Opinions on the CB125...

blox

New Member
Hey everyone, I've really enjoyed perusing the forums over the past few days looking at all of the neat builds that are going on and completed. I figured instead of lurking around I'd join and ask y'all for opinions on a Honda CB125s.

I've never ridden before, and am looking for a smaller bike to get started on. There is a 1981 CB125s for sale near me listed for $1000... I could prob get it for $700-$750. A friend and I went to check it out last week. Here's the details:
titled
two owners
5000 miles
has a decent amount of rust on the chrome
will need the following parts replaced to get running well: battery, drive chain, clutch plates, and clutch springs (the guy apparently put synthetic oil in it for a while, not knowing that's a no-no for these bikes).

The engine also makes a kind of knocking/whining sound - not sure whether it'd just need the timing adjusted, a new cam chain, or even if that's "normal" for these bikes.

My friend said he probably wouldn't get it, just for the fact it's so small and weak - to be honest that's kind of what intrigues me about this bike. I figure I could do some of the small maintenance things mentioned above, learn how to ride around town, and then maybe sell it for a profit.

I keep going back and forth on whether to get it or not, and wanted to ask for opinions! Thanks in advance.
 
This bike kinda sounds like a wreck to me and I bet you could do a lot better for your money. How big are you and where are you from? A cb125 is really small, maybe try looking for something a little bigger and reliable like a cb350. Just my opinion.
 
The 125 is a fun little bike, but as stated it is really small. Short of just scooting around town it's not good for much else. The one you described will end up costing you (I'm estimating as it's nearly impossible to really pass judgement on a bike based on a few sentences online) a couple hundred bucks to make completely road worthy and reliable. In other words, $1000 is WAY too much for it. They made a million of the little things.

Something a bit larger (think 200cc - 350cc minimum) would likely suit you better in the long run. Where are you located? There may be some local DTT folks willing to go lok at a bike with you or even sell you something a tad more fitting for a fair price.
 
That's entirely too much for a CB125S. In mint condition they're maybe worth $1250. I picked mine up for $400. All it needed to get on the road was fresh oil, fresh gas, a set of clutch plates, and a set of tires all of which was under $100 total.

Cruise Craigslist for a Ninja 250 or Ninja 500. Both can be found for under $1500.

If you could post some pictures of the bike you're looking at it would help us better assess it's value.
 
+1 to the Ninja 250/500. Cheap, insanely reliable, easy to ride, and so ugly you won't give it a second thought when you drop it while learning. Great first bikes. The Suzuki GS500 is up there too. Buy something fpr ease of ownership and ease of use first. Once tuening a wrench and a throttle are within your skill set, you can move onto a bike you "WANT". :)
 
VonYinzer said:
+1 to the Ninja 250/500. Cheap, insanely reliable, easy to ride, and so ugly you won't give it a second thought when you drop it while learning. Great first bikes. The Suzuki GS500 is up there too. Buy something fpr ease of ownership and ease of use first. Once tuening a wrench and a throttle are within your skill set, you can move onto a bike you "WANT". :)
Ohhhh. I completely forgot about the GS500. Great bikes as well!

But you're saying my 500 is ugly... Them's fightin words!
 
Awesome, thanks for the replies everyone. I've heard Ninja 250s are good first bikes, bike like VonYinzer said they are not pretty!

I'm located in Gainesville, FL. I attached a photo of the bike I took when I checked it out - what do y'all think? (can't seem to figure out how to include photos in the post - do we always just attach them?)
 

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That's a double to the one I bought last year,the first year for CDi ign. so No points :)
I found one in much worse cond. than that one you're looking at and decided i wanted a full project bike that i can slip an XR200 motor into later;the title in the owners name as the last registered was the thing that sold me on it.I think $700 is about the most you should pay for it in that cosmetic condition w/ a good running engine.. I guess you could 'work' the guy a bit w/ the fact that you need to do engine work;that engine noise you hear means it could need a top end/cam chain or camshaft.
How does the engine oil look ?
 
grcamna5 said:
i wanted a full project bike that i can slip an XR200 motor into later

That would be a riot. I bet an extra 10 hp would make a lot of difference 8)

As for the engine oil, I didn't check it out :-\ What would that tell about it? Just how "well maintained" it has been?
 
blox said:
That would be a riot. I bet an extra 10 hp would make a lot of difference 8)

As for the engine oil, I didn't check it out :-\ What would that tell about it? Just how "well maintained" it has been?

I'm looking forward to getting the top-end back from my head porting 'guru' dude and then installing the XL200R(same as XR but a 5 spd. trans rather than 6.,but I'll change the trans. too) motor w/ it's 12vt. system into my bike.

The engine oil will surely give an indication of how well the bike's been maintained along w/ the chain and sprockets;my cycle was horribly neglected when I first got it but she's going to be 100% restored by the time i'm finished..,a 'labor of love' for me.
 
Just wanted to add, there is nothing wrong with running synthetic as opposed to traditional oil in any situation, as long as it is wet-clutch friendly (free of friction modifiers). I run Rotella synthetic in all my bikes: KZ200, IT425, CB360, GT80, CT90s, etc
 
plagrone said:
Just wanted to add, there is nothing wrong with running synthetic as opposed to traditional oil in any situation, as long as it is wet-clutch friendly (free of friction modifiers). I run Rotella synthetic in all my bikes: KZ200, IT425, CB360, GT80, CT90s, etc
Rotella T6 5W-40 is what I run in my Ninja 500 (and formerly Ninja 250, VTR250, and VFR750). It's great stuff!

