News/ Launches/ 2024 Honda CB 125R Unveiled: Should the KTM Duke 125 Worry?

2024 Honda CB 125R Unveiled: Should the KTM Duke 125 Worry?

125cc performance-oriented motorcycles have carved a niche place for themselves in the always-growing motorcycling space. Their target audience is simple - young guns who wish to taste the joys of motorcycling for the first time. To cater to the same, Honda has again upgraded their 125cc neo-retro roadster CB 125R for the European markets. While its chances of making to our shores are rather slim, if it ever does, it could send some worry signals in the KTM camp. Here’s what you need to know about Honda’s KTM Duke 125 rival!

Looks 

The 2024 CB125R's neo-retro look is achieved by a circular headlamp and a muscular stance. Its colour palette has also been upgraded, and these are shades available: Matt Cynos, Pearl Cool White, Reef Sea Blue, and Pearl Splendor Red. Overall, the design philosophy pays homage to the litre-class neo-retro offering from Honda and to a much greater extent, the CB300R as well. 

Powertrain

Oomph in the 2024 CB125R comes from a familiar 124.9 cc, liquid-cooled engine with a single-cylinder, four-stroke DOHC layout and four valves. Honda claims it can produce a peak power of 14.7 hp and 11 Nm of torque. The drive is taken care of by a 6-speed gearbox. This time around, this engine has been upgraded to meet Euro5+ emission standards. This has been achieved by a heavily tweaked catalytic converter, resulting in absolutely no power loss. 

Tech-Laden 

The 2024 CB125 ditches the analogue gauges for a new, sleek 5-inch TFT instrument panel. Its layout is simple, with gauges like a speedometer, RPM gauge, gear indicator, and fuel gauge available to the rider along with a clock. 

Cycle Parts

The Honda CB125R finds its base in a tubular and pressed steel construction lattice-style frame. It uses a 41 mm upside-down Showa separate function, a big piston front fork, and a rear monoshock. To help stop the bike, it has a Nissin front brake calliper with a 296 mm floating front brake disc setup. The motorcycle also gets ABS, which an IMU modulates. 

Will it make sense in India?

It could be a definite yes, but it all boils down to Honda’s pricing because we have seen that there is definitely demand for such 125cc offerings. The KTM Duke 125 is a promising product, offering the KTM thrills in a toned-down manner, but its exorbitant pricing doesn’t exactly make it a steal. Since Honda already enjoys brand loyalty in India, the CB 125R could turn out to be a successful gamble. A gamble that Honda Motorcycles India is unlikely to play.

TopGear Magazine May 2024