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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 6 Feb 2014
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UK cg125 "nostalgia" - origin and quality

I'm planning an Africa/Asia/RTW/whatever trip starting in the UK. I had settled on a CG125, and then I started seeing these little beauties:



I'm extremely interested in this bike. I love the metal fenders and the classic styling, much better looking (IMO) than the more common plastic fender versions. I also love the tachometer and kickstarter, and don't mind the heel-toe 4 speed. They look like they were built from 2001 to 2003ish.

However, I'm getting conflicting information as to where they came from or how they stack up with the "regular" CG125. On one hand, I have seen them referred to as limited "Nostalgia" models that were built in Japan. But I have also heard them advertised on ebay as the "Brazil" model, and read that they are of much lower quality.

In reference specifically to those sold in the UK, what is the deal with these cg125s?

And does anyone have one for sale? Paypal ready.

Last edited by jordan325ic; 6 Feb 2014 at 19:52.
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Old 6 Feb 2014
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It was my understanding that no CG125's have been built in Japan since 1985, but I read that on the net so it could be wrong. The Brazilian built ones might not be quite up to Japanese standards but are not crap either.
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  #3  
Old 6 Feb 2014
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There's nothing wrong with the Brazilian made ones anyway. I'd stop worrying about it.
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Old 6 Feb 2014
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It would seem that you are being encouraged to get a Brazilian
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  #5  
Old 7 Feb 2014
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Nice little bike!
Have you seen the bike in person? Look on the steering head where the metal VIN sticker is. VIN sticker should say MADE IN ... where ever.

I don't know this specific version of the 125 .. but do remember how solid the original 125's were back when they were imported into the USA. (70's and 80's) (They were nearly identical in their look to the one you've shown)
A girl friend rode her 125 to Uni for 4 years. She loved that bike ... it never missed a beat beyond a dead battery. Everything on it lasted forever.

Regards more recent Brazilian made Hondas: Honda have been in Brazil over 10 years. CRF150 and CRF230 are both made in Brazil and quality has been very good. (we get these bikes in USA since mid 2000's) I'm sure Honda make a variety of bikes in Brazil for various markets worldwide. (including to re-import to Japan!)

A good riding buddy has the air cooled CRF230, I've serviced it for him and done mods. Solid bike that is ridden hard and beaten riding off road! It's been perfect, no issues! (and responds well to careful fettling)

Others have their kids racing the Brazilian made CRF150 and have a ball racing Flat Track on them. Great way to learn to ride/race. They even bore them out and hot rod them. No issues I've heard about. Anvils.

If you are sure that is the bike for you for travel ... I'd buy one and start riding it round. Take it on a few longish test rides loaded up. If it does not work out ... sell it off and buy something else. Honda's aren't too hard to re-sell.

If me, I'd go with at least a 250cc bike ... and go with an enduro model for lightness and strength. Not a big difference in weight (125 vs 250) but the 250 will do highway in a more relaxed manner and maintain a higher (safer) speed and still be economical on fuel.

The 250 will haul a bigger load and face strong head winds better as well.
Once up over 4000 meters the 250 may just make it up and over ... the 125 ? Dunno? Nate the Postman really struggled in India and Nepal over the high passes on his little 100cc Postie bike. (not much fun for me ... as I rode Honda 50's and Honda 90's from age 13 until 18. I know them very well!)

Cheers!
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Old 7 Feb 2014
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Looks like my old CB100 from 1970, they made a CB125 as well both are pretty gutless but reliable.



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Old 7 Feb 2014
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CB100 - I had one of those! Great little bike but as you say pretty gutless.

Part of the problem with CG125 70's nostalgia biking, including the CB100, the Jawa 350 smoker that's the subject of another topic and the Suzuki B120 that I'm riding around on atm is that even back then they were seen as grey plodders only fit for short trips to the station when you'd missed the bus. Just basic transport. That's probably why they've survived as there's still a need for basic transport and they fit the bill. All of the exciting (and much quicker) 125s are long gone, victims of changing fashions, emission regs, learner legislation etc.

On the up side, bikes aimed at the "couldn't care less, just get me to work" market tend to be pretty reliable. The CG has always been seen as that - about as reliable as it gets. I've done just under 4000 miles on my Suzuki equivalent in the last year made up of an Elephant rally trip and then just running around. It's done all of those miles just about flat out and a couple of blown light bulbs is all that's gone wrong.

Many times (into head winds, up hills etc) I've wished it had just a few more bhp and wouldn't a 175 or a 250 version be great. It might well be but it wouldn't be the same. That version would be heavier, less nimble and a lot less fun. I'd have to take it more seriously. Bikes like the CG are great because of what they're not - heavy, thirsty, complicated and expensive. They don't make much of a statement or stand out and a lot of the time that suits me fine. And if you think that 125s are minimal motoring have a look at this site - Moped Trip - 18660 km by moped Compared with that a CG looks positively upmarket.
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Old 7 Feb 2014
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Hi Go get a Yamasaki - CG125 in all but name . they are around £600 in a crate and you get to build it . My friends are currently whizzing around Morroco on one and it hasnt missed a bit . The paint job on the tank is pure 70 s .
Bike mag did a long term test on one and really rated it , personally i d love one but being well over 6ft i look a little silly on it !!
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Old 9 Feb 2014
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If it's got a 4-speed box and a tacho I'd be wary.

IIRC, these were made in China to a very low standard and parts are not available from your local Honda dealer.

The brazilian models seem to be as reliable as the Japanese originals.
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