We get a chance to ride the latest 125cc commuter motorcycle from Honda’s stable in India. The all-new Honda SP 125 is now BS6 compliant but will it carry the commuter crown, we find out.
The Honda SP 125 is the latest BS6 compliant commuter from Honda’s portfolio here in India. What it gets is a complete makeover and now looks more stylish and premium. However, if you do not just go by the looks, it should still be easy to ride and commute around in the city. Not to mention, it should be frugal and easy to maintain as well.
At the heart of the SP 125 is a new fuel-injected engine which is fitted to an updated chassis. It gets some new designs and features. It not only looks bigger but also has bigger dimensions. What amazes is the lightweight of the motorcycle which daily commuters in cities will rejoice about. Overall, it looks a completely new motorcycle, a serious update from the previous-gen Honda CB Shine SP that it proudly replaces.
When you see the SP 125 from the front, it’s pretty impressive. Sporting new bodywork and colours, it looks sharp and muscular, thanks to fuel-tank extensions. For those wondering if this machine is sporty enough, well it looks quite like one. The face is fresh and the front adorns an LED headlight setup. The rear section gets a new design too but the LED taillamp has been given a miss. You will notice that the 18-inch alloy wheels are new and they are wearing MRF rubber which claims lower rolling resistance for the rear, thus adding to the fuel economy.
Next up is the fully-digital instrument cluster which definitely is eye-catching on a 125cc segment motorcycle. The console comes with a host of features which include instantaneous mileage, speedometer, odometer, trip meter, gear-position indicator, fuel gauge, distance to empty and other tell-tale indications for the rider. The rider’s acceleration directly affects the fuel-economy and there is a green LED which lights up when you are riding the motorcycle at an economical pace. The all-new SP 125 comes with impressive switchgear on both ends of the handlebar. The left switchgear pass-light switch is integrated with the hi and low-beam. On the right side, you will get a segment-first engine kill switch which is also integrated with the starter button. Honda has dropped the external starter motor in favour of their new ACG or (Alternate Current Generator) which will not make any more noises when you start the motorcycle.
Moving on, the new 125cc engine powering the SP 125 is a fuel-injected motor that has gone through many changes to become more fuel-efficient. In fact, Honda has gone all lengths and breadths to make this engine reliable and more efficient. The fuel is fed by Honda PGM-FI fuel-injection system. Apart from an offset crank position, an oil jet is employed to squirt oil onto the piston to reduce wear and facilitate better cooling. The motor makes a peak power of 10.72 BHP and 10.9 Nm of torque. The power is translated on the road via a 5-speed gearbox. The numbers in the real world mean good pulling power and decent acceleration when riding in the city. While we ride it, we saw a speedo indicated 100 kmph but the SP 125 is happy to cruise at 80 kmph without any stress. The gearbox is slightly notchy (could be the case with the test bike we got) but with more riding, the gear shifts are going to be smoother for sure.
Overall Ride Quality
Making the ride plush are the same suspension components from the CB Shine SP. A standard pair of a telescopic fork on the front and twin-shocks at the rear with 5-step adjustability for better tuning. The ride quality in the urban jungle has been unparalleled. The suspension soaks up all undulations on the road with ease of delivering a comfortable commute. We tried pushing it riding over some broken patches and potholes, and the SP 125 did not even flinch. The seat is soft, wide and plush so rider and pillion comfort is not compromised at all. While the handling is not a knife through butter, it sure is confidence-inspiring for daily commutes and long hauls alike. The SP variants weigh below 120 kgs which is easy to manage for most of the riders.
The Honda SP 125 comes in two variants – one with a 130mm front drum brake and the top-spec variant is fitted with a disc-brake. Honda is offering CBS on both the variants, making it safer to ride on the roads. Braking on the disc variant is good and combined, offers a generous stopping power.
With the introduction of BS6 norms, most of the vehicles will now be more expensive. The SP 125 is priced at Rs. 72,900 for the drum brake variant and Rs. 77,110 for the disc variant (prices ex-showroom, Delhi). The SP 125 not only rides well but also keeps the emissions low and fuel-economy high. It has good looks and great performance considering the 125cc commuter segment and will check all boxes for those who look forward to a great commuting experience.