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Honda updates its entry-level off-roader


Honda’s impressive entry-level machine, the CRF100F has been replaced with a slightly bigger model in the form of the CRF125FB.

The replacement should prove to be an even more ideal first off-road bike. It features a low-maintenance air-cooled engine that has been tuned to provide decent low-end torque, making it easier to ride. 

As with its predecessor, this model slots in between the automatic CRF110F and the bigger CRF150RR competition machine. This means that this small bike will provide many novice riders with an introduction to the world of manual motorcycles with its four-speed manual gearbox.

The bike has been engineered to be easy to ride, as is evident by the wide-set foot pegs and brake pedal as well as narrower handlebars to instill a greater amount of rider confidence. The ‘half-waffle’ rubber grips are the same design used on the bigger models and provide better throttle feel and sensitivity.

Changes incorporated into the 125FB include bodywork that has been modelled on the flagship CRF450R, as well as an electric starter in addition to the traditional kick-start system, which has also been repositioned for greater leverage. The diamond-backbone frame is also new. It features an integrated air-box/battery design that helps keep the seat height down to 785mm, which is ideal for children aged 10 and above.

The suspension has been uprated too, with bigger 31mm telescopic forks and heavier-duty springs. At the rear, the shock makes use of a 32mm piston damper with separated air, oil and gas pressurisation chambers. The braking system has been updated to a 220mm front disc to accommodate the slightly bigger motor as well as the larger 19-inch front and 16-inch rear tyres.

Figures include an 88kg claimed wet weight and a 4.3-litre fuel tank. The 124cc SOHC engine has been created with the aim of speeding up gas-flow velocity and reducing valve overlap and lift to help with bottom-end power. The result is power-output figures of 6.6kW at 7 000rpm and 10.2Nm of torque at 4 500rpm.

This junior machine is made for mild off-road trails, beginner’s motocross tracks and even backyard activities. Honda says that the key phrase used during the development of the new machine was ‘Your first real dirtbike.’

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