight and responsive new hydraulic front disc brake for the stronger and more confident braking control that many riders have asked for.
Engine performance was also re-examined, and the CG not only receives improvements to its overall starting ease accompanied by smoother operation over a wider range of running conditions, but also a small boost in its range of useable power. Emissions levels were also carefully monitored and brought well within compliance with current EURO-2 regulations to ensure easy adaptability to all European pollution controls, as well as cleaner, more environmentally friendly operation that will win friends everywhere.
Of course, styling is another big attraction in a new motorcycle, and the new CG125 leaps to the head of its class with eye-catching new lines and quality details that combine to give it a crisp, modern look that's right at home wherever it's ridden or parked. All these improvements add up to a much more complete and fully featured motorcycle that will surely attract even more riders, new and old, to the CG125's friendly offering of riding enjoyment, and guarantee many years of reliable fun and satisfaction ahead.
Visible at first glance, the new CG125 projects a much sleeker and more modern form than its most recent predecessor, with well-considered design touches added to give it a more impressive feel of quality and 'real motorcycle' fit and finish. Still the same slim and always friendly lightweight, the new CG features more cleanly integrated lines, which flow back from the bulge of its new fuel tank to the angled edges of its sidecovers and on to the knife-edge tip of its tail cowl in a sleek assembly of attractive curves.
Taking styling cues from several of the larger machines in Honda's streetbike lineup, the new CG is also built for comfort, with 16mm taller handlebars complementing its modestly stepped tandem seat to provide a more upright and natural riding position that enhances riding ease and remains comfortable for long riding hours on end.
The CG125's new fuel tank features a sleeker and sharper 'aero' profile that blends into the shape of its new seat for a smooth, unified look and enhanced riding comfort. The fuel tank's larger capacity (up from 12.8 to 13.5 litres) also extends the CG's touring range for longer days of riding fun between fill-ups. The front of the seat now wraps around the rear of the fuel tank to further enhance riding comfort and rider manoeuvrability.
Pillion passenger comfort on the CG125 hasn't been overlooked either. The broad rear pillion section of the seat is surrounded on either side by conveniently positioned steel tube grab rails, and the CG's pillion passenger foot pegs, once attached to the swingarm on earlier versions, are now mounted on attractive cast aluminium brackets for a big boost in passenger riding comfort, not to mention a higher grade of overall fit and finish.
A larger-diameter round headlight and more compact, modern-looking indicators emphasise the CG125's ties to the larger machines in the Honda lineup while providing a well-lit view of the night-time road ahead. At the rear, a brilliant new multi-reflector taillight is cleanly integrated into the attractive knife-edge lines of its new tail, providing both an attention-getting display for other road users and a further visual contribution to its stronger and more convincing 'real motorcycle' looks.
The new CG125 takes to the streets of Europe and beyond in three attractive new colour variations that accentuate its attractive new lines with the deep sheen of quality and style. Leading the way is a brightly shimmering metallic silver that complements the chrome, silver and black of the CG's engine and chassis to present a boldly modern visage.
Other colours include a vivid pearlescent blue, which projects a lively and sporty image of riding fun, and a deep pearlescent red that exudes a more stately and mature look of understated quality.
- Force Silver Metallic
- Pearl Twister Blue
- Pearl Carnival Red
- Engine Type - Air-cooled 4-stroke OHV single
- Displacement - 124.1cm3
- Bore x Stroke - 56.5 x 49.5mm
- Compression Ratio - 9.5 : 1
- Max. Power Output - 8.1kW/9,000min-1 (95/1/EC)
- Max. Torque - 9.8Nm/7,000min-1 (95/1/EC)
- Idling Speed - 1,400min-1
- Oil Capacity - 1.1 litres
- Fuel System, Carburation - 22mm piston-valve type carburettor
- Aircleaner - Cartridge-type paper filter
- Fuel Tank Capacity - 13.5 litres (including 2.3-litre reserve)
- Ignition System - Capacitor Discharge (CDI)
- Ignition Timing - 15ï¿½ BTDC (idle) ~ 35ï¿½ BTDC (5,000min-1)
- Sparkplug Type - DPR8EA-9 (NGK); X24EPR-U9 (ND)
- Starter - Electric
- Battery Capacity - 12V/4AH, ACG Output 155W
- Headlights - 12V 35W x 1 (low) / 35W x 1 (high)
- Clutch - Wet, multiplate with coil springs
- Clutch Operation - Mechanical; cable-actuated
- Transmission Type - 5-speed constant mesh
- Primary Reduction - 3.333 (60/18)
- Gear Ratios - 1 - 2.769 (36/13), 2 - 1.722 (31/18), 3 - 1.273 (28/22), 4 - 1.042 (25/24), 5 - 0.885 (23/26)
- Final Reduction - 3.214 (45/14)
- Final Drive - Roller chain
- Frame Type - Diamond; pressed steel
- ]li]Chassis Dimensions - (LxWxH) 1,982 x 736 x 1,067mm
- Wheelbase - 1,297mm
- Caster Angle - 26ï¿½ 30'
- Trail - 89mm
- Turning Radius - 1.9m
- Seat Height -781mm
- Ground Clearance - 173mm
- Dry Weight - 114kg
- Kerb Weight - 126kg (F: 55.4kg; R: 70.6kg)
- Max. Carrying Capacity - 180kg
- Loaded Weight - 266kg (F: 82kg; R: 184kg)
- Suspension Type - Front 27mm telescopic fork, 115mm axle travel, Rear Dual dampers with 5-step adjustable spring preload, 80mm axle travel
- Wheels Type - Steel rim/wire spoke, Rim Size, Front - 18 x 1.60, Rear - 18 x 1.85
- Tyre Size, Front - 2.75-18 42P, Rear - 90/90-18M/C 57P
- Tyre Pressure, Front - 175kPa, Rear 200kPa (with passenger: 225kPa)
- Brakes Type - Front 240mm hydraulic disc with single-piston calliper and sintered metal pads, Rear 130mm