The 125cc sportsbike class is where riding careers begin. For the vast majority of new riders, these machines are the first step on a path that could lead anywhere, right to the top. For this reason 125ccsportsbikes have a huge responsibility. They must be just as rewarding to ride as bigger Supersports machines, particularly where engine power is less important, such as in town and on very twisty roads. They must be easy to ride too, patiently nurturing new riders and building their confidence on two wheels. If a 125cc sportsbike can put its rider at ease with the fundamentals of control then it has done its job.
Of course the perfect 125cc sportsbike is also huge fun to ride. Such machines are motorcycling's first chance to capture a rider's imagination; its opportunity to show just how exhilarating and rewarding riding can be, not to mention how much more practical it is as a means of travelling today's congested urban roads. This can only be achieved by offering a machine that's designed from the ground up as a sportsbike - delivering the crisp responses and thrilling performance young riders demand.
Reliability and low maintenance are all-important. Any rider's first bike is likely to be called upon to perform a huge range of tasks, from weekend leisure riding to weekday commuting. Absolute reliability must be a given, while low running costs and hassle-free ownership are also critical. Ideally, it should also offer a comfortable pillion seat, allowing a young rider to share the fun with friends.
Since its introduction in 2004 the CBR125R has represented the ideal first sportsbike. Compact, lightweight and blessed with the refinement, ease of use and welcoming handling that have become synonymous with the CBR family, it has become a popular machine with young riders the world over. But the time has come for a more sophisticated 125cc sportsbike, a 125 with the quality feel associated with bigger machines.
Inspired by 2013 and 2014 MotoGP champion Marc Marquez the 2015 Honda CBR125R will be available with special Repsol #93 replica paint scheme.
Supersport bikes are the ultimate road motorcycles - high performance machines boasting the very latest in chassis and engine development. To ride they are exhilarating in the extreme, offering a thrill no other type of bike can match. The CBR125R has been designed to offer similar riding dynamics, giving young riders the opportunity to develop sports riding skills from the very earliest days of their careers.
The CBR name is synonymous with superb handling at any speed, and the new CBR125R is no exception. Despite its slightly larger overall dimensions, this machine remains extraordinarily easy to handle, immediately giving new riders the confidence they need. Key to the CBR's manoeuvrability is its riding position, which is designed around the low 795mm seat. The location of the handlebars and footpegs has been designed for improved control while maintaining outstanding rider comfort. Together with the contoured fuel tank, the result is an unmistakably sporty but easygoing riding position. The rider's weight is distributed evenly, creating a posture that isn't tiring to maintain and that doesn't in any way restrict movement.
Superb chassis balance
The CBR125R boasts a competitively low kerb weight of just 137kg. This mass is distributed perfectly between the front and rear wheels in a 48:52 weight distribution, while the compact single-cylinder engine helps keep the centre of gravity low. The result is a machine that feels instantly manageable, regardless of a rider's height or stature, so the rider feels completely in control.
Full fairing cowl
The CBR125R's dramatic new full fairing is more than a mere styling exercise. By providing protection from windblast, the fairing makes the rider more comfortable, particularly over long-distance journeys that can punish riders of Naked machines. The fairing also features a powerful one-piece headlight and bright taillight for superb visibility at night.
New digital instruments
Digital instrumentation is now commonplace on large-capacity machines. The result is a thoroughly modern rider's eye-view, with speed, engine revs and engine temperature all visible at a glance. The display also includes a six-segment fuel gauge, a clock and an odometer/trip meter.
Grab handles on either side of the rear seat provide the sense of security so crucial to passenger comfort, leaving rider and pillion free to enjoy the ride.
As you'd expect of a machine with aspirations well beyond its modest engine size, the CBR125R has a full fairing cowl. The single headlight design sets the tone for the rest of the fairing, being both original in shape and suggestive of much more expensive motorcycles. From there the fairing quickly tapers rearward to a slim and sporty tail unit.
Since the compact new exhaust system finishes ahead of the rear axle, the back of the machine appears to float above the purposefully wide new rear tyre, creating a dynamic forward-biased silhouette.
The CBR125R model uses a powerful single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. The single-cylinder configuration boasts many advantages over a twin-cylinder engine of the same capacity, most noticeably lighter weight, smaller dimensions, improved fuel economy and mechanical simplicity.
Responsive single-cylinder configuration
Developing a peak power figure of 9.8kW at 10,000rpm and a peak torque figure of 10.4Nm at just 8000rpm, the CBR125R has the performance to make every ride a joy, whether it's commuting to work or college or riding open roads for the sheer thrill of it.
Honda's advanced PGM-FI system is key to the CBR125R's clean-revving and manageable performance. The system's Electronic Control Unit works with the electronic ignition to provide exactly the right fuel/air mix to the cylinder for any given combination of throttle position and engine revs. The result is a smooth power curve delivered with the accuracy and predictability needed to breed rider confidence. New FI settings also make the engine more fuel efficient.
Slick six-speed transmission
The CBR125R uses a mechanically actuated clutch for fine control and a light feel at the clutch lever. The transmission's six ratios complement the engine's flexible power delivery perfectly, giving the CBR125R the performance young riders demand.
Easy to live with
Few engines in motorcycling are more rugged or affordable to run than the CBR125R's liquid-cooled single. The electric start means the machine is ready to go at the push of a button, while its outstanding efficiency means superb fuel economy, delivering an impressive range from the slim and compact 13-litre fuel tank. Because the fuel tank can be smaller for a given range, in turn this helps create a lighter and more compact motorcycle.
The CBR125R uses a lightweight pentagonal-section steel twin-spar frame. The design is a proven one, linking the critical areas of the headstock and the swingarm pivot point using a straight and unbroken spar on both sides of the engine. The design delivers the rigidity required of a sportsbike frame while also being light and compact.
Sporty, user-friendly geometry
The chassis feel of the CBR125R treads a line between the swift responses required of a Supersports machine and the reassuring predictability that develops rider confidence. The wheelbase is one of the shortest in its class at just 1310mm, ensuring the CBR125R flicks through bends with a fluidity and grace none of its rivals can match. However a trail figure of 90mm means this thrilling agility never threatens to cause instability. In short the CBR125R is ready for anything, from super-smooth open roads to the traffic-packed and bumpy challenge of the city.
A refined suspension package
Control and a superb ride feel are guaranteed by the CBR125R's premium suspension components. The front wheel is controlled by a 31mm hydraulic telescopic fork, while the rear tubular steel swingarm mounts to a Monoshock for sporty control and exceptional comfort. While in its element on the kind of smooth and twisting roads Supersports machines of all sizes revel in, the CBR125R also has the chassis sophistication to remain stable and comfortable on the roughest back roads.
Big-bike wheels, tyres and brakes
The CBR125R uses tyres and wheels of a size more commonly associated with the 250cc class. The lightweight new 100/80-17 front and 130/70-17 rear cast wheels use a striking five-spoke design and bring both stability and increased grip. They also underline the CBR125R's full-sized credentials - this is a serious motorcycle. They are slowed by equally impressive braking systems, with powerful disc brakes front and rear. The front brake uses a 276mm disc gripped by a twin-piston caliper, while at the rear a 220mm disc and single-piston caliper offer the accuracy and feel that make low-speed manoeuvres easy.