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Honda SP 125 Review: In Focus


Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s our review of Honda’s first BS6-compliant bike in images

After the launch of India’s first BS6-compliant 125cc scooter, Honda followed it up with the introduction of its first BS6-compliant motorcycle, the SP 125. It is the successor of the popular CB Shine SP minus the ‘Shine’ moniker. But is it a worthy successor? Check out our first ride review in images to find out:

The new Honda SP 125 looks sharper and a little more youthful than the CB Shine SP while retaining the latter’s familiar commuter-ish feel. We’d have liked if Honda had continued with the Shine’s sleek alloys over the chunky new ones.

The biggest talking point of this motorcycle is the new BS6-compliant 124cc air-cooled, fuel-injected motor. Unlike most other BS6-compliant motorcycles, this one gets a small bump in both power and torque. The new bike makes 0.6PS and 0.5Nm more than its predecessor, at 10.8PS and 10.9Nm. The 5-speed transmission is slick and accurate, and you can trundle around town in third gear comfortably. Even at 90kmph, there are barely any vibes with only a little creeping in on the handlebars.

The acceleration is brisk and the motor is pretty peppy as well as refined. Thanks to the inclusion of fuel-injection, the throttle response is crispier than the carburetted CB Shine SP. Honda claims the BS6 motor is 16 per cent more fuel-efficient and the bike is 5kg lighter too, at 118kg. This should translate into a better range in the real world. 

Honda has packed the sleek-looking LCD instrument cluster to the brim with useful features. It now shows the gear position, average fuel efficiency and clock, apart from the run-of-the-mill data like speed, tripmeter and odometer readings. 

The switchgear quality is much better than the older bike, and it now gets a proper engine kill switch -- something even the CB Hornet 160R misses out on. The bike also gets an ACG (Alternating Current Generator) starter, which ensures instantaneous and silent startup of the motor.

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The low-high beam, along with the pass button, is integrated into the trigger on the left switchgear. The horn button and the indicator switches are also on the left side, as usual. 

The bike gets an all-LED headlamp, which appears to be inspired by the CB Hornet 160R. However, the tail lamp and the indicators remain traditional bulb units. We’ll be able to comment on the headlight’s intensity at night only when we get our hands on the bike for a proper road test. 

On urban roads, the motorcycle feels pretty agile. But in fast corners, it takes a little effort to tip in. Honda might’ve deliberately engineered it this way so that its target audience feel comfortable and confident. 

The 240mm front disc lacks the initial bite and one will have to go hard on the levers. This could also be in a bid to make riders who are used to drum brakes more comfortable switching to a more powerful disc.

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The bike uses the same telescopic front fork and rear twin shock absorber setup. That said, the rear suspension feels a little firm for a commuter motorcycle.

While it is Rs 7,100 more than its predecessor, at Rs 77,100 (ex-showroom Delhi), the premium is justified as you get a well-rounded package complete with a refined, frugal and peppy engine. It is feature-packed too. If you’re in the market for a 125cc premium commuter motorcycle, you should definitely consider the SP 125.

Honda SP 125Video Review

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Honda SP 125

Honda SP 125

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