However the CB125S needs 10W-30. When I tried the Rotella T5 10W-30 it seemed to fry my clutch... Which Rotella are you running?
 
blox said:
Hey everyone, I've really enjoyed perusing the forums over the past few days looking at all of the neat builds that are going on and completed. I figured instead of lurking around I'd join and ask y'all for opinions on a Honda CB125s.

I've never ridden before, and am looking for a smaller bike to get started on. There is a 1981 CB125s for sale near me listed for $1000... I could prob get it for $700-$750. A friend and I went to check it out last week. Here's the details:
titled
two owners
5000 miles
has a decent amount of rust on the chrome
will need the following parts replaced to get running well: battery, drive chain, clutch plates, and clutch springs (the guy apparently put synthetic oil in it for a while, not knowing that's a no-no for these bikes).

The engine also makes a kind of knocking/whining sound - not sure whether it'd just need the timing adjusted, a new cam chain, or even if that's "normal" for these bikes.

My friend said he probably wouldn't get it, just for the fact it's so small and weak - to be honest that's kind of what intrigues me about this bike. I figure I could do some of the small maintenance things mentioned above, learn how to ride around town, and then maybe sell it for a profit.

I keep going back and forth on whether to get it or not, and wanted to ask for opinions! Thanks in advance.

Hi there, I'm going to offer a different perspective from most of the posts here. Of course the bike is small and relatively low powered, but the CB125S is a very capable machine. Consider that in many parts of the world bikes of this size are among the most common form of everyday transportation. I have a '75 model with similar mileage and love it for short trips into town or on local country roads (http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=63759.msg741903#msg741903).

Of course I only weight 145 lbs so that helps. The bike is very nimble and compared to my 500 single the 125 feels like a motorized bicycle. It is way fun to ride on local town or country roads and cruises comfortably at 50mph but is capable of 60 -70 on flat ground, no headwinds. I've been known to shout with joy inside my helmet when swooping through curves on a winding country road, feeling like the bike was an extension of me.

I'm in California and apparently prices are much higher here. I bought mine w/3,000 miles and in very good condition for $2,000. I considered it a fair price given that it needed no engine work, only maintenance and some minor parts replacement. Compared to the price of a brand new stupid looking Honda Grom 125 for $3K or more I feel like I got much more value. The typical used CB125S on the local craigslist is a junker and they are still asking $1000 -$1500. Since so many parts are discontinued you would soon have big bucks into it after hunting down parts on eBay.

As for the particular bike you are looking at, the low mileage is good but it smells like is suffers from lack of maintenance. I would definitely have it checked out by a qualified mechanic. The engine noise may just be cam chain adjustment. As others have said you would want to remove valve covers and dipstick and peek inside. If the oil has been changed regularly it should look very clean. A flashlight will also reveal excess wear on the cam lobes. Is the air filter intact and clean? Or has someone installed an aftermarket K&N filter and fed the engine a steady diet of dirt? Do a compression test (correctly, by someone who knows how to compression test small engines), also check valve clearance and cam chain adjustment and see if it is still noisy.

Good luck,
-Bill
 
spurlock said:
Hi there, I'm going to offer a different perspective from most of the posts here. Of course the bike is small and relatively low powered, but the CB125S is a very capable machine. Consider that in many parts of the world bikes of this size are among the most common form of everyday transportation. I have a '75 model with similar mileage and love it for short trips into town or on local country roads (http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=63759.msg741903#msg741903).

Of course I only weight 145 lbs so that helps. The bike is very nimble and compared to my 500 single the 125 feels like a motorized bicycle. It is way fun to ride on local town or country roads and cruises comfortably at 50mph but is capable of 60 -70 on flat ground, no headwinds. I've been known to shout with joy inside my helmet when swooping through curves on a winding country road, feeling like the bike was an extension of me.

I'm in California and apparently prices are much higher here. I bought mine w/3,000 miles and in very good condition for $2,000. I considered it a fair price given that it needed no engine work, only maintenance and some minor parts replacement. Compared to the price of a brand new stupid looking Honda Grom 125 for $3K or more I feel like I got much more value. The typical used CB125S on the local craigslist is a junker and they are still asking $1000 -$1500. Since so many parts are discontinued you would soon have big bucks into it after hunting down parts on eBay.

As for the particular bike you are looking at, the low mileage is good but it smells like is suffers from lack of maintenance. I would definitely have it checked out by a qualified mechanic. The engine noise may just be cam chain adjustment. As others have said you would want to remove valve covers and dipstick and peek inside. If the oil has been changed regularly it should look very clean. A flashlight will also reveal excess wear on the cam lobes. Is the air filter intact and clean? Or has someone installed an aftermarket K&N filter and fed the engine a steady diet of dirt? Do a compression test (correctly, by someone who knows how to compression test small engines), also check valve clearance and cam chain adjustment and see if it is still noisy.

Good luck,
-Bill

;) +1
 
Hey all, I appreciate the info that has been shared!

Just wanted to share that I've decided not to purchase the cb125 I was considering, and will continue the search!
 
I bought my 74 125S two years ago and it was running, as well as my first bike. Payed waaay too much for it but since I've been building it into a lil cafe bike I've had a great time learning about the older Hondas. If the price is right Id jump on it. They are awesome for tearing around town. Im nearly done with my build and replaced a lot of things for very cheap. Its a great bike to learn on and figure things out. Im just ready to be done with my build so I can buy a cb750.
 
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