The CR125 was never the most desirable bike. The aluminium chassis was described as one of the best handling 125 chassis of all time but riders complained that the CR didn’t have enough power.
Buying used: Honda CR125 (2002-04)
GOOD FOR THE BUSH
There were even rumours getting around back in the day that the earlier steel frame CR 125s made more horsepower than the later aluminium-frame models.
However, if you are willing to spend some coin on the engine to beef it up and get it making more power then you will have a competitive 125 or, on the other hand, they make great bikes for leaner riders not looking for the most powerful bike in the bunch. The fix was to open up the airbox and run an airboot from the 2005 model, which was more open and less restrictive.
The other mods that used to get them going was to run a Boyesen Rad Valve instead of the standard reed block, fit an FMF or Pro Circuit exhaust system, shave the head to increase the compression then do some port work. This made them competitive with the other 125s.
These days the CR125 doesn’t get used so much as a race bike but if you are looking for a 125 to take in the bush then the CR works very well. It is very nimble and easy to manoeuvre and while it doesn’t have the strongest power hit on the motocross track it is manageable in the bush. The CR’s motor is a single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, two-stroke engine with reed valve induction. The carburettor is a Mikuni TMX 38mm and the ignition is CDI.
The 125’s stock compression ratio is only 8.8:1, with a bore and stroke of 54mm x 54.5mm. The front fork is a 46mm KYB cartridge unit and the rear suspension is a KYB shock with Pro-Link. The overall weight of the CR is only 87.5kg and the tank holds 7.5L.
The rear end is fitted with a Pro-Link system and KYB shock with spring preload adjustment, 30 position rebound damping adjustment, 18 position high-speed compression damping and 318mm of travel.
The front fork is a 46mm KYB cartridge unit with 18 position rebound damping adjustment, 20 position compression and 305mm of travel.
The CR carburettor is a 38mm Mikuni TMX. The CR came out running quite rich and had to be leaned off to get it to run without spitting oil out of the silencer.
The CR has a five-speed constant-mesh transmission with a wet multi-plate clutch operated by a cable.
• 2002-04 Kawasaki KX125
• 2002-04 Yamaha YZ125
• 2002-04 Suzuki RM125
• 2003-04 KTM 125SX