Honda's 125-series Premium Neo Sports Café boasts a brand new DOHC 4-valve engine including crisp power and torque. There is also a comprehensive chassis update – namely a 41 mm Showa "Separate Function" Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD fork. This makes the CB125R the first 125cc motorcycle in the world, with this fork!
When you start riding a motorcycle, you already have a very precise idea of what the first motorcycle has to bring: it should be easy to ride, have an engine performance corresponding to the driving practice and have an agile handling. Combining this idea with unmistakable styling and a range of premium components, the result is a very special machine.
For beginners looking for such a complete package, Honda introduced the CB125R in 2017. The CB125R is the smallest machine in Honda's minimalist "Neo Sports Café" family. It was launched along with the CB300R and the flagship CB1000R and represented a bold new approach to Honda's entry-level motorcycles.
For the year 2021, the CB125R will receive a brand new engine and a comprehensive upgrade in terms of chassis. This means that she remains at the top of the competition and at the top of the wish list of many young drivers.
While the attention-grabbing styling of the CB125R remains unchanged, the all-new DOHC four-valve engine delivers 1.6 hp (1.2 kW) more power and 1.2 Nm more torque while improving response across the entire speed range.
A world first in the 125 segment is the use of the 41-mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston (SFF-BP)* USD fork, with which the CB125R is equipped as standard. The same fork used to be equipped with the CBR650R and CB650R of the 2021 model year, but with changed spring rate and damping.
The 2021 CB125R will be available in the following colors:
Pearl Smoky Gray **NEW for 2021**
Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic
Candy Chromosphere Red
Matt Jeans Blue Metallic
* Full name: Showa Separate Function front fork Big Piston (SFF-BP)
Originally derived from the CBR125R, the SOHC two-valve engine of the 2018 CB125R was already an extremely effective engine designed for everyday use.
With the 2021 model year, the CB125R will receive its own 125 cc DOHC 4-valve engine, including a hefty increase in power and torque. The engine now has 15 hp (11 kW) at 10,000 rpm and a torque of 11.6 Nm at 8,000 rpm (instead of 13.3 hp (9.8 kW) at 10,000 rpm and 10 Nm at 8,000 rpm on the previous model). Thanks to the additional power, the top speed increases from 101km/h to 105km/h, with 200m from the stand in 11.3 s. The gearbox still has six gears.
The hole and stroke are set to 57.3 x 48.4 mm, with a compression ratio of 11.3:1 in contrast to the previous engine with 58 x 47.2 mm and 11:1. The PGM-FI fuel injection is powered by a revised inlet channel, an air filter connection tube and a resonator. As before, the exhaust is suspended under the engine and has a two-chamber silencer.
The new engine of the CB125R complies with the EURO5 standard.
The frame of the CB125R is made of high-quality steel tube and shape-stable press steel. Its design underlines the minimalist style of the machine. The swingarm is also made of steel sheet. It is optimized in cross-section to guarantee high longitudinal and torsional stiffness at the same time. This ensures the desired stability despite the light construction.
The chassis gains further robustness through the use of press steel for swinging bearing plates and the swingarm. This ensures agile handling with stability and good feedback. Steering head angle and follow-up are set to 24.2° and 90.2 mm.
The weight distribution from 51.6% to 48.4% (front/rear) gives a good feel for the front wheel and ensures easy steering. The low wet weight of 130 kg and the compact wheelbase of 1,345 mm enhance this effect. The 40° curved, wide handlebar and the turning circle of 2.3 m promise handiness in the dense city crowd. The seat height is 816 mm.
The 41 mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston USD Fork (SFF-BP) is an important innovation. For the first time, this fork is installed on a 125-class motorcycle. The pressure separation damper in one of the fork tubes and the spring mechanism in the other fork tube guarantee high damping performance with low weight. The additional use of a larger piston results in improved shock absorption and control. The rear monoshock damper is adjustable in the spring preload.
The rest of the chassis of the CB125R remains unchanged. On the front wheel, a hubless, floating 296 mm brake disc in combination with a radially mounted Nissin four-piston caliper ensures a safe deceleration. The rear 220 mm brake disc works with a single-piston caliper. The braking system has a 2-channel ABS system, which is controlled by an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit). This ensures a precise distribution of the ABS braking effect from front to rear depending on vehicle behaviour.
The rear tyre in size 150/60R-17 is adapted to a front tyre of size 110/70R-17.
3. Styling & Equipment
The CB125R shines with a unique design that remains unchanged for 2021. It follows the unmistakable "Neo Sports Café" concept of the CB1000R - minimalist retro styling is interpreted in a modern way - which also gives Honda's entry-level class a great performance. The short-cut stern is pure minimalism; the rear splash guard is now made of metal instead of plastic. Both the driver's and the passenger foot rests are made of aluminium.
The modern LCD instrument unit is slim (23.5 mm) and lightweight (230 g). It shows speed, engine speed, fuel level and gear, with the indicator lights at the top of the cockpit. The complete lighting including the indicators consists of LEDs, which further reinforces the premium character of the CB125R. The LED headlight is designed in double beam arrangement - at the top is the dipped-beam, at the bottom the high beam. The LED rear light is the narrowest rear light ever mounted on a Honda motorcycle.
The 10.1-litre fuel tank is located under the beautiful cladding, the tank lid is designed in a stylish aircraft look. With a fuel consumption of 2.2 l/100 km (WMTC mode), the range of the CB125R is over 455 km.
Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke four-valve DOHC single-cylinder engine
Number of valves per cylinder
Hole & Hub
57.3 mm x 48.4 mm
15 hp (11 kW) at 10,000 rpm
11.6 Nm at 8,000 rpm
Engine oil quantity
PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
2.2 l (WMTC Mode)
Multi-discs in the oil bath
Diamond steel tube frame
Dimensions (L x W x H)
2,015 mm x 820 mm x 1,055 mm
Steering head angle
Weight (fully fuelled)
41 mm (SFF-BP) USD fork
Single damper with adjustable spring preload
Rim size front
17M/C x MT3.00
Rim size rear
17M/C x MT4.00
Tyres at the front
Front and rear wheel independent ABS with IMU control
296 mm single brake disc, floating and no nibs
Radially mounted Nissin 4-piston caliper
220 mm single brake disc with single-piston brake caliper
INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRONICS