1990 Honda CG125BR
Good basic bike to get yourself to work
When I acquired the bike in May 2004, it was in poor condition.
The sump plug thread was stripped. The engine had very little oil in it.
The engine would burn oil, due to worn piston rings as a result of neglect.
The engine was loose in the frame, due to two missing rear engine mounting bolts.
The frame was full of rust. The entire bike was covered in years of accumulated grime.
The handle bars were bent. Replaced with a new set that came with the bike.
The battery had no electrolyte thus needing replacing at £14.
The F/O/S indicator stalk was bent and every indicator lens was cracked. The stalk with the indicator was replaced. Cost £7 from a breaker. The cracked lenses were never replaced (not a MOT failure).
Firstly, to get the bike sound, a full engine rebuild was necessary. This entailed a rebore, new piston and rings, new gearbox bearings, gasket set and helicoil for sump plug. Total cost about £150 for the parts. No cost of labour.
Secondly, the frame needed attention. It was stripped and then sanded down to bare metal. Then given a repaint. Prior to the paint job, the frame needed welding. This was done out of courtesy of the dealer from whom I bought the bike. Bearing in mind, I bought the bike with no MOT as a DIY repairable for £250.
The number plate was cracked. Replacement cost £25 and plus all the trouble proving that I own the bike (new EU law).
Rear fender was cracked. Repaired with plastic and industrial glue.
After the above work was done, the bike was ready for the road. It passed its MOT with no trouble.
At 46500 miles, the bike failed to start one morning. Carb jet needle detatched itself. New circlip needed.
Constant problems with electrical system. Rewired earth system and recharged the battery. Cost a few quid.
The battery goes dead after a few days of not using the bike. Suspect the ignition switch is at fault as it gives poor continuity from time to time.
At 48800 miles the drain plug thread finally gave out whilst doing an oil change. This resulted in a complete engine strip as the left hand crankcase was now permanently useless. Secondhand left hand crankcase halve cost £40 from breakers, opposed to £200 from Honda.
And again, no cost of labour.
The engine is fairly robust and reliable. The OHV, four-stroke, single cylinder motor dates back to the seventies, therefore has years of proven reliability. Despite what people say, I strongly recommend oil changes every thousand miles, thus ensuring longevity of the motor. These small motors do run hotter than normal and tend to burn a little oil.
The engine is rather underpowered at producing only 11 horses at 9000RPM.
The maximum torque, although widespread across the rev range (pulls at 10mph in top) is only 6.9 lbs ft at 8000RPM (10NM). This just about pushes the bike to 55mph.
The engine running is smooth due to a heavy crankshaft.
Acceleration thru the first three gears is good around town thanks to the relatively low gearing. Fourth and fifth gears are okay for cruising.
Fuel economy is 90mpg around town with hard riding.
The ride is a bit uncomfortable due to backlash in the final drive.
This CG125 was built in Brazil and the build quality isn`t as good as I would expect for a Honda. Bearing in mind, my 25 year old 1980 H100A has excellent build quality. I don`t think this CG will last 25years.
This CG125 would benefit from electronic ignition and a tachometer.
Beggars and tight fisted old men like myself can`t be choosers.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th June, 2005
Hey there is nothing wrong with being a tightwad. I am not just tight, I am watertight.
The engine was designed to give 11 bhp to comply with learner regulations at the time.
Well my bike is like that. I paid £80 for it. It was cheap for like 2 days and it was not working, so I had to do it up.