My CBF125

Fuelly

Here she is:

Since purchasing the machine, I have added the following:

  • Givi 317DT Screen (looks similar to Honda’s own aftermarket screen but is much cheaper!)
  • Givi E30 Tour Top Box
  • Givi E104 Brake Light – very useful as the Top Box obscures the tail/brake light on the bike when viewed at certain angles (such as from above in the cab of a HGV).

  • TomTom Rider (v1) in a TouraTech/RAM mount.
  • Unbranded ‘Spy Camera’ for video recording.


68 thoughts on “My CBF125

  1. Nice, just got a used 2009 model, pritty run down and in a need of a bit of TLC, using 125bike owners club as a guide, very useful! A tachometer on the 2011 models, i wounder if it would be possible to install it on the older ones as i imagen it would be very usefull, and also looks a lot nicer as well.

    • Hi, thanks for the comments.

      I would advise servicing it fully as with 125’s especially, people don’t tend to look after them often. Do you have the owner’s manual as the schedule is in there, although only provides basic information. You might want to get the workshop manual (Wemoto sell it but it’s about £50). How many miles has it done just out of interest?

      Regarding the tach, the instrument cluster moulding looks different on both bikes, as well as the wiring being different, but after looking at a wiring diagram for my YBR (different make so this may not be accurate info), it seems the tach is very simple and takes a feed from the CDI unit and another connection to earth. The CDI on the 2011 CBF vs the 2009/10 may also be different to account for this, or it might be the same, worth comparing if you can. You can buy aftermarket tachometers that you can bolt on to the handlebars etc. Not sure how the CDI would handle this though and there isn’t much info out there about doing this sort of thing with the CBF, sorry.

      Personally I don’t find it that useful, although it’s nice to have, in fact I feel I get distracted looking at it all the time!

      • Just a note. It’s an ECM not a CDI. It also uses inductive discharge transistor control, not CDI.

        The old ECM won’t drive the rev guage, the two ECM are interchangeable, you just need to run the extra wire from the connector to the clocks with a new type ECM and you can drive the rev guage.

  2. Hi thanks for responding, I bought it 2 weeks ago, it has 2 previous owners with 4900 miles on clock i have just took it into the 5000s. my friend has one too, his one is a year old but so much better looked after. My one has a very low idle and in the mornings will not idle until at least 5 minutes of revving has past, also out on the road his one will pull away from mine any day much faster. but only paid 1K so what can i expect. I am just hoping an oil change. new spark plug and using shell V-power like that site suggests will help it out a bit, I even bought that pro 4 plus oil. I am currently trying to get hold of a owners manual for it, i have asked my friend but he has not got back to me yet.

    Thanks, Haribo.

    • I still haven’t got the workshop manual yet but I believe the idle speed is adjustable. I’ll confirm when I get the manual. Maybe an adjuster screw on the throttle body perhaps (traditionally you’d have an idle screw on a carb, so that would be the logical place). It’ll be due a service at 5’000 miles. Also if you have no luck with the old owner, check with a Honda dealer with regards to getting hold of a manual, as far as I know, there are no PDF’s out there online at all. Saying that, take the back seat off via the key lock on the left side near the rear light assembly, flip it over and look at the underside, that’s where the manual should be stored on the bike, so it may well be there!

      • Ye, tried looking under the seat and contacting old owner, no luck, but my mate said i could borrow it tonight. Maby ill scan every page and upload it somewhere as a PDF? I could send the file to you and you could put it on your site or something, just a thought, don’t know if your allowed to do that or not. I think it would be the first CBF125 manual on the internet! But anyway filling up full tank of V-power and changing oil to pro 4 plus tonight. Ill report back any performance change.

      • Hi,

        My CBF 125 (2011) has a high idle speed at around 2000. Do you know if the valve clearances need to be adjusted or whether it’s something else? The last service was done at 2800 miles. They should have checked the clearances (I bought it after it had done 7000). Ta.

  3. Regarding the oil, Honda specify only 10w30 for this bike for some reason. I have no idea why and haven’t heard of anyone having issues with other grades but there you go… I currently have a bottle of Pro 4 Plus in the garage but that was for the YBR before it was written off (was using Halfords 10w40 semi-synthetic before that and never had problems). I’m torn between using that or the recommended Castrol Power 1 GPS 10w30 at the moment. Would love to know your findings on the Pro 4 Plus, especially after a couple of thousand miles or so.

    I have noticed really good fuel economy with V-Power (last fill up calculated at 144mpg!). Due to copyright issues I’m afraid I won’t host a copy of the manual, sorry. There are other places you can host though (Dropbox public folder, Fileshack etc – no idea if Honda really care but the law is the law and I’d say it’s a risk if you do choose to reproduce this stuff…).

    Thanks again for your comments, they’re really insightful.

  4. Hi, mate couldn’t find the manual, do you know how to get the oil to drain out, is it a nut or somthing that you loosen. i am a compleate novice, thanks in advance.

    • Hi,

      Just wondering if you got my email on Friday evening with all the info, and if your oil change went well and if you have any initial thoughts on the Pro 4 Plus? (always a great feeling the first time you do something like this – then you realise how much you’ll save in labour costs!).

      • I got you e-mail, once again thank you. After work is finished today i am going to go for a drive to get the oil hot, like the site suggests and i am going to change it when i get home. i got everything i need on the inside of the door so should be hassle free (famous last words) ill take it for a ride after and see if i can feel any differences straight away.

  5. Nut screwed on to tightly, Broke my tool lol, i can’t be bothered with this anymore im just going to leave it.but thanks for your help anyways.

      • Not sure as would not move ether way and then the heat bent the tool. I am seriously considering just leaving it on its side to drain the oil as i discovered one day when my friend fell off his on the A2. No fear i shall drop it off at the shop where i bought it from with the oil, its just down the road from the office! Oh and what happening to your bike with the juddering?

  6. OK, new oil, no noticeable difference yet, but they say it takes time for it to get fully absorbed, first impressions, the oil that came out was black as night and this stuff was like gold compared to it! so at least it looks better. will have to run it in and see how she goes. thanks again for your help and I will report back any problems/improvements,

  7. Doesn’t take that long to circulate around the engine, couple of minutes at most, nothing to absorb into really. Even if you can’t feel any difference, new oil will definitely be good for the engine. Getting rid of dirty oil is always a good thing, and the oil in these high-revving engines is also shared with the gearbox and clutch so it has quite a hard life being churned about all over the place, which is why we need more frequent changes than our four wheeled counterparts.

    • Well, I need to get it up to speed for a bit as sometimes when changing from 3rd to 4th gear it slips for a second or two, I am hoping this new stuff will resolve it, and I don’t know if I am being to gentle but every 1 out of 3 rides it will slip out of 2nd into neutral at some point. not sure if its me or not.

  8. Well everything appears to be good now, smoother changes and all that! One thing i forgot to ask, how is the larger shield, is there much difference compared to the regular one, i found the small shield pushes the air just below shoulder level.

    • I have noticed it slips out of 2nd into neutral occasionally as well. I also noticed that the gear pedal is a bit high (personal preference), and I haven’t lowered it yet but I suspect you’ll get more leverage if it’s lower and the pedal should stand a better chance of firmly be pushed home when changing gear.

      The taller windshield is better than the stock stubby one, but I am getting wind blast on my head/chest when there is a strong wind against me. When there’s no wind, or if I’m travelling with it, it does a very good job. Not sure if it has any effect on aerodynamics.

  9. Hello again,

    I will subscribe your logbook, not only you have a lot of knowledge, but also you’re the first person after me to discover how to have a DC system in the CBF.

    I want to make the services myself, because Honda in My city is to expensive, pay 50€ for a 4000 mileage revision with oil change.

    I have already bought the oil, 9€ per litre.

    Cheers!

  10. Hi, I’m wondering whether you’ve had the CBF long enough to pass judgement compared with the Yamaha YBR125? From what I’ve read in various forums there seem to be a number of consistent quality issues with the CBF. You got the YBR up to a high mileage quite happily. I suppose the CBF is slightly more economical, but one breakdown wipes out that saving. Les

    • share your view but so far on mine coming upto 10k the bike does the biz
      the quality of the cbf is to the price. Accept that and look at the cost per mile.
      the main cost is now fuel -. ten quid of oil every 2500 miles – air filter every 5000 miles, spark plug every 5000 miles and use the high temperature one if on long continouus journeys. pads every 5000 under the most severe usage in london traffic, tires every 10000. the ybf cant do 125 mpg. To achieve 25 percent improvement in any engineering project is amazing. Spoke to the honda spares man in johns of romford getting a plug – he told me they dont go wrong.

  11. Hey,

    I’m looking to change my headlight to a whiter light as my one is really dim and can hardly see anything in the dark =/

    Tried to get to the light today but can’t reach some of the screws holding the side fairing on =/

    You wouldn’t know how to do this would you as am having a bit of trouble!

    Thanks

  12. Hey first off hats off for the site 🙂 ive had my cbf three months (brand new) now and am going for my first service soon (dont do many miles me lass still adjusting to the fact iam riding) love the bike but was wondering what top speed you have got? And also if the windshield helped alot? I am planning on traveling to me friends and have to go on the a roads.

  13. Hi,

    I’ve just bought a 2013 CBF125 and I’m following your blog with great interest. It’s a brilliant resource and very informative. Thanks for taking the time and effort to keep it going.

    I notice that you’ve added a Givi screen. Do you find it makes a lot of difference? Does it improve economy, reduce the wind buffeting and make the bike more comfortable at higher speeds?

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Iain

  14. hi
    ive found the info in your blog very usefull as i have bought a used cbf 125 and have just done the 5000 mile service. i decided to change the tvs tyres for conti go as i heard they were better for winter use. the bike shop i took it to took loads of paint off my rear wheel around the rim fitting the tyre and never informed me when i took the bike. when i saw the damage i went back and complained. the owner told me that when he tried to fit the balancing weights on the wheel the paint was coming off and the rest of the paint flaked off as it was so thin. did this happen on your wheels when you had your tyres changed?

  15. I have a cbf from new for a year now. Mileage is 8000 miles. It gets harsh treatment curtesy of living in london. But tlc in terms of maintenance is overflowiing. I am a biker aged 57 and have had a lot of bikes including a triumph xc800 at present. I do 100 miles a day commuting on the a13 to essex. So the bike is at 9000 rpm for 2 hours a day. I did some production racing and love blasting around on bikes. The cbf is a brillient design. Through the traffic it is the business – nimble, great brakes, light and you can do some extremely naughty things if motivated. To date i have left R1’s standing at the lights. The handling is good. I know most wont go as far over as I do – the contis are ok in the dry but take it easy in the wet. The front brake is what i term a little finger brake. If i wont pull up hard with your little finger then strip down the brake and lube everything up as described. As for alternative brake discs – use honda pads – only had to put some new ones in after 5000 miles of brutal stop and go around london – you know their good when you lock the front wheel – even when near to the limit they still were safe . If you are able to do the tappets then the only place i could buy a 0.12mm feeler gauge is from KTM which was about 6 pounds. A 0.08mm can be found at halfords. The rocker cover comes off from the left hand side of the bike. Take the time and its easy. Always clean the engine before you start. Gunk it , wash it and let it dry. Always do up the lock nut and check the clearences then. If the feeler gauge feels a bit loose try the next size up. The inlet valve clearence is 0.08 mm so its the most time consuming one to get right. This is one of the things that makes the cbf the cheapest bike to run. The truth – Honda dont make bad bikes !

    • my cbf is now at 16000 miles but things have not gone well. The stator had to be rewound – they burn out. The symptom is the headlight not working since it runs direct off the stator – the bike will run until the battery runs out since it is not being charged. Cost 100 quid to fix – west country windings did it and they know their stuff – its not the first cbf they have seen. If i were going on a cbf for a long trip i would have the stator rewound as a matter of course. Further repairs included the exhust valve guide working loose resulting in lots of smoke from the engine. Cost 160 quid to get a new one inserted and had the cylinder rebored as well. New piston, rings and pin with gaskets came to around 150 quid. Engine runs better than ever. Put a new chain and sprockets on – dont bother with ‘heavy duty’ chains etc. Standard DID is more than adequate. Chains wear out through not being cleaned and oiled. So time to move on. The bike is for sale. After 2 years and all those miles it looks terrible. The reason for the sale. Gonna get a new one !!!

  16. Thought I would share my recent finding on ebay “Single rectangle red reflector with inbuilt leds additional stop and tail light (151146760733)”. It’s dimensions and mounting seem to match exactly those of the reflector on the rear mudguard. I’ve ordered one and I plan to splice the wiring into the tail light loom. I’ve got the Honda top box for which there is no brake light option so this should give me greater visibility with both stop and tail lights from all angles whilst retaining the stock look.
    I plan to ride through the winter again so have added ‘plus sized’ handguards and have also ordered extra front led running lights ( to make up for the mere 35W headlight bulb ) and reflective rim tape. Also fitted the gaiters recommended on this site, fantastic fit and well worth it. Everyone should consider stripping down both the front and back axles if only to deal with the lack of lubrication and subsequent corrosion which if left another year would have caused massive issues. The original TVS tyres have been binned in favour of Conti-Go’s as recommended. Thanks for keeping this site going and to all who have contributed with advice. Keep it up.

  17. Purchased a CBF 125 Honda motorcycle in May 2015 currently experiencing the engine cutting out in the warm weather after 5 miles. Spoke with Honda and the retailors where purchased no logical rationale to why it is happening.Advised to cool engine down. Surely this is not good tp cool a hot engine down with water?16/03/2014x

    • Whoever told you to cool the engine down is an idiot. Dont listen to them. engine cutting out is a fuel problem. There are issues with the fuel pumps on cbfs including the kangaroo hopping (i had a new fuel pump under warranty). Very difficult to prove its the pump. They cost around 150 quid new. Beware of used ones – they might be the same. My cbf has run fine in boiling hot commuting in london so its not some strange design fault.

      • The cause was apparently a waxy lining in the tank that protects against corrosion during shipping. Dealers should flush it out but don’t and it makes its way into the fuel pump…

  18. I have had my CBF for six months, a 2015 model with only 2400 on the clock. It’s been utterly reliable and I am getting just over 124mpg so far.

    Top speed is dependant on the direction of the wind and either 58 or 62. Such a nimble and nippy bike. Looking at the CB500F in the hope the basic feel is similar even though the economy won’t be.

    Love the 125 for commuting but not being able to use it on the motorway is limiting now. Beautiful bike though, know I will miss it if I do sell it!

    • Hey hey,

      I’ve held a full license since June 2008! Managed to get it just before all this Module 1/2 rubbish came in… I just chose to stick with 125’s because they’re so stupidly cheap to run!

      • Oh! Wow… Have you considered a 500cc? they can be very economical if you get an older 80’s 90’s one. This is so strange my first post was June 20, 2011… How much I’ve learned now and your site inspired me to do things myself.

  19. Thanks! The NC700 actually tickles my fancy. Alas, finances at the moment won’t let me get one. I’m firmly stuck on the train and without a bike unless I get a massive pay rise!

    • Yeah, the NC700 looks like an interesting bike… probably would avoid tbh… a old 400cc – 500cc would be must faster, cheaper on parts, cheaper to buy and almost get the same fuel economy. Honda CB500 is a very good choice and you’re not afraid to do stuff yourself so it would be easy for you.

      Currently on GPz500 and last Saturday/Sunday I did the tappets, installed new clutch plates and springs and did a carb sync! its one of the best bikes to work on so far… and it’s not only a commuter 🙂

