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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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Old 13 Aug 2013
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Can you sill buy a new Honda C90 / CG125?

A friend of mine is considering a tour of Europe next summer on a small engined single cylinder bike.

He asked me what I would recommend him getting for the trip.

My recommendation was either a Honda C90 step-thru (which really would look daft) or a Honda CG125. I know both these little gems have been widely used for this purpose. In fact, both are legendary in their own way...

In 1978 (when I was only 15 years old), I used to sometimes nick my mums Honda C90 when my parents went out! I used to ride it furiously up and down the road hoping no one would realize I never had a licence! Ah, those were the days... I remember that little bike just kept on going and going despite never being serviced etc.

Later in 1979 (at 16) I used to ride a friends Honda CG125 too.

I must say both these bikes were brilliant in their own way - cheap to buy, cheap to run, reliable and good fun (for a youngster any way).

When I was 17 I learned to ride on a Honda CB250 G5 (What a pile of rubbish that one was). In 1981 I took my bike test and passed on a Honda CB250N Wet Dream (slightly better than the awful G5). Since then I have owned and ridden many many bikes.

As far as this proposed trip is concerned, I really don't think there is anything currently on sale which could beat the C90 / CG125. Or perhaps you know better.

When he asked me where a new one could be brought I had to admit defeat. As far as I'm aware BOTH these bikes were dis-continued years ago!

I wanted to ask you guys if their is an alternative new model worth looking at? IS there a copy Honda C90/CG125 available made in China perhaps and still here sold in the UK?

Obviously for this trip he's going to need something small, slow but bulletproof reliable.

I really admire anyone with the tenacity and determination to do such a thing on something so small...
Triumph Bonneville 800 (2004), Yamaha XT600E (1999), Honda XBR500 (1986).

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Old 14 Aug 2013
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What about a Vespa? The modern versions seem reliable, there should be Piaggio, the parent company, dealers throughout Europe and it'd look cool as he'll.

Or there's the Derbi Terra Adventure of course, a big 125cc bike with the comfort for days in the saddle and adventure spec.

Happiness has 125 cc
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Old 14 Aug 2013
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Imitation, as they say, is the sincerest form of flattery so the Chinese must have thought a lot of the CG125 as not only have they copied the bike, they've not done a bad job with the name either:

Yamasaki YM125 motorbike – the ultimate in brand flattery | In through the outfield

You can buy them new on ebay for under £1000 ready to ride, or flatpack like Ikea for a couple of hundred less.

I've no idea whether they're any good or not but genuine CG125's must now be getting to the point where they're either wrecks or "fast appreciating classics" and priced accordingly.

For what it's worth, I've been doing a lot of small bike touring this year on a 1976 125cc Suzuki that someone gave me this time last year. I did the Elephant rally on it, down the Czech border back in the winter, a lot of stuff around the UK this summer and I'm off to the south of France on it in a few weeks. Years ago I also did the Elephant rally on a C50.

I know a lot of people have gone everywhere on C90s but my opinion is that on the open road they fall just the wrong side of the line. By the time you have a CG type 125 loaded up it's struggling to keep up a respectable speed, particularly in adverse weather or terrain and the 90 is even worse. There comes a point where the speed differential between the bike and cars, vans etc is such that you run the same sort of risks that cyclist do - cars ignore you and force their way past. On a long trip trying to keep an eye out for which white van man is going to run you into the ditch next is very tiring.

Having said that the upside is that it's great fun on a small bike and you don't have to take the trip too seriously. The main items in my tool kit are an AA card and an envelope to get a refund on my tax disc if any breakdown is terminal. Your friend's idea sounds great but - go with the 125.
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Old 14 Aug 2013
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It appears that you can get SYM Symbas in England, at least according to the SYM UK Importer. The Symba is about the closest thing to a new C90 available.

My wife and I did a RTW trip on a pair of them in 2011-2012 and found them to be a great way to go.
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Old 15 Aug 2013
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Here the CT110 is popular. Used in vast numbers by Australia Post to deliver mail there are a few around second hand. They are part way between a step through and a normal bike .. lowered top so not so much of a step over the 'tank'. Most people buy them second hand .. Store - One Ten Motorcycles

An alternative is an 'ag bike' set up for farmers Western Motorcycles (Penrith ,NSW)
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