      • I have owned the CB500X for nearly a year now, -64 reg. And yesterday i bought a CBF125 2015 model from the Honda dealer with 800 miles on the clock(their dealer runabout bike. Sadly it began kangaroo’ing after 20 miles riding, hot day too, so it’s now back with them to have the fuel pump replaced….
        I can say the CBF125 from the 80 miles i rode along country lanes and a bit of ‘A’ roads is a lovely bike. Seemed to be happy at 60mph, Could crawl up to 65 or so but that’s not why i bought it. I traded in my 26,700 mile 2003 Honda ANF125 Innova for it(i like my MPG bikes). I miss the Innova but car drivers treat scooter riders bad so i went for the CBF125 motorbike style instead and even bikers nod again!
        Anyway, regarding the NC700, i rode the better newer NC750X and tbh i was not impressed with it. My CB500X on Fuelly has averaged 76mpg over 2,800 miles, the best being 87mpg over 191 miles range. Beats the NC. And the NC feels like a tractor engine, quite unrefined, the CB500X is more revvy and smoother and happier to make progress yet very flexible too so slow riding is just as pleasant.
        I’d rate the CB500X over an NC any day.
        And to finish, the courtesy bike the dealer gave me whilst my CBF125 was being fixed was the brand new 2016 CB125F. 5 miles on the clock. I didn’t like the bike. It seemed cheaper built than the CBF, gearbox is more clunky, footpegs further forward, tires are no-name ones, seat uncomfy after just 20 miles. Engine lacks the CBF torque. Suprisingly i assumed all 125’s were about the same but it sturggles to pull 55 where the same road/conditions the CBF could sit at 60mph.
        So i’d stay clear of the newer CB125F model, the CBF125 feels much nicer and plush in comparison and has a sweeter engine.
        And the CB500X is just a good bike, highly recommended, good fun, can cruise at 80mph(6k revs), very practical with a top box too.
        Hope that helps someone. I’m just starting my experience with the CBF125, i’ve had my full licence for 20 years now, Fireblades, VFR’s, 1200 Bandits, after all those, i’ve settled with a Ducati Monster, Honda CB500X and(when it’s fixed lol) a Honda CBF125.

  20. i sold my cbf125 after what can only be said was 17k miles of repairs and maintenance and did not want the latest one even throu i think the later models are not made in india. Got a honda wave 110i and its a fantastic motorbike. Handling, brakes power are spot on for london and it takes £3.20 to fill the tank. done around 3500 miles so far with any signs of anything but pure dependability. I was going to get a NC but looking at the finish went and got a triumph xc800 – tough, dependable and its quick enough for most things. Spoke to the honda people at motorden and they also like the cb500x. Just like you I’ve had a lot of bikes and sad to say age has become a factor in the choice of machine. So it might be time to bid fareware to the stalwart triumph and yes i was considering the honda 500 – small, practical and enough power for everyday usage.

  21. Hello all , I bought a cbf 125 in 2011 when I passed my CBT and its currently sitting at just over 55,000 miles, when I bought it had 1 mile on it so it’s done well. Now I noticed a few problems such has vibrating from my pegs going through the bike, feels like the gears are jumping in and out, goes in to fake gears, head light braket snapped and lists goes on…

    All through its been a great bike and has been all over Scotland and some England..

  22. Just picked up a 2014 CBF125 with a dead engine at 7600miles (complete with missing top end and the bottom end has sat open to the elements since 2015). From what I’ve read, these engines do seem to like a drop of oil & what kills them is people don’t check them and run them dry…

    Bottom end/gearbox feel ok-ish although it’ll need closer inspection to see if the crank & rod are salvageable, the cam chain is rusted up solid though… If I find the engine is either irreparably damaged or too expensive to fix I’ll probably end up breaking it for parts but I feel like giving it a chance at least… Does need some other bits too though. Time will tell…

    • Well after a couple of hours tinkering, I’ve freed up the camchain a little bit although it’ll need replacing & put some oil in the sump. After charging the battery, disengaging the camchain off the bottom sprocket & supporting the con rod on a bungee arrangement to stop it banging on the cases, I gave it a quick spin on the starter and it spun smoothly with no nasty noises & soon started pumping oil too.

      Next on the agenda is finish freeing up & cleaning the throttle body, connecting the fuel system up and chucking a bit of petrol in the tank then spinning it over again to see if the fuel pump works and injector fires. If all checks out OK there I’ll look further into the viability of the bottom end & try and locate piston/barrel kit and complete head plus camchain & tensioner… Could potentially be a runner again at this early stage.

      • Got a few minutes to play earlier, fuel pump & injection system seem to be alive so now it just comes down to if I can find a top end for a good price. Looking at around £400 to complete the bike (although more than half of that is the seperate engine parts, need to find a deal methinks!) using ebay as a guide and that’s a bit much, even if £400 for a running & roadworthy 2014 CBF would be a bit of a bargain I think it might tip the balance in favour of breaking for parts if I can’t find a cheaper way round the engine issue… Would be nice if the p/o had actually kept hold of the rest of the thing even if it was knackered!

      • Well, even if I’m just rambling on to myself here, I’ll post my thoughts nonetheless. 😀 at least it’s a way to keep track of what I’m thinking lol

        Current thoughts are around looking into electrolytic cleaning, I reckon I’ll give it a go on the cam chain and see what kind of results it proffers. I’ve heard good things but could it really bring a crusty camchain back to life? I doubt it but I like to mess round with crap like this so…

      • Still waiting on the paperwork to come back before I spend any money, but still hopeful it’ll come back to life… Also got a lot on working on our Escort cabriolet and potentially a Xantia project with snapped camshaft soon too… lol

      • Make that a Xantia with a snapped camshaft and seized engine lol… Hoping it’s just hung up on a bent valve but half expecting bottom end carnage with that one… ah well, at least the weather’s warming up nicely

      • V5c arrived this morning, cam chain has been soaking in petrol/oil mix for a few days. Just got to sort out either parts/engine & a back tyre and she’ll be away again. Might take a while due to other projects though as I’ve got the blown up Xantia awaiting a replacement engine and I’m halfway through a top end refresh on the Escort cabby as well.
        It is officially game on though & going to be revived.

  23. May have a complete top end at the right money, subject to it still being available when funds clear in my bank. Will be pleased if I can snag that & get to hear it running in the next couple of weeks…

    • Hooray, complete top end & camchain should be on their way soon 🙂 Nervous wait for funds to clear but guess nobody else was that desperate for the whole top half of an engine lol

      • Top end and gasket set scheduled for delivery today… see what state the piston/rings & bore are in and may even start assembly if I feel up to it…

      • Ugh, seller forgot to include the barrel in the parcel lol still at least the rest of it is in good shape & says the barrel will be on way tomorrow… On the plus side, gasket set arrived as well earlier.

      • Barrel’s here hooray & it looks serviceable… May try and do a bit of building up later

      • Productive day all in all, the head I bought needed valves grinding in but got that done & finished bolting it together about 20min ago and it’s a runner (a quiet runner at that!)

        Not complaining at all, now I can get on with sorting the missing bodywork bits and a new tyre and she’ll be ready to go…

      • up to £96 all in now, and 8hrs of my time but she’s in what I would call a rideable state I.E. all bodywork I have is in place and everything working. Just need the missing bits and a tyre when I get paid again & it’ll be about done 🙂

    • Bloody conjunctivitis in both eyes now 😦 and just realised I have some soldering to do on the loom (I chopped the handlebar looms when I was stripping the bike to fit in my car as I planned on breaking it then), theyre twisted together so will have to do that shortly)

      • Heya,

        That’s a really great story and I really think that a lot of people would benefit from it being a proper blog post (it won’t get the attention it deserves as a bunch of replies here) – would you be interested in that at all? If you have any pictures of the bike in its various states of repair as you’ve struggled with it, that would make it even better. Drop me a reply here if this is something you’d like to do.

        Kind regards,

        Neil.

        (this is my blog – I have two WordPress identities – cbf125rider and this one.)

      • Hi, sorry I never took any photos while I was working on the engine I just ploughed through it whenever I got a moment 😦 kinda wish I had done now though as it was a state!
        I’ve no objection if you wanted to consolidate all my posts for easier access if you think it could be of interest or helpful to others, mores the pity I didn’t get pics though really… Then I could always add to it with future developments. Anyway, glad you’ve found the bike’s story so far interesting, not just me and my thoughts here lol. I could get a couple of photos of the bike as it stands if that would be any use? and I’m sure the first oil change since rebuild will be “photogenic” to say the least!

        Bike isn’t even due it’s first MoT till June so I’ve actually been able to take it for a few short journeys round the block (perched upon a folded towel in place of the missing seat!) and it’s a nice smooth ride although I’ll be looking into the gear lever adjustment for sure as it does like to hit neutral before second a lot. hopefully should improve further with a few oil changes too as 18 months+ worth of dust & rubbish get flushed out of the system.

        Glad I have the rest of that gasket kit in stock too as I’ll likely have to clean the strainer more than once to have peace of mind before ultimately deciding whether to keep the bargain CBF or pass it on to someone who’d get more use out of it.